On Songwriting: It’s Usually the Simplest Way

This happens to me time and time again. I want to say something clever and original. I certainly don’t want to sound cliche.

So I go around in circles on a particular line in a song looking for a fresh way to say something. I have to remind myself that cleverness and originality are not the only goal.

Clarity is, too.

I know, like me, you don’t want to sound cliché in your songs. But just remember not every line has to be full of novelty. You run the risk of trying to sound too smart. Worse, you’re distracting the listener.

It’s Jack and Jill went up the hill. Not Jack and Jill traversed the mountainside.

You don’t need to sound like Shakespeare or switch into King James English. Write the way you talk, how regular people talk.

If you’re like me, you’ll find that the best lyric is usually the simplest way of saying something.