On Songwriting: Try Nursery Rhyme Form

Sometimes you think you have to reinvent the wheel in your song’s rhyming scheme. But often the most basic form will work. It’s at least a great starting point. 

Think of your favorite nursery rhyme. It will likely be four lines rhyming in aabb. 

For example, as you know (or your parents have failed), “Humpty Dumpty” goes like this: 

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again

It feels silly and a little dumb, right? But you can use this form loosely with even the most serious subjects. Here, let me make up something rather heartbreaking for the sake of making a point: 

Maybe it was spring or fall
Truth is, I just can’t recall
Much of anything after she passed
Each season’s spent wishing her back

See? Serious topic, silly nursery rhyme form. It works. 

Every now and then, try replace your favorite nursery rhyme with original lyrics. It’ll help when you’re staring at a blank page, and you’ll be surprised at how good the form feels.