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It's very rare - and it does happen on occasion - where I'll take a piece of lyric and I'll just sit down and purposefully craft that melody around that lyric because I think the lyric is the wellspring for the song, without question.
You know, when I did 'American Idol' the three times, I tried to tell these kids you have to tell the story of the lyric.
I'm a composer, and therefore I know when I've written a good tune. When you've written a good song is when you know that the lyric is completely coalesced with the song.
Andrew Lloyd Webber
Lyric poetry is, of course, musical in origin. I do know that what happened to poetry in the twentieth century was that it began to be written for the page. When it's a question of typography, why not? Poets have done beautiful things with typography - Apollinaire's 'Calligrammes,' that sort of thing.
He doesn't make it so complicated but just really allows the lyric to come through even though there's a lot of production going on. I think that's the key and that's the magic, it's making sure that people could still connect with the lyrics while they're on the dance floor.
Everything that Traffic ever did, I'd give Steve a complete lyric, titled, written out with the verse, the bridge, the shape and rhyme and then Steve had to figure out how the meter of the words would fit musically.
I want to suggest a feeling. It's ridiculous to assume you can state an opinion. Somebody else can never relate to the lyric in the same way because their whole experience is different. You can only suggest, then people add their own history and experience to the lyrics.
I've learned that in the theater the story is everything. Every lyric, every line and every musical gesture has to propel the journey of a given character or the overall plot.
Of the individual poems, some are more lyric and some are more descriptive or narrative. Each poem is fixed in a moment. All those moments written or read together take on the movement and architecture of a narrative.
'Dawn (Go Away)' is a sad lyric, but the melody is so happy and fun.
When I say a spoken Hebrew sentence, half of it is like the King James Bible and half of it is a hip-hop lyric. It has a roller-coaster effect.
I was half asleep lying there writing this lyric in my head at about 3:30 in the morning. I woke Steve up with this idea and then we went into the living room where there was a little upright piano and finished the song. I wonder where that piano is now?
Lyric writing is an interesting process in Sonic Youth. There's three people writing now, and we've all had a lot of interest and involvement with expression through words.
Sometimes I get a lyric, and the lyric, you know, comes off the page, and goes into my brain and comes out with a melody. Other times, I may create a melody first.
I don't really care about audio quality. If people saw some of the ways that I record stuff, they'd see I don't care in that respect. I obviously care about things sounding good, but I think quality exists through other things like emotionally connecting with a lyric or a feeling, or whatever.
As a musician and a guitar player, I can noodle as well as anybody. But from my background as a session musician, I always try to play what is called for by the lyric and listening to the song. As a writer, that's what I do, too.
My daughter, who is 7 years old - I have no idea where she learned this - she made a video where she's beat-boxing. We have no idea where the beat-boxing came from, but all of a sudden, there it was. Now we're launched into lyric sheets for every single song that is current. They're all over our house.
Religious poetry, civic poetry, lyric or dramatic poetry are all categories of man's expression which are valid only if the endorsement of formal content is valid.
Music is creation. In reggae the lyric, the music itself, arrangement, that vibe, such melody - everything within the music moves the people, understand?
Most of the time, the lyrics are kind of like my secret messages to my friends or my boyfriend or my mom or my dad. I would never tell them that these songs are about them or which specific lyric is about somebody. Often, when I sit down to write a lyric, it is in the heat of the moment, and something has just happened.
In a song, you have to have a lyric that gives us new ideas on how to live, a lyric that makes us feel, and a melody that gives you some kind of body response and emotional response.
My introduction of Whitney was that if there's going to be one performer for the next generation who combined the beauty and lyric phrasing of a Lena Horne with those Gospel fiery roots of an Aretha Franklin, it would be Whitney Houston.
In country music the lyric is important and the melodies get a little more complex all the time, and you hear marvelous new singers who are interested in writing and interpreting a lyric and in all form of popular music.
One thing a lyricist must learn is not to fall in love with his own lines. Once you learn that, you can walk away from the lyric and look at it with a reasonable degree of objectivity.
The thing is: in order to reach an agreement, to reach that balance, sometimes it is sort of like that old Rhinestone Cowboy lyric, 'There'll be a load of compromisin' on the road to my horizon.' For those of you who were too young, or don't recall the song, made famous by country singer Glen Campbell, it is your loss.
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