Things to avoid when writing a song that you would like to appeal to me:
-Don't mention that you are singing a song in the song. That's ridiculous. i.e. "that's why I'm singing this song to you".
If you were a skilled lyricist we the listeners would be able to deduct by the context of the lyrics who is singing the song,
perhaps the motives and if we are lucky even the meaning, plot-twists, conflict and resolution.
Some artists take this one step further and they even remind the listener what they named the song. "I wrote a song for you.
It was called yellow". It actually still is called yellow according to the track listing on my iPod. This song was released right
at the cusp of iPod technology and before FM tagging so maybe he was throwing us a bone by reminding us of the title mid-
song in case we didn't know or perhaps it was an attempt at shameless self promotion but none-the-less it's pretty cheesy.
Thanks for the attempt to aid us with a better understanding of your art and the name of the song we are listening to but please, save the commentary for the DVD.
-Try to avoid at all costs shouting commands at me. Especially ones that expect to put me in a position of subordination.
i.e. "bow in the presence of greatness". No thanks, I'm driving. That might might be very difficult for me to do.
These artists sometimes go a little further to remind the listener that we are lucky to even have this artist singing for us on
their recording i.e. "you should be honored by my lateness that i would even show up to this fake shit". I would hope for your
own success that you would eventually show up to record your fake music but if you're having a hard time getting to the
studio on time please don't take that out on me or anyone else that's listening for that matter. It is very presumptuous of you
to assume that your listeners are concerned with your transportation woes and have the time to hear about it when they're
trying to absorb melody, diction, chord progression, time signature and rhythm all while text messaging the word "fun" to
228228 as they're driving to work.
-Try finishing sentences, completing thoughts and avoid using campy outdated expressions. An example of the former:
"I don't have digital". Digital what? If the rest of your thought doesn't fit into the rhyme, or rhythm scheme of the song then
don't use it. Think of something else. This leaves me very confused because I would like to know in particular what digital
device you are lacking in life. I would venture a guess that you must own at least a Casio Data Bank watch from the Eighties.
Even if you don't use it or it's battery has run out, surely you must still have it in a drawer somewhere. You are-by some grace of
God-a successful recording artist. I'm sure that you must have a digital mobile phone, digital alarm clark, digital camera, digital
recording equipment, a digital cordless phone, DVD player, an iPod, a CD player, Digital Auto-Tune, DVR, Digital Cable or
Satellite, and some digital effects pedals to name a few.
An example of the latter: "I don't have diddly squat". I don't even know if I can articulate why this bothers me but then again,
should I even have to? These two lines put together brings me to my next point.
-You are a very successful recording artist. You are famous. You have nice things. You have expensive cars, attractive partners,
you're concerned with your appearance. Don't write songs from the perspective of having nothing and/or wanting to be rich and famous. You lost the right be "ironic" and write about these things when you obtained fame and fortune. That's right I'm talking about YOU Nickelback and Lily Allen, and some other Country singer nobody reading this will care about.
See Rockstar lyrics by Nickelback (http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/n/nickelback/rockstar.html). I'm pretty sure you already have most of the things you're talking about in the song. It's not funny, It's not ironic, you're not fooling anyone. In fact it's a slap in the face to people listening that can't even afford to stay in their homes when you write about wanting all these lavish things that you can easily afford.
The Fear by Lily Allen isn't as bad. It's kind of a different angle. But if you're a tabloid celebrity constantly feuding with other celebrities over the ISH you're part of the problem and have no right to write about that. (http://www.lyricsreg.com/lyrics/lily+allen/THE+FEAR/). You want fuckloads of diamonds? Go down to the diamond store and get some. "And i’ll take my clothes off and it will be shameless cuz everyone knows that’s how you get famous". Is that why you're topless every other week on the celebrity gossip sites or is just because you're British? I'm not hating on you Lily. I'm actually a fan. I'm just calling you out on your faux pas. Nickelback on the other hand, I am hating on you. Please stop already. Maybe Nickelback will become Jay Leno's house band on his upcoming show and we can float them all out to a proper burial on an iceberg off of Nova Scotia.
-Don't say "Rock n' Roll" and don't mention the instruments used to Rock n' Roll. Some artists are unfortunate enough to have committed both Faux Pas in one song. Ladies and gentlemen I give to you AC/DC's Let There Be Rock. http://www.asklyrics.com/display/Ac_Dc/LET_THERE_BE_ROCK_Lyrics/58370.htm
This is lyrical cheese at its best. "And it came to pass/That rock 'n' roll was born/All across the land every rockin' band". A brief history of how Rock and Roll was born. I'm still unclear if this is the scientific explanation or the religious explanation. "Let there be light/Sound/Drums/Guitar/Let there be rock". This somewhat leads me to believe perhaps the religious explanation. It seemed historically sound up until the part where Tchaikovsky rose from the dead after 67 years and commanded that there be these things that he probably wasn't very familiar with in their modern form. And then there they were, just like that and rocking ensued. I would not, under any circumstance, feel comfortable singing along to this song.
As you might know by now I don't like to be reminded that I'm listening a song that someone is singing or that they wrote it, why they wrote it and what it was called. I am a fan of complete thoughts and not a fan of silly expressions. I feel that if you really dig deep or use the ISH you could possibly find a better expression.
I also don't like rich and famous people passing judgement on other rich and famous people for being rich and famous.
I don't need a fictional recounting of how Rock N' Roll came to be nor do I need a lesson in the orchestration the genre is comprised of.
If you are writing a song and would like me to enjoy it please try hard to follow these guidelines I have outlined and hope that you don't unknowingly commit any further faux pas that I have yet to mention. I appreciate any attempts you make at compliance. It will not go unnoticed.
That about concludes part one of Lyrical Faux Pas and other cheesy things part one. Be on the look out for part two.