One of the things I like best about trying to write lyrics and what I try to accomplish is evoking the imagery and telling a story. It can be challenging and fun.
There are three artists that I really enjoy listening to for their music, their song writing and their lyrics. They tell a story with imagery.
The imagery doesn’t have to be detailed. It just has to invoke an image in my head, your head or whoever is listening. Your image and my image may not be the same but what’s important is the words make you see an image. They make you see a story in your head.
The three artists I have really been enjoying are, Bob Dylan, Sting and James Taylor.
When I listen to Bob Dylan’s “Man in the Long Black Coat” I can see the house , the town and the characters. Check out this video I found after writing this piece. Here’s an example of the imagery and story in someone’s head. It doesn’t quite match the vision in my head but that doesn’t matter.
When I listen to Sting’s “Seven Days ” I see the story of a man in love but so afraid of his rival for the woman he loves. My favorite line is “Asked if I were mouse or man the mirror squeaked away I ran”. Those lines conjure that scene in my head.
James Taylor’s “Enough to Be on Your Way, the line “I stepped out on the mesa and stumbled on this song”. What a turn of words. I can see him stepping out of a doorway on a porch and seeing this gorgeous view as the sun comes up and being inspired.
I could go on and on with further examples from these three and add others to the mix. But right now these guys are my favorites.
Whether or not all my images are what you see or the artist would see is not important. What is important is that it invokes a vision for the person reading or hearing these words.
Of course the music that accompanies these words makes them even more powerful.
I like to think that through history music and storytelling go hand in hand. So when I try to write lyrics I try to be cognizant that I am telling a story and think about the imagery I’m trying to evoke in my head.
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