Lyric Writing

Week One

I had never tried writing lyrics seriously before this lesson, I only ever wrote little phrases down in my notes and decided later that I didn’t like them. This lesson has helped a lot as it made me realise that inspiration can come from absolutely anywhere and first drafts for lyrics will never be perfect; you will have to go through and change it a lot before you are happy with the final product.

Finding Inspiration

The first task introduced us to gathering ideas and taking inspiration from simple things which I think will really help when we get to writing lyrics seriously for our actual song.

From this task, these are some of the small and simple things I noticed around me:

– There’s a piece of dust on my desk.

-There’s condensation on my windows.

-It’s really cold!

-I still haven’t taken down an old post-it note from weeks ago.

-My tea hasn’t got enough sugar in it.

-There’s a black mark on my wall in front of me.

-My corkboard isn’t perfectly straight on my wall.

-There’s a hole in my floor where the wood planks don’t touch.

-My shelves are really dusty.

Then, We had to pick one of these small details we had noticed, and make a short story out of it, including the thoughts and feelings about said thing. This tasks intention is to prove how much you can get out of so little and that inspiration can come from anywhere, you just have to look for it. This is my short story about the old post-it note:

I still haven’t taken down an old post-it note on my corkboard. The one that says ‘Deadline is at 4:30 PM!!’ That deadline was from weeks ago; why is it even still up? It’s lost all its stickiness and I often do wonder how it is still up there. Should I take inspiration from this stickless yet determined piece of paper; the way it manages to stay up there despite all of its flaws and losses? When the window is open it moves in the zephyr, to the point where I worry it will fall off and drift beautifully like a feather onto my already cluttered desk. But why should I worry about that? Isn’t that what I want it to do; to not be there anymore? As the days go by, it grows even more irrelevant to me and is solely there for show. I really should just take it down now, and restore it with another piece of paper that will also become meaningless to me in a couple of weeks.

After this, we were asked to think of objects around us which could have deeper meanings or a personal effect on you, then think of different colours which we would then combine these two subjects. These are the objects and colours I came up with, and then I combined some of them further down to create a starting point for some inspiration for lyrics:


-Picture frame



-Concert ticket

-Film camera

-My sister’s artwork






-Pale blue


Yellow memories (memories because of art from my sister, the film camera and concert ticket. Yellow because it’s the colour of happiness, optimism and creativity. It also has connotations of sunshine and spring.) This phrase would be based on the fact that I and my family and friends made and are still making good memories together that we can keep forever using things like cameras, picture frames, making art…

Grey Candle (uses juxtaposition. The candle suggests light and optimism, calmness and solitude, but the grey has connotations of sadness and loneliness). This could represent the different and conflicting emotions of a certain character in the lyrics, in which many listeners might relate to.


We also went through some English terminology which would help give our lyrics meaning and different interpretations. We touched on personification, which is when a writer gives an object human features. We also looked into similies (when something is like something else) and metaphors (when something is something else). We then used the references and skills we had learnt earlier to make phrases or brief lyrics/a poem that uses this terminology. Here, I used the colour grey as a starting point for most of these phrases:

Like some absent grey (simile)

 The unwelcoming balance of black and white (personification)

As prominent as a thought (simile)

The grey rolls over the world like a fog (personification, simile)

The world is a blanket of life (metaphor)


As we had analysed some lyrics and poems, we went on to writing a haiku. This is a short Japanese poem that follows a very strict structure of five syllables on the top line, seven in the middle and five in the bottom. Haiku’s also have a clear theme of the weather or seasons, in which I based mine off an adult remembering all the great times they had as children in the summer:

They last forever

These great summer memories

We had as children


After doing some poem work, we moved to creating autobiographical work in which we could potentially base our lyrics off of. We were influenced to write something positive that happened in our lives, like going on a holiday or even something much simpler. I chose a simple yet meaningful positive topic for mine; when I and my family go on walks:

Every week, I and my family go on a walk. A lot of the time we would always go the same places as we knew where to go; almost like a safe place in the strange world. All woods and forests look the same; trees, dirt paths, dying grass, nice views once you get out of the tree line. But each walk, even though they are similar, are just as refreshing. The fresh air, being at one with nature and just this sense of absolute freedom is something I have always taken to, and is a huge part of my life, even though it might not always seem like it. I often underestimate the power of such a simple activity until I go on that walk and reap the benefits during and after it.


Finally, we did some work on character building. This meant putting ourselves into someone else’s shoes and creating everything about them like described in the picture below. This is my character’s profile:

George, 19, male. University student and works in a local coffee shop for minimum wage. He doesn’t like university; wants to drop out and become a comedian (everyone often tells him how funny he is and he has the potential to do this, but he knows his parents wouldn’t support his decision). Very social and extroverted. Lives an exciting life with his friends; he goes out with them all the time and wants to have fun being a young adult before he gets too old for it all. He is scared of losing his friends and being alone, but he doesn’t show it as he wants to be portrayed as the strong, funny one of his friend group. This affects him in his personal life as he constantly worries about this, but he can’t find the courage to tell anyone because of how he portrays himself towards his friends and family.

Week Two

In the second week of the workshop, I felt much more confident to start writing brief lyrics instead of broken phrases or short stories. This made me more creative and writing them was a lot easier as I wasn’t hesitating as much, I just write down exactly what I thought. I think from these two weeks, I would be able to now produce lyrics that I am confident with and be able to put them to a song.

Quickfire Writing

First, we had some quick-fire activities to get our brains working as it was 9:30 am on a Tuesday morning; not really a prime time to get the creative juices flowing! The first one was a two-minute story writing activity where you write what you want as soon as it comes in your head, and I went straight to a horse that had fled into someone’s garden. And the second one was to write nonstop; even if it turns out to be nonsense, you just shouldn’t ever stop writing until the time is up.

The fierce horse ran over the hill and into someone’s back garden where it started to eat the flowers and lovely green grass, only for the family to notice they actually had a horse in their garden at 3 am and had no idea how to get it out…

Good morning and a lovely Wednesday to you all. I hope you had a great Tuesday but not too much really because we’re in lockdown. My Tuesday was pretty boring, I spent the whole day in bed working and I’ll probably do the same for most of today but I might go on a walk as well or do some baking, perhaps make some bread. I don’t want my work to all pile up and then I have loads to do in a week’s time because that’s never really that fun, to be honest.

Writing Lyrics About Things

After this task, we got onto writing lyrics about different things. The first one was to write about one of your favourite people; this could be a friend, family member, celebrity or anyone you know really. For me, I decided to write about my Dad who always makes me laugh with the strange and funny things he says:

You helped raise me

To who I am today,

The least thing I can do

Is say thank you.

All the strange yet funny remarks,

And even though you’re odd at times

I’ll still love you.

The next thing was to write about a piece of technology. My short piece is about phones and the impact they have had on society; both good and bad impacts, especially on my generation. I tried to challenge myself by not using the word ‘phone’ in the lyrics, but still making it clear that that’s what I’m talking about. I tried to incorporate a solid rhyming scheme of ABCB which means the B lines rhyme and the other’s don’t.

The reliable and trusty one

That’s always by your side.

Through the ups and downs in life,

It’s now become your only guide.

If you don’t use one,

Savour it; you’re free.

But if you do,

You’re addicted; flee.

The last thing to write about was sense. I chose sight and thought to make it meaningful and almost philosophical-sounding. Running with the concept that sight can see almost every physical thing around us but it can’t see thoughts and emotions, I came up with this which sounds almost like a poem:

Sight; what a strange concept.

It sees almost all,

From colours to the planets in outer space

But it can often fail to see something so small.

So small in fact, they are invisible.

The human eye can’t comprehend it;

The thoughts that carry someone’s mind.

Stories About Objects

I really enjoyed this task as I feel that my story writing is much better than my lyric writing as I can incorporate many more things like interesting vocabulary and terminology without having to worry whether it would sound right in a lyric. Story writing before lyrics seems to really help me get ideas as to what I want to talk about. First, we had to go around the house and find something interesting, meaningful or personal to you to write about and I chose my ivy plant:

Vibrant and full of colour. My little plant sits atop the highest shelf in my room like its some prized possession. Which it is. Emerald leaves of ivy drape down, until they will eventually touch my desk in the months to come. Emerald leaves of ivy, all started from the roots in the soil, watered just right when it needs to be. Emerald leaves of ivy, complementing the beige circular vase it’s confined in. I examine it every day, noticing the little new shoots appearing and even the gradual limpness of some older leaves as it grows older and older. But I know that’s fine; every leaf will eventually do the same, but the emerald leaves of ivy keep growing back and growing back for as long as I can keep it healthy.

We then had to write about the last food we ate and answer questions like ‘did you enjoy it? would you eat it again? Did you make it?’ We also had to answer ‘What’s the best and worst thing you’ve ever eaten?’ This is my answer to those questions!

The last thing I ate was a Curly Wurly at around 11 pm last night. I’m not a huge fan of them but it was the only form of chocolate we had in the house so I had to make do. I would eat it again though, even though I’d prefer other chocolates. I don’t know how much it cost because my dad bought them in a pack of 6; I didn’t make it. The tastiest thing I’ve ever had was when I and my sister make homemade pizzas, making the dough from scratch. The worst thing I’ve eaten is probably Branston pickles and my Dad loves them!

The next activity was really fun as the whole class had some great lyrics for this. We used a website to generate lyrics for us, coming up with some very strange things! We suggest certain words in which it uses to add to lyrics, to create a full song. This is my song!

You get on with life as a writer,
You’re a hilarious kinda person.
You like writing on Sundays,
You like listening to music in the week.
You like to contemplate the city.
But when you start to daydream,
Your mind turns straight to the countryside.

Shala la la la la la!

Sometimes I look at you and I look into your eyes,
I notice the way you think about the countryside with a smile,
Curved lips you just can’t disguise.
But you think it’s the city making your life worthwhile.
Why is it so hard for you to decide which you love more?
The City or…
The Countryside?

You like to use words like ‘gurl,’
You like to use words like ‘PLEASE.’
You like to use words about the city.
But when you stop your talking,
Your mind turns straight to the countryside.

Shala la la la la la!

Sometimes I look at you and I look into your eyes,
I notice the way you think about the countryside with a smile,
Curved lips you just can’t disguise.
But you think it’s the city making your life worthwhile.
Why is it so hard for you to decide which you love more?
The City or…
The Countryside?

You like to hang out with Fiona,
You like to kick back with Rory,
But when left alone,
Your mind turns straight to the countryside.

Shala la la la la la!

Sometimes I look at you and I look into your eyes,
I notice the way you think about the countryside with a smile,
Curved lips you just can’t disguise.
But you think it’s the city making your life worthwhile.
Why is it so hard for you to decide which you love more?
The City or…
The Countryside?

You’re not too fond of children,
You really hate spiders,
But you just think back to the countryside,
And you’re happy once again.

Shala la la la la la!

Writing with Briefs

We were given many templates for inspiration to write about and we could pick which ones we wanted to do and how long we spent on each one, giving ourselves lots of creative freedom with this task which I liked as I enjoy working independently and making my own ideas. These are all of the templates we were given and the ones I chose to work with are underneath:

To me in the future,

Did I ever get far in music? I really hope so! Imagine how great it would be to tour the world, drumming with an amazing and talented group, seeing all the fans in huge arenas. I know that’s a long shot, though. Perhaps I’m doing something else, like being a live sound engineer, session musician, promoter; just anything to do with music! How many instruments have I learnt now? I’d love to have my own bass and learn to play that. I also hope I have a dog! Either a golden retriever or springer spaniel, those are my favourites.

A song about a washing machine:

Head-splitting, infuriating;

You drive me up the wall.

You’re never content with anything,

And your constant need for attention makes me bawl

Even though you get the job done,

I’ll never truly appreciate

That noisy and repetitive spin cycle.

Define words without saying that word:

Sleeping- Everything is calm. You feel yourself slowly drift away into some form of bliss. No thoughts; head empty. Your whole body magically turns limp as the restful music you were listening to fades into the distance and the glistening moon wishes goodnight.

My Habits:

-Going on Twitter first thing when I wake up.

-Drinking a tea every single morning without fail.

-Putting things off that I want to do.

-I have to brush my teeth before getting in the shower.

-Turning lights on when I don’t need lights on.