If not, you probably just need to know the specific elements that most great lyrics have in common. After all, those elements are what’s making them appealing to listeners.
My name’s Anthony Ceseri and like yourself, I’m a songwriter. For no apparent reason, I used to think I was the greatest lyricist around when I first started writing songs (I definitely wasn’t, as I’ll tell you about in a second).
So one day I decided to submit one of my songs for a professional review to see all the "great things" that would be said about it. Haaa... wow, was I wrong! My song got TORN APART in that review.
I wanted to find out if it was just a fluke, so I submitted a few more songs for review, with the same brutal results. But looking back on it, those reviews were deservedly bad. One of the things that appeared as a theme in those early reviews was my lyrics didn’t create a coherent story. I had an idea in my head of what my song was saying, but I wasn’t conveying it well to my audience.
Then I thought about some of my favorite lyrics by artists I love and how their stories strongly resonated with me, so I needed to understand what the best songs were doing lyrically if I wanted to write great lyrics too. So I built a solid songwriting education for myself and made it my mission to know what makes lyrics that connect with listeners.
As a result of that I ended up analyzing a ton of hit songs for articles on my own website and for other great songwriting websites, like USA Songwriting Competition’s Blog and CD Baby’s Do It Yourself Musician’s Blog. I’ve even had my writings appear as examples in the book Songwriting Without Boundaries, by Pat Pattison, who’s an acclaimed Lyric Writing Professor at Berklee College of Music.
And now I’ve condensed the most important lyric writing concepts I’ve learned into a couple of cheat sheets: