Starting With a Title

Added on Friday 8 Jul 2011

When you feel you have an intriguing title, the next step is to examine the possibilities of those words. Find unique ways to look at common words (or common ways to look at unique words!). Following is a list of some famous song titles. As a quick exercise, pretend you’re seeing the title for the first time. Now imagine the storyline that the title may imply to you, as if you just stumbled across it in your own notebook. How would the concept of your song differ, and how would it be similar to the hit? How would you put your own life experience into the lyric?

Oftentimes, a good title is a stepping-off point for a lyric and song. At its best, a title can literally sum up what you’re going to say in the song itself. Sometimes, I jot down potential titles from the words people say, things I see in newspapers or magazines, and phrases that seem to come to me out of thin air. “The Handle’s Broken on My Cup,” “Everyday is Sunshine” . . . in fact, most of my most popular songs have started life as ink stains between the lines of a spiral notebook, as a title I jotted down or one that someone suggested to me.

There are many ways to achieve a goal, and although in this example I’m suggesting one particular method of writing lyrics from scratch, I encourage you to find a style you’re comfortable with and one that works best for you.

Click this link to download two free tracks plus a unique ringtone

Songwriting blog archive

» Click here to get two free tracks and a free ringtone.

Enter your name & email
address and get your free
copy of Down by the Wildwood

You will be added Jim's acoustic music adventures mailing list.

What the critics said about 'Every day is sunshine' by Jim Byrne.

  • "a heady and exotic mix. " Q Magazine.
  • "..full of cinematic turns of phrase, dressed up in alluring melodies delivered by some of the most respected players on the modern-day Celtic Folk scene." UNCUT
  • Album of the week on Celtic Music Radio
  • Added to 'God's Jukebox' on Radio Two Mark Lamarr show
  • "A beautifully produced collection of Americana" The Daily Record. Four Stars
  • "Great record... a complete, compelling listen. ", Adam Levy (Songwriter/artist, guitarist with Nora Jones)
  • "ten beautiful, atmospheric songs..", Folk, Blues and beyond
  • "a fresh, original album", Eilidh Patterson (singer songwriter, vocalist with Beth Nielsen Chapman)
  • Sounding like Johnny Cash never left Folsom prison...meditations on life that'll soon sound like old friends. Spiral Earth

Buy from iTunes today