Let The Music Play You Won T Get Away Lyrics Writing Lyrics – How to Weave Ambiguity Into Your Songs to Create a Well Crafted Lyric

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Writing Lyrics – How to Weave Ambiguity Into Your Songs to Create a Well Crafted Lyric

Are you constantly coming up with new ways to keep your songs interesting and your ideas fresh? Yes, I thought so. A great tool you can use to do this is to be ambiguous in your writing.

Let’s take a look at Kings of Leon’s “Use Someone” for some ideas on how to do this.

The duality of “using someone”.

Here are the lyrics to the first three verses.

I wander around and look down on everything I see

Painted faces fill the places I can’t reach

You know I could use someone

You know I could use someone

Someone like you, everything you know, how you talk

Countless lovers crushed in the streets

You know I could use someone

You know I could use someone

Someone like you

I slept while you were alive at night

A poet, waging war to shake off the blow

I hope this gets your attention

I hope this gets your attention

If you read these lines, it means prostitution, or at least meaningless sex. Lines like “Uncountable lovers covered the streets” and “The night you lived I slept, I slept” seem to drive that point home. These are essential ideas in the concept of “using someone”. Use someone physically and then move on.

On the other hand, even with all the information in the verses that show this meaning, our minds tend to gravitate toward the idea, “I could use someone meaningful in my life.” Interestingly, this is the exact opposite of “use it and take it off”. So our brain is already exposed to this amazing contrast that uses this line very well. This can really be understood in two ways in these verses. It also goes with the idea given in the lyrics.

If we weren’t convinced that the meaning of “I could really use someone worth it” isn’t here, we can see it coming out strongly in the third verse in lines like “I hope you’ll notice.” / Someone like me” appears. Now it is clearly different from the concept of “physical use” within the lyrical content.

So they did a great job of using double or ambiguous meanings here. The phrase “Somebody Like You” comes up the most in the chorus, but that’s probably why it’s called “Use Somebody.” Great stuff. But even better, they’re not over yet…

The duality of ‘someone like me’

Let’s recall the third verse:

I slept while you were alive at night

A poet, waging war to shake off the beat

I hope this gets your attention

I hope this gets your attention

A person like me

A person like me

Someone, someone like me

Even the phrase “someone like me” is ambiguous. The previous lines convey the idea of ​​”someone like me… just like me”. Or at least “me”.

That seems to be the main meaning here, BUT it could also mean “SOMEONE please like me or love me. Love someone, anyone, as I am.” Do you see it? It has a different meaning than what I presented in the previous paragraph. But it also applies to the lyrics.

So, the progression of the lyrics can be said as follows.

(I have capitalized words that require emphasis)

1. Hope this gets your attention

2. Someone like me

3. Someone like me…

Or in other words:

1. Hope this gets your attention

2. Me

3. Will no one like me?

So again the ambiguity comes into play in some tricky lyrics. And twice in one song! Point!

Which is the CORRECT meaning? Or both? Great stuff.

Ambiguity and Uncertainty

As you can see, ambiguity in lyrics can be a great trick if you get it right. But I don’t want you to confuse ambiguity and ambiguity. They may sound similar, but they are not. Ambiguity is purposeful, while ambiguity is vagueness.

Ambiguity means being open to interpretation between a few perceived alternatives, while ambiguity is simply open. Ambiguity juxtaposes multiple values. You saw how ambiguity works in the Kings of Leon examples above. The best way to explain the ambiguity is to refer to Facebook instead of the second song…. “Hey?” you ask? Stay with me, I’m going somewhere…

You know how that friend of yours posts something completely incomprehensible on Facebook because they’re hoping to get a response from their friends? Without any context. It’s a blur. It’s a world apart from uncertainty. Ambivalence is by design. If you write vague songs, you won’t be able to connect with your listeners. Facebook posts are proof of that. So the next time you write lyrics that you think might be vague, ask yourself if that’s something your annoying friend posted on Facebook hoping to get a response. Notice your reaction (or not) to this. If it seems unclear, you may want to rethink your lines. Writing lyrics is about conveying emotion and creating an image that listeners can relate to. Uncertainty, by definition, cannot do this.

Ambivalence requires thought, planning, and well-developed ideas. Ambiguity takes away from all of this.

Check it out

Writing ambiguous strings can be difficult to resolve. It’s definitely not something that comes up on every song. If so, you’re quickly on your way to becoming a world-renowned lyricist.

So what I recommend is to record phrases that can be understood in more than one way. If you hear phrases like “use someone” in your everyday conversation, record them in a lyric file that you can use later. Then, when it’s time to write lyrics, you can flip through your lyrics and see if there’s anything that fits your current song idea.

Or if the last phrase you came across really inspired you, sing it right away. When it’s fresh in your mind, you’ll do your best to act on your inspiration right away.

Whatever strategy you use, incorporating this idea into your songs will give your songs a great chance to be very interesting to your listeners. This is what they are looking for.

Next time, I’ll comment on how Kings of Leon chose to punctuate their lyrics with the ambiguous phrase “Somebody Like Me” and how that affects the message of the song.

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