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What do you consider to be bad lyrics?


What do you consider to be bad lyrics?

For a while now, I've been trying to write my own songs and lyrics, but for some reason, it rarely feels right. I tend to find myself wondering if I'm trying too hard or putting undue pressure on myself to make something seem more "appealing to others," even if that's not the case at all since I don't plan to share any of it anyway.


I think of the characteristics I mentioned above to be indicative of less well-written songs, which is why I try to keep working at it only when I feel inspired. When it feels too forced and not true to the writer, I feel like it's relatively easy to see through, which lowers the quality of the song in my eyes. 


What do you guys consider to be main qualities of "bad lyrics," and why? Do you have any examples of songs/lyrics that you feel aren't representative of the writer?

4 Replies

Hey @eltoch ! 🙂
Very interesting thread topic and hope you don't mind my lengthy response! 😉
I think from what you're describing the best angle to take with anything you write is to write from your heart. With books, they say to "write what you know" and that's good advice for song writing as well! As a writer/artist too, I know I often let my head start hounding me and then I overcomplicate what should just flow naturally. If you can get to a place where your mind is "off" and allow that space to fill with feelings/inspirations, I think it will often just pop out of nowhere. I'll take breaks from certain pieces too and come back to it later. It's ok if something isn't finished for awhile. Some artists take years to finish a song - the best thing I've found is not to force it! 🙂

The most poignant songs for me, lyrically, are the ones where the artist wrote it themselves and are speaking from a place of experience - rather than an agent or a ghostwriter. It's a true reflection of their soul - their struggles or joy - rather than just what the general public wants to hear (catchy trends/etc).
I prefer trail-blazers that don't mind taking some heat to do what they want - even if their fans give them some hate as well. The people that truly understand will continue to listen even if it's not the most popular or accepted thing. To me, that's a great sign of authenticity. 

As far as examples - it can be tricky since that's in a personal opinion realm.
Some people might really connect to seemingly meaningless or repetitive rhymes that annoy others - so in that sense it wouldn't be bad lyrics to them. 
But just off the top of my head (with no intent to be rude) - I think "Song 2" by Blur and about 95% of songs by the band Chevelle fall into the poor lyrics pool. Often random, with incoherent strings of thought, Blur feels like they take a "devil may care" approach where Chevelle seems like "trying way too hard." 
I think good lyrics should be able to stand alone like a convincing poem, but that's where the persuasion of music, emotions, and marketing can overpower the most simple or ridiculous phrases and elevate any song to the charts. 😛
In the end, it's all about what you like and what something means to you. So in that way I would never stifle someone's own personal expression or tell them they are wrong. There's something for everyone and those differences are what makes this world more interesting! 🙂

Thanks so much for your response! I agree completely about it needing to come from the heart, the emotion it adds really deepens the connection you can make to a song, such authenticity can never be imitated.


I'll check out the song/artist you mentioned to give me an idea of what not to do, haha, thanks so much 🙂

It was fun to discuss! 🙂 Best of luck with your inspiration!

Hey @eltoch 

Heeh, I like Blur's music quite a lot and while they can make meaningful lyrics ("Yuko and Hiro" comes to mind first), I really don't like Song 2. :') It feels kind of random. Not even by lyrics only.


Whenever I feel tensed up due to various reasons, eg not being popular or whatever, I try to ask myself the following questions:

do I love creating this piece I'm on?

am I doing it for me or for someone else?
would I change anything about this particular piece, if yes, why? (if not, why?)


It might help you get relaxed and get on the track. Usually helps on me. 🙂

It's useful and great to check out lyrical content written by artists you love. You can get great ideas that way. Maybe also reading various interesting books to increase vocabulary.


But don't feel you have to be as great as them. I know it's a biting feeling and I have a lot of hard time battling this.
Be as great as you are!

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