Writing songs: hook, line and sinker, part 3

Second, line. It was Drew Barrymore in the movie Music & Lyrics who declared that the music is the carnal attraction and the sexual chemistry that first attracts people to each other, but it is the lyrics which is the period of discovery, where the people get to know each other, as they learn the intimate details.

Line refers to the words that accompany many songs, and what constitutes a great line is often in the ear of the beholder. Some popular examples include the words of The Beatles’ Yesterday or Let it Be, Adele’s Someone Like You, or Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA (which may also constitute a great example of a hook). But like Drew Barrymore’s “getting to know each other” phase, lyrics can often be misinterpreted and used out of context. Such was the case when Ronald Reagan attempted to use Springsteen’s song as part of his 1984 re-election campaign, misunderstanding that the song had nothing to do with American patriotism and the American Dream, but rather it was about the disillusionment with the state of affairs in the US.

Lyrics can often be based on poetry or on a libretto, and if it enters the mainstream media and becomes vastly popular, it may even influence culture and come to represent an era.

And finally, the sinker. In order to create a hit, it is very important. The purpose of the sinker in fishing is to add stability to the hook and line, and to weigh them down so that they are more stable. In songwriting, the purpose of the sinker is to give the song that something extra that will give it stability. This could be a strong artist brand, good marketing, radio play (because it is radio friendly), a good label behind the artist, or something similar.

For example, let’s say the song has got a good hook and line, but it’s too long for radio (anything longer than 4 minutes) so it doesn’t get played, or it’s not in English so it doesn’t break through to major markets (the United States accounted for 30% of global music revenues, at $4.47 billion, according to IFPI), or it’s a great song but has no marketing support so it stays a garage band hit – these are all examples of weak sinkers that will not stabilise the hook and line. Sometimes there are exceptions to the rule – Psy had a major hit with Gangnam Style, which was not in English, but the two major sinkers there were the quirky video which raced up the YouTube charts, and linked to this, the fact that South Korea has a massively high high-speed Internet penetration rate – more than 90% of the country has access to hi-speed Internet connectivity.

Well, there you have it! Have fun using the Rodell Fishing Method for SongwritingTM…

Posted on by Mallguide in Music Leave a comment

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