Song Tip Tuesday #23 – Pronouns

Welcome to Song Tip Tuesday. My song tips are a way for you to think about your songwriting in different ways. They guide you to focus on a particular part of the craft of songwriting. They are free and for you to use.

Who is singing to whom in your song? If it is unclear, it could be a pronoun issue. When pronouns are mixed incorrectly in a lyric, the listener will NOT know who is singing to whom. When this happens, they zone out and start thinking other thoughts. Here is an example of a lyric that contains incorrect and exaggerated pronoun usage.

I wanted to tell her.
You came home that day to find him there.
We were meant to be together.
Did he said he loved you?
You cheated on me

This lyric is difficult to comprehend. The pronouns are overused and unclear to who they are directed, the sense of the lyric is confused causing the listener’s experience to be confused.

I wanted to tell her. (Who is the I speaking to? Who is her?)

You came home that day to find him there. (Again, who is speaking? Who is the You? Is it the her from the previous line and who is him?)

We were meant to be together. (Is the We the I who is wanting to tell her?

Did he said he loved you? (Is the he the him or the you the her?)

You cheated on me (Who is the you and who is the me?)

The lyric’s use of pronouns makes it unintelligible.

If pronouns are used correctly the listener follows along without confusion.

Suggestion: If your lyric has this problem, ask yourself this question: Who is singing the song?

The art of writing is rewriting. Randy Klein