“senses and actions” – podcast episode #3, Blank Page – Songwriting

Here’s a new episode of my other podcast : Blank Page – SONGWRITING.

It’s about using words appealing to the 5 senses and actions.

The FIVE SENSES in English are :  SIGHT, HEARING, TOUCH, SMELL and TASTE.

Now, listen to the episode on iTunes or here : http://blankpagesongwriting.podomatic.com/entry/2011-10-28T01_25_39-07_00

Then read the transcript.

Enjoy! Marta

****

Hello! This is Marta Innocenti, welcome to Blank Page – Songwriting. Get over your blank page syndrome and write your own songs! Ready? Let’s go.

Today I want you to focus on this : try to DEVELOP ANY ABSTRACT CONCEPT INTO SPECIFIC IMAGES that convey your idea. Use words and sentences that appeal to the 5 SENSES AND ACTIONS.

For example stop rambling on about the general concept of pain, unhappiness, sorrow, sadness, but find an image that your listeners will remember, just like this verse of “I’ll be there for you”, Bon Jovi.
You say you’ve cried a thousand rivers and now you’re swimming for the shore
You left me drowning in my tears and you won’t save me anymore.”

When describing efforts and struggle, you need to make the idea concrete by using verbs of action.
Check out this song by U2 (I still haven’t found what I’m looking for):
I have run, I have crawled, I have scaled these city walls, only to be with you”.

If you need another example, just listen to “Blowing in the wind”, in every single sentence Bob Dylan gives you a clear image to remember (a man walking a road, a white dove sailing the sea, the cannon balls flying, and so on). No wonder this song is a classic.

So, whenever you write a song, turn the general abstract concept into a clear picture. Search for words related to actions and the 5 senses .

Check the lyrics that I wrote for this song called “Madama Butterfly” (it’s by the rock band The Fire and you can find it on iTunes).
It’s about a naive young girl, that’s the reason for the reference to Puccini’s Madama Butterfly.
The singer tries to warn this girl about the danger and the evil of the world that she’s not able to see, she’s still too young and pure. So I wondered : how can I turn this concept into a clear image?
Here’s some of the sentences I used:
you’re a stranger to this world, living safe in your snowball, even snow will make you drown, when melting on the ground”
you’re surrounded by the wolves, you see only unicorns”

So, now, do you get what I mean? Pictures, images, actions, 5 senses. Always.

Ok, that’s it for now. Thanks for listening to this third episode of Blank Page – Songwriting, come visit my website : www.martainnocenti.com and now, enjoy my song. I’ll talk to you soon! Bye bye!

****

The lyrics:

MADAMA BUTTERFLY (by The Fire – www.thefiremusic.com)
music by O.Riva – lyrics by Marta Innocenti

Yeah, all right , yeah, all right, Don’t give up the fight Madama Butterfly *

You’re a bubble made of soap *
And this world will make you burst *
You’re surrounded by the wolves *
You see only unicorns *
You’ll get hurt, my little girl * Watch out ! Watch out ! *
When you find out * Will you break down ? * My Madam Butterfly * My Madam Butterfly *

You’re a stranger to this world *
Living safe in your snowball *
Even snow will make you drown *
When melting on the ground *
You’ll get hurt, my little girl * Watch out ! Watch out ! *

When you find out * Will you break down ? * My Madam Butterfly * My Madam Butterfly *
They’ll break your heart * They’ll let you down * My Madam Butterfly * My Madam Butterfly*

Bloody flower bloody flower… *

Yeah, all right , yeah, all right, Don’t give up the fight Madama Butterfly *
Yeah, all right , yeah, all right Don’t give up the fight Madama Butterfly * Butterfly * Butterfly *

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