Quotes


“Come up with a bloody damn good hook and the title… that’s your stand-out piece and what the song is built around.”
Scarlette Fever

“I try to write a song every day… Not every day it’s a good song!”
Loren Benjamin

“I let the music decide what the words are gonna be. But I have spent a lot of time and effort on the lyrics, because I’m not good at it.”
Ben Folds

“Writing a new song is like making a new friend.”
Peter Raeburn

“It’s the ability to recognise valuable accidents that’s the key part of songwriting.”
Dean Friedman

“It’s easier for me to write melodies than play them.”
Rich Hall

“It’s amazing how malleable melody is; you can turn pure melody into anything.”
Stuart Murdoch, Belle & Sebastian

“I think in my case at least, collaborating is a better way to write songs.”
Roger McGuinn, The Byrds

“Writing is all about self-editing; it’s all about being present & being aware of what’s happening”
Joan Armatrading

“If we finished it, we thought it was good, otherwise it wouldn’t have gotten finished.”
Jeff Barry

“Lots of good ideas do come from sitting in the pub!”
Andy Burrows

“The songs have taught me enough over the years. I know they’re smarter than me.”
Trey Bruce, King’s Bullet

“Write until you can’t write any more”
Billie Myers

“I don’t try to make it seem like something magical. It’s our job to be creative.”
Sophie Hunger

“It’s always music first, or melody and words together, but never words first.”
Adam Duritz, Counting Crows

“For me, songwriting has become a practice of finding out what I’m really thinking!”
Kate Dimbleby

“I don’t write about things as they happen, I write about things as I reflect on them.”
Tyler Nail

“When you make tunes and songs, they’re like little people, almost”
Rob Birch, Stereo MCs

“Music breeds its own inspiration. You can only do it by doing it. You may not feel like it, but you push yourself.”
― Burt Bacharach

“If you don’t try and force it, a song will find the proper moment to come to life.”
― Valerie Simpson

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”
― John Lennon

“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”
― William Wordsworth

“Those in power write the history, while those who suffer write the songs.”
― Frank Harte

“Songwriting is a bitch. And then it has puppies”
― Steven Tyler, Aerosmith

“People say you make your best work when in despair, but I think happiness is a good place to write from”
― Paul Weller

“Great songs aren’t written, they’re rewritten”
― R.C. Bannon

“Learning an instrument isn’t about becoming a star anymore than learning to swim means you want to become a haddock”
― Nick Mason, Pink Floyd

“For me, songwriting is something like breathing: I just do it. But that doesn’t mean you’re fantastic.”
― Adam Duritz, Counting Crows

“All songs are living ghosts. And long for a living voice”
― Brendan Kennelly

“I tried to look at writing a song almost like solving a mystery. The song was there, buried somewhere in my brain. All I had to do was follow the clues until I figured it out.”
― Jon Skovron

“Songwriters write songs, but they really belong to the listener.”
― Jimmy Buffett

“I might lie a lot but never in my lyrics.”
― Courtney Love

“Composing is like driving down a foggy road toward a house. Slowly you see more details of the house – the colour of the slates and bricks, the shape of the windows. The notes are the bricks and mortar of the house.”
― Sir Benjamin Britten

“Being so honest in my writing is cathartic.”
— Brian Molko, Placebo

“Beware the lollipop of mediocrity; lick it once and you’ll suck forever.”
― Brian Wilson

“The hell with the rules. If it sounds right, then it is.”
― Eddie Van Halen

“Food is music to the body, music is food to the heart.”
― Gregory David Roberts

“If after two weeks you still can’t write your middle-eight, the best course of action is to see a psychiatrist”
― Ray Davies

“Music can lift us out of depression or move us to tears – it is a remedy, a tonic, orange juice for the ear.”
— Oliver Sacks

“Most things I worry about never happen anyway.”
— Tom Petty

“Rock’n’roll is not red carpets and MySpace friends, rock’n’roll is dangerous and should piss people off”
― Gerard Way, My Chemical Romance

“All I can be is me – whoever that is.”
― Bob Dylan

“Sometimes it takes a good fall to really know where you stand”
― Hayley Williams, Paramore

“Its a form of love just to talk to somebody that you have nothing in common with and still be fascinated by their presence”
― David Byrne

“Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
― Bernard M. Baruch

“I like beautiful melodies telling me terrible things.”
― Tom Waits

“Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power…the fear of freedom shrinks & vanishes. You are free.”
― Jim Morrison

“You have to be unique, and different, and shine in your own way.”
— Lady Gaga

“When you’re moving in the positive, your destination is the brightest star.”
― Stevie Wonder

“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.”
― Maya Angelou

“Creativity is the greatest rebellion in existence.”
― Osho

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.”
― Scott Adams

“There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”
― Leonard Cohen

“Speak in extremes, it’ll save you time.”
― David Bowie

“A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.”
― John Lennon

“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain!”
― Dolly Parton

“It’s the damage that we do and never know. It’s the words that we don’t say that scare me so.”
― Elvis Costello

“We wrote a song, while sitting on a trampoline & we loved it so much that we ended up recording it as a duet”
― Taylor Swift (on writing with Ed Sheeran)

“If you don’t want anyone to know anything about you, don’t write anything.”
― Pete Townshend

“Life is so groovy when your record is hot.”
― Ray Davies

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