The meaning of “soon” for instance.
There’s “I’ll call you soon” as said by a date as he lets himself out of your front door.
There’s “He’ll be dead soon,” as said by the man with the pillow over the other guy’s mouth.
There’s “Christmas will be here soon!” as said by a shiny eyed tot.
Lots of songs have been written using “soon.”
- Soon it’s gonna rain
- Too soon to tell
- How Soon is Now?
- How Soon?
- Gone Too Soon
- As soon as I get home
They each have a different nuance, a different expectation, a different payoff. It’s your job as a songwriter to figure out exactly, precisely, achingly intuitively, exactly what your song needs to mean.
As a songwriter once wrote in the song, “Shop Around,” …”Don’t be fooled by the very first one.” You need to let all the ideas sift through your ideas. Roll them around your tongue. Massage them with your fingers. See them with your dilated pupils. Mash them with your toes. Sit on them, dance with them. Squish and squash them. Putter and potter with them. Boil and bake them.
An idea isn’t an idea till it’s complete. I don’t care if you spent a half hour or a year writing a lyric, it doesn’t make it good. It’s only good if it’s good. Period. Get over your ego. Be ready to do your best work all the time. Every time.
May the best song you ever wrote in your life, be the one you are writing right now. If it isn’t, why the hell are you writing it? You could be eating lunch or watching a movie or watching a movie of somebody eating lunch. You cannot be satisfied with “it’s fine” or “it’ll do.” You have to feel that wash, that wave of satisfaction, that shiver, that delicious taste of victory on your tongue that says to you, “Man, I’m good!”
Oh, and then put it away for 24 hours and look at it again, and see if you still think so!
Who told you writing a hit was gonna be easy???