Don’t Let The Facts Get In The Way Of The Truth


Remember, if you write to get cuts, your songs aren’t about you.  Your songs are about the artist and the listener.  You might write a song inspired by a true story from your life, but don’t be so determined to keep all the facts accurate that it makes your song confusing, complicated, or boring to the outside listener.

What matters is the emotional truth- the feeling you want the listener to feel.  The listener doesn’t care about you (heck, they probably think the artist wrote the song anyway).  The listener cares about connecting to the song.

If you want to write the song (or an alternate version of the song) for yourself, that’s great.  It’s a worthy thing to do.  But if you want cuts, it’s to your advantage to give the truth a higher priority than the facts.  It’s about communicating emotional truth, not facts.

 God Bless,



Anything you’d like to add or ask?  Leave a comment!  Also, are there any topics  you’d like to see addressed in a future MvR post?  Thanks!


If you like this blog, don’t miss a single post!  Subscribe by putting your email in the “Follow Man vs. Row via E-mail” section on this page.  It’s either in the upper righthand corner or down below.   Also, please share this blog with anyone you think would benefit from it.  I appreciate it when you share it on Twitter, Facebook, and anywhere else.  Thanks!

Brent’s Twitter: @Razorbaxter

Brent Baxter Music:

6 thoughts on “Don’t Let The Facts Get In The Way Of The Truth”

    1. Yes, you can often have both. Just remember who your audience is, and serve them. Some facts (what really happened to inspire your song exactly as it happened) may make the song confusing or boring for the listener.

  1. I just read something the other day on this topic. Interestingly, sometimes artists and/or songwriters ignore the facts. Example : in the great song “Wagon Wheel” , the lyrics say “But he’s a-heading west from the Cumberland gap
    To Johnson City, Tennessee”, which is not factual at all – you would have to head EAST. The explanation said it just sounded better using the word WEST. Oh well, exceptions to everything. Thanks for all great posts, I enjoy reading.

  2. “What matters is the emotional truth- the feeling you want the listener to feel.” Was doing some training work, years ago, in a clinical setting and the lead counsellor/psychologist said there are five primary emotions–mad, sad, glad, scared, and hurt. Not a bad question to ask at the outset–what do I hope the listener will feel–mad, sad, glad, scared or hurt.

    1. I think they left one off…funny or comedy(unless this falls under glad). Interesting that five of the four are negative emotions (mad, sad, scared, hurt) and only one positive emotion (glad), yet from what I hear it is the uptempo positive emotion (fun) songs that get cut. (Like the parking lot party, the after party….)

  3. This is a great blog! Thanks for doing this. Wish I’d had something like this when I first got into songwriting. You have some great helpful hints for songwriters.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.