Brent is a hit songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford, Ray Stevens, and more. He’s written a top 5 hit in the US and a #1 in Canada… so far.
Sometimes songwriters needlessly limit the pitchability of a song by making the song too “old” for most singers. In today’s country, most artists sing “young,” meaning their songs are from a young point of view no matter how old the singer really is.
Here are some ways songwriters “age” their lyrics. Please keep in mind that none of these things are bad in and of themselves. However, they may limit who will sing it. Also, I’m not telling you to never put these into your songs- they may be a vital part of a great song. Just make sure that if you include these points in your songs, they’re there on purpose and with good reason.
1. Shacking up.
Saying things like “you came home” or “you’re moving out” means the singer and their lover/ex-lover are living together. That’s an adult situation.
Have you noticed how almost no one in country music has a job these days? “Worked all week” or “my boss is a jerk” makes the singer seem older.
If you’re drinking on the riverside, you might just be 17 or 18. If you’re drinking in a bar, you’re at least 21, unless you have a fake ID.
You might have a nice love song that works for a singer of any age, but as soon as you mention kids, the singer has to be old enough to have kids. It definitely puts the singer in a more mature phase of life.
5. Old love.
Talking about how you’ve been together “all these years” may be true for the songwriter and his wife, but it might not make sense for the 20-year-old singer who is selling tickets to 18-year-old girls.
Again, none of these things are bad. Just make sure that if you decide to use any of these in your song, that you do it intentionally, with purpose, knowing the effect it might have on the song’s pitchability.
Anything you’d like to add or ask? Leave a comment! Are there any topics you’d like to see addressed in a future MvR post? Thanks!
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Brent’s Twitter: @Razorbaxter
Brent Baxter Music: http://www.brentbaxtermusic.com