It’s What I Want To Say!


It’s not about you.  It’s about the listener.  What’s in it for the listener?

As we began discussing a few weeks ago (READ IT HERE), successful songwriters know it’s not about us- it’s about the listener.  When it comes to your song, what’s in it for the listener?  What’s going to make them stick around till the end and hit “repeat?”

If your song doesn’t have something in it for the listener, there’s no money in it for you.

Yep.  I just said that last week, and I’m still saying it.

So, for the next few weeks, I’m going to be pointing out some things you can build into your song that can connect with your listeners.  Last week, we discussed “It’s What I Want To Hear.”    This week, let’s talk about…

all about the listener

“It’s what I want to say!”

Back in the day, did you ever call a radio station and dedicate a song to your crush, boyfriend or girlfriend?  Have you ever serenaded your sweetheart?  Why’d you pick that particular song?

There’s a good chance you chose that song because it said what you wanted to say to your snuggle bunny sugar pie.

But what you want to say isn’t limited to love songs.

Have you ever cranked up the car radio to a kiss-off song and pictured your ex?  Have you ever rocked the team bus with your teammates to Queen’s  “We Are The Champions?”  Have you ever cranked up Johnny Paycheck’s, “Take This Job And Shove It” on the way home from work?

What those songs all had in them for you was “It’s what I want to say!”

Put yourself in the mind of your listener.  What does THE LISTENER want to say?  What does THE LISTENER love?  What’s important to THE LISTENER?  What frustrates THE LISTENER?  Give voice to those things, and the listener will listen again and again!

So one way to make your song more “cut/able” is to have your lyric say something the listener wants to say.  Tell the listener’s girl that she’s hot as a firecracker.  Tell the listener’s guy that you love how he’s always there for you.

So here’s your homework.  Turn on the radio or your favorite playlist.  Find a song or two that answers the question, “What’s in it for the listener?” with “It’s what I want to say!”  (Either you yourself as the listener or what a listener of the other gender would want to say.)  Please leave a comment and let me know what you discovered!

If you want your songs to be more “cut/able” – able to be cut – then you should definitely check out my new, expanded and upgraded version of “Cut/able: Lessons In Market Smart Songwriting.”  It’s five powerful lessons will help you write songs that artists want to sing, radio wants to play, and listeners want to hear!  CLICK HERE TO WRITE CUT/ABLE SONGS.


God Bless and Enjoy the Journey,


Brent Baxter is a hit songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford, Ruthie Collins, Ray Stevens, and more. He’s written a top 5 hit in the US and a #1 in Canada… so far.


2 thoughts on “It’s What I Want To Say!”

  1. How about “it’s what I want to feel” as well, such as I want to feel hopeful, courageous, determined, happy, etc. Or “it’s what I want to do” in my daydreams, like making love on a beautiful beach at midnight with a wonderful man. (That’s one of my songs.)

    “I Want to Know What Love Is” by the The Eagles is a song that listeners feeling lonely can relate to.

    “Jolene” by Dolly Parton is a woman wanting to beg the lady flirting with her boyfriend to leave him alone.

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