Gary Orphey


Hello folks and fellow writers of all kinds! Just a few things here that are on my mind about this forum.

Please note: The Lyric Lounge is the place for you to post your fantastic 'finished'  lyrics. Now having placed some lyrics on the Ramp in the Lyric Lounge when I first started writing songs that were ‘famished’ rather than finished, I thought I would try to help a bit with what a finished lyric might be. Now that I’ve said that, I have to say this. Your lyrics are your babies and they are finished when you say they are and that’s that.

But; if you are new to lyric / songwriting or just plain stuck on a song or a lyric and you think you might like some light and or serious help with your quest the Writers Room is where your song should be and I can promise you that you will be amazed at the amount of talent there that is available to help you.

 A finished song lyric to me is: Your experiences, your life and breath woven into words which tell a story, an event in time that is real or imagined or both; about a person, a place or a thing or all three; and told so lucidly, openly and heartfelt by you that the listener is not only held captive, but because your words carry such weight; such a sense of reality, the song speaks to them reaching and satisfying something deep down inside so much so that they want to hear it again and again.

Consider This: Consider reverse engineering a song lyric. Think about the songs you really, really love. The lyrics that just stopped you in your tracks when you first heard them and you identified with them so much that you wanted to hear them over and over and still do. Stop and take a close look at those lyrics in written form only. What is it that made them have such a powerful affect on you? Here are some things to consider. Most top forty songs have many of the same things in common. It is that for which you are looking.

  • Is the title catchy and make you wonder what’s in the song?

  • Is the theme a universal theme, something all or most people experience and understand?

  • Does the song have a beginning, middle and an end?

  • Are the lyrics conversational as in story telling or are they a bit stodgy and stiff? Like reading about some ones life in an obituary.

  • What is the rhyme scheme, is it the same in every verse or helter skelter?

  • Is their a pre-chorus or bridge and if so what purpose did they serve in the song? What direction did they take it?

  • Is the chorus a complete stand out and different from the lyrics? Maybe it’s more lines or fewer lines, than the verses.

  • Does the chorus go well with the rest of the song, contain a great ‘hook’, the title of the song or repeat a key line, is it catchy?

There are many more things  you may look regarding what makes a hit. One of the best places to learn them is from your own experience of analyzing the music you love.

 Think about it. Great poets and novelists studied those that came before them. Great artist’s studied the works of famous artists preceding them. Musician’s study the techniques of their music idols. So, all I’m saying is why shouldn’t we as songwriters study the work of the hot shot, top-forty, winning songwriters that came before us?

Makes sense to me. Hope it does to you.


Thanks and Happy Writing,

Gary O.