How to Write a Song

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Harry Nilsson

Harry Edward Nilsson III (June 15, 1941 – January 15, 1994) was an American singer-songwriter who achieved the peak of his commercial success in the early 1970s. On all but his earliest recordings he is credited as Nilsson. He is known for the hit singles "Everybody's Talkin'" (1969), "Without You" (1971), and "Coconut" (1972). Nilsson's career is also notable for the fact that he was one of the few major pop-rock recording artists of his era to achieve significant commercial success without ever performing major public concerts or undertaking regular tours. more »


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How to write a song
How to write a song
How to write a song
How to write a song

If you write it on guitar
Place your guitar upon your knee
If you write it on piano
Don't do that

Place your fingers on the
Strings of your guitar
Not your piano
If you write it on piano, don't do that

Now strum or press together
Feeling, this might take a little time
Now think of something sad or something funny
Which inevitably brings us to the rhyme

Let's assume you're just an asshole
And there's nothing in your pain
It might help if you remember
These helpful little hints

Don't try to rhyme (sumba?) with anything
That goes for homage as well
But notice how cleverly
I just used them both
And all I have to do
Is rhyme well

You've got to be tricky
Because to avoid these words takes talent
So never ever trap yourself
Like that, or you'll end up saying words like

Oh, balent or falent
Or dalent or
Oh, I'm sure you'll catch on fast

Now some tips on tempo
And some subjects to avoid
Like the use of the word bandit
Unless you really have to say it
And that's for 'tempo'

And if you say 'time'
That's strictly up to you
Because that depends on how you play it

Now let's do (it) once
Now think of a rhyme
Now that's it, you're doing fine
Think of the good time
We just had together

If you practice these instructions
On the board of some new sale
If you listen very carefully
I'm sure you'll shout it there

I said shout
Shout it
Why, heheh, That rhymes with talent
That takes talent
That is talent
Oh my God, oh
Shout it rhymes with talent
That takes talent
That is talent
I cannot stand it

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How to Write a Song

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