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Cool lyric writing tips from BMI
June 26, 2015 | 3:20 am

Show, don’t tell. That’s what they say...

BMI’s website often includes cool articles for songwriters. This is just one of many they have on their site, and I thought it was pretty good. Have a read if you want. Never hurts to hear what the pros have to say.

http://www.bmi.com/news/entry/showdont_tell_3_steps_to_writing_better_lyrics
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David Poe, the guy who wrote the song, “Gun For A Mouth”* mentioned the phrase, “show, don’t tell” in an email, after I complimented him on the lyrics to that song. I really dig the song, and liked these lyrics a lot:

"WE KEPT ON TALKING TILL THE MORNING LIGHT
AND THE NIGHT WASN'T NIGHT ANYMORE
BENEATH THE TREES
WE CRUSHED THE LEAVES
I LOST THE WAR”

These lyrics really got me too:

"MY HEAD GOT HEAVY AS ACHRISTMAS CAKE
AND I MADE A BREAK FOR THE DOOR
IT STARTS SO YOUNG, YOU SHARP YOUR TONGUE
I LOST THE WAR”

Heavy as a Christmas cake! Dang! So good.

*David Poe’s website has the complete lyrics to the song here:

…and you can hear the entire song done by Sam Palladio from the Nashville TV show here:

I guess I’d never heard of the “show, don’t tell” idea before. Probably missed it while sleeping in lit class or something. Who knows. Everyone else I’ve talked to about it looks at me like I’m from another planet. Then again… ha.

—borris

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