Well, I have bowed out of the online songwriting course during week four (6 weeks in all). I've come across that old bane of my life.....the stressed and unstressed syllable. I did quite well on the quiz but now I have to write a song to a strict criteria. No can do!
The course has taught me a little bit about the stressed and unstressed syllable and I thought that perhaps it had clicked. But not enough to carry on. Besides I have started to find that like analysing music it takes the fun out of it. Writing song lyrics this way is like writing poetry to strict form all the time! Why do you think I mainly write free verse?! However, if I look at some lyrics written today they do not conform to this because it is the music that matters and lyrics are repetitive, poor and unoriginal. I don't mind that if the music is great. There are two categories of music to my mind. The stuff you want to dance to - the lyrics don't matter that much because the music is cool, then there's the melodic stuff which you sit and listen to where the lyrics have meaning and touch you. (There's a third category where the lyrics and music are awful but that's another story!)
Writing lyrics on this course I've had to think about stable/unstable verses and choruses (which don't have to be the same), rhyme (which is similar to poetry), boxes for plotting the song and moving it forward, line length, rhyme scheme, number of lines, spotlights and prosody. I've had to unlearn what I used to do, though at least I've always understood verse, pre-chorus, chorus and bridge. The other thing I will not be able to do now is peer evaluations. How can I evaluate someone else's work when I can't understand it myself? Anyway, it was fun while it lasted. I have learnt a lot, despite the moaning, It has helped in my writing a little but the function of lyric writing and poetry are different. Maybe I need to study form more......on the other hand NO!