“Songwriting and poetry are so commonly birthed from underdogs because one can make even the ugliest situations admirable, or more beautiful than the beautiful situations- they are the most graceful media in which the lines of the society are distorted.” – Criss Jami, Killosophy

Songs are your best teachers. Yes. Well, the same thing they say with experience. Experiences are what song-writers conjoin and put up a badass song out there. We try to learn from songs we hear. Sometimes we have a feeling of ecstasy when we listen to whatever we are facing. So, when these artistes mention some things in a record; do not go fuming about it – it’s the job of song-writers. In Africa, very few artistes get their songs written and they get blamed if it doesn’t hit – there would be no song-writer to share the proportion of the blame with.

There are evidences that song-writers make use of elements in poetry to write their songs – Rhythm, Haiku, etc. Since the invention of the printing press, I think I can say poetry is delivered to the eye while lyrics are delivered to the ear. Though, a lyricist has limited space to work with, a normal commercial song lasts 3-4 minutes. Not counting the choruses and refrains (Unless the song-writer uses other elements – sonnet, terza, rima etc.), the song can continue until all the elements and words are exhausted.

A lyric typically needs the music and melody to feel it. It is now left for the singer to do justice. It is actually a piece of pain for a song-writer to work on it. Maybe the producer gets beaten to it, too. Some poems may be too big for the singer’s boots and trimming of the root may occur if a reasonable harvest of opinion is expected to sprout.

It’s very okay for poets and artistes to work together as poetry and song-writing skills go in par.


This article was written by Alex Ndace; he tweets via @AlexNdace

Too busy to visit our blog every day? We get it! Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and get our best stories delivered to your mailbox every Friday!

Leave a Reply