Write Away Magazine - Issue No:2


The Lyric Writers Magazine


Issue No:2 | February 2019

The Lyric Writers Magazine


The Man Who Fell To Earth

Volker Mertins

City of Love

Write Away

In This Issue

Issue No:2 | February 2019

The Lyric Writers Magazine


The Man Who Fell To Earth







David Bowie - The

man who fell to earth


Where were the Angels

Kacey Musgraves

The Girl from Golden

Danny McMahon




Daryn Wright

The Hook - Making

your lyrics catchy


Volker Mertins

City of Love


Daryn Wright


The perfect lyric


Editor: Jane Shields

Design: Pablo Snow

SBT Media

All material subject to

copyright. All rights reserved

The Hook


| 02 www.writeawaymagazine.com

A Word From The Editor

Hi everyone, and welcome to issue

two of Write Away Magazine.

February already, and we see the

start of a brand new feature this issue

called Matchmakers, where we are trying

to pair up musicians, lyricists, singers or

producers to find the perfect song making


If you’d like to be included in this section

in future issues please send me a brief

outlook of who you are, what skills you’re

looking for, where abouts you are and

most importantly your contact details for

people to respond to. If you drop me an

email to jane@writeawaymagazine.co.uk

please title it Matchmakers so I can file it

correctly and I will include as many requests

as possible in the next publication.

What a journey this magazine is taking

me on. I for one am amazed at the very

different approaches people take to their

own lyric writing process, and finding it

fascinating to follow their stories from

conception of ideas through to finished


I’d like to take a moment to thank everyone

who has contributed articles for inclusion

in my magazine. Your support is

always welcome, and I’m more than

happy to include links to contributers

websites and works. If you think you

have what it takes to write me an interesting

article please do so, and title your

email Article. I ask that you send me two

or three photographs to support your article,

the best quality images you have,

and please ensure you own the rights to

those pictures.

I’d also like to thank Daryn Wright for his

excellent contributioins to help me to

build this into an exciting and informative

magazine. You can check out Daryns

works at: www.darynwright.com

www.writeawaymagazine.com 03 |

Write Away

The Hook

by Daryn Wright

At last the time has come to go fishing. I’m

not talking about heading down to drop a

line for some fish. I’m talking about fishing

for listeners. I will use the anology of fishing

in this article to aid in painting a metaphor

and simile.

It’s the weekend. You’ve gathered all your

fishing gear and placed it in the boat along

with your pole, new fishing line, a good set

of hooks and the bait. You are prepared to

land a specific type of fish. Great news,

you’re in luck.

Today there is no limit on the amount of fish

you can catch. You connect to the boat and

pull it down to the boat ramp, launch it and

you are off to your favourite fishing hole.

You anchor out and wait for the waters to

settle, and take this time to restring your

reel, add the right amount of weight, a new

hook and a fresh chunk of bait. It is a similar

bait to ones you have used before, but

different enough to not know how the fish

will react. After a bit of time preparing, your

line is cast into the lake and you wait to see

what happens.

In music every part of it is likened to this

scenario of fishing in the lake, and one

thing is true for both. You will find it very

hard to catch anything if you don’t have a


What exactly is a hook in music? It’s the

portion of the song that contains the earworm

designed to hook the listener into remembering

the song long after they have

heard it. It’s the most memorable part of

the song. It can be lyrical, musical, rhythmic,

melodic or a combination. As a lyrical

hook it is more often than not in the title. It

is not a rule to be in the title, therefore, it

can be located anywhere within the song.

Sometimes, the title was the intended hook,

but one clever line or portion takes over as

the most memorable and becomes the new

hook for the song. It does not need to be

actual words. Proof of this is found in the

song Elvira, where the most memorable

portion of the lyrics is the bass singer singing


In this example it is not the

lead singer bringing in the hook for the

song. It was originally meant as back up

lyrics and vocals, but found its way past the

title and original hook ‘Elvira’.

A lyrical hook is often repeated over and

over in a song to bring the listener back to

the hook. If you have a good hook, repeating

it makes the song more memorable or

likeable. A lyric does not need to be more

than just the hook repeated a few times

such as in the song ‘Tequilla’. The rest of

the lyrics are like the fishing line on the reel.

Keeping strong fishing line will give you the

best advantage to landing multitudes of

fish. The best lyrical hooks consist of visual

words, names, common sayings, trendy

thoughts and words, or intriguing and clever

word combinations that make your listener

want to hear more.

As a rhythmic hook, it is often referred to as

the beat or flow of the song. This is the portion

of song that makes people feel like

bobbing their heads, burst out in a dance

move or even walk in cadence to the beat

of the music. More often than not the

drums and bass make up the majority of the

beat, but it can also be how the lyrics are


This makes it very important to match lyrics

from one verse to the next so that line one

from each verse either has an identical syllable

count or is near identical. Exact is

better when it comes to rhythm.

That does not mean that each line in a

verse needs the same count, and in fact if

each line did have the same count it would

do more harm than good in most cases.

| 04 www.writeawaymagazine.com

Understanding Song Structures

This would be due to the hook not standing

out from the rest of the lines. Making it different

and unique from the rest of the song

is more effective to becoming the most

memorable part of the song.

This kind of hook can consume the entire

song, as can be found in some dance

music, R&B and Rap songs. In these genre

and sub-genre types this becomes the most

important piece of the completed work.

This is like the reel of your fishing pole. It

sets the tempo and drag. It dictates the action

of your bait and controls the tension set

by the drag dial. As a melodic hook it is the

most memorable type. To prove that take

most any song that you haven’t listened to

a lot but that you like and try to remember

each portion of the song. More often than

not you can hum the melody but only recite

a few lines.

Like all hooks it has to be memorable. This

is accomplished by either making it unusual

or similar to an existing melody. Make

sure it is different enough so the listener

can automatically identify your song with

that melody. This is the bait itself. The

most appealing to the fish. A good bait will

draw the fish to it, while bad bait may push

them away. In either case the fish will be

aware of the bait. What they do with your

bait will be determined by the type of fish in

your lake.

The lake is the media you are releasing

your music into. As a musical hook it is a

signature sound that rapidly identifies a

song. This can be due to chord progression,

unusual instrument usage or overall

tone. It may be either pleasant or unpleasant

to the ear. Yes, unpleasant can be

memorable. This is one reason why music

seems to evolve. People push thresholds

into new sounds that change current genre

creating new.

This hook is often found in the introduction

portion of a song, and a portion of or a full

chorus. It’s normally a higher range, sometimes

louder and with more instruments

than other parts of the song to make it

stand out. This kind of hook, like the rod,

will bend your ear, keeping enough tension

for the fish to stay on the line.

So, which hook should we use? Ideally you

should use them all, overlap them to make

the most memorable part of the song possible.

For most people this is easiest to

achieve by finding a good hook and writing

about it. If it’s not strong enough you will

need other hooks to compensate for it. Let

the lyrics dictate the rhythm and tempo for

the song, and place a unique portion at the

same time as a lyrical hook.

Add a melody to the lyric, being sure to

boost any portion leading up to the lyrical

hook, allowing the lyrical hook to be the

melodic climax. Now is the time to add the


Take key elements of the lyric and hook, incorporate

how those words might sound if

the lyric content were told without using

words. Keep the best part for the overall

hook. The genre the music is written for

may dictate which hook type is more important

than the other. If it’s not plausible for

all types of hook to be in the same location

in the song keep them as close as possible

to it, or finding another portion of the song

to insert it is advisable. The more hooks

and hook types you use within your song

the better the chance of it becoming a hit.

Now here you are sat on the lake. All of

your fishing gear is in front of you. It’s time

to put all the pieces together and write a

great song. Good luck in catching the biggest

fish with your best hooks....



www.writeawaymagazine.com 05 |

Write Away

City Of Love

By Volker Mertins

For the second verse I chose the Louvre

with its famous Mona Lisa. In the internet

I saw a video clip showing her singing.

This idea found its way into the second

verse. My wife and I love fairy tales and

castles, therefore Versailles was a musthave

by all means for the fourth verse.

The highlight became a dancing scene in

its most famous room: the hall of mirrors.

The third verse was finished at last. It was

the most complicated one to write. I definitely

wanted to include a typical café

scenery. On the other hand the bridge

should describe a romantic dinner. "Kill

your darlings", Stephen King said in his

book "On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft".

In this case: the redundant café. Instead

the third verse describes a walk around


"I'm going to Paris. I'd like to climb the Eiffel

Tower by foot!", a colleague told me

joyfully. Her energetic words impressed

me so much that I started to write a song.

The first line was immediately clear: "I'd

like to climb the Eiffel Tower". Also that it

has to be an up-tempo pop-rock love

song. The chorus wrote itself: "Let's take

a ride to the city of love...".

I work on lyrics and music at the same

time generally. After finishing a draft of the

first verse and the chorus, I set the song

structure: Intro – Verse 1 & 2 – Chorus –

Verse 3 & 4 – Chorus – Bridge – Chorus

(2x). Three minutes long with the given

tempo, perfect!

Paris. Pictures were streaming through

my head: Champs-Élysées, Arc de

Triomphe, Notre-Dame, Sacré-Cœur, ... I

had never been there, so I started an internet

search giving me a long list of attractions.

I decided to mention one in

each verse in so much detail as possible

combined with images of romantic love.

The bridge caused some trouble too. I

came up with the first line easily: "Dinner

by candlelight, moonshine on the Seine".

I wanted to rhyme "Seine" with "café au

lait". Also red wine, a violin and an accordion

should be mentioned. But I did

not find any singable lines with these

words. So coffee turned into champagne

and the instruments into saxophone and

piano. At the end of the bridge the song

reaches its climax: "We celebrate the

journey, the journey of our love".

By the way: the word Paris is never mentioned

within the whole song.

Volker Mertins is a musician and songwriter

from Germany. "City of love" received

a Special Mention in the UK

Songwriting contest 2018. The song was

recorded together with Volker's daughter



|06 www.writeawaymagazine.com

Sketches you, sketches me

Keeps the love we share

I'd like us being prince and princess

Walking the gardens of Versailles

And at the ball a hundred mirrors

Reflect our dance, reflect our kiss

True love will not die, will never die

Let's take a ride ...

Dinner by candlelight, moonshine on the


A red rose on the table, a bottle of Champagne

A piano, a saxophone are playing just for


We celebrate this journey, the journey of

our love

City Of Love

Text & Music: Volker Mertins, (C) 10/2016

I'd like to climb the Eiffel Tower

Two thousand steps, hand in hand

Up to the clouds, the world below us

We share the view, we share a kiss

Fall in love again

Let's take a ride ...

Let's take a ride to the city of love

Let's buy a ticket to the city of love

Love cannot wait, it's never too late

Riding to the city of love, love, love

Riding to the city of love

Riding to the city of love, love, love, love

Riding to the city of love

I'd like to visit Mona Lisa

Louvre, room 6, Denon wing

Five hundred years still looking pretty

She smiles at you, she smiles at me

I can hear her sing

Let's take a ride to the city of love

Let's buy a ticket to the city of love

Love cannot wait, it's never too late

Riding to the city of love

I'd like to stroll around Montmartre

Sit on the stairs of Sacré-Coeur

In front of us a pavement painter

www.writeawaymagazine.com 07|

Write Away


By Thomas Duffy

Songwriting to me is the Art of telling stories

with music.I had always had an interest in

writing poetry and stories long before I

learned to play a musical instrument.So

when I began to play the guitar I naturally

wanted to create my own stories to add to

the music I had began writing.

I began to play guitar at around 11

years old.I learned a few chords

and strummed out a some

popular songs but was always

drawn to my own

words and the freedom of

writing my own music and

marrying the two together.

So in the beginning I

would sit down and play

some chord structures and

rhythms and eventually an

idea would emerge and I

would feel the mood of the

music and let the story

unfold.Sometimes it would happen

immediately and some songs could be

written instantaeously though I would I soon

learned that other songs could take months

or even years to complete.

When I began writing songs as a serious

Songwriter I had began to carry a notepad

and pen with me everywhere I went and I

had became more aware of inspirational

ideas and found myself analysing people

and places more and I would jot down notes

of ideas for songs and stories.

My songwriting in recent years has purely

derived from inspirational ideas.I believe

Artists are more aware of situations and We

always find ourselves(even subconsciously)

viewing day to day events and creating

stories from things that move us.Some

songs are a direct interpretation of real

characters though the stories we create

from those characters arent always true to


A character in a song could be someone

you meet on a bus however the story in the

song coukd be of something completely different.

An example of things can change is

this:I was recently writing a song entitled

"The Storm".There was a storm in Ireland

ans that would have been the initial Inspiration

for the song.However as the song progressed

I realised it was no longer

about that in particular and

could be about a storm anywhere

in the world or even a

Stormy relationship.

An example of writing

songs instantaeously is

this:I had been living in

Lanzarote and hadnt

written anything of any

real substance in quite a

while when a simple phone

call to my Grand-daughter

inspired a whole Album.It was

a rainy cold day in Ireland and

Jessica had asked her Dad"Did

the birdies bite the clouds and make

them cry"? I wrote the song "Awake-

Asleep"in minutes and continued to write an

entire Album in a matter of weeks.During

the writing of that Album another song entitled"I

cant forget her face"emerged and I

realised it was a re-work of something I had

been working on years previously.

A great songwriter friend of mine called

Tony Kaluarachchi who I have collaborated

with on many occasions once gave me his

analysis of the songwriting process and

what it meant to him."We are servants of

the music"he said and I fully understand

what he means.Songwriting is a labour of

love. We dont own the music, the music

owns us!

| 08 www.writeawaymagazine.com

David Bowie

The Man Who Fell To Earth

Space Oddity... the very first Bowie lyric I

can remember taking notice of. Here began

my journey to find out more about this man’s

incredible work.

Born David Robert Jones in Brixton, London,

on 8 January 1947, Bowie shared the same

birthday as Elvis. The family moved to Bromley

when he was six years old where he attended

Bromley Technical High School, now

called Ravenswood School. It was there he

met rock guitarist Peter Frampton, and who

became Bowie's friend at school - his dad

was head of the art department. Peter went

on to play guitar with Bowie many times during

his career.

Following a fight with school friend George

Underwood over a girl, an unfortunate punch

in the eye led to one of David’s pupils becoming

permanently dilated. The pair subsequently

remained good friends with

Underwood doing the artwork for some of

Bowie’s earlier albums. David began learning

to play saxaphone aged sixteen.

His first-ever release was Liza Jane/Louie

Louie Go Home in June 1964, under the

name of Davie Jones with The King-Bees.

He later changed his name to Bowie to avoid

confusion with Monkee Davy Jones. At the

age of 17, he was interviewed on a BBC programme

as the founder of The Society for the

Prevention of Cruelty to Long-haired Men.

He complained: "It's not nice when people

call you darling and that".

Around 1967, he wrote songs for actor Paul

Nicholas of Just Good Friends fame, who

was then recording under the name Oscar.

He released his debut album, the self-titled

David Bowie, in 1967 after playing in a host

of pub and club bands.

Bowie's first hit in the UK - 1969's Space

Oddity - was used by the BBC in its coverage

of the moon landing. The fictional character

of Major Tom has appeared in three Bowie

hits - Space Oddity (1969), Ashes To Ashes

(1980) and Hallo Spaceboy (1996).

Below are excerpts from an interview conducted

with David Bowie on his song writing

process by Bill DeMain on May 28, 2014 for

Classic Rock.

When you’re writing songs, how important

is it for you to return to a kind of beginner’s

mind about it?

I understand that very well. And it is terribly

important for me to do that. It’s absolutely essential

that I get surprised and excited by

what I’m doing, even if it’s just for me. I think

process is quite important. To allow the accidental

to take place is often very good. So I

trick myself into things like that. Maybe I’ll

write out five or six chords, then discipline

myself to write something only with those five

or six chords involved. So that particular

dogma will dictate how the song is going to

come out, not me and my sense of emotional

self. Of course, I’ll cheat as well. If I’ve got

the basis of something really quite good

coming out of those five or six chords, then

I’ll allow myself to restructure it a bit, if I think,

well, that could be so much better if it went

to F-sharp [laughs], or something like that.

But to define the rules, then take it as far as

you can go with that little rule, then break it, I

find is really a way of breaking writer’s blocks

as well.

www.writeawaymagazine.com 09|

Write Away

Do you still use the William Burroughs

method of cutting up text in random patterns

to write lyrics?

Absolutely. I’ll use them to provoke a new set

of images, or a new way of looking at a subject.

I find it incredibly useful as a writer’s tool.

And I’m amazed these days at the amount of

cut-up sites that are now on the internet. It’s

quite phenomenal. There are at least 10, and

two or three of them are excellent. I’ve used

them too. I’ve put a bunch of pieces of text

into the thing, then hit the cut-up button, and

it slices it up for me [laughs]. In ‘94, when I

was really starting to get into the computer in

a major way, I had a programme devised so

that I could specifically do that. Most of the

lyric content of the Outside [2003] album

came out of that programme. But now they’re

all over the place, especially on poet sites.

There are a lot of poets who still work in that

method, so I’m not alone.

This idea of juxtaposition and pasting appears

fundamental to what you do as an


I think that was my premise for writing and

making music when I was a kid. When I’d

gotten a little more sophisticated and had a

more rounded idea of what I was as an artist

– and it wasn’t immediate, by any means, but

arouned the late 60s/early 70s – it really

started to all come together for me as to what

it is that I like doing and what satisfied me the

most. And it was a collision of musical styles

as much as anything else. I found that I

couldn’t easily adopt brand loyalty [laughs],

or genre loyalty. I wasn’t an R&B artist, and I

wasn’t this artist or that kind of artist, and I

didn’t really see the point in trying to be that

purist about it. What my true style was is that

I loved the idea of putting Little Richard with

Jacques Brel, and the Velvet Underground

backing them – what would that sound like?

[laughs] That for me was really interesting. It

really seemed, for me, what I was good at

doing. What I enjoyed was being able to hybridise

these different kinds of music.

Rock ’N’ Roll Suicide, from Ziggy Stardust, is

a great example of that. Right. To go from a

50s rock-flavoured thing with an Edith Piaf

nuance on it produced that. There was a

sense of French chanson in there. It wasn’t

obviously a 50s pastiche, even though it had

that rhythm that said total 50s. But it actually

ends up as being a French chanson. That

was purposeful. I wanted that blend, to see if

that would be interesting. And it was interesting.

Nobody was doing that, at least not in the

same way. The same approach was being

adopted by a certain number of artists from

that era.

It was all this sense of “Wow, you can do anything!”

The 60s were so over, and this 70s

thing was a harder, more cynical, ironic

place, and the attitude was a whole different

thing. It wasn’t love and peace and beads.

This was something else, like “What a fucked

up society. Let’s see what it sounds like!”

[laughs]. The sense of pulling away from it all.

Rebel Rebel has one of the all-time classic


[Laughs] It’s a real air-guitar thing, isn’t it? I

can tell you a very funny story about that.

One night, I was in London in a hotel trying

to get some sleep. It was quite late, like 11 or

12 at night, and I had some big-deal thing on

the next day, a TV show or something, and I

heard this riff being played really badly from

upstairs. I thought. who the hell is doing this

at this time of night? On an electric guitar,

over and over [sings riff to Rebel Rebel in a

very hesitant, stop and start way]. So I went

upstairs to show the person how to play the

thing [laughs]. So I bang on the door. The

door opens, and I say: “Listen, if you’re going

to play…” and it was John McEnroe! I kid you

not [laughs]. It was McEnroe, who saw himself

as some sort of rock guitar player at the

time. That could only happen in a movie,

couldn’t it? McEnroe trying to struggle his

way through the Rebel Rebel riff.

| 10 www.writeawaymagazine.com

David Bowie


1967 - David Bowie (1967) - Deram

1969 - David Bowie (Space Oddity) -


1970 - The Man Who Sold The World -

Parlaphone/Warner Music

1971 - Hunky Dory - Atlantic/Elektra/

Parlaphone/Rhino/Warner Music

1972 - The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy

Stardust And The Spiders From

Mars - Parlaphone

1973 - Alladin Sane - Atlantic/Elektra/

Parlaphone/Warner Music

Pin Ups - Virgin

1974 - Diamond Dogs - Parlaphone/

Rhino/Warner Music

David Live - Virgin/EMI

1975 - Young Americans - Parlaphone/

Rhino/Warner Music

1976 - Station To Station - Parlaphone/

Rhino/Warner Music

1977 - Low - Parlaphone

Heroes - Virgin

1978 - David Bowie Narrates Prokofiev’s

Peter And The Wolf - RCA Victor

Stage - Rykodisc

1979 - Lodger - Virgin

1980 - Scarey Monsters - Virgin

1982 - Christiane F. Wir Kinder -


Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders

From Mars (The Motion Picture

Soundtrack) - EMI

1983 - Let’s Dance - Virgin

1984 - Tonight - EMI/Virgin

1986 - Labyrinth (From The Original

Soundtrack Of Jim Henson’s

Film) - EMI

1987 - Never Let Me Down - EMI Music


1993 - Black Tie White Noise - Virgin

1995 - 1. Outside - Virgin

The Buddha Of Suburbia - Virgin

1997 - Earthling - Virgin

1999 - Hours - Parlaphone

2002 - Heathen - ISO

2003 - Reality - Columbia/ISO

2004 - A Reality Tour - ISO

2008 - Glass Spider Live - Immortal

2009 - VH1 Storytellers - Virgin/EMI

Music Distribution

2013 - The Next Day - ISO

2016 - Blackstar - ISO

www.writeawaymagazine.com 11 |

Write Away


Writing Inspired By Reality

By Bamil Gutiérrez Collado (Singer-Songwriter)



Who's Singer-Songwriter BAMIL?

BAMIL is a Born and Raised Puerto Rican Pop, Rock, Jazz,

Latin Recording Artist,ASCAP, International Singer-Songwriters

Association Member, 11 Times Akademia Music Award

Winner, 2018 Indie Star Radio Awards Male Artist Of The

Year, 2018 World Songwriting Awards Winner.


What's the goal of a lyricist?

To make lyrics approachable and interesting, to enable the

audience to stick to the message of the song.

People don't want to read or hear the same story like they

were sitting in a gossip circle, or displayed on a bulletin board

flyer or a window to window word of mouth.

What inspires me to write?

I use daily life events to write real things not fiction. One

example of this is "Where Were The Angels?'; written and inspired

by the tragic end of a 10 year old girl Victoria Martens

in Alburqueque, New Mexico on 2016.

This is my example of how to write about an event without the

intention to write as if it’s from your morning paper and still

keep the sensetivity.

Where Were The Angels?

(Akademia Music Awards (Los Angeles, California)

Best Folk-Singer-Songwriter / March 15, 2017)

Music + Lyrics By Bamil Gutiérrez Collado

(Sacred Healing Songs/ASCAPC2016 All Rights Reserved)

Listen On: Where Were The Angels? - Akademia Music

Award Winner Best Song Folk/Singer-Songwriter March 2017

| 12 www.writeawaymagazine.com

Where Were The Angels

She was just a little girl

innocent and sweet

who lived for a moment

in a world fulfilled of greed.

She trusted her little temple

to the one she thought could be

the person who will protect her

and loved her like nobody else.

Sadly wasn't that way

and her suffering indescriptible

when i read the news

i shed some tears

and i couldn't believe was real,

how a little angel could have spent her short life

in a hell disguised like heaven?

and i'm asking myself when a thing

like this keep happening

where were the angels?

where were the angels?

where were the angels?

When she needed most.

I don't wanna sound like judging

the master of the world,

but where were the guardians?

who would save a soul to be bloodshed.

This little one who only lived to 10

with a big world to enjoy ahead

so fragile and so tender

and didn't know from right or wrong.


She's not here anymore,

but i hope justice prevail

and the ones who killed her dreams

and the ones who killed her fly

and the ones who killed her walk

will burn in hell,

but not before they taste a piece

what it feels to die alive.

www.writeawaymagazine.com 13 |

Write Away

Kacey Musgraves

Article By Sam Piscitelli

If there is one thing Kacey Musgraves

is predominantly known for, it’s for her

songwriting, specifically for her lyricism.

For the way she takes phrases

and little concepts about life’s moments

and turns them into tailored

stories that are both intimate, casual

and relatable. It’s in the way she addresses

certain hot-button topics in

the Country genre such as marijuana,

same-sex relationships, and her own

sexual relationships. Her ability to

write fearlessly and her decision to

not conform to rules or formulas that

lead to hits is why she has hits herself.

Musgraves has made a career of this

though writing songs such as follow

your arrow, in which she debunks

how life “should be” by pointing out all

the glaring inconsistencies older generations

who are set in their ways

force down the younger generations

throat, through Dimestore Cowgirl,

delivering the message that no matter

where she is, who she becomes or

where life leads her she will always

be the “Girl from Golden” and her

most recent album Golden Hour as a

whole where the songwriting was universally

adored but wasn’t, if ever,

played on Country radio due to certain

biases and it won the 2018 CMA

Album of The Year Award.

Her unfiltered authenticity in a genre

where the truth and being yourself is

highly regarded has catapulted her as

a songwriter who pushes boundaries

and moves mountains while doing so.

| 14 www.writeawaymagazine.com

The reason why these songs and her

albums have made such a cultural

impact in terms of Country music is

due to the style of lyricism they are

presented in. They don’t cater to the

songwriting norm of modern Country

in which mainstream landscape has

become so oversaturated with surface

level songs. Rather, Musgraves

broke out into a scene where songwriting

was becoming slowly but

surely a dying art, or at least the

heart of it was. She relied on her

own words and those that helped her

write them to become a voice for

other songwriters. In doing so she

became one of manysongwriters in

Country music that is revitalizing the

genre for what it was originally

known, the songwriting.

www.writeawaymagazine.com 15 |

Write Away


By Danny McMahon

When writing lyrics my aim is

to portray stories and emotions

that I think are relevant

to the people who listen to my music.

The reason I write music is to

make people feel a certain

way and relate to who I

am and what I do and

the things I’ve experienced.

So yes it

starts with me, but

it really ends with

the listener. I love

looking out at an

audience and

watching their response

to certain

lyrics in particular.

With my song Momentarily

I decided

to write about something

that was truly

close to my heart that

happened a long time ago,

but it had taken until now for me

to truly understand the true meaning

behind it.

When I was a kid I used to go into an

old people’s home and sing for a guy

called Jimmy. He fought in the war

and he’d tell me stories of his friends

passing away and how hard he

found. The one thing that always

struck me was the he felt his best

part of his day as an old man was

when he was given his injected medication,

so that’s where the main hook

of “just a moment, an object, a blood

stream, momentarily” came from. I

just felt it important to explain that a

man that had achieved so much was

a living a life that contained only such

brief moments of happiness.

The other lyric that I feel

really represents story is

the second verse. “I

might have won all

those battles, but I’ve

lost the war”. I just

feel this really gives

the listener a picture

of how sometimes we

move so quickly with

life we completely forget

to appreciate the

wonderful things

people have done,

and in my eyes there

aren’t many greater

than fighting for your

Country in a world war. He

really was so proud of his

Country and I felt this song was

the very least he deserved.






| 14 www.writeawaymagazine.com


By Alto Key

There are many different approaches

to songwriting and I think that most

people would agree that it’s a very

personal thing. The best songwriters use

lyrics, melodies, harmonies and rhythm to

build an emotional connection with their

listeners. It’s arguably this emotional connection

that differentiates music from

noise. I pour my heart and soul into trying

to create that emotional connection in

each song I write.

I generally start with an idea or a theme

that I want to develop. This is usually

some aspect of my own experiences but

can sometimes be me empathising with

someone else. I like my songs to be

frozen snapshots of feelings and

thoughts I have at one point in time.

For example, my song ‘Whisper in the

Mist’ was inspired by a walk through

a snowy forest in Bath. It was peacefully

quiet and I heard birds chirping

which gave me feelings of hope in

an otherwise very cold winter.

generic and unremarkable. Interweaving

the level of complexity is the amount of

myself I put into each song. There’s a fine

line between being egotistical and vulnerable,

so I always try to capture my feelings

not too specifically to allow listeners

to fill in the blanks with their own lives.

With a theme picked and lyrics researched,

I tinker on the piano and sing

gibberish lyrics to generate ideas. But

more often than not, I stumble on a melody

or lyrics at random such as when

cooking or when I’m in the shower. In any

case, my phone is always close by to

capture these ideas in voice recordings

and notes so that they can blossom into

fully fledged songs.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this insight into my

songwriting process and would love it if

you could check out my music at

www.altokey.com or on social media at


Once I have a general idea for a

story, I listen to a lot of my favourite

songs of a similar genre and

study their lyrics. A common

theme I have noticed in many of

my best-loved songs is that they

often find a sweet spots between

being poetic and being

sincere. If the lyrics are too imaginative

and abstract, then

they might be forgettable,

even if they are beautiful. Too

simple and they might be

www.writeawaymagazine.com 15 |

Write Away


Lyricists Seeking Musicians

Musicians Seeking Lyricists

Email: jane@writeawaymagazine.co.uk

Title your email lyricist if you are seeking a musician or musician if

you are seeking a lyricist.

I am a lyricist/topliner looking to collaborate with artists or musician/producers

for songwriting. I'm based in London/South East. I

can meet and work together or take an instrumental and develop a

lyric and topline melody for it, or looking for musicians who want to

develop the instrumental for lyrics or lyrics with a top line. I can

write for different styles but probably enjoy folk/country/pop ballad

mostly Email: adtkenney@gmail.com

Lyricist Christopher looking to work with musicians, singers and producers.

Will tackle most genres, pop, folk, country, rnb, rock, electronic,

jazz and combinations of these.

Ambitions to produce commercial music and hope to enjoy the ride.

Email: Cc060369@aol.com

|18 www.writeawaymagazine.com


19 |

The Lyric Writers Magazine

Next Month...

The Swan

Song Project

An amazing, touching project

by an incredible organisation

Not to be missed



Issue No:2 | February 2019

The Lyric Writers Magazine


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