Write Away Magazine Issue No3


Write Away

In This Issue





The Swansong


Rob Bortkiewicz

This One’s For You

Johanna Lee Miller







Trevor Dimoff

How to write a Bridge

Daryn Wright

Lyrical Do Not Series


Simon Wright

Turning Poetry in to


Jane Shields

Don’t Say Goodbyes

Editor: Jane Shields

Design: Pablo Snow

SBT Media

All material subject to

copyright. All rights reserved

| 02 www.writeawaymagazine.co.uk

A Word From The Editor...

Hi everyone, and welcome to Write Away

Magazine. This month I feel extremely

privileged to be able to share with you all

the tremendous work being done by Ben

Buddy Slack and his team with The Swan

Song Project.

The Swan Song Project is an amazing

charity that gives people facing end of life

and bereavement the opportunity to write

and record an original song. Ben takes

us through the key stages he uses to create

the lyrics and music that eventually

become unique songs for each of his

clients. A legacy that will be passed on to

their families.

I felt it was high time I contributed something

useful to my own magazine, so I’ve

compiled a few tips for you to consider

when you’re writing a lyric. Hope some of

you might find them useful.

Thank you to all who have contributed

articles this month, and please check out

my Matchmakers pages if you’re looking

for someone to collaborate with. If you’d

like your details on there next month

please email me your details to


New Feature From April:

g{x _çÜ|vá WÉvàÉÜ

Email me any lyric related

questions and I will forward to

him to answer in next months

magazine. Title your email

Lyrics Doctor

Lyric Writing Tips....

Take one of your old songs/lyrics and go

line by line and try to out write yourself by

coming up with a better line! Challenge

yourself to find a fresh, unique way of

saying the “same ole, same ole”

By utilizing alliteration, which is the repetition

of a specific sound, you can make

your titles even more memorable!

The Classic “This Magic Moment”

Beatles “Sexy Sadie”

David Bowie “Rebel, Rebel”

Dustin Lynch “Good Girl”

Kelsea Ballerini “Miss Me More”

Taylor Swifts “Bad Blood”,

Panic at the Disco “High Hopes”,

Khalid & Normani “Love Lies”

Consider the length of your title. Try to

make your title three words or less and

remember that sometimes one word is

best. Why? - We live in a very instant society

and people almost seem to have to

instantly connect to your song starting

with the title. The title of your song is also

the hub of a song’s marketing campaign

by the record label, the radio promotion

company etc. It is great if your song title

would look perfect on a t-shirt, coffee mug

or other promotional items! Songs are

marketed daily in an effort to climb and

reach that coveted #1 chart spot. They

don't always just ‘naturally’ rise on their

own. Something for you to consider: The

title of your song is more than ‘just a title.’

It is the first point of contact to your song

for your listener. That means it is the first

point of ‘making a sale.’ The publishers

and the public will often decide to hear

your song based on the title alone.

www.writeawaymagazine.co.uk 03 |

Write Away

How To Write A Bridge

By Trevor Dimoff

What’s a Bridge in a Song?

A bridge is an optional song section that

provides relief from the repetition of

verses and chorus by adding lyrical and

musical contrast. Lyrically, it often adds a

new perspective to the story or completes

the story.

Does My Song Need a Bridge?

A bridge is optional. Explore the genre

you’re writing in and listen to songs you

love. If those songs have bridges, consider

writing them for your songs. I always

plan for a bridge as I start writing a song,

even if I don’t use it.

How Do I Write a Bridge?

Bridges are notoriously difficult to write

because they need to be different from

yet still be related to the rest of your song,

To start, write 2, 3 or 4 lines. Keep it

shorter than (sometimes it’s the same

length as) the chorus.

Lyrically you can change the rhyme

scheme, the rhythmic patterns in the

lyrics, the predominant vowel or consonant

sounds, and/or the length of the lines.

The topic of the bridge could be:

Resolving the conflict or completing the

story of the song. Taylor Swift, Delicate.

bridge at 2:45 “Sometimes I wonder when

I sleep…” she reveals her personal feelings.

Taking a



on the


John Legend,

All of Me,

bridge at 3:20

“Cards on the

table…” is about being honest. Musically

it’s short and feels like part of the chorus

but it creates a brief pause making the

final chorus feel bigger.

Musical change without advancing the

story. Ed Sheeran, Shape of You, bridge

at 3:00 “C’mon be my baby…” is a rhythmic


I Want to Write a Bridge!

Let’s outline a song about “Love Gone

Wrong.” You could write about:

Verse 1: I love you, but you’re growing


Chorus: Our Love Has Gone Wrong

Verse 2: I love you, but you’re acting


Bridge: It’s time I leave you, or It’s time

you to go, or I’ll survive and be stronger

without you, The bridge often contains

the ending of the story.

Chorus: Repeated

| 04 www.writeawaymagazine.co.uk

Understanding Song Structures

Where Do I Put the Bridge in My


The bridge is almost always between the

last two choruses:

Verse 1 Chorus Verse 2 Chorus Bridge


To Summarize:

An effective bridge completes the story of

the song. The lyrical and musical contrast

gives the final chorus more impact and

creates a more satisfying experience for

your audience.

Trevor Dimoff is a songwriter and songwriting


Learn how to write your songs everyday



All of Me, written by John Stephens / Tobias


Delicate, written by Taylor Swift / Max

Martin / Karl Johan Schuster

Shape of You, written by John McDaid /

Steve Mac / Edward Christopher Sheeran

/ Kandi L. Burruss / Kevin Jerome Briggs /

Tameka D. Cottle

www.writeawaymagazine.co.uk 05 |

Write Away

Lyrical Do Not Series #1

By Daryn Wright



Rules do not apply to music. You can create

any type of music with any given combination

of instruments and notes, and

make it any length you wish, be it short or

long. You can have no words, a single

word, a few words, or a plethora of words.

It does not matter, unless you are trying to

fit your music into a certain genre or subgenre.

You should study and understand

the genre you are writing in to make the

best decisions for your craft.

This article may or may not pertain to

your genre, and like any rule, there is always

an exception to the rule. You should

decide if the rule applies to your music

and genre as being acceptable or unique.

Being unique is a good thing. Being unacceptable

is not.

In this series of DO NOT’s, it is my intention

to talk about some of the more common

mistakes that lyricists make.

We will start by talking about a lyric killer,

called Fred.

Do not invite Fred to your house. Do not

give Fred your address, especially for

holidays. Who is Fred? Fred is from Chicago,

unless you live in Chicago, in which

Fred will be from Toledo. I don’t have anything

against those cities, but only using

them for the purposes of talking about

Fred being from out of town, and from

another state. Which state he is from is

not relevant. Also, nothing against anyone

named Fred. Using the name is merely

for the metaphor.

Fred is an uninvited in-law that likes to

mess up your holidays. Sometimes he

brings his whole family, including pets,

and even invites his friends to come with

him. He always stays beyond his welcome

point which is usually in the first 30

seconds, and he stays until everything is

in ruins.

Like National Lampoons movie Christmas

Vacation, where the in-laws show up in a

motorhome unexpected. They expect to

be fed, given gifts, and entertained. Before

you know it, the tree is on fire, they

drain their sewage into the storm drains,

and try to convince you to invest a large

sum of money into a company that does

not exist.

Who is Fred in a song?

Fred From Chicago is a term used to describe

a character making its way into

your lyric long after all characters should

have been mentioned. Mentioning characters

before you reach the chorus is imperative

to place the song in a relaxing

atmosphere in lieu of the latter disturbances,

which lead to questions of what

just happened, and who is he or she. In

the long term, if the listener is disturbed

by your lyrics introducing a character too

late, most have the tendency to stop listening

or do not listen often. Both of these

|06 www.writeawaymagazine.co.uk

outcomes are unfavorable at best, and

should be counterproductive to your’


The noted exception to this is when you

are writing time lines. When writing time

lines, it means your first verse is written

about the initial time frame, while another

verse is written about a time later in life,

and the two are separated by a chorus. I

stated later in life because writing from

present tense to past tense is a topic for

another article.

Fred does not need to be a person. It can

be anything that should have been declared

in the first verse, such as the name

of a city, a specific location, a pets name,

or anything you are using as a main or

secondary character in your lyric.

To avoid Fred, the easiest way is to place

the questions into the correct areas of

your lyrics. Fred would fall into WHO,

which should be answered before the


Do not invite Fred to destroy your lyrics.

Written by Daryn Wright www.darynwright.com


www.writeawaymagazine.co.uk 07|

Write Away

Simon Wright

Turning poetry into lyrics

within lyrics.

Verses – used to convey the story progression

and each verse needs to be capable

of being sung to the same music.

Chorus – summarises the main point of

the song and is repeated during the song.

Often, this is the catchy part of the sung

that gets stuck in your head afterwards!

Bridge – where used, it is a one-off to

convey a change in musical and/or lyrical


There are other components, such as pre

chorus, intros and outros, but understanding

the role of verses, choruses, and

bridges is essential in your journey from

poet to lyricist.

Rework your poem into a lyric

One bit of feedback that I often see

musicians give fledgling lyric

writers is that their lyrics read too

much like poems. I suspect, in part, this is

because many writers come to songwriting

having first dabbled in writing poetry.

Clearly, there are some similarities between

poems and song lyrics but there

are also important differences. So let’s

look at how you can convert your poems

into lyrics.

Understand key song components

Just as there are lots of different poetic

structures (acrostic, cinquain, blank

verse, haiku, etc) songs also differ in their

structural arrangement. Let’s not worry

too much at this stage about all those

variations, but you do need to understand

the basic components that are used

Review your poem, bearing in mind the

need for a song to include at least verses,

probably also a chorus, and possibly a


The chances are you have some great

lines within your poem and hopefully the

kernel of an idea for a fantastic song.

However, it’s unlikely to immediately fit

into a song’s structure, so a first step is

marking out the lyrical structure you want

to use.

Here are some examples for


Verse, Verse, Verse – doesn’t include a

chorus so you are relying on your verses

to catch and keep the listeners’ attention.

Verse, Chorus, Verse, Chorus – your

verses enable the story progression but

| 08 www.writeawaymagazine.co.uk

you include a catchy chorus to remind the

listener of the song’s key point.

Verse, Verse, Bridge, Verse – the inclusion

of the bridge enables you to introduce

an interesting change of direction in

your song.

Verse, Chorus, Verse, Chorus, Bridge,

Chorus – you may decide that you want

to use all three main components. If so,

the bridge generally comes towards the

end. You could follow the bridge either

with a chorus, or with a verse and then


These are just some examples. You can

read up on other possible structures, and

of course you can choose the number of

verses that best suits your song.

Edit, edit, and edit some more

Having identified your song’s structure,

the final step is to craft your poem into the

lyric you want it to be. This is the engine

room of lyric writing and where your skill

with words comes to the fore. Play about

with the various parts of your lyric, and

sing them out loud to make sure they

sound coherent and impactful.

Don’t expect to complete the lyrics in one

sitting. Write the lyrics, evaluate them,

work on them some more. Try to get feedback

from musicians or other lyricists, and

then edit again. Hopefully you’ll be left

with a polished lyric that can easily be

converted into an amazing song!

Actions to turn poems into song lyrics

Find a poem you would like to convert

into a song.

Work out the lyric structure you think

would suit.

Edit your poem extensively until you’re

happy with it.

About Simon Wright:

Simon is an Irish lyric writer who lives in

Scotland. He collaborates with musicians

across the world to turn his lyrics into

songs. Check out his website:


Follow @TheLyricSlinger on Twitter.

Pay particular attention to whether the

verses can be sung to the same melody.

Musicians refer to this as prosody and it’s

important to enable a guitarist or a pianist

to create music to support your song.

Prosody is about more than syllable count

but a good starting point is checking that

each verse has a similar syllable count

and the same number of lines. For advanced

lyric writing, also aim for the same

stressses within the equivalent lines of

each verse!



Write Away

The Swan Song Project

the benefits.

The Swan Song Project gives people

facing end of life and bereavement

the opportunity to write and record

an original song. The songs are then recorded

and put on a cd for the writer and

their loved ones to keep. They also are

given the option of having their song

shared on the swan song project website

– www.swansongproject.co.uk.

In this article I will give a bit more information

about how this works and some of

The project started at Marie Curie Hospice

Bradford in May 2017. The project

started at Marie Curie Hospice Bradford

in May 2017 and has now expanded to

other hospices in Yorkshire. I predominantly

work with patients who are staying

in the hospice wards and those who are

day visitors, meeting people at various

stages of their terminal illness. I also work

with patient’s family members, hospice

staff and volunteers. I had been thinking

about it for a long time beforehand and I

was confident it would be a worthwhile

and beneficial thing to do, and that I had

the skill set to do it. I was nervous in

those first sessions though.

I have been involved with community

songwriting work for a number of years

and have written songs with a great deal

of people. Most of that work had been

with groups and I would usually have a

structure for my sessions that would take

the group through the process of writing a

particular type of song.

With The Swan Song Project I go into

| 10 www.writeawaymagazine.co.uk

sessions with these structures and

methods in my back pocket as such, but

the aim is to go with the person I am

working with, wherever their song wants

to go. This makes for fascinating and

often challenging work.

Some people come into a session knowing

exactly what they want their song to

say, some have a few ideas and some

have no idea. Most have no previous experience

of songwriting or anything similar.

The journey we go on together is

different every time. I will go with the

writer wherever they need to, without imposing

a pre-defined structure. Reflecting

on it for this article, I have identified a few

key stages that we often go through:

1. Getting to know the person

I need to gather a sense of who the songwriter

is, so that I am able to help them to

create something authentic. The sessions

are very relaxed and informal, and we will

often talk about many different things.

What we discuss may or may not feed

into the song. Either way this stage and

making a human connection helps us

both to feel relaxed and open enough to

go to the places needed to write the song.

Often times, the songs are deeply personal

and emotional and the writer needs

to feel comfortable enough with me, to explore

and express these emotions. We

may need a bit of light relief when exploring

difficult topics, so a break and a chat

about other subjects can be very useful.

2. Getting it all out

Whether or not we know what we are

aiming for with the song, we have a big

explore of ideas. These may range from

topic to topic, and cover many experiences

of their lives. As we do this, I will

usually take notes. Certain phrases will

often stand out to me, there may be a

theme that runs through a lot of what is

said. Sometimes there is a subtle difference

in the way something is said. This

can be because it has a more significant

meaning, and following it can reveal the

crux of the song. We will then go over

what I have taken down. Hearing what

they have said repeated back to them, is

often very powerful and surprising for

people. It may include beautiful phrases

and honest emotions that they may not

have put into words before.

3. Seeing the structure

From the information gathered, we then

start to see where the song might go. We

may identify a key phrase that links a lot

of the ideas or be particularly beautiful.

For me, the beauty of a line with

this is really about its authenticity to the

writer. It can also be poetic or include interesting

wordplay that expresses a key

idea. This may become our chorus line

and we can start to develop ideas around

that. We may identify what the themes of

the verses are going to be and a rough

length to get in all we need to. Once we

have a loose roadmap in place it is then a

case of filling in the details.

4. Writing actual lyrics

It can be harder to get started with writing

actual lyrics than just getting ideas out. I

think people can view lyrics as being a bit

magical but they are just words like everything

we say. With all of our notes and our

structure ideas, we can decide where to

start and often have plenty of options for

first lyrics. Most of the time we can take

something straight from the notes to be

our first lyric. It may end up being reshaped

to to fit a rhyme pattern or

tweaked to fit with a melody but it’s great

www.writeawaymagazine.co.uk 11 |

Write Away

to get something down. We will usually

then continue with lyric writing until we

have at least a few lines, maybe even a

verse and a chorus that we like.

5. Music

When we have some lyrics to start with,

we can start playing around with music.

This usually involves conversations

around what music they like listening to,

maybe listening to a few pieces and discussing

what it is about particular songs

that they like. We then talk about how

they want their song to sound and feel.

With this information, I can start making

musical suggestions. I often try not to

think too much about it and just let my

fingers go on the guitar or piano and see

if anything that comes out sounds right to

them. I will also explain, as best I can, the

musical concepts and ideas that we are

using, in order to give them as much

choice as possible with the direction of

the music. Once we have some of the

music agreed upon and a few lyrics down

the rest is following the ideas and filling in

the blanks.

6. Filling in the blanks

When we have our lyric structures, tune

and overall verse and chorus ideas in

place, the puzzle is nearly complete. I always

think of this as being like filling in

the blanks. We have the blank verses,

which we could hum, and we know what

we want them to say, it is now a case of

finding the actual words. This part can still

be challenging and we sometimes have to

repeat previous steps to make changes or

get more information to work from. It always

feels like we’re on the home stretch

though at this point.

7. Completion, rehearsing and recording

We have a complete set of lyrics that

says what the person wants it to say, fits

with the music we created, and that

sounds the way they want it to sound.

This is always a great feeling.

It is often very powerful and quite emotional

for people when they hear their

song for the first time. I always encourage

people to sing their song themselves but

this is too much for a lot of people and

they are happier with me singing it for

them. This is fine. Sometimes we will sing

it together, or they will sing it themselves

and we can spend as much time as

needed, practicing and recording, until

they are happy with it. Other times, we

will record the song with me singing it and

then record a separate track of them

reading out the lyrics. They may keep

this, just for their loved ones to hear.

When the recording is done, I burn them

some cds and print them off their lyrics. If

they want to share their song publicly, I

upload it to the website and share it on

our social media. Our job there is done,

but most of the time our connection will

continue throughout the rest of their time

at the hospice. It’s always a pleasure to

hear how loved ones react to hearing the

songs for the first time.

It’s an amazing journey that we go on

when we are creating a song. As I said at

the beginning every session is unique and

a lot of the time the process is completely

different from this. Sometimes we

get through the whole thing in one

session, sometimes we work on it over a

number of weeks.

Patients report many benefits from the

sessions. They often have great pride in

12 www.writeawaymagazine.co.uk |

what they have created and reflecting on

their lives can sometimes give meaningful

insights that they hadn't seen before.

Clarifying their thoughts and emotions

and putting that into something permanent

and being able to share it with others

can help in many ways. People often

want to express these deep emotions to

their loved ones but can find that so difficult

to do face to face. The song can do

this for them. I often hear from family

members, expressing their gratitude and

how much the song means to them. Many

of the songs go on to be played at the

writers’ funerals and I hope live on with

loved ones for years to come. A song can

live forever. For a lot of people with a terminal

illness, their life becomes about

their condition and it can take over much

of their identity. The song allows them to

reconnect with who they are and give

It is a real privilege to write these songs

with people. I find that The Swan Song

Project is deeply rewarding both on a

human level and on a creative one and

I’m hugely excited about its future. You

can find out more about The Swan Song

Project at www.swansongproject.co.uk

and follow us on social media:

facebook.com/TheSwanSongProject and

Twitter @SwanSongProUK

Our work is funded by charity donations.

If you would like to offer a donation

please follow this link:

others this greater insight and understanding.


| www.writeawaymagazine.co.uk 13

Write Away

Don't Say Goodbyes

Jane Shields

Those people who know me at all will know that I

write most of my lyrics from images. ‘Don’t Say

Goodbyes’ is no exception to this.

Since my partner and I both suffer with PTSD,

though both from different causes, I’m very

aware of the effects it has on people, and this

image to me, shows the haunted eyes and

troubled looks often associated with a military

PTSD sufferer. So that is exactly how my storyline

unfolded from this image, which I used for

‘Don’t Say Goodbyes.’

I wanted the chorus to really hit home hard in

this lyric, to draw attention to the many veteran

suicides and attempted suicides that occur all

over the world from the devestating mental

health effects of PTSD which many veterans

suffer from, some of which only arise many

years after their combat service has ended.

I tried to build the verses in a way that conveys

emotion to the reader/listener whilst also showing

the veterans hesitance to display his own

emotion even though his body and mind are

eaten through with it.

I decided upon a longer chorus which is repeated

at the end of the lyric as I felt this would

reinforce the emotional message rather than trying

to shorten the chorus lyrics and write a

bridge section. Though I realise a musical

bridge section may work well with the right


To date this lyric has not been recorded as I am

a lyricist only, with no musical knowledge or abilities,

so should anyone be interested in turning

my lyric into a song please do get in touch with



| 14 www.writeawaymagazine.co.uk |

Don’t Say Goodbyes (Lyrics)

This is no glory song

My time has come at last to find some peace

My roads were hard and long

The battles fought inside will never cease

I'll cry my final tears

With empty heart and arms too weak to raise

Rememb'ring blood stained years

And loved ones lost to me along the ways

Don't say goodbyes, no need to cry

Not looking for your sympathy

My mind's a shell, living this hell

At last I've found my prison key

Goodbye to hell, goodbye to hell,

This song shall be my very last farewell...

I've been to hell, I live in hell

This song shall be my very last farewell...

My time is fading fast

I've no regrets to leave this world behind

To be released at last

From all this bitter torment in my mind

Don't say goodbyes, no need to cry

Not looking for your sympathy

My mind's a shell, living this hell

At last I've found my prison key

Goodbye to hell, goodbye to hell,

This song shall be my very last farewell...

I've been to hell, I live in hell

This song shall be my very last farewell...

Don't say goodbyes, no need to cry

Not looking for your sympathy

My mind's a shell, living this hell

At last I've found my prison key

Goodbye to hell, goodbye to hell,

This song shall be my very last farewell...

I've been to hell, I live in hell

This song shall be my very last farewell...

Jane Shields (C)


15 |

Write Away

This One’s For You

By Rob Bortkiewicz

& you are the author. Someone else will

be on a similar page to you. All you need

to do is reach out and connect with them

and the song will allow you to do that.

Hi, I’m Rob Bortkiewicz and I’ve been a

lyricist for almost five years now.

As a full time postman/husband/father, I

tend to use any spare few minutes that I

can find to write down ideas that help create

my lyrics. Using the note app on my

phone, I tend to collect phrases & ideas

that I can revisit later & usually by then,

they have a whole new meaning.

Naturally in my job role, I see a lot of different

people, overhear many conversations

and I use little snippets of this to

inspire my lyrics and make them feel real

to me. Twitter is also a great source for inspiration.

After I’ve shuffled through the

garbage, quite a few of my hooks have

come from a throwaway comment on

someone’s social media.

A friend of mine once said, in order for

anyone else to connect with your songwriting,

it needs to mean something to

you first. Without that emotional input &

true feeling, your lyrics are only words.

If I’ve learnt anything from my writing, it is

never to be afraid to write what you feel.

Good, bad, indifferent, your life is a novel

I’d never really considered writing a lyric

that hit as close to home as This One’s

For You and it caught me by surprise.

Those who know me know that I can

either run with a lyric for days, sometimes

weeks on end & others I can write literally

in ten minutes, as was the case here.

I was sat down beside my son’s bed attempting

to get him to sleep & as I

watched over him I had the chorus in my

mind so I grabbed my phone and jotted

down the notes before I forgot any of it.

Then ten minutes later, this was the result.

This One’s For You

Under the brightest stars

In the clear night sky

I’ll hold your hand

No need to cry

You’ve changed my world

Like nothing I’ve ever known

I watch you with wonder

Seeing how you’ve grown

I’ve seen you fight your battles

Learning lessons along the way

It’s all been heading towards

This time when it’s your special day

And every time I remember

The years we’ve shared together

I’ll keep you safe wherever you are

| 16 www.writeawaymagazine.co.uk

Knowing that I’ll leave you never

So follow your dreams and see me just


The answers to your questions I’m sure

you’ll find

So take my love and find your way


‘Cos my son this one’s for you

When I turn back the pages I see

So many laughs and cries

That’s how it’s meant to be

Every step of the way I’ll keep you near

Never wonder where I am

I’m always here

And every time I remember

The years we’ve shared together

I’ll keep you safe wherever you are

Knowing that I’ll leave you never

So follow your dreams and see me just


The answers to your questions I’m sure

you’ll find

So take my love and find your way


‘Cos my son this one’s for you

And when the time comes

For you to walk on alone

I’ll be there by your side

‘Cos eternal love is never far from home

And every time I remember

The years we’ve shared together

I’ll keep you safe wherever you are

Knowing that I’ll leave you never

So follow your dreams and see me just


The answers to your questions I’m sure

you’ll find

So take my love and find your way


‘Cos my son this one’s for you

Copyright Reserved Rob Bortkeiwicz

www.writeawaymagazine.co.uk 17 |

Write Away



cup was still a main focus, so I combined the two together

and I knew I had my opening line. I knew it

would get enough interest to get the listener to want

to hear the next line. No more whiskey in my Dixie


Repeating lines in my head while still driving, I had

written an entire verse in my head. Still no time to

stop driving, because driving was work, and I had a

tight schedule to keep.

Staying on the same story as it unfolds in my mind,

one line after the next fell into place, and soon a melody

was beginning to form with the words like magic.

This song was written during at time of devastating

floods that occurred in Nashville, TN. I was on the

phone with my producer, checking on him and his

family, when a portion of the conversation sparked

an idea for a song. He said everyone was a victim to

mother nature when she is angry.

I did my best to imagine what the city was going

through. Some people lost everything they had. No

not everything. They still had each other. What if

they did not have each other, and the storm was the

anger inside of her. Just like the water taking everything

away, she could have packed all of her belongings

and decided to leave.

My idea was complete, and I needed to get it on

paper. This was not easy, since I was driving down

the freeway and no time to stop. My coffee cup was

empty, which tried to take on the main focus instead

of the lyric idea.

It needs to start with a line that will give a good picture

of something happening or a location, but what

will I use? Idea after idea came and left and nothing

was strong enough, until I passed a billboard sign

advertising a well-known whiskey. That was it. The

By the time I was able to schedule a stop, I had most

of the song completed, but it was faulty and needed

a re-write to fix a few lines, and I also needed some

way to get the AHA GOTCHA moment into the song.

It was not complete without it, but I was ready to get

a new perspective on the idea. It was time to write it

all down, and hide it from myself for a few days. I

needed to know what I would remember about the

lyrics after 3 days of not looking at them so I could

determine what needed to be fixed and to know what

might sound out of place. If I couldn’t remember it,

how would I expect someone else to remember it

after they heard it for the first time?

Three days passed by before I knew it, and then

came the task of trying to remember what I had

written. I was in luck, as most of the lyric was recalled

word for word. I was onto a good write.

Having a fresh new look at the lyrics I was able to

pick out anything that felt out of place and reworked

those lines until I was satisfied with the results.

Now the AHA. The best way to get the AHA GOT-

CHA moment is to make it more personal. I decided

to make it a direct conversation between me and my

lost lover. I was the cause of her leaving and caused

the anger inside her. A second variation of the

chorus was born, but it still needed to be about feeling

helpless and defeated in the situation. Repeating

the first line would do just that.

| 18 www.writeawaymagazine.co.uk

Checking for proper lyric criteria again required to let

the lyric sit for a number of days before revisiting

them again. This is to ensure my own bias will not

blind me to see any mistakes I may have made.

Everything was in order and my final results are

listed below.

You can hear the full song production by visiting my

links listed below the lyrics.


Written by Daryn Wright

All copyrights reserved



No more whiskey in my Dixie cup

A little drunk to fill it back up

So I just sit here

Stare out in the pourin’ rain

As I watch the river rise

I think of how I made her cry

I did her wrong

And I lost everything


I’m supposed to be gone by eight

I’m already an hour late

It don’t matter

Since she set me free

What’s the difference if I stay

Let the waters wash away

This empty house

And what remains of me


I got the door open wide

Let the storm come inside

See the lightning flash

Like it did in her eyes

I think about her words of thunder

Looking back it makes me wonder

How her leaving

Never crossed my mind


I saw a storm inside you

I did some things and it grew

Consumed your thoughts as

Tears fell down like rain

And when you cried your last tear

You packed your bags and

Disappeared and now our love has fallen

Victim of the rain


Another love has fallen

Victim of the rain

Our love has fallen

Victim of the rain

No more whiskey in my Dixie cup

A little drunk to fill it back up

I just sit here

Stare out in the pouring rain




When there’s a storm inside you

There’s nothing waiting on you

Emotions fill your thoughts as

Tears fall down like rain

And when there are no more tears

If your love has disappeared

Another love has fallen

Victim of the rain

www.writeawaymagazine.co.uk 19 |

Write Away

My Songwriting Process

By Johanna Lee Miller


Writing has always been cathartic for me -

cleanse the wounds, air the injustice, get

it down on paper and out of your system.

Singing is the same, deeply personal and

(ironically, for something done so publicly)

a very private


You’d think the

two things

would have

collided earlier,

but I was a

late starter

when it came

to writing

songs. I’d always sung covers or other

people’s material, and because I can

barely play an instrument, I felt that it was

beyond my capabilities. It was only when I

was asked to help someone finish a lyric

that I started to think it was something I

could do.

My first songs were all about lyric and

melody, with someone else patiently

working with me to find the chords. Then I

picked up a guitar and started to work out

what was in my head. To this day, I can

only play the songs I’ve written, I still don’t

know many chords, but what it means to

me is that I have freedom, I’m never limited

to what “should” come next in a

chord progression.

Lyrically, I start with either a feeling or a

phrase, something that catches my ear or

sparks a feeling. Sometimes it’s about

real people in my life, sometimes a more

abstract, imagined scenario with characters,

or a philosophical idea. Sometimes

the music comes first, sometimes

it’s the lyric, but for me, it’s always the

lyric that bends to fit the music, never the

other way around. My rhyming dictionary

is always to hand.

The third element for me is harmony and

counter-melody. I started out singing and

arranging backing vocals, so when I

formed Highwire and started working on

arrangements, I knew I wanted it in my

songs. Part of that was shyness, of feeling

slightly exposed and uncomfortable

standing at the front of the stage instead

of to the side

or the rear, but

most of it is

the satisfaction


comes when it

works beautifully

- it’s just

pure emotion.

And that is

what my music is all about.

Johanna Lee Miller is a published songwriter,

and the singer/songwriter with London

based band Highwire.


Facebook: www.facebook.com/highwireuk

Twitter: www.twitter.com/joleemills

Instagram: www.instagram.com/joleemill

Artwork: www.facebook.com/rockdoveart

| 20




Lyricists Seeking Musicians

Musicians Seeking Lyricists

Email: jane@writeawaymagazine.co.uk

Experienced lyricist (able to write music, play some instruments

and do mid-fi production) seeks to collaborate with a female

vocalist. Style - Singer songwriter, r&b country, folk and pop.

Email: Coolparadigm@gmail.com

Experienced lyricist Hampshire UK I’m looking for someone who

can take my lyrics & work them into the finished song.

My email is rbortkiewicz@hotmail.com

Lyrics Doctor. I'm a writer, editor, songwriter, and musician who can

help you tell the stories you really want to tell: Song structure, imagery,

rhymes, alliteration, and more to ensure that every word does

the work it's meant to do in the song. Mostly alt-country and rock,

but all genres considered. To contact me title email Lyrics Dr and

email jane@writeawaymagazine.co.uk and she will forward to me.



21 |

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.co

|22 www.writeawaymagazine.co.uk

19 |

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The Lyric Writers Magazine

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A look into the life and works of country

star Johnny Cash

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