Write Away Magazine - June Issue

The Lyric writers magazine

The Lyric writers magazine


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Issue No:6

The Lyric Writers Magazine


‘Mercedes Benz’


Introducing - Bill Halloran

Lyrical Do Not - Daryn Wright

Song Lyrics - Trevor Dimoff

Lyricslinger - Simon Wright


In This Issue...



Pages 20 - 23


10 Mark Townley

14 Ann Kenney

18 Nick Briggs

26 U2-360

28 Cranberry Merchants

30 Jim Plunkett

32 Charlotte Elizabeth

34 Chris Tavener


04 Lyrics Doctor

06 Daryn Wright

08 Trevor Dimoff

12 Bill Holloran

16 Simon Wright

24 Paul Sykes

36 Matchmakers





Welcome to Issue 6 of Write Away Magazine. The only

lyric writers magazine you’ll ever want to read, bringing

you a new host of talented artists from around the world.

I’d urge you all please to take a moment and check out the

links included with each article to respective websites and

music. Some amazing talent not to be missed.

A warm welcome to my new regular writer Bill Holloran.

You can find Bill’s first article on page 12 in this issue.

Bill is a blues player from The Wildcat O'Halloran Band....

Find out more about Bill from his website


A big thank you to all of my regular contributors too. Your

input is what makes Write Away Magazine so special.

And a huge thank you to Mark Townley for the third and

final installment of SPLAQ - Please do take a moment to

check out Mark’s music, you won’t be disappointed.

I’m always looking for exciting new articles and regular

features on lyrics. If you’ve something for consideration

in a future issue please drop me an email...


Jane xx






The Lyri

Jeff Hanke from

Minnesota asks how to

write a compelling and

engaging first line, and Ann

Kenney from London wants

tips on writing a second

verse. On some level, these

are really the same question,

and the short answer is,

“Know what your song is

about.” It seems like the most

basic thing possible, but you'd

be surprised how often people

write without really knowing

what they want to say. In

my day job as a magazine editor,

I sometimes get 900-word

stories from reporters, and

when I ask them, “What is this

about?” they don't have much

of a response. Once you figure

out what your song or article

is about, it will almost

write itself. You simply have

to ensure that every line--even

every word--works to support

your idea.

When writing songs, I typically

start from a lyrical hook,

which is sometimes the title,

sometimes the first line,

sometimes the refrain (and

sometimes all three). These

can be fairly obvious:

“Heartbreak Diet“ (a song

about how your stomach can

suffer along with your heart)

or “My Girlfriend's Got a

Chainsaw“ (about a poor sod

who's cheating on his lumberjack

girlfriend... big mistake!).

Others are less evident. A

few years ago, my sister-inlaw

was wearing a T-shirt with

a simple map of a place

called Block Island (off the

coast of the U.S. state of

Rhode Island), but to me it

looked like a porkchop. I said,

“Why are you wearing a T-

shirt with a porkchop on it?”

And she said, “Most people

say it looks like a teardrop.”

My response, of course, was:

“Porkchops and Teardrops...

I'm sure there's a country

song in there somewhere!”

So I had what I thought was a

cool lyrical hook, but no idea

what the song might be about.

I soon realized it had to

describe the nexus between

food and heartache (do you

see a pattern here?!). I wrote

a line about a woman who

“thought it was smart/to feed

his heart/by stuffing his belly.”

But I wanted to set the scene

of a traditional family man,

and create something of a

humorous tone. Hence the

first line: ”He was a man who

brought home the bacon/And

the ice cream too/A great

provider of celery and

cider/And plenty of beef for

the stew.”

In the pre-chorus, he skips out

on dinner: “Said he'd found

someone new, a perfect soul

mate/Who don't smell like

onions and make him put on

weight.” That sets up the

chorus, “All she was left with

was porkchops and


For the second verse, I wanted

to spin the narrative forward,

portraying the woman

as the heroine and giving the

man the comeuppance he

deserved. So I introduced his

new paramour, who fed him

nothing but natural foods, and

“pretty soon he withered

away/Could bring home the

bacon no more.” The first

woman, meanwhile, “She

cried and she cried/Then she

baked and then she fried/Then

she found someone new, a

perfect soul mate/Who loved

smelling onions and putting

on weight/She forgot about

them porkchops and


Until I figured out what the

song was about, it would have

been impossible to construct

the narrative. But once I had

an image of my characters in

mind, it was easy to craft a

story around these two, with

each line supporting the plot.

Think back on some of the

best songs of the past halfcentury,

and you'll find that

their first lines grab the listener

and set the tone for story.

Dylan starts Like a Rolling

Stone with the line “Once

upon a time you dressed so

04 www.writeawaymagazine.co.uk

cs Doctor

fine/You threw the bums a dime in your

prime, didn't you?” That introduces the plot

and the protagonist of the story, a woman

who has misstepped in some way, with double

internal rhymes. ”Please allow me to

introduce myself/I'm a man of wealth and

taste” takes you straight to the heart of

Sympathy for the Devil, in which Lucifer portrays

himself as a victim of God's perfidious

scheming. And Patti Smith eases into Gloria

by singing “Jesus died for somebody’s sins,

but not mine,” a song about the bravado and

bluster of youth (at least that's my interpretation).

If you deconstruct the rest of those songs

(and countless others), you'll find that the

lyrics propel the narrative forward, sometimes

with an unexpected wrinkle introduced

in the second or third verse, and sometimes

taking a relatively straight path to the end.

But in most great songs, the writer knows

what he or she is trying to say (even if it's

not always entirely clear to the listener), and

each verse, chorus, and bridge underpins

that idea.

Happy SongwR x iting

The Lyrics Doctor

Note from the editor...

If you have a lyrics - related

question you’d like answered

please email it to me and I’ll forward

to The Lyrics Doctor.




Lyrical Do Not # 4

Have you ever heard the word


What does it mean, and why is it important

to lyrics?

Everyone has a fear of something, be it

internal or external. For some people,

they have a legitimate fear of long

words. Words that intimidate your

listener are not always a good

approach. Few listeners want to be

bothered with finding the definition of

words in your lyrics. You could,

however, help the listener by also

including the definition in your lyric,

such as found in


Large words, uncommon words, and

words that are difficult to understand

should be avoided because they tend to

distract the listener. If the distraction

is too great, it can take away the

effects of your hook.

Keep your lyrics in common language

conversation and try to avoid making

your listener feel inferior


It is important to paint a good picture in

your lyric so your listener can imagine

a scene while listening to your music.

There are eight important senses to

know and understand, and they fall in

two groups.

SENSE 1 – Hearing. Anything that

speaks about sound will fit this, such as

the breeze whistling through the trees.

SENSE 2 – Smelling. Anything that has

a scent, odor, or smell. Maybe you can

smell the rain, a fresh baked apple pie,

or mildew in a weathered shack.

SENSE 3 – Tasting. Nothing is better

than mama’s cooking. Mentioning a

common food will automatically tease

the taste sense, such as mint chocolate


SENSE 4 – Seeing. This is any visual

object. Red solo cup, a bottle of wine,

a pink dress, or yellow roses are great

examples of this sense.

SENSE 5 – Touch. Anything that

involves physical contact, such as

touching my skin. Mentioning how

something feels to the touch such as

soft, rough, or delicate is a touch


SENSE 6 – Sixth. I know what your

thinking. Here you are reading this

article, wondering how in the world you

can write a sixth sense into your lyric. I

know you can do it. Using this example,

or stating you are finishing someone’s

sentence before they get the

words out is a fine example of sixth


SENSE 7 – Organic or self. This is what

you are feeling inside of you, such as a

heartbeat, muscle cramps, broken

bones, a head ache, or feeling cold.

SENSE 8 – Kinesthetics. This is the

abnormal feelings you can get, such as

feeling dizzy, butterflies, feeling of



Daryn Wright

falling, anxiety, or similar.

GROUP 1 – Visual image

group. This group consists of

the first five senses, smell,

sight, hear, touch, and taste.

It uses simple language that

easily gets the imagination of

the listener with little effort.

GROUP 2 – Self awareness

image group. This group

utilizes expressions that dictate

how you feel. This group

requires the listener to relate

to the lyric words.

When selecting the use of a

self awareness image, you

should make it a well known

term, or couple it with a visual

image, such as IT GAVE


lyric does not say, can be

done with the vocals and

vocal melody. Have you ever

heard someone sing that

gave you goosebumps? That

is how it works. It can be

intentional. When writing

more modern type lyrics,

practice using a combination

of all 8 of these senses to

paint a clear picture of what

is happening in your lyric.

Written by Daryn Wright






How To Write A

Finished Song Lyric

By Trevor Dimoff,


To complete your song lyrics, you have to put your

song sections, the chorus, verses and the optional

pre-chorusand bridge, into a song structure.

Understanding the functions of each song section

helps you put them in the best order to finish a song

that creates an emotional impact on your listeners.

Your audience has expectations from your popular

song because of the countless popular songs they

have listened to and loved. When you don’t fulfill

these expectations, they won’t relate to your song.

Basic Principles of Song Structure

The chorus is the main point of your song.

The verses contain the plot, the beginning, middle

and end of the story you tell through your song.

The optional pre-chorus serves to connect the end

of each verse to the chorus.

The optionalbridge is a relief from the rest of the

song, it provides a different perspective on the story

of your song and often contains the resolution of the

story in your song.

Listen to songs you love in the genre you’re writing,

If they have a pre-chorus &/or a bridge, use them in

your songs.







O=outro (ending)

The fundamental structure in a song is an alternation

between V and C, so two verses = V C V C

A Pre-chorus connects the end of the verse to a

chorus, so with a pre-chorus = V PC C is a building


A bridge is usually framed with a chorus before and

after it, so C B C is a building block.

A song with 2 verses, a pre-chorus and a bridge is

usually V PC C V PC C B C

Occasionally a PC is inserted after the bridge:


Add a musical introduction and/or an ending to complete

your song!

Musical Examples:

These are the six songs that I referenced in previous

Write Away articles:

How to Write a Bridge

(March 2019) and

How to Write a Pre-Chorus

(May 2019).

Pick at least two of your favourites songs and follow

along while you listen to them. Don’t just read this

section… listen....

Shape of You, Ed Sheeran


I=4 bars of music from the verse

One More Night, Maroon 5


I=4 bars of music from the verse

Rolling in the Deep, Adele


I=2 bars

Delicate, Taylor Swift


I=8 bars of music from the verse

C is 8 bars with 4 bars of extra that is omitted for the

last 2 choruses.

Numb, Linkin Park


I=8 bars of music from the verse

08 www.writeawaymagazine.co.uk

Trevor Dimoff

O=4 bars of music from the verse

All of Me, John Legend


I=8 bars of music from the verse

O= 8 bars added to the last C


Song structure formula is relatively simple in popular

songs. Followthe typical song structure, instead of trying

to invent something new. Instead of trying to be

“creative” with the song structure, focus your creativity

on lyrics, story and message in the song. Despite the

different genres and styles in these examples, all of the

example songs use the same song structure with only

minor variations:


Next Month…

Songwriting Reference Tracks:

How to improve your lyric writing by studying songs you


Trevor Dimoff is a songwriter, songwriting teacher and

the founder of


You can read more about writing lyrics and music for

song sections…


Songwriting Credits

All of Me - written by John Stephens / Tobias Gad

Delicate - written by Taylor Swift / Max Martin / Karl

Johan Schuster

Numb - written by Brad Delson, Chester Charles

Bennington, Dave Farrell, Joseph Hahn, Mike Shinoda,

Robert G. Bourdon.

One More Night - written by Adam Noah Levine, Johan

Karl Schuster, Max Martin, Savan Harish Kotecha.

Rolling the the Deep - written by Adele Adkins, Paul

Richard Epworth.

Shape of You - written by John McDaid / Steve Mac /

Edward Christopher Sheeran / Kandi L. Burruss / Kevin

Jerome Briggs / Tameka D. Cottle



5 Essential Elements

for Successful

Songwriting - I Call

it S.P.L.A.Q! (Part 3)

By: Mark (Markus T)

Townley (c) 2016


Lets now focus our attention to

who is actually going to sing,

record and perform your song.

If you are singer / songwriter then

you have this covered. But then

there is always the possibility that

another music artist could do something

different and amazing with your

song or even just your words or

lyrics. Its going to be a matter of

choice and preference on promoting

yourself also as a songwriter vs performing

artist. Some do this really

well, most in my experience as they

progress tend to get into more collaboration

with songwriters to give

some more options and variety as to

what they are going to record and


In addition to the feature artist (be

that vocal soloist or even instrumentalist)

do also then consider the quality,

skills and talents of the lyric writers

and musicians that will make up

the backbone of your song. This will

depend on the style and genre and

purpose of the song, whether it is to

be a simple guitar or piano tune or a

more full band production. Every

person who contributes to a song is

an artist in their own right, by mindful

and respectful of each and every

part and person on your song - they

will all make a difference (and without

getting too philosophical, the collaborative

output will be much

greater than the sum of the individual

parts - such is the magic of

music). It is rare that someone can

be great at everything required for a

hit song today but is of course going

to be a balance of budget and

resources also. They key point is to

think about how you can achieve the

best contributions within your means

to put your song production together.

This also comes back to my point on

Purpose on whether you are open to

simply your words, lyrics or music

being picked up by any musician /

artist to interpret and produce into a

new song of whether you have and

want specific ideas regarding your

song. It is important as a song writer

that you be clear and comfortable on

this. This also becomes important for

song copyright management and royalties

(which again is another separate

article topic) and I wont go into

all of that here. Please do take the

time to discuss this (and ideally

agree in writing) with any proposed

performance artist(s) and producers

of your songs in terms of co-writing,

recording and/or performance royalties.

The other key point about Artist(s) of

your songs is that they will strongly

set the tone and personality of your

music and the association of your

songs will sit strongly with the feature

performing artist. Their role is

equally to input their personality into

you song and improve the appeal to


Again as a songwriter you may not

have (or want to have) the complete

choice in who might record and perform

your songs and bring them to

life but I encourage you to consider

this and do some research on the

proposed recording / performance

artist for your songs and be comfortable

with the association and relationship

that this will mean for you.

A bad performance of great song is

equal to a great performance of a

bad song! Think about the performing

artist as the amplifier of the story

and message you always wanted to

tell with your song. A discussion

with the performing artist on Style,

Purpose and target audience

(Listeners) would also be a good


If you are the writer and artist then I

encourage you to think about both

elements; is this a great song to be

recording and/or performing and

separately for the performance

artist, how can you really make the

words and music appeal to the listeners.


And finally, last and by no means

least lets talk about songwriting and

also song production quality. How

can I say this politely? Cheesy cliche

lyrics, out of pitch instruments and

vocals or bad audio recording will

very likely reduce your immediate listening

audience by at least 80%! If

you think of people scrolling through

typical Facebook feeds and reading

and listening to say the first 10 seconds

of a post (as an unknown writer

/ artist to them) then listeners and

likes are going to be based on this

first 10 seconds which will then

determine if they continue on listening.

As a passionate supporter of indie

music and new writers and artist I

find myself scrolling though these

pages and sites very often and doing

the quick 10 - 20 second listen to

many different songs. I am then

sometimes caught in a bit of personal

dilemma (particularly when people

ask for honest feedback) because

sometimes my initial reaction is not

good but then I think of the devastation

and outrage if I was to actually

to post back a comment saying “this

is rubbish!” Whilst the music industry

can be a confronting and brutal

business, I am always mindful of

where people are at on their own

writing and learning journey but at

the same time I think that reasonable

intelligent people should also be

aware of what is being posted and

reflection of their own song posts

and publishing for their personal

brand. Of course everyone is also

entitled to their own opinion and perspective

however I believe I (and

most others) also have a good understanding

or relative songwriting quality

across genres.

My comments and reactions on the

songs I hear are also based on what I

read about where the writers and

artists are at personally. If you are

15 and posting your first song, having

learned guitar for the last year

(and the Purpose of your song and

post is for constructive feedback)

then you have set the scene well. If

you just post or publish a song, with

no context, as a more experienced

artist and songwriter (and it is badly

recorded, out of tune with cliche

lyrics) then you have opened yourself

up more widely to quality criticism

and have potentially not set yourself

up for success (and remembering

that the most polite way for people

not to comment is “not to

comment”at all). Let people know a

bit about you and where you are at.

I also understand and accept that

there are different online forums and

sites for all types of writers and

artists, from beginners to experienced

professionals so I think the

key point is to mindful of what and

10 www.writeawaymagazine.co.uk

Mark Townley

where you post your songs and

importantly to give the readers and

listeners some context on why you

are posting or publishing your song.

Finally on the point of songwriting

and song production quality (mainly

aimed at the music producers and

artists) the new digital age has

meant that a good home studio can

be set up now for few hundred dollars

capable of putting out very good

quality song production. There are

many great songs being put out there

now on a USB microphone and

Garage Band. For a few bucks more

you can get into some better music

production software, audio interface

and better microphone (for less than

a day in a professional recording studio).

Considering also the quality of

the headphones and speakers that

many people will be listening to your

songs on. They will be much less

interested in how many milliseconds

of reverb you have on the snare drum

or delay on your guitars and much

more interested in how the song

sounds overall from a melody, lyric

and structure perspective and an

interesting (in tune) vocal!

Let me also say that for a professional

commercial song production that

the role, quality and experience of a

professional recording studio and

engineer cannot be matched in a

home set-up. My point is that for new

writers and artists (with limited budget)

the difference in investing a little

bit to get a much better initial quality

song production product is very

much worthwhile and could accelerate

your chances of getting the listeners

and likes to take you to the

professional studio.

So whether it be your words/lyrics,

melody, chords, instruments, vocals

or overall sound recording, please do

pay attention to the best quality you

can achieve within your immediate

means. As the saying goes, first

impressions do count, so if you can

take a little more time or a few more

dollars invested in the production,

then I suggest that will be very worthwhile

to really give your songs the

best chance at initial success. Find

people who can and will give you

some “honest” constructive feedback

and take that on board (especially

the common themes and messages

in the feedback rather than any one

person) remembering that ultimately

it is your song, your music, your message

and story that you want to get

out there in your own style also


Conclusion (Outro)

So there you have it, the S.P.L.A.Q.

guide to songwriting (think Style,

Purpose, Listeners, Artists and

Quality) and you should be well set

up for some success, relative to

where you are at with your own goals

for your songwriting journey!

I trust this has provided some food

for thought and useful information to

apply to your current songwriting

(and some inspiration to continue to

improve your skills).

The good thing about songwriting, is

that if you get stuck or are not happy

with the progress, you can always

just put it on hold and start another

one! And remember, you don’t have

to go it alone, there are always people

ready and willing to help and collaborate

- because they understand

the journey you are on also!

I look forward to listening to your

new songs soon!

Best wishes,






Note from the editor.... I’d like to offer a huge thank you to Mark Townley for allowing me to

include this fantastic songwriting guide in my magazine. It’s sure to help many people as they

continue on their own songwriting journeys. I’d urge you to check out his music on the links. x

Mark Townley

Founder & Executive

Director at


Founder & Executive

Director at

CircleSource & CEO

& Co-Founder at


Studied at Montash


Lives in Melbourne,

Victoria, Australia



Songwriting - Is There A W

If you ask a sculptor what

their latest work "means",

the traditional art wisdom

says you'll be deeply dissatisfied

with the answer. After

all, that particular artist has

clearly chosen to express

whatever unique insight and

whatever private pain they

have....in clay. If they wanted

to work in words, they

would have been a writer.

Logically then, we would

expect a more satisfying

answer when posing the

same question to our friendly

neighborhood songwriter.

After all, that person works

in words, and actually

spends hours trying to succinctly

distill complex experiences

into short, yet powerful,

verbal snapshots. That

are, for lack of a better term:

"catchy". With some kind of

musical notes glued on for

the ride. With, as in any

other art form, the ability to

at once seem completely

familiar and natural--while

also fresh....even revolutionary.

And, as in any other

field of human excellence,

the ability to inspire admiration,

even awe, the "Wow!

Can a human being actually

do THAT!!" response. Uhoh,

dear reader....as the

semaphore flags on my parents'

cocktail glasses used

to spell out: "You are standing

into danger"--this may be

harder than we thought.

Harder than we thought

indeed, because, analogous

to our first case, if the songwriter

felt the need (and ability)

to express his or her personal

reality in straightforward

prose, they surely

would have worked in prose!

Not rhyming jingles! And

they CERTAINLY wouldn't

have dragged that old emotional

button-pusher MUSIC

into the equation. Having

embarked on this attempt to

analyze this odd human

activity, we are, in one

sense, immediately defeated....one

central truth of the

matter is this: no one really

knows where these artistic

impulses originate. Having

admitted defeat, however,

we can attempt to describe

the part of the elephant we

can detect in our part of the

room. So we soldier on.

People inquiring about songwriting

often start with this

question: Music first? Or

lyrics first, music built to

match afterward? For me,

it's almost always lyrics first.

The rhythm of the phrases

will usually suggest a rhythm

for the accompaniment, and

eventually, some chord

changes and such will suggest

themselves. Not quite

as simple as "You see, Sally,

major keys are for HAPPY

songs, and minor keys are

SAD" ( in fact, somewhere

on my website there's a rant



Bill Halloran

iring Diagram For That?

about the whole twisted

world of blues, based on the

possibly racist (certainly

Eurocentric) assumption

that the flat third and seventh

must mean that the

Africans are sad.....but i

digress).....sorry, I'm back

now....ANYHOW, some

chords suggest themselves,

and we're off! In fact, tearing

the daunting task of

attempting to write a song

down to a manageable trick:

I'm looking for a title. Just a

title. If the title is powerful

enough to suggest one brilliant

insight into the human

condition (or just a fun

insight!), the goddamn thing

writes itself! And one

insight is about the correct,

pointed amount of wisdom

that can conveniently fit into

a 3 minute pop song.

Don't make me drag

Aristotle and his unity of

time, place and action into

this article, 'cause you know

I'll do it, you know I'll do it!

But old Ari could turn a

phrase or two, depending on

whatever vintage he and

Plato were throwing back.

Check these titles, submitted

for your approval: "I Second

That Emotion"........"I Feel

Like Breaking up

Somebody's Home" ...."I

Hope the Russians Love

Their Children Too" (ok, I

cheated on that one...title

shortened to

"Russians"....for good measure,

I'll throw in my own "If

You Ever Need A Friend, Buy

A Dog", and perhaps " If

God Can Make That, No

Wonder He's In Charge".

Each of those sets a scene

vividly enough that, as songwriters,

we're OFF! Filling in

the blanks....a thrust here, a

riposte there....hell, pull out

the rhyming dictionary and

we'll polish this up in 15 minutes!

Songwriting articles often

extol the benefits of co-writing.....careful

with your feelings

there. There are "pros"

who write with other pros

they've just met....insert joke

of your choice about the

pornography industry, but if

you're the sensitive type,

choose someone gentle to

co-write with. I used to cowrite

with a friend, and we

kind of unofficially started

using "well, maybe it needs

a bridge" instead of "that

song sucks"....a bridge IS a

contrasting counter-melody,

right? Anyhow, your friend

may have an idea but no

place to go with it (not a frequent

occurrence) but will

more often be a brilliant help

polishing what you've got...


To be continued next month..

www.writeawaymagazine.co.uk 13

I’ve been writing songs for 10 years

off and on with bands, and in a duo

for several years for performance,

but more recently have applied myself

to writing lyrics professionally aimed at

commercial collaborations for synch (TV

& movie) work and for artists.

\ÇáÑ|Ütà|ÉÇ? Xwâvt

Growing up in our house we were surrounded

by music with a vast collection

of vinyls from my parents, older siblings

and myself an avid collector of singles

in those days. Subsequently musical

inspiration came from Dolly Parton,

Jonny Cash, Gladys Night, Bob Marley,

Debbie Harry and Annie Lennox to name

but a few. I’ve always been attracted to

a great lyric, and every song that

becomes a favourite will have that line I

can point to that hooked me in first.

I am inspired by moments, phrases and

people watching. I like the process of

writing by hand. I aspire to tell timeless

stories through song like my inspirations


Songwriting courses abound, and

attending one or two immersive bootcamps

is great, but my advice is shop

around. Retreats are great for focused

songwriting if you are not able to write

regularly. Songwriting magazines and

YouTube deconstructions of hit singles

can give you different insights into

different techniques. I’ve had loads of

great advice and peer reviews from

online lyricist/songwriting groups and

singer-songwriter circles. Being open to



Ann Kenney

à|ÉÇ? cxÜáÑ|Ütà|ÉÇ

learning something new everyday helps

to write better songs.

Without question, the most repeated

phrase I have heard and read is that

“great songs aren’t written – they are rewritten”.

Crafting the song so that it’s the best

lyric, evocative and original is the difference

between a good song and a great

song. This takes time, grit and bags of


Getting your great song out there

requires access to great musicians, producers

and artists, so networking is a

must. Professional memberships can

help with this, and online networking

works too, but there is still room for face

to face networking and making real

friendships that will stand the test of


Great musical content is still needed by

an ever-expanding music and media

industry, and great songs will be found.

So the best advice I’ve heard so far has

been do your best work, get your best

work out there.






Finding Inspiration From

Live Gigs

Lyric writers love playing with words, and

the holy grail can be to create a lyric

dripping in literary sophistication. There’s

a danger though that what looks great on

paper won’t easily translate into a

coherent impactful song.

A good testing ground for whether songs

work is to play them live. And for lyricists,

it’s good to get to gigs to soak in the

atmosphere and feel and hear what types

of songs triumph in that live environment.

Getting to music concerts

It’s been ages since I attended any concerts.

Life’s been busy, but I made a resolution

to get to some shows. The first was

American band Enuff Z’nuff, and the second

was Swedish band the Electric Boys.

Both were rock bands I’d loved from the

1990s and I was thrilled to see that they

were playing a local venue, Bannermans,

in Edinburgh. As chance would have it,

both bands were supported by an excellent

UK-based band, Last Great Dreamers.

I immediately realised what I’d been

missing out on. The excited buzz from the

crowd, the camaraderie that exists

amongst rock fans, and the thrill of hearing

loud live music! It also brought home

aspects of songwriting that sometimes

are overlooked.

So here are some observations and tips:

1. The crowd aren’t judging songs on

every single word

Lyric writers often go through Hell figuring

out what word to use at a particular part

of a lyric. Or they are aghast at the

thought of rhyming the same word at the

end of two lines. Many of us probably

have work-in-progress lyrics that are

stuck because we can’t resolve these


But in that live context the audience can’t

hear every word. And they aren’t

bothered about a stray word here or there

as long as the song sounds good. The

lyric is still very important but it supports

the music, not the other way around.

Learning: Do strive for fantastic lyrics but

don’t let the quest for perfection prevent a

song from being created.

2. A catchy chorus or strong hook steals

the show

Coming out of my recent concerts there

were certain songs that got stuck in my

head. nOr, to be more precise, specific

parts of certain songs. nFor example, I

had the chorus to the Electric Boys’ song

‘Mary in the Mystery World’ stuck in my

head for days.

‘Mary in the mystery world / She sets my

soul on fire / Mary’s such a mystery girl /

And no-one takes me higher / Mary’s my


Those kinds of earworms are a great

gauge of the success of a song. And

they’re often built upon a volume of

repetitions that lyric writers may not think

to include. A good example is the Bruce

Springsteen hit ‘Born in the USA’, which

has a chorus of:

‘Born in the USA /I was born in the USA / I

was born in the USA / Born in the USA’

I suspect if Bruce had posted that lyric on

a Writers’ critique forum he would have

got an avalanche of criticism, but as a

song it works … and has made lots of

money for him!

Learning: Sing your lyric, don’t just read



Simon Wright

it, and consider whether it has that ‘stuck

in head’ quality. Don’t be afraid of repetition.

3. Song structure is important

Beginner lyric writers often focus on the

words and the story they are telling

without thinking about how songs are

constructed musically. The verse sections

they create may differ distinctly in terms

of number of lines, length, syllable count,

and in the way they sound when sung.

Collaborating with musicians helped me

understand that songs need to have

structure and the words must be capable

of being sung to a repeating musical pattern.

(You’ll hear the term prosody used,

normally where a musician is commenting

why your lyric isn’t capable of being


And this lesson is further hammered home

when you listen to songs being played live.

You may be listening to a song that you’ve

never heard before but if the band (and

song) is good you will be anticipating the

next repetition of the chorus or of the

music that underpins each verse.

die based on the band members’ ability to

perform them in a more raw state.

So if you have got as far as being involved

in the creation of songs, then seek out

opportunities to hear them performed live.

It will help you to refine the lyrics and the

music as you observe how they fare in that


And, as a final comment, keep going to

gigs as they will further ignite your passion

for lyric writing. I certainly came

away from the Enuff Z’nuff and Electric

Boys gigs absolutely buzzing and eager to

write lots more rock lyrics!

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


and follow @TheLyricSlinger on Twitter

Learning: Make sure you are clear on the

song structure for every lyric that you

create. And that each repeating section

(e.g. verses, chorus) is consistent. Doing

so will make it much more likely that

musicians will want to work with your


Why hearing a song live is a true reflection

of its quality

When we listen to a song on the radio, the

chances are that a lot of time and money

have gone into making sure that it sounds

as perfect as it possibly can. There will be

lush production values, layered vocals

from the singer, maybe boosted by autotune.

But when a song is played live the

same luxuries don’t apply. Songs live or




The Piece Man

By Nick Briggs

Alone in your room. Your'e silent as the


Never saying much, you've learned not to


They’re saying. it's good you are at home

Tell me what's good In a heart of stone


And you've Learned not to Scream

Holding tightly to a dream

And you know what to do to survive

And you call yourself the pieceman

You give everyone a piece man

It's breaking my heart and,

That's the way it is

Yes, and you call yourself the piece man

It's breaking my heart and

We’re so far apart, but that's the way it is

We've scrapped all our photos. And

Turned them into dust

Fired all your fears, painted your metal

with our rust

Tore up all our maps, stole the keys to your


Put you on a boat, and cast you far from



So hold on to your all values, to what you


Life is a magician with good things up its


When you make a journey, be sure to

enjoy the view

The total strength within you, comes from

being true

Athistle. Bare feet. Three years old

and crying. That is my earliest

childhood memory. And then came

the pneumonia. I remember that too.

It seems to me that our earliest memories

are often painful ones. And I guess that’s

the way survival works.

Perhaps it is that way with songwriting too.

I became a songwriter by accident. After

almost 20 years of marriage, everything

was broken. Daily life was painful. I was

no longer living with my children.

One day my eleven year old son said to

me, “Dad, I call myself the pieceman.” He

explained that it wasn’t “peace “ it was

“piece” because, as he said, “I try to give

a piece of myself to everyone.”

That phrase went round and round in my

head. He was hardly a man yet. It cut me

through and burned.

One day I picked up the acoustic six

string, struck a C chord and I began

singing and changing chords as I went.

Although I had a poor sense of timing and

rhythm, the words spilled out of me. The

melody came instantly. It was unplanned,

effortless, a pure expression of what I felt

at that very time.

I scribbled down the words and chords. I

thought “Wow, that’s exactly how I feel.

And then I realised I had written the first

verse of a song. The rest followed in similar

fashion. The hook came from my son’s

imagination, not my own, “I call myself the


18 www.writeawaymagazine.co.uk

Nick Briggs

With a few tweaks, the song was written.

I played it through, tears streaming

down my cheeks. I was not

singing about my son, I was singing

to my son. It was written from the

heart. I could hardly believe it.

Somehow, I felt better after I had belted

it out a few times.

It was my first song. Emotional. It

was real. I didn’t foresee that anyone

else would be likely to hear it.

Equally, I was sure that it was a one

off and that I would never write


That did not turn out to be the case,

but it would be a while before another

song would come so quickly.





Lord, Won’t You Buy

Me A Mercedez Benz

Mercedes Benz

Janis Joplin

Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz

My friends all drive Porches I must make


Worked hard all my lifetime no help from

my friends

So oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes


Oh Lord, won't you buy me a color T.V.

Dialing for dollars is trying to find me

I wait for delivery each day until three

Oh Lord, won't you buy me a color T.V.

Lord won't you buy me a night on the town

I'm counting on you Lord please don't let

me down

Prove that you love me and buy the next


Oh Lord, won't you buy me a night on the


Songwriters: BOB NEUWIRTH,




It’s Thursday, Oct. 1, at the Sunset Sound

recording studio in Los Angeles. Janis Joplin

asks producer Paul Rothchild to roll tape.

She has a song she’d like to sing.

The services of backing band Full Tilt Boogie,

present and ready for action, will not be necessary.

Joplin steps to the microphone and

makes a declaration. “I’d like to do a song of

great social and political import,” she says, a

twinkle in her eye. “It goes like this.” Then she

begins to sing, exercising soulful control over

her enormous, whiskey-soaked voice: “Oh

Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes-Benz? /

My friends all drive Porsches, I must make

amends …”

“Mercedes Benz” is a lonely blues tune about

the illusory happiness promised (but rarely

delivered) by the pursuit of worldly goods, a

hippie-era rejection of the consumerist ideals

that Joplin saw growing up as a self-described

“middle-class white chick” in Port Arthur,

Texas. She had come to California in the early

’60s and quickly earned a place as one of the

leading musical lights in a generation that

shared her utopian anti-materialism. When

Joplin sang, in the second and third verses of

“Mercedes Benz,” for “a color TV” and “a night

on the town,” she knew all too well that neither

would bring her peace. “It’s the want of

something that gives you the blues,” she once

said. “It’s not what isn’t, it’s what you wish

was that makes unhappiness.”

20 www.writeawaymagazine.co.uk

Janis Joplin




Janis Joplin


22 www.writeawaymagazine.co.uk

Janis Joplin

She began finding the words to express that

complex impulse while on tour on the opposite

side of the country: in New York City, during a

game of pool with friends Rip Torn and Emmett

Grogan. The two were singing a memory-mangled

version of a song by poet Michael

McClure. Mostly what they remembered was

the first line: “Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a

Mercedes-Benz?” Joplin loved it and began

singing along herself.

Once back in California, Joplin and friend Bob

Neuwirth took the fragment of McClure’s lyric

and fleshed it out into a full song. Joplin

called McClure at his home in San Francisco’s

Haight-Ashbury district, seeking his approval.

“Would you sing me your version?” he said.

She did. “Well, I prefer my version,” he

responded, and proceeded to sing his original

through the telephone line (accompanying himself

on autoharp). “I prefer my version!” she

informed him with a cackle. It was settled:

The two renditions would coexist in peace.

When Joplin set about preparing to record a

new album in late summer 1970, the stakes

were high. She had made her name as the firebrand

frontwoman of San Francisco’s Big

Brother and the Holding Company from 1966

through late 1968, but her subsequent solo

career had not been as well received. She now

entrusted her fate to Doors producer

Rothchild, who began by insisting that she

record at Sunset Sound—not at her record label

CBS’s own studio, as was required of its artists

at the time. CBS president Clive Davis reluctantly

allowed the rule to be transgressed.

In the following weeks, Joplin and Full Tilt

Boogie powered through the recording of

strong new songs like her own “Move Over”

and Kris Kristofferson’s country-flavored “Me

and Bobby McGee.” By Oct. 1, 1970, the

album was practically in the bag—in addition to

“Mercedes Benz,” the only other recording

Joplin bothered with that day was an ersatzcocktail

rendition of “Happy Trails” intended as

a present for John Lennon’s 30th birthday

eight days later.

“It wasn’t a sad and tragic time,” Rothchild

recalled in 1992 (three years before his death).

“Fun was the underlying thing.” But the jovial

atmosphere in the studio hid a secret: After a

period of abstinence, Joplin had resumed the

heroin habit that had dogged her throughout

much of 1969. She explained to a friend that

she was only using it to keep from drinking so

much during the making of the album; alcohol

hangovers hindered her performance in the


On Oct. 3, Full Tilt Boogie laid down a backing

track for the Nick Gravenites tune “Buried

Alive in the Blues”; Joplin was set to lay down

her vocal the following day. Work finished at

around 11 p.m., and the star returned to her

room at the Landmark Motor Hotel. There she

passed away from a heroin overdose during the

night. She was 27. Rothchild and company

fought through their shock and grief to spend

the next two weeks applying the remaining

overdubs needed to complete the album. The

result was dubbed Pearl, after a nickname she

had lately adopted.

Outside the hotel on the night of her death sat

Joplin’s car: not a Mercedes, but a Porsche she

had bought in 1968 and paid friend Dave

Richards $500 to paint in psychedelic colors.

The hippie icon who sang, “My friends all drive

Porsches,” was herself well aware of the real—

if fleeting—pleasures to be found behind the


“She’d go against traffic on blind curves, with

the top down,” Rothchild recalled, “laughing,

‘Nothing can knock me down!’

By Chris Neal

Published with permission

From Performing Songwriter

Issue 116

March/April 2009

Category: Behind The Song






When we think of dominating, powerful rock

voices in the 60’s, a few names stand out

and have stood the test of time. Amongst

these is Janice Joplin. I’ve always thought of her

as the female Robert Plant (Please don’t kill me for

that). Raw, powerful and her voice helped define

a whole generation.

To this day, she is regarded as one of the all time

great singers and even years after her passing,

new singers these days are occasionally compared

to her. Such is the status she attained within

the industry.

From a coaching point of view, she’s not one I’d

instantly go to as an example of technique …. And

that’s the exact point of this article.

One of the things aspiring singers (and many

polarized coaches) do is try to arm wrestle someone’s

voice into a particular sound. You know? -

the ‘proper’ way to sing. Whilst the singer may

now be technically proficient, unless performance

AND emotion is created, they may end up soulless

in the process.

There are a number of basic rules of singing

tuition. Firstly, do no harm. Any technique that

leaves a singer hoarse or sore is poor technique,

because the vocal folds are being stressed. The

most powerful of excellent voices don’t do this.

Secondly, no artistic bias. The diversity of successful

voices out there is virtually infinite. So

long as the singer is singing safely, and it sounds

cool, it’s appropriate. Did Janice hurt her voice

while she was singing? We will never know. But

there’s one thing she did and this is my third


Behind every lyric is an emotion and behind every

emotion is the intent of the writer.

When a singer sounds technically great but

doesn’t captivate the audience, guaranteed they

don’t understand the song or they don’t know how

to emote correctly. Nearly 100% of the time when

I ask an aspiring singer what the song they are

performing is about, they have no idea. When we

get to the source of the writer and discover the

emotion that’s appropriate for the song, they

instantly know what to shoot for when they’re performing.

Vulnerability is the path to this. The singer that

stays emotionally reserved will never be able to

generate truly amazing performances.

The primary purpose of any artform is to cause an

emotional reaction. Said another way, I don’t want

your head to intrigue my head, I want your heart

to touch my heart. Whether it’s looking at a photo,

walking into a beautiful building, reading a book or

listening to a song, win our hearts and you’ve won

the game. And this is exactly what Janice Joplin





She knew how to tell the story. Every, Single,

Time. As writers, you’re very aware of the blank

sheet of paper that stares back at you when you

decide to write a song. Slowly, you get a concept

that turns into ideas, that turns into words, that

turn into verses, choruses and rewrites as the

song takes form and gets closer to your intended


24 www.writeawaymagazine.co.uk

One of my favorite songs

is the first song I ever

wrote called “how did

we end up this way” . I had just

gotten out of a long marriage

and it was the first time I was

living alone , and it was hard.

As I was reminiscing, looking at

pictures of the past, my feelings

were so overwhelming that

the lyrics just came to me. Like

some relationships, as in this

case, we just started drifting


The opening line says "How did

we end up this way, When we

been together forever" We had

created a family and life, which

seemed like what was suppose

to happen, but our true love for

each other was really missing.

Another line says "I thought

you were my everything, I realized

it's just a dream" which

says a lot about how different

we both really interpreted our

relationship. This is a true relationship's

kind of song that I

feel a lot of people can relate to

and understand.




Twitter- @bronzie9

Instagram- bronzie_girl

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/brauningermusicfanpage/

www.writeawaymagazine.co.uk 21

Bullet The Blue Sky

In the howling wind comes a stinging rain

See it driving nails

Into the souls on the tree of pain

From the firefly, a red orange glow

See the face of fear

Running scared in the valley below

The sky

The sky

Bullet the blue sky

Bullet the blue sky

Bullet the blue

Bullet the blue

In the locust wind comes a rattle and


Jacob wrestled the angel

And the angel was overcome

You plant a demon seed

You raise a flower of fire

See them burning crosses

See the flames higher and higher

The sky

The sky

Bullet the blue sky

Bullet the blue sky

Bullet the blue

Bullet the blue

Yeah, alright, hold you

Bono also describes creating a character

who, as he saw it at the time, was

paying for the war, with the lyrics:

See, this guy comes up to me

His face red like a rose on a thorn bush

Like all the colours of a royal flush

And he's peeling off those dollar bills

Lapping them down one hundred, two


And I can see those fighter


I can see those fighter


Across the mud huts where

the children sleep

Through the valleys and the

quiet city streets

We take the staircase to the

first floor

We take the key and slowly

unlock the door

A man breathes into a saxophone

Through the walls we hear the city groan

Outside it's America, outside it's America

So I'm back in my hotel room

With John Coltrane and a love supreme

And in the next room I hear a woman

scream out

Her lover's turning off, turning on the television

And I can't tell the difference between

ABC News

Hillstreet Blues and a preacher on the

Old Time Gospel Hour

Stealing money from the sick and the old

Well, the God I believe in isn't short of

cash, mister

I feel a long way from the hills of San


Where the sky is ripped open and the

rain pours

Through a gaping wound, pelting the

women and children

Pelting the women and children

Run, run in to the arms of America

Songwriters: Adam Clayton / Dave Evans

/ Larry Mullen / Paul David Hewson

Bullet the Blue Sky lyrics © Universal

Music Publishing Group

26 www.writeawaymagazine.co.uk


U2 - Bullet The Blue

Sky Article by John

Brown of U2-360 The

Ultimate U2

Experience Tribute


Bullet The Blue Sky was the

fourth track on U2’s fifth studio

album The Joshua Tree

released in 1987 which was

awarded the RIAA’s highest certification,

Diamond, with 10 million units sold.

I grew up listening to U2 from the age of

around 13. I remember hearing ‘Bullet the

Blue Sky’ and ‘Where The Streets Have No

Name’ and just falling in love with U2’s

music and lyrics. The Joshua Tree had

many great U2 songs such as ‘Where The

Streets Have No Name’, ‘With Or Without

You’ and ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m

Looking For’, all of which we perform live in


Bullet The Blue Sky was written after u2’s

singer Bono spent time in El Salvador at the

time of War within the country. While with

an American movement who were offering

solace to refugees, Bono witnessed the firebombing

of villages in the distance which

deeply upset him, knowing lives were being

lost and being someone who read the religious

scriptures Bono felt affected. These

brutal actions were being sanctioned by

religious people and so he used the language

of the scriptures to describe the situation.

Website: www.U2-360.com



Email: info@U2-360.com



The Black Maria


The Band:

The Cranberry Merchants

are Steve and Dianne

Moore, a husband & wife

rock duo from Atlanta, GA.

The Song: The Black Maria

Making Rock & Roll…


In 1893, Thomas A. Edison

set up the world’s first

movie studio at his laboratory

complex in West

Orange, NJ in a makeshift,

tar paper covered building

nicknamed “The Black

Maria.” The earliest motion

pictures on the new film

medium via his kinetograph

were shot inside of this

building, with talent ranging

from vaudeville acts to

boxing cats. This song celebrates

the history of The

Black Maria and the first

eclectic mix of movie stars

to take the stage.


Music Video:



Band Website: www.cranberrymerchants.com

The lyrics:

“The first motion picture

studio ever set up in the

world was in the yard of my

laboratory of West Orange.

The building revolved to

follow the sun. We dubbed

it The Black Maria.”

Roll ‘em!

Decades back in a tar

paper shack

Edison animates the photograph

Tin Pan Alley and technology


Renaissance, freak shows,

and everything between

In The Black Maria...

In The Black Maria...

Chiaroscuro world 1893

Blacksmith demonstrating


Can-can, to Corbett, contortionist


Kinetoscope lab rats for 20

seconds flat

Bears from Hungary reluctantly


Strong man strikes audacious


A West Orange lot is where

it begun

In a building that turned to

follow the sun

Round and round and

round she goes

Where she stops, nobody


Shooters, and speakers,

and bar room brawls

All answered to the first

casting calls

Human subjects of superfluidity

From the genteel to utter


Romance, violence, even


Porter wanted none but the


You gotta hand it to the

gent so inspired

To book cat boxing in The

Black Maria

In The Black Maria...

Take a knee, kiddo, here’s

Al with the skinny....

“in these late 80’s, I invented

the motion picture camera.

The recording camera

is what made motion pictures

a success.”

Ah, we’re cooking with gas


The price of production,

they spared no expense

Six hundred thirty seven

and sixty seven cents

The world of motion pictures

And all its pretention

Has been brought to you by

The father of invention

The kinetoscope does for

the eyes what the phonograph

did for the ears!

“Mary had a little lamb, its

fleece was white as snow,

and everywhere that Mary

went, the lamb was sure to


Nothing to sneeze at!

28 www.writeawaymagazine.co.uk

The Cranberry Merchants




Are we forgotten


Dim lights conceal the madness within

Long endless hallways of torture and sin

Prescriptions take hold igniting the rage

Of the forgotten locked up in a cage

Are these walls these walls of despair

For their good does anyone care

What the hell what the hells going on

To the forgotten hopes fading hopes gone

Pills and needles break up the silence

Dysphoric souls revolt with violence

As toxic poisons rush thru their veins

In this place where insanity reigns

Insanity reigns

Forgotten forgotten

Abused and condemned

Forgotten forgotten

Until the end


Interns led by deranged physicians

Administer lethal narcotic munitions

Inside these walls where evil presides

Inside these walls all innocents dies

All innocents dies

Pills and needles break up the silence

Dysphoric souls revolt with violence

As toxic poisons rush thru their veins

In this place where insanity reigns

Insanity reigns

Forgotten forgotten

Abused and condemned

Forgotten forgotten

Until the end

Forgotten forgotten

Abused and condemned

Forgotten forgotten

Until the end

Forgotten forgotten

Abused and condemned

Forgotten forgotten

Until the end

Until the end

Until the end

All are forgotten

All are forgotten

Until the end


Every day, the question still circulates in my

mind. Do I have what it takes to be considered

a lyricist? Ten years ago, I sat down

with a pen and paper, and the idea for my

song “Forgotten” was conceived. At a small

desk in a hotel room, I started the process

with a specific sound in mind. It had to be

dark, gripping, and contain powerful vocals.

From there, I penned the first line. As I recited

the line over and over in my head, I kept

writing other ideas down as fast as I could.

It was exhilarating! This was my first

attempt at writing lyrics, and I was having

the time of my life! As the hours and days

passed by, the storyline became clear to

me. The theme and setting would be: Life

inside the walls of a fictional insane asylum.

Spending every moment of free time over

the next few months, I researched rhyming

words and synonyms for previously selected

words th

the comp

away. Th

dust. Wh


kept telli

of this ye

ing arou

song sam


so many

Rocka St

Steve, an

he review



Jim Plun



30 www.writeawaymagazine.co.uk


at would best fit the flow. When

osition was completed, I tucked it

ere it sat for ten years gathering

ere would I go with it? “I have no

ons within the music industry” I

ng myself. Fast forward, to January

ar (2019). I was aimlessly searchd

on the internet and discovered a

ple. I was stunned! This was the

ound I had envisioned for my lyrics

years ago. It was Steve Dillon of

udio. I quickly reached out to

d we began corresponding. After

ed my lyrics, we decided to work

completing my ten year journey.








Verse 1

How did we get this far

How did we not recognise

All those unreachable miles

All that’s between us now

Is the laughing of this clown

Not enough words

Too many fights


Take you aim

Pull the trigger

Fire and watch me fall

See the tears roll down my


But know this ain’t my curtain


You know that this won’t


I will rise again

Pull the bullet from my heart

Watch me turn my back

As you Shatter Like Glass

Verse 2

Silent Days and dreamless


Shadows fall around us now

Living with hope for tomorrow

Look into each others souls

searching for the answers


Rising anger makes us lose



Take your aim

Pull the trigger

Fire and watch me fall

See the tears roll down my


But know this ain’t my curtain


Know that this won’t last

I will rise again

Pull the bullet from my heart

Watch me turn my back

As you Shatter Like Glass

Extended Chorus

Take your aim

Pull the trigger

Fire and watch me fall

See the tears roll down my


But know this ain’t my curtain


Know that this won’t last

I will rise again

Pull the bullet from my heart

Watch me turn my back

As you Shatter Like Glass

Shatter Like Glass

Watch you Shatter Like


Written by Charlotte

Elizabeth & Stuart Landon

Performed by: Stuart


Charlotte Elizabeth is a

33 year old songwriter,

artist manager

and event planner from

Staffordshire, UK.

Music has always been a

huge part of her life with

country music being a particular

love. However, like

most stories you hear,

Charlotte wasn’t raised on

country music but instead

spent her weekends listening

to her parents choice of

music. Those sounds came

from The Carpenters,

Foreigner, The Beatles and

REO Speedwagon amongst


Charlotte admits that a

career into music was

something she accidentally

stumbled across.

“I was at a country music

gig writing a review for a

magazine when I got talking

to the band after the show.

They told me that they didn’t

have management and that

they weren’t really sure how

to progress. I jokingly said I

would do it and I suppose

the rest is history!

I didn’t have the first clue

about music management

but I have always been

interested in music, in learning

and developing new

skills so I worked hard to

learn the industry. I could

see what other people were

doing and I could see what

was and wasn’t working so

tailored my approach that


After working with this band

for a while, Charlotte was

inspired to try her hand at

songwriting. Again, it was

the usual conventional


“I was first diagnosed with

cancer at the age of 16 and

whilst it was such a hard

time and had a huge impact

on my life, I really tried to

turn it into a positive experience.

I wanted to put that

experience into words and

release a charity single for

our local hospice. Working

in the music industry, I

already knew a lot of artists

who I considered asking to

help me.

One of my friends told me

‘you can’t do that’ and ‘you

aren’t a singer so you will

never release a song’ but

true to my stubborn nature I

found a way.

Once I started writing

though I couldn’t stop. A

single was written and

record and then another

32 www.writeawaymagazine.co.uk

Charlotte Elizabeth

and by the time I had finished,

I had an EP on my

hands. My EP ‘Survive’ was

released in February 2017

and debuted at number 4 on

the iTunes country chart.

I held a sold out launch

party and donated all the

money to our local cancer

hospice Douglas Macmillan.

From this EP, was my very

first co-write with someone

who is now essential to my


Back in 2016, I met an artist

called Stuart Landon and

his band Angels With Dirty

Faces when they were supporting

a group that I managed

at the time.

We only got to say hello that

night but watching Stuart’s

set was amazing. The musicianship

of the band, his

vocal and his songwriting

just hit me. He won me over

straight away.

We were friends on

Facebook, and a couple of

weeks later, he saw that I

was looking for another

artist to work with and he

sent me a message. I had

just finished writing some

lyrics but I was worried

about sending it over to

him. I mean, he was majorly

talented and I was this

unknown songwriter. I told

him if he didn’t like it we

could just scrap the idea.

Later that very same night,

he came back with a demo

and I knew in that instant it

was the single we had to


Shatter Like Glass was


The song is about being in a

damaging relationship but

finally finding the strength

to walk away from it. It’s

that idea that you can go

through every day emotionally

hurting each other but

then one

day you walk away. You

remove that barrier that is

stopping you from leaving

and you walk and break


We released the single on

14th October 2016 and it

was straight into the country

charts at number 4. The

day we released ended up

being the same day The

Shires, Ward Thomas and

‘Forever Country’ which

was the CMA 50th anniversary

song was released.

We later learnt that if we

had released the week prior

we would have hit number

1. So of course I was slightly

disappointed as I have

such an ambitious and

determined streak in me!!

However, I was so happy to

have this song out and the

feedback was amazing. The

song went on to receive

Semi Finalist position in the

UK Songwriting


The other amazing thing

that happened was that I

became manager to Stuart


We have now worked

together for 3 years this

years and we just keep

going from strength to

strength. We have had some

amazing experiences and

there is so much more to


He is genuinely one of the

most incredible artists

around and we have a great

bond and trust which is

hard to come by in the

music industry.

We released his debut solo

single ‘I Can’t Take It

Anymore’ last September

and it hit number 1 in both

the UK Country iTunes and

Amazon charts.

He then went on to release

his EP ‘Outmanned, Never

Outgunned’ in December

2018. This EP still remains

on this day in the All-Time

Best Sellers iTunes country


I have had some great experiences

as both a songwriter

and as a manager and

last year, I flew to LA and I

was lucky enough to talk to

Colin Lester who is the

manager to Craig David and

he gave me a lot of advice

and guidance.

The music industry is one of

the most difficult, cut throat

industries to be in but I

believe if you work hard,

are passionate about what

you do and have the commitment

to learn your trade

whilst remaining flexible to

the changes that are always

happening, there is no reason

that you can’t achieve it




Shatter Like Glass:





www.writeawaymagazine.co.uk 33

Bottle It Up

As a child I was a cryer

On a Moaning Myrtle scale

Mufasa's death was a downer

Free Willy made me wail

My daddy was my hero then

He'd light my way

He'd dry my baby eyes and then he'd say

You've got to bottle it up son

You've got to bottle it up son

Don't ever show you're hurt or scared

Shut up kid, no-one cares

You've got to bottle it up son

If you carry on like this son

You'll be disowned, you'll die alone

Move on, be strong

Man up

(Aww what a guy)

That mantra manifested

In the manner of a man

With all the sugar sweetness

Of a dried up bowl of Bran

When life would throw a punch at me

I'd punch it back

Whenever I'd feel weak's

When I'd attack



Don't ask what's wrong, just sing along

Move on, be strong

Man up

Move on, be strong

Man up

Hi, I’m Chris Tavener, a satirical singer-songwriter,

originally from Northwich in Cheshire. I’m best

known for my witty lyrics with folk and rock inspired

music. Think Bob Dylan meets Tim Minchin or Paul

Simon meets Monty Python.

I’m also a prolific live performer who performs up to

300 gigs a year. My unique voice and guitarplaying

style has seen me garner attention from

BBC 6 Music, BBC Introducing, Jamie Lawson, Carl

Barat of The Libertines and many fans across the

country. Manchester Academy selected me to

perform a huge support show for Peep Show's

Super Hans and I played The Lowry Lyric Theatre

for Children In Need in December 2018.

Also in 2018, I took on a 3-week European tour to

The Netherlands, Germany and France,

playing songs at 15 headline shows. That was quickly

followed by a UK Tour, visiting 14 different

cities to perform ticketed headline shows, right

across the UK. The response was overwhelming

and I’m now writing material for a feature film documentary,

the social media giant Viral Thread

and for Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Bottle It Up

Because I bottle it up jack

It's all water off a duck's back

You'll never find out how I feel

This duck is made of steel

Because I bottle it up jack

You'll find that a hard nut won't crack

I feel alright, now I scream inside

Move on, be strong

Man up

What's the matter? (Nothing's the matter)

What's the matter? (I said nothing's the matter)

What's the matter? (Why does something have to be

the matter, I don't understand)

What's the matter? (Will you stop asking me that


What's the matter? (Nothing is the matter! Just

leave me alone! Leave me alone!)

'Cause I bottle it up man

'Cause I bottle it up man

You'll never find me in a slump

I'm as happy as Melania Trump

Because I bottle it up man

Yeah I bottle it up man

As a songwriter, I've never been interested in writing

about myself. Although many find that their

best songs come from distilling a personal emotion;

I've always been more keen on depicting a

character or a story. In line with the Jim Croce,

Randy Newman, Ray Davies and Tom Lehrer school

of writing; I'm interested by the quirks and foibles in

people's personalities.

I approached things the same way when I was

asked to write a song for a new documentary

focusing on men's mental health.

'Bottle It Up' is the story of a man in denial. I wrote

the song from the perspective of someone

indoctrinated into a masculine, stiff-upper-lip attitude

towards life that encourages him to cover

up any emotional sensitivity. It's an unnatural state

for him to be in, since as a child, he wasn't

afraid to show people the way he was feeling.

Eventually, the wearing of his invisible mental

disguise begins to take a visible toll on his life.

He boasts about his impenetrable emotional armour

“You've got to bottle it up jack/it's all water off a



Chris Tavener

duck's back

“You'll never find out how I feel/this duck is made

of steel”

All the while there are signs that he might be kidding


Like over-using the prefix – “man”.

“That mantra manifested in the manner of a man”

Or when we get a look inside his methodology:

“Whenever I feel weak's when I attack”

Then eventually cracks start to form:

“I feel alright, now I scream inside/Move on, be

strong, man up”

The bridge section of this song deals with the people

around him. As he continues to conceal problems

with his mental health, it begins to affect

those closest to him. Backing vocals on the studio

version sing the question “What’s the matter?” To

answer would be to compromise his whole outlook

on life, to shatter his protective bubble. Instead he

tries to divert the conversation away from himself.

Eventually the incessant questioning becomes too

much and our troubled man tries to shout them

down with one more chorus. In this story there is

no happy ending. He carries on running away from

his problems and the people that might offer him

salvation from his unhealthy way of thinking.

While comedy and satire are my chief devices for

telling this story, I like to think that the lyrics will

have an impact on the way people think about their

mental health. Men in particular are encouraged

not to let their feelings and emotions show.

I feel this song is a small part of that growing

movement to get men to open up.








Lyricist Christopher looking to work with

musicians, singers and producers. Will

tackle most genres, pop, folk, country,

r&b, rock, electronic, jazz and a combination

of these. Ambition to produce

commercial music and hopefully enjoy

the ride.

Experienced lyricist, Hampshire area

UK. I’m looking for someone who can

take my lyrics and work them into a finished




I am a lyricist/top liner looking to collaborate

with artists/musicians/producers for

songwriting. Based in London/South East.

I can meet and work together, or take an

instrumental, develop a lyric and top line

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 enjoy folk/country/pop ballad



Looking for a lyricist collaborator for

song writing. I write and produce

songs in many styles (country, ballabs,

soft rock, and electronic loop based

compositions). Find me on Soundcloud

under EXPATJAT. Happy to work on half

completed songs or with lyrics.

Contact me


Experienced lyricist (able to play some

instruments and do midi-fi production)

seeks collaboration with a female vocalist.

Style singer/song writer, r&b, country,

folk, pop.


Lyrics Doctor - I’m a writer, editor, songwriter,

musician who can help you tell the

stories you really want to tell. Song structure,

imagery, rhyme, alliteration and

more. to ensure that every word does

everthing it’s meant to do in the song.

Mostly alt country and rock, but all genres

considered. To contact me title your

email Lyrics Doctor and email Jane the



36 www.writeawaymagazine.co.uk

My skill set: strong, conceptual lyrics;

melodies; slinky, hypnotic grooves;

fresh music with pop accessibility, and

yet, has substance. I'm a producer and

audio/acoustic design engineer. I'm

building a songwriting and film score

recording studio as we speak.

My major failing: chords/progressions.

If you are a lexicon of styles and have

the talent to compose strong, catchy

stuff--then I'd like to hear from you.

What collaboration could look like: the

chords/progression box must be

checked, but if a partner can write,

sing, play instruments, produce, engineer--the

better. This not a territorial

contest but a partnership that produces

outstanding results. Synergy. One project,

multiple projects or an eventual

partnership. I have the talent to recognize

hits and get stellar performances

out of people.

David Sutherland, musician, based in

the UK. Happy to work remotely. All

rounder with lots of musical ideas

and lyrical starts, looking to

exchange ideas. Comfort zone is

acoustic/Americana but happy to

explore beyond that. Facilities to create

basic demo recordings.



I live in Duluth, MN USA;


I am a songwriter from Kankakee, IL

(USA), looking for

singers/musicians/producers to write for

and collaborate with. I can best reached



If you’d like to appear on these pages

please email me




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