Instructor:  Dr. Vicky V. Johnson


Phone: Ext 9238



Course Outline    Syllabus




Point of View

1.  Who is talking?

Storyteller:  She loved him so much

1st person:  I loved her so much

2nd person:  You loved her so much

Direct:  I loved you so much

2.  To whom?

3.  Why?


Think Inside the Box!

Each box adds more weight or deeper meaning or a larger perspective to the development of the song.



Moving forward in time


I was lonely (past)

Now I have found you (present)

We will be together forever (future)

Increase in intensity


Are you really happy?  I'd just like to know.

Did you cheat on me?  I'd just like to know.

All I wanted was honesty.  I'd just like to know.

Different perspectives (You, I, we)


You are amazing, love, love, love,

I have been looking for love, love, love.

We will always be together, love, love, love.


Verse Ideas

Just like a good journalist, you should explore

who see above

what  are you talking about?

when might be springtime (flowers to show irony); summer (heat); fall (leaves are falling like your heart); winter (protect yourself); morning (3am phone call);  when gives you a backdrop

where our special place; chance encounter on the street; her wedding

why does it matter?; did it happen?; are you telling the story?

how does it all fit together?


Compositional Elements

Stable or Unstable


  1. Number of lines  

  2. Line lengths 

  3. rhyme scheme

  4. rhyme types

even number


aabb; abab; xaxa

perfect; family

odd number


abba; xaaa; xxaa

assonance; consonance




Your way of loviní is 50/50,

Your way of loviní is keeping score.

If all you can do is meet me halfway,

Thereís the door.



Half a bridge is no bridge.

I deserve a man

Who thinks Iím worth the trouble,

No matter what the span.



Your way of lovin' is 50/50

Your way of lovin' is keeping score.

If all you can do is meet me halfway,

There's the door.



Half a bridge is no bridge.

If you can't cross the span

You are not my man

Just step off the edge.




Rhyming Dictionary (by syllables)

   Rhyme Types     Rhyming Worksheet    

Internal rhymes

Example:  The Fourth of July




Preserve the natural shape of the language.

Stress Test

Poetic Meter

The Perfect Match

Word Stress




Checklist for Lyrics

Start with a title.  Then use it liberally and grow it.

Too many words in a line can be distracting.  Be concise for more impact.

Rhymes are satisfying to the listener, unless they are forced.  Then they are just lame.

Silence is very effective.  You don't have to fill every beat with words.

ALWAYS maintain the integrity of the language.

Keep a notebook with you (or a file on your phone) to jot down ideas and phrases to be expanded later.








Created and maintained by Vicky V. Johnson