Friday, July 29, 2016

What I did on my recent writing holiday

What I've been doing is writing up all of the song lyrics I wrote way back when thinking I’d put them into books, and there’s a few things that I realised now, at the ripe old age of 42, that I would not have realised back then.

1 – Most of the songs had the same lyrics, so I seemed to plagiarise myself a lot.

2 – The lyrics were incredibly young sounding at the beginning.

3 – I wrote the way so many teens did back then.

4 – I was way ahead of my years and the time because of the topics I wrote about, and surprisingly, they are still very and incredibly relevant, if not more dominant, now. There's a sample below the post, and I might post some more. Feel free to share it. I'll post them to my Pinterest boards at some stage under this name and my real name.

My lyrics are young because I started writing them when I was 15 in 1989. It was year ten in high school, I played the drums and piano, wore a funky blue knitted jumper with a stave on it with the first line of Funky Town (pic left) and thought I was shit hot. I also wanted to be a singer....

To be Australia’s version of Debbie Gibson and I’m listening to her first album, Out Of The Blue, as I write this (I love 80s music more than anything). I loved everything about her. Her funky clothes to the Swatch watches she wore. And when she moved into her new mansion, I wanted it and everything else. That’s why she inspired me with her lyrics and melodies. She did it all. It also didn’t hurt that the only time she ever toured Australia was with my fave band Indecent Obsession who I also wrote many a song about (blog post about them here). She even had a thing with the lead singer. Oooooohhhhhh. 

Debbie Gibson was huge, along with Tiffany, Kylie and an abundance of others, Aussie band Indecent Obsession was my fave, there was 80s bubble-gum pop blasting from every radio and tv. That was my inspiration, along with Jem and the Holograms (gotta love the 80s).

When going back over the decades of music, lyrics were incredibly simple, be it 50s, 60s, 70s or 80s. Come the 90s it changed. Grunge came in and lyrics became down right weird and you’d read them and go ‘what the fuck were they on when they wrote this’. These days it’s different again. Between Kelly Clarkson, P!nk, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, and so many other females and males, not to mention bands, lyrics have become harder, edgier, and downright far too sexy for the teens singing them. I occasionally wonder how the hell they come up with such adult stuff.

Back in the day lyrics were young and innocent, now, they’re far too sexual from most groups. I definitely don’t know if I could write any now, the lyrics would be older, more mature, but writing books gives me a longer platform to get the story across. Not sure I could do it in four verses, a chorus, and a bridge any more. But you never know. Writing them all up is giving me inspiration….And you know I can’t not write something…with everything else I already write and the books yet to be written…just a foolish beat of my heart….oops, Debbie got in my head….something is going to come out at some stage.

I wrote from 1989 through to 1996 and I didn’t write another one until 2002 and that was it. Four years later I wrote my first novel, and I think my lyrics made way for them. I even wrote song trilogies which have stood me in good stead for writing the book trilogy I’ve written this year. Lyrics were clearly my training for bigger and longer stories, which songs are. They are stories of love, pain, hurt, heartache etc. Just listen to country songs. The dog dies, the wife leaves and the ute (utility/work car) breaks down. Songs are full of it and many times lyrics are simple.

Remember all those really poppy songs from the 80s? Try Stock, Aitken and Waterman songs, Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, Bananarama, Sonia, any UK 80s pop act had one of their songs and they were all done to formula. Two verses, chorus, two verses, chorus, bridge, chorus to end. The music was what sucked you in, it was up tempo, poppy and danceable. But analyse the lyrics and they were the most teenager-ish ridiculous things around. Yet they meant so much at the time when we were young, but reading back over them as adults, they are just silly and childish. Remember B*Witched’s Rollercoaster? Enough said!

But that’s what makes a pop song, and that’s what I wrote. Young pop lyrics from a 15-22 year old who didn’t know any better and wasn’t experienced at anything we call life. Like now.

Did my lyrics get older and more mature? Sort of. You can see the progression into 94-96. Around this time Alanis Morrissette came out and I desperately wished I could write a song like her. I didn’t have her angst, but I tried. I’m not sure I succeeded. There’s a few good sets of lyrics in the last years and some of my song titles were freakin’ awesome, like Brunettes Look Best in Red, Ginger Elle, Cool Fred and Firenze. I stole most of them. A line from someone else’s song, or an Impulse body spray name (big body spray label over here that’s been around forever).

I have found some good lyrics that I will be doing print ups for, no topic was off limits, I did songs about child abuse (below), politics, the world, generation x (the Spice Girls ripped me off a few years later with that one, lol). No topic was not written about…. That I remember. It’s taken me three weeks to write out 639 song lyrics in and around all of the people coming to see mum. I was definite that I had 700…maybe I need to add to that 639…below is a song I wrote about child abuse, heavy lyrics by my standard back in 1994 when I was 20, and probably still relevant today.


  1. You are such a talent on so many levels. I can't tell you how impressed I am with your writing...whether it's song lyrics or novels, you have an amazing gift.

    The child abuse lyrics are absolutely relevant. WOW!!! Beautifully (and tragically) written.

    1. Thanks Cheryl. Even at 20 I was having some pretty deep thoughts.


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