Wednesday, August 02, 2006

SONGWRITING: what's in a name

In the UK we don't really 'do' titles very well :) We tend to stick to the first line of the song. It can be really useful though to think through what you are going to call your song - titles can be pretty hooky too - and therefore, helpful in people remembering what they've heard.

Recently my Mum and I wrote a song called 'I Belong' - the first line is 'Not angels, nor demons...' (it goes on to talk about how nothing can separate us from God because we belong to him). It wouldn't work too great to call it 'Not angels' (although it might get people talking :) - but calling it a name like 'I Belong' is much more helpful because it's the premise of the song - it's what the song is really all about.

Sometimes it can be harder to decide on the title - when I wrote 'Hungry', everyone called it 'that falling on my knees song' - and so, when I was working on the title, I added 'Falling on my knees' after the 'Hungry' part so that people would be able to recognise it better.

Part of our job as worship writers is to give strong sign posts in what we write - to the Lord; to the expression that others are desperate to give; and to the 'remembering hooks' that help people engage. Titles are part of that. I'd love to hear how you've worked this through in some of your songs.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well let me tell ya, as a recently reborn Christian. The lyrics to falling on my knees bring a tear to my eye every time my wife plays it. Shes a mother of two boys and we recently got Baptised. You make lovely music and I look forward to exploring all the new wonderful music that I've found in Christ.

27 March, 2007 12:40  
Blogger Emanuel said...

Kathryn,
This site is very helpful to me as a worship singer/songwriter on a team, as a leader, leading and serving the body. I can't emphasise that enough I don't think. What an incredibly helpful statement, that we are serving the body by leading them into worship keeping them in mind as we pick songs.
The blog on choosing a name is very helful as a worship songwriter myself. I Like to keep things different, yet recognizable to the listener. That is not always an easy task.
As a songwriter there are still questions I have, for example. I have written a song called Danielle's Cry. It was written for my friends daughter who was diagnosed with cancer, she is 2 years old her name is Danielle. The song doesn't mention her name in it any where. The song itself to me is this: if Danielle could put her toughts into words I think this song would be it. At the same time the song is worshipfull and I believe anyone who's ever gone through anything would easily identify with the words of this song.
However the question is because Danielle's name is not used in the song is it acceptable to have it in the title of the song or is that where subtitles come in such as Hungry (Falling on my Knees). Which by the way is wonderfully written. I love songs that are written simply but have such meaning, and insight and impact on the worshipper. Songs that people can relate to. I can relate to Hungry. You have won my heart with this song.

02 September, 2007 06:46  

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