How to Write a Song About Someone
One of the unique things about humanity is our ability to create. Music is one of our outlets that allows us to express our emotions and share an experience that others may be able to relate to. Those emotions can be positive or negative; they just have to be felt deeply in some way.
A song can tell a story and impact listeners in an incredibly profound way. If you’re a songwriter, then being able to give listeners the feels is your ultimate goal. It’s possible that you have someone special in your life that impacts you on a deep level (again, whether good or bad) and you want to share that experience with the world. You may also want to immortalize someone through song (music can be passed from generation to generation and often outlives the creator).
If you find yourself wondering how to write a song about someone, there are some things you’ll need to consider. We’ll walk you through the steps to achieve this goal so that you can create something that you are proud of and that others may enjoy listening to.
How to Write a Song About Someone
Making the decision to write a song about someone can be a great way to honor them. Not only does it let them know you care about them, but it also lets the world know how you feel about them. If you’re curious about how to write a song for someone, here are the steps you’ll need to follow:
Step 1: Choose a Theme
The first thing you’ll need to do when asking how to write a song about someone is to pick a theme. This will help keep your song focused on a topic. There are many, many different themes you can choose from, and some of the most popular include:
- Growing Up/Coming of Age – if there’s one thing that humans can’t stop, it’s the passage of time, and there are a lot of lessons we can learn along the way; putting those into a song is quite common and can be incredibly powerful.
- Being Unhappy with the World – you may not think that songs can be political statements, but many of them are; if the songwriter is unhappy with what’s going on in the world (whether locally or globally), they can put those emotions into a song and share that discontent with others.
- Death – along with the passage of time comes to the inevitability that no one leaves this world alive, and death can be an incredibly powerful and emotional topic to talk about in a song; when wondering how to write a song from the heart, listeners may find that they are going through the same thing as the songwriter (or at least have empathy for the situation), making this theme a way to connect with others.
As you can imagine, one of the most common themes people choose when wondering how to write a song for someone in love.
Love is a topic that can be applied incredibly broadly, from romantic interests to wondering how to write a song about your best friend. There are so many different emotions that come with love, and talking about what a person is going through can be a way to express those feelings (whether good or bad) and connect with listeners on a deep level.
Step 2: Narrow Down the Theme to a Topic
After choosing a broad theme, the next thing you’ll want to do when learning how to write a song from the heart is to narrow the theme down to a specific topic.
When it comes to lyrics ideas for love songs, some of the things you’ll want to consider to narrow down your theme is thinking about what exactly you’re going to write/sing about. Some questions to consider include:
- Is this a new love that you’re super excited about and want to share with others?
- Has the love gone wrong?
- Is this person the love of your life?
- Are you not currently involved with this person but want them to notice you?
When wondering how to write a song for your girlfriend, you’ll want to think about how long you’ve been together and what emotions you’re trying to convey. Are you still happy with her? Do you want to break things off with her? Do you want to make sure she sticks around forever?
All of these are very personal and unique to you, so you’ll have to do some soul searching to determine what topic you want to focus on in your song.
Step 3: Start Creating Characters
When learning how to write a song about someone, once you’ve narrowed your theme down to a topic, you’ll then need to start creating characters.
This may seem like an odd step to take when learning how to write a song about someone you love but remember: a song is a story, and all good stories have characters.
When learning how to write a song about someone, you’ll need to decide if you’re going to use your love interest’s name (or perhaps a nickname) or if you’re going to make the song general, using terms like “he,” “she,” “they, “we,” etc.
Making this decision will come down to personal preference and whether or not you want the world to know exactly who you’re talking about. If you want to make the song more general/universal/relatable to the vast majority of people, then using more generalized terms might be in your best interest.
However, if you’re wondering how to write a song for your girlfriend and you want people to know who you’re talking about, then using her name might help you achieve your goals.
Step 4: Put Your Feelings Down on Paper
Once you’ve decided who the characters in your song will be, the next thing you’ll want to do is to start putting your feelings down a paper.
A song may be a story, but it’s not told as a traditional narrative. Music makes people feel, so you really need to focus on emotions — whether good or bad. The more deeply those feelings are felt, the more powerful your song could be.
At this point, you want to write down everything that comes to mind. You never know what you’ll want to use for your song, so don’t limit your ideas.
When learning how to write a song about someone you love, once you’ve finished writing all of your emotions down, go through your ideas and determine what your song will be about.
Step 5: Time for the Lyrics
After writing down all of your emotions on paper and deciding what you want to talk about in your song, you’ll then need to start thinking about the lyrics.
- How do you want to put your story together?
- What are the most important things about your characters that you want to share with others?
Consider working on the chorus first, as this carries the weight of your song/message.
When it comes to lyrics ideas for love songs, you get to decide if they rhyme or not. This will be determined by the genre of music you’re writing for and how you want your story to sound. Having a thesaurus or rhyming dictionary handy could help when putting together the lyrics for your song.
Step 6: Create a Rhythm
When wondering how to write a song about someone, after you’ve written down the lyrics and have the heart of your story, the next thing you’ll want to do is create a rhythm. This is what is going to bring your lyrics to life.
Whether your song is fast or slow will depend on the message you’re trying to convey and the genre you’re writing in. The most important thing to remember is that you want your audience to feel what you feel, so find a rhythm that will help them experience your song.
Step 7: Sing and Record
When you’re happy with the lyrics and rhythm, the next thing you’ll want to do is sing and record your song.
Hearing the song will help you determine if it’s worth sharing with others, and you’ll also be able to determine if changes need to be made.
Can you get in trouble for writing a song about someone?
As a songwriter, like journalists and authors, your rights to write/sing about any topic you want are protected by the First Amendment.
However, some things to keep in mind is that if you are being slanderous or libelous about someone, you could get in trouble for the song you write. In addition, if you have a contract with a music label, they may have specific stipulations about what you can and can’t say about a particular person.
How do you write a love song without sounding cheesy?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a concrete answer to this question, as the definition of “cheesy” can vary from person to person. Some things you can consider to reduce the chances of your love song sounding cheesy include:
- Make sure your lyrics tell a story
- Limit your rhymes and focus more on the flow of your lyrics
- Don’t copy what others are doing
How do you write a romantic melody?
If you want your song to have more of a Romantic feel to it, then you need to consider adding the following to the rhythm:
- Gentle sounds
- Some soft vibrato
- Longer melodies
- Dynamic articulations
- Chromatic dissonances and harmonies
This will make your song Romantic in a classical sense, but you can also play with the genre and find a melody and/or rhythm that works for your message and music genre.
Expressing Yourself Through Song
Music and songs give you the opportunity to express yourself to the world in a way that taps into emotions. It doesn’t matter if those feelings are positive or negative, music can help you understand what you’re going through and connect with others who may be feeling the same way.
Songs that talk about people can be a great way to immortalize someone who is incredibly important to you (or potentially someone who wronged you). If you find yourself wondering how to write a song about someone, here’s what you should consider doing:
- Choose a Theme
- Narrow Down the Theme to a Topic
- Start Creating Characters
- Put Your Feelings Down on Paper
- Time for the Lyrics
- Create a Rhythm
- Sing and Record
The above article may contain affiliate links, which help support Clever Sequence