Senseless Pop Song Lyrics-How Do They Write This Stuff?

I recently heard an old Doobie Brothers tune on the radio:
“she came from somewhere out in the country…trying hard to recreate what had yet to be created”
What does this mean?
Was this song dreamed up during a drug induced reverie?
Some other bits:
“she…had a place in his mind…she, never made him look twice…as she rises to the authority, andbody else could clearly see…”
What is this about?

Well, “Doobie” isn’t their family name, if you know what I mean. I’m sure that played a part in their lyrical choices.:smiley:

There was a lot of that in the late 60s/early 70s. See “I Am The Walrus”, “She Came In Through the Bathroom Window”, or much of Yes’ work. Or Procol Harum. I guess Dylan made it cool to have lyrics that, at least on the surface, seemed impenetrable.

But it didn’t start with Dylan. Look at “Moon River”.

Generally, it means someone was trying really hard to say something deep, artistic, and profound, but didn’t actually have anything to say. So they said what they had to say as deeply, artistically, and profoundly as they could. I would say in this case they succeeded – that’s as deep, artitistic, and profound a statement of nothing as one might hope for.

Hope that helps!

Some of these guys were just tooling around with guitars in their garage and might not have been the best writers or even had much to say or been very good at saying it.

I love What A Fool Believes and it makes perfect sense, if you know the real words.

I am pretty good at lyrics and a lot of it comes not only from an idea but from, what I call flow.

Often times to get the words “singable” into the music you change things like word order and this can often put subtle meanings into lyrics you didn’t really intend.

Also placeholder lyrics get used and sometimes will stay.

The most famous example of this is “Da Doo Ron Ron.” One of the writers Ellie Greenwich, says the title means nothing. They couldn’t think of words while writing so they made up some nonsense words to hold the music, thinking later on they’d come back and fix it up.

Well they just kept the “nonsense words” and Da Doo Ron Ron, just stayed.

So while some lyrics do show great imagry and feelings and such, sometimes it’s an unintened consequence of the writing process

I heard the same about Phil Collins’ Sussudio. He’d planned to replace it with a real name but couldn’t come up with one that fit as good as Sussudio.

Moon River,
Wider than a mile,
I’m crossing you in style someday.
Oh, dream maker,
You heart breaker,
Wherever you’re going,
I’m going your way.

What’s wrong with that?

This is supposedly also how “Chacarron Macarron” came to be composed.

I had to go look up the lyrics to “Moon River,” and I found them pleasantly upbeat and poetically cryptic without venturing into obscurantism. And I’m pretty tough to please.

My favorite example of filler lyrics is when Paul McCartney improvised “The movement you need is on your shoulder” in “Hey Jude.” He wanted to rewrite it, but Lennon insisted on keeping it, and it’s an acceptably poetic way of saying, “Eeey, just shrug it off.”

That is not an example of lazy songwriting. That not an example of any kind of songwriting! Oh and thanks. I will now be murmuring that song all night long.

When writing lyrics you generally are concerned with how the words sound much more than what they mean. It’s often a lot to ask that they’re even grammatical, but you want them to make sense too? Certainly the best lyrics are those that are able to consistently match the tune and deliver meaningful semantic sense, but I much prefer elegant nonsense to actual profound, but discordant, lyrics. Popular acts are first and foremost musicians; most don’t have their own lyricist.

Lest we not forget** Roy Orbison’s** classic “Ooby Dooby” with the immortal line:
Ooby dooby dooby dooby dooby dooby dooby dooby doo wha doo wha doo whaaa! :eek:

Or Black Lace :

“Ag-a-doo-doo-doo, push pineapple, shake the tree
Aga-doo-doo-doo, push pineapple, grind coffee”

Don McLean - who wrote “American Pie” - when asked what the song meant, simply responded: “It means I never have to work again.”

How about: She was trying to recreate some idealized time or episode in her past that was not, in fact, as good as she remembers it to be.

“And it’s magic, if the music is groovy
It makes you feel happy like an old-time movie”

Yeah, those old-time movies like Mildred Pierce and Dark Victory sure make you feel groovy. (Although, to be fair, is there a single song in the history of rock n roll in which “groovy” is rhymed with something other than itself or “movie”?)
“I’ll tell you about the magic, and it’ll free your soul
But it’s like trying to tell a stranger 'bout rock and roll”

What’s so difficult about telling a stranger about rock and roll? Is it any harder than telling an acquaintance about rock and roll? What about a friend?

What else can they rhyme it with? “And you’re lying in the sun, soaking up the U-V”?

(And yes, lots and lots of old-time movies could make you feel happy.)