Because this is filler, filler night…

Take this SongExpresso verse:

“My tired eyes
Were looking forward to your bed
But now they’re getting used to the idea
That they’ll be closing all alone instead”

The idea here is not to promote SongExpresso’s works, but real life examples are always helpful, right? (But does the world seriously need yet another breakup song? – Ed.) 

It was just “OK”. First draft. Some “synecdoche” going on. But the third line was supposed to have eight syllables. And scan. Ugh. Paralysis? No! Do the work…

“But now they’re coming to the conclusion” ?

Still sounds off. Work harder. What are we looking for? Eight syllables, scans in a singable way. Possibly something that works with the eyes reference. Next try:

“But it looks as if from now on
That they’ll be closing all alone instead”

Well at least it scans. And contains the word “looks”. But what new information does this give us? Nada. That line has no purpose whatsoever but to take us to the next line. And it’s boring. Do you know what you created? Yeah, filler. Good enough? Not for SongExpresso. 

“Considering the prospect?” (Jason Isbell already took that one in a much classier way). “Now they’re realising?” Hmmm. SongExpresso is frustrated. Seriously considering junking the whole verse. Take dog for a walk.

SongExpresso (and his dog) cannot rest until this is perfected. So where did it end up?

“But the realisation’s dawning
That they’ll be closing all alone instead.”

SongExpresso won’t say “nailed it”, but it’s a huge improvement – proper length, a tinge of personal insight, and slightly more interesting vocabulary – “dawning”, to fit into that night-time theme.

What’s the moral? Do the work. If you care about your listeners. Or if you just care. Please care.

And you know what? That verse never made it into the finished song. SongExpresso decided that it needed to be “Guilty eyes” and the whole thing needed to go in a different direction. More work. But the song turned out as good as it could be, with no stone (or rhyming dictionary or thesaurus) unturned. That’s what we’re here for. (If curious, a dodgily recorded demo of the song can be listened to here.)

Sometimes it’s hard: “You start to freeze as horror looks you right between the eyes. You’re paralysed…”

No you’re not, unless you want to. Get a shot of SongExpresso and do the work.

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