Writing Blues Lyrics Handout

 

 

1.    Choose a topic that reflects the mood of the blues.

2.    Follow the formula below for the four lines of each verse of a blues song:

 

1st Line:       State the problem.

2nd Line:       Repeat 1st line.

3rd Line:       State half of the solution (or consequence).

4th Line:       State the second half of the solution (or consequence).

 

         Example:

 

         The Homework Blues

 

         Iıve got the homework blues Œcause my teacher always gives us a ton.

         Iıve got the homework blues Œcause my teacher always gives us a ton.

         And if I donıt do my homework,

         My parents wonıt let me have fun.

 

 

Notice that the 1st line has 16 syllables.  The 3rd and 4th line should add up to 16 as well.  As a rule of thumb, however many syllables there are in the 1st line should be the same (or very nearly the same) as the 3rd and 4th line combined.  Also, note that the last word of the 1st line rhymes with the last word of the 4th line. 

While not all blues songs follow this exact formula, it is a way to get started.  Listen to as many blues songs as you can and see if they follow the same formula.  If they donıt, what do they do differently?