Point of view

Steve Seskin says to always do a ‘person’ check, as in, first person, second person, third person. You remember those from grammar school, right? First person is I / we, second is you, third is he / she / it / they.

After you’ve written a draft of a song, go back through the lyrics and substitute in all the possibilities, one at a time. There aren’t that many.

Was the song written in first person singular, such as I Will Always Love You, I Feel Fine, I Gotta Be Me, Gimme One Reason to Stay Here, etc. It’s all about I and me. Or first person plural, which is all about us and we: Just the Two of Us, We Are the Champions, Waiting for the World to Change, When We Dance, etc.

Just in case there’s a stronger way to express your message, try it out in second person. Some examples: You Are So Beautiful To Me, If Today Was Your Last Day, You Had a Bad Day.

Third person examples: He Stopped Loving Her Today, Neon, They Dance Alone, etc.

Changing the point of view (or person) can be a simple fix that makes a drastic improvement.

Another tip – stay with the same point of view throughout the entire song. Pick one and stick with it. Switching to a different one mid-song is just confusing to the listener.


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