A month ago I wrote a song called ‘The Less I Know The Better’. Yesterday I was going through my scraps of paper and receipts with possible song Titles scribbled on them and I found the Title that started that song. It was, then, ’The Less You Know The Better’.
I’d forgotten this was where the song began. But when working on a song it’s not unusual for me to mess around with changing pronouns, and by doing so change the point of view of the song.
(It’s also an interesting way to find song Titles – more on that later.)
So when I started working on ‘The Less You Know The Better’ at some point I thought, “What if it was ‘The Less I Know The Better’?”.
To me, the idea that the narrator can’t handle knowing the truth about someone, that he’s asking to be lied to, was more compelling than the idea that he was hiding something from someone. I thought it was more unusual, provocative, and suggestive.
You might not agree; that’s fine. I’m the one who has to get excited about writing this lyric!
Somewhere in the writing process it’s worth considering a pronoun change in the Title, or a section of a song. All you have to do is keep it in mind as an option that can occasionally yield unexpectedly good results.
As in my song, sometimes the initial point of view, the one that arrives packaged with the Title idea, isn’t always the best choice. It’s rarely the only one.
How this can help generate Title ideas is simple: Try taking an existing song Title (someone else’s) and change the pronoun. For example,
‘I Should’ve Known Better’ could become ‘You Should’ve Known Better’. Or ‘We Should’ve Known Better’
‘Without Me’ – ‘Without You’ (or vice-versa)
‘Don’t Matter To Me’ – ‘Don’t Matter To You’
(This tends to work best – though not exclusively – with relatively simple ‘I/You’ Titles. Since the Titles are commonplace, many of the variations will also have been used. But they may feel fresh to you, which is what counts.)
You can also try changing other words in the Title…
‘I Could’ve Known Better’; ‘You Would’ve Known Better’
‘With Me’; ‘About Me’; ‘About Us’
‘Won’t Matter To You’; ‘Don’t Flatter Me Too’; ‘I’m Fatter Than You’ (I’ll stop.)
And so on. Grab onto a variation that resonates for you.
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