There have been many great songs whose Titles are a Question. Why does this work as well and as often as it does?
A question expresses a need; a need to know. Since feeling an overwhelming desire for someone or something is often at the core of good songs, a question can be a great way in.
A question Title also allows the writer to explore their thoughts and insights on the big – and small – questions of life
The Question/Title can be something as simple as Do You Love Me or Do You Wanna Dance. It can pose unanswerable questions like Where Have All The Flowers Gone, How Deep Is The Ocean, Who’ll Stop The Rain, Who Are You.
It can get vulnerable, like Is This Love, Could You Be Loved, How Can I Be Sure, What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted, How Will I Know, Why Can’t We Be Friends, How Deep Is Your Love, What Kind Of Fool Am I.
Or personal – Are You Experienced, What’s Love Got To Do With It (ironic), Should I Stay Or Should I Go.
Fun, funny, and/or sexy – Who Let The Dogs Out, How Long Has This Been Going On (the standard), Why Don’t We Do It In The Road.
Or sexy, with attitude – What’s My Name, Do You Wanna Touch Me, What Have You Done For Me Lately, and the immortal Do Ya Think I’m Sexy.
Even various shades of profound – (What’s It All About) Alfie, Do You Know The Way To San Jose, Why, Is That All There Is, What’s So Funny ‘Bout Peace, Love, and Understanding, Do You Realize, What’s Going On…
(This also reminds me that punctuation can be very misleading when writing down lyrics. Rather than writing a question mark on a lyric sheet, the music needs to turn the phrase into a question. (I elaborate here.) The written question mark will usually be unavailable to the listener… hence… useless.)
All of the above Titles are great ways into a song. Have you written a question song (or two) yet? Do you have any favorites to add to the above Question/Titles?
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