200 Things to Write a Song About: Lyric Ideas and Inspiration
Writer's Block? Mind Blank? Feeling Uninspired?
Everyone who has tried to write a song or poem knows how frustrating it can be at times. I've had writer's block hundreds of times and I'm sure you've experienced it as well. It's probably why you're here.
I've written around 2000 songs, about quarter of them with lyrics. I'm not a master, but I have had practice . . . lots of it.
I was going to put this list together for myself originally, but thought I would share it with the world as it's a known fact that every minute five people come down with a serious case of writer's block.
If you use one of these ideas and decide to record it, please share it with everyone here. If there's a link where you uploaded it to something like YouTube or Soundcloud, I'm sure people would love to hear it.
Some of these ideas are subjects and topics, while others are song titles that will hopefully spark something in your imagination. Feel free to run with them any which way!
P.S. I'll also include some information below on how to break writer's block and systematically generate ideas.
What is the hardest part of writing a song?
Ideas for Unconventional Love Songs
I love a good love song. Who doesn't? This is one of the most common song topics, so here are some love song ideas, with a twist.
1. You find out that your lover has different political views than you.
2. You decide that you will the person you're dating as long as they agree to a long list of requirements.
3. You tell the person you are in love with that they have until the end of this song to say I love you.
4. Make love to me sideways.
5. I love you almost as much as he does.
6. Love cuts like a plastic knife.
7. Love is in the eye of the beholder, and I am blind in one eye.
8. Why do you love me?
9. I'm pretty sure you have me confused with one of my octuplet brothers.
10. If you take too long to love me, I might die.
11. Tomorrow never comes so love me yesterday.
12. Love is kinda funny. Is that why you're laughing at me?
13. People only love you because you have a cool name.
14. When we get married, I don't want you to just do the cooking and dishes . . . I want you to do other housework as well.
15. You put the lowercase "o" in Love.
16. I loved you the moment I met you . . . But now that I've seen you in person, I'm not too sure. (Internet love song)
17. Let me Google your noodle.
18. All I want from you is love and money.
19. Money can't buy love, but I'll love you if you give me money.
20. Money can't buy love, but it can rent it.
21. I want to grow old with you and do outrageously filthy things to you.
22. If you love me so much, why do you want to visit your parents so often?
23. You put the "baby" in "oh baby." Grow up.
24. I know you love me 'cause I'm awesome.
25. Let's get away . . . from this topic.
Hate Song Inspiration
Hate songs are more common than you think. If you listen to metal or gangsta rap then you already know this. I included a few hate songs in the love section, but if you really want to write a song about hate then this is the list to go with!
I didn't feel terribly good writing this list, in fact . . . I hated it. I hope you can bring something positive to these hate song titles. Don't be too obvious, though. Give your lyrics direction and meaning.
26. I'll make hate to you.
27. Hate is such a lovely word.
28. You brought this hate upon yourself.
30. I hate how you do that.
31. Can you please not hate me?
32. Hate the hater.
33. The hippo who hates
34. Would you like a hate sandwich?
35. Hate is not for lovers.
37. I love life but I hate you.
38. I hate life but I love you.
39. You are #1 on my hatelist
41. There's a time for hating and it's just around the corner.
42. I'm telling on you because you aren't allowed to hate me.
43. Who gave you permission to hate me?
44. Predictable hate
45. Hate me
46. I hate my job, but I hate everything else even more.
47. Why does hate have to be so damn fun?
49. Blinded by hate
What do you like to write about?
Ideas for Writing Dancing Songs
Dancing is probably the second-most common thing mentioned in popular music. It's fun to use something common like dancing and combine it with something not so common, in time to a dripping faucet. OK maybe not, but you get what I mean.
Here are some ideas for your next dance song:
51. Dance like you have ants in your pants.
52. Do the muffin dance.
53. Stop dancing like that.
54. You make me wanna dance like a monkey.
55. The fart dance
56. Boogie monster boogie
57. Shake ya foot
58. There's a pole over there . . .
59. The underwater squid dance
60. You're too old to dance.
61. Rub me like a baby bottle.
62. Ugly man, sexy woman.
63. You're old enough to have invented the waltz.
64. One-legged running man
65. Who taught you to dance?
66. The second-to-last dance
68. Why? MCA
69. Move that body (out of the way)
70. I like disco dance.
71. DJ, change that song.
72. Give dance a chance (cheese)
74. Dancing to the music on my phone
75. Dance your pants off
Political Song Topics
Politics: some people find it boring, some people think it's irrelevant, and some people actually think it matters. There have been some wicked anti-political songs written over the years, usually fueled by idiot politicians who don't seem to care about anything except for themselves.
Every good rock band has a song about corruption in the government, so choose one of these topics and make it a good one!
76. Only four more years
77. Vote for me
78. Obama and his mama
79. Hitler's dog
80. Monarchy burger
81. The unique communist
82. The old white Republican
83. Hang yourself with those puppet strings
84. Flip flop Mitt
85. Vote squid
86. If Kennedy was alive today
87. Rumours on the internets (taken from a Bush quote)
88. If aliens ran our government
89. Black man in the White House
90. Federal Reserve, Russian Spy
91. The truth about the President's wife
92. One trillion dollars worth of s#@%!
93. Senator Spacemonkey
94. Governor Terminator
95. Sorry, my dog rigged the voting
96. Designed in the USA, Made in Afganistan (9/11)
97. Do they watch me take a crap?
98. Fox News junkie
99. What happens when politicians tell the truth
100. Burn the Bush
Have you written lyrics before?
Ideas for Songs About Sad, Depressing, or Awkward Topics
Everyone enjoys a good sad song. Here is a list of things to write about if you want to make everyone depressed! (Not that you would want to do such a thing.)
101. I'm normally a happy person, but you make me depressed.
102. My blues are like an itch. Scratch me.
103. My happy ship is sinking
104. Clothed in sadness
105. Sad girl
106. The TV hurts my brain
107. The truth about happiness
108. My car broke down. Can I use yours?
109. If you test me, you will fail
110. My love for you is dampened by your hate for me
111. Call me if you're sad
112. Annoying voice
113. Give sadness a chance
114. Awkward guy standing in the corner
115. Stop staring at me
116. Why do you always have to be happy all the time?
117. The power of negative thinking
118. Sadness, my old friend
119. You depress me
120. Once I was sad, but now I'm in despair
121. Your voice reminds me of a dying cat
123. Why do you take pleasure in my sadness?
124. Sleeping on a pillow of sadness
Strange and Weird Song Ideas
Here are some strange and weird topics for your trippy music!
126. Marshmallow donkey
127. Alien superstar
128. Stuck between a rock and a soft place
129. Doppelganger dude
130. Goodnight whispering statue
131. Rainbow Sunday
132. Sidewalk chicken
133. Mailman, crazyman
135. Robot with a lisp
136. Sorry, wrong person
137. Here today, still here tomorrow
138. Slowly speaking
139. Boring speech
140. Made in Taiwan
141. Empty room
142. Smiley face on my tongue
143. Outside in
144. Growing inside me
145. Something is behind you
147. Party in the underworld
148. Multicoloured God
149. Magnet Valley
150. Fluro Bodhi
Writing Songs About Outlaws, Tyrants, and Villains
Everyone loves a good story, and where better to start with than the characters that have made their mark on history because of their law-flouting or evil ways?
151. Ned Kelly
156. Charles Manson
157. Hannibal Lecter
158. Ted Bundy
159. Richard Chase
160. Bonny and Clyde
161. Jack the Ripper
162. President Bush Junior
163. Al Capone
164. John Dillinger
165. Albert Fish
166. Jesse James
167. Billy the Kid
168. Baby Face Nelson
169. Cherokee Bill
170. Joseph Stalin
171. Adolf Hitler
171. Mao Tse-Tung
172. Pol Pot
173. David Koresh
174. Saddam Hussein
175. Osama bin Laden
Sporty Song Ideas
Love them or hate them, there's no doubt that sports inspire passion in of people. If you don't play sports yourself, maybe someone you know does. Use them for inspiration!
176. Ping Pong - Ding Dong - Sing Song
177. Attack of the footy fiends
178. Invisible mountain bike
179. Ball game blues
180. Dennis the tennis-playing menace
181. My rugby girl
182. Soccer moms like it hot
183. Grid iron metal
184. Wicked cricket
185. First base
More Ideas for Funny and Cute Love Songs
Love is a well of inspiration that (almost) never runs dry. Here are some more topics that I thought of.
186. I'll miss me when you're gone
187. Only you make me love us
188. We belong together (maybe forever)
189. The smell of your lips
190. I love the way your arms look
191. Taste my love juice
192. Tickle me 'til I cream
193. Spread the disease of love
194. Twisted lover
195. Besides the blocked arteries, you have a wonderful heart
196. We'll eventually get there
197. I'll give you at least six more chances (because I love you)
198. Hollywood mother lover
199. I feel encapsulated
200. Please put my heart back in the jar (on the shelf)
How to Come Up with Song Ideas
Anyone who has ever tried to write something knows the pain of staring at a blank sheet of paper or an empty computer screen and having no idea what to write. Writer's block can be tough to overcome, but it's not impossible. In fact, inspiration is everywhere!
Here Are Some Tips to Help Break Writer's Block:
- Set aside some time every day to work on writing songs, and commit to it. Have a ritual. This will keep you from wasting time on figuring out where to go write and when.
- Once you start the clock and start writing (and timing yourself is not a bad idea), don't stop. Allow yourself to write even what you think might be a bad song. Don't be critical of your work. When you're just starting, negative thinking and internal feedback only make it harder to write. Instead, focus on finishing your song. Once you have something on paper, you can edit it to make it better.
- Remember that any topic is better than no topic, and any song is better than no song.
- Set a goal of writing a certain number of songs every week. In 1943, Woody Guthrie made a New Year's Resolution to write a song a day. Were all of them good? No, but not only was he improving every day, having so many songs guaranteed that at least one or two of them would be stand-outs.
Below are some tips on generating ideas themselves.
How to Come With Ideas or Inspiration for Songwriting
First, like I alluded to in the beginning, the most important thing as you begin writing songs is to keep from criticizing yourself as you're writing. Let yourself be bad at first. Take any topic and use it. Let creativity happen! It's not always a pretty process. Beyond that, here are some methods that you can use to structure the creative process.
Idea-Generation Method #1: How Was Your Weekend?
- Write down what happened to you over the weekend or the past day. Take note of everything: who you talked to, what you ate, what you did, the weather, people that annoyed you, things that you said or saw, all of it. Most importantly, take note of how you felt at different points and see if you can spot any themes.
- Once you've done this (take anywhere from five to twenty minutes) or so, go back through your writing and try finding things that stand out to you. Why did you write some of those incidences down? What was interesting about it? Do you see any characters or themes? Did you learn anything about yourself or someone else? Remember, there are no wrong answers here, and there's nothing too boring to be written down.
- Finally, go back through your list of notes about what was interesting, and pick out a couple that you feel most strongly about and start writing a song!
Idea-Generation Method #2: Rhythm First, Words Later
Another way that some people start writing songs is by first creating the rhythm. Tap out a rhythm, let notes fill themselves in, and then see what kind of words come along to match it. You don't have to start with the words to write a song.
Idea-Generation Method #3: 60 Quickly
- Get a sheet of paper and create six categories. The categories can be anything, from "things I hate about myself," "things I love about myself," "people I hate," "people I love," "people I respect," "things that annoy me," and "least-favorite family members" to things like city names, countries, "places I've been," professions, names, foods, inventions, "things I'm scared of," "things I've said that I regret," etc. The list is endless.
- Once you have your six categories, write down ten things for each category. The trick to doing this is to do it as fast as possible, giving yourself no more than a minute for each category.
- Once you have sixty things, go back through and cross out seven from each category, leaving only three. Then, go back through and cross out two more from each category, leaving only one from each category.
- Then, cross off three more, leaving only three ideas. Your best ideas for this will come from those topics that cause emotion to rise up inside of you. The ones that are left should be the ones that resonate the most with you, where you feel like you have the most meat and the most to say. Not all of your answers will resonate, and that's okay. That's why you write sixty of them.
- Then, get started writing. Don't stop until you have a song finished, no matter how bad it is. To write songs, you have to finish them.
Method #4: A Time When . . .
This is similar to the "How Was Your Weekend Method." Simply think back to a time when . . . and fill in the blank with anything like:
- You were scared.
- You were in love.
- You were hurt.
- You felt lonely.
- You felt happy.
- You lost something you loved.
And write down everything about it in detail. Choose some of your statements that resonate the most with you and start writing a song!
Method #5: Steal
You may have heard the saying that good artists borrow, and great artists steal. Well, I'm not recommending you steal ideas, but I do think it's a good idea to get inspired by some of your favorite art. What are your favorite:
- Books, authors, poems, lines of literature
- Movies, scenes, or lines from movies
- Artists, colors, words of art, parts of art pieces
- Buildings, architectural style
- Songs, melodies, lyrics, styles, beats
The more specific you can get about what you like about something, the better it will be. Then, use that piece of what you like as inspiration. Start your song with a line from a movie that you love. Or use a beat you like and modify it and then add some lyrics. It's not stealing, it's art!
Example of Brainstorming Song Ideas
Things I Hate About Myself
Things I Love About Myself
Things I Find Annoying
Things I'm Scared Of
Things I Wish I Hadn't Said
Things I Wish I Had Said
People looking at me.
Can we do something different?
I can be cruel.
I'm good with words.
Women who look prettier than me.
Moving back in with my parents.
No, we're not going dutch.
I'm good with money.
Men who ignore me.
Falling in love.
I love you.
Thank you for everything.
I overthink things.
I'm an early-riser.
Men who wear tank-tops.
Men falling in love with me.
I'll miss you.
Is there something weird?
I wait too long to break off relationships.
I smile a lot.
Men who have better hair than me.
Do you like me?
I'm not fashionable.
My mom, sometimes.
We could eat at Padrecito.
I might like you.
I'm too cheap.
I can memorize things fast.
My family, sometimes.
This one's on me.
What are we doing?
I lie sometimes.
I'm a fast typer.
Waiting in line for anything.
Making bad decisions.
How are we doing this?
I don't want to be exclusive.
I'm not as successful as I want to be.
I'm smarter than most people.
Taking food to-go.
Missing out on something more fun.
I know Bonnie! She's a horse.
I feel hurt.
I complain too much.
Coffee that's not hot enough.
You need to wash the dishes.