How to Write a Holiday Song [Saint Patrick’s Day song example]

As songwriters, sometimes we are asked, or sometimes
inspired to write songs for holidays, celebrations, current
events, birthdays, etc. Is writing lyrics for these type of
songs different than for others? Yes, and in some ways they
are actually easier, if you know how. in this Saint Patrick’s
Day song example we will learn how.

Here is a step-by-step breakdown. Saint Patrick’s Day song example

First, the secret is in the list. These occasions usually
have a number of concrete images that we associate with
them. For a holiday, for instance, we could list all the
things that we associate with that holiday.

For a Saint Patrick’s Day song, for example, I began with a
list of every image I could find related to this holiday and
Irish cultural, and expanded upon it with some Google

green land
folk music
Irish stew
Beer (Guinness)
Irish dance
leprechauns (pot of gold, rainbow, 3 wishes, etc.)
luck of the Irish (Irish saying)
Blarney Stone
red hair
The fighting Irish (Notre Dame football)
Top of the morning to you (Irish saying)
May the road rise up to meet you… (Irish prayer)
Galway bay

The next task was to choose between specific or general

Specific: Pick just one item, a shamrock, for instance, and
find a unique angle to describe it. This would work well for
a Christmas song because there are so many of them to
compete with you need to find a unique niche, like in the
song “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer.”

General: Weave as many of the items as you can into a story.
Since there are not a lot of Saint Patrick’s Day songs, I
chose the the general approach.

Then, I wrote as many verses as I could, weaving these
images together with some rhymes. I ended up with about
twelve verses.

After that, I condensed them down to six verses and a
bridge, sometimes combining several verses into one while
keeping stronger lines and deleting weaker ones. (Note:
never completely delete the lines, you may need them later
somewhere else in the song.)

Finally, I had to make sure the story developed from verse
to verse, which took some more shifting around of lines.

I just posted the final Saint Patrick’s Day song on a new
Youtube channel. You can check it out here to get ideas for
your own special occasion songs. And feel free to SUBSCRIBE
to this channel, as I will be posting more songwriting examples here:

Saint Patrick’s Day song

Note: I also had to write a catchy melody, create a hook for
the chorus, consider chords and song structure, etc. but
those are whole other topics for next time.

Also, this song happened to come out good, with a lot of
work, which is why I recorded it, but typically I expect
only about one out of four or five songs I work on to end up
being keepers, so don’t get disappointed if you try this and
you don’t get a great song out of it. Just write four or
five more and you will!

Here is the link again: Saint Patrick’s Day song

To Your Awesome Songs!


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How to Write a Really Good Song

(how to write a really good song - image)How to write a really good song REQUIRES indulging in a very PRECISE combination of ecstatic leg-squirming dances in EXACT combination with psychedelic drugs until your clay-like body falls to the ground, cracking angry blades of razor sharp grass into pieces with sorrowful sweat soaked hands as your hungry ears hear their feuding echoes between sky and earth like a quickening bass drum that releases mini volcanoes of secret cocktail scents which torture your quivering nostrils like tiny pitch-forks until you are driven by madness to write down their blood boiling wisdom for listeners to swim in.

And that’s all there is to it.

Just kidding!

But hopefully the above paragraph provided an example (although overly dense) of how to write using metaphors and the senses, which can greatly enhance your lyric writing. Dylan Thomas is a wonderful poet and author to check out to help incorporate this type of writing into your lyrics.

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How to Compose Songs with Key Changes

How to Compose Songs with Key Changes

how to compose songs with key changes (image)If you have ever been interested in knowing how to compose songs with key changes in them, you are going to love this. Most songs stay in one musical key only, and have melodies and chord progressions that are derived from the scale of that key. Key changes, also referred to as music modulation, create mood shifts which can often be quite dramatic, can sometimes be sneaky and subtle, but will almost always add an air of sophistication to your song.

In any major key, there will be 11 possible key changes. I will first show you the most common, and then, the most extreme! [click to continue…]


How to Write a Song in Three or Six

How to Write a Song in Three or Six

How to Write a Song in thre or six (image)

Did you ever notice that the majority of songs in our culture have a four-beat rhythm? This is referred to as Common Time, which translates into four beats per measure. And when songwriters in western cultures start thinking about how to write a song, it is usually the first, and often the only, time feel that comes to mind.

But this was not always the case. In certain earlier periods in history, three beat rhythms were the most popular. The waltz is a good example of what was once a very popular dance constructed from three beat rhythms. And there is an enormous amount of folk music from many cultures that is written in, what is technically termed, Triple Meter. [click to continue…]


Lyric Writing | Sense-Bound Writing



Do Songwriters Really Need to Know the Music Business?

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In the old days, a songwriter would network and perform everywhere he or she could to try to get discovered. The goal was usually securing a publishing deal, or if also a performer, to get a record deal as well. Once discovered, music industry executives would handle the rest: management, expense planning, recordings, radio promotion, distribution, marketing, publicity, booking shows, entertainment lawyers, and quite a few other business tasks that most creative people tend to be clueless about, not to mention completely uninterested in.

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Create Music | Quick Songwriting Tip

Create music and learn a quick way to change ONE song into THREE, all with completely different emotional feels, and then pick the best for your next HIT!

Create Music | Quick Songwriting Tip

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How to Write Lyrics

how to write lyrics [image]One of the first tips on how to write lyrics to a song that will really get your creative juices flowing is that it is sometimes good to just start writing anything that you are thinking about, feeling, or about what is happening in your physical environment right now. Creating a journal about what happens to you each day can begin to unleash that waterfall of words to pour into your songs. [click to continue…]