“That’s a great title for a song!”
Ever hear someone say that?
Maybe you said it?
And it might seem true for a certain phrase. But, when it comes to picking a song title, you’re about to find out the notion of a “great song title” is a flat-out lie.
Truth is, your song title isn’t great or rotten.
It’s a title.
And, your song’s greatness don’t make a dad-gum bit of difference of what the title is either.
Is that a bit controversial?
But is it true? Because that’s all that matters.
Yes, it’s true.
Your old ideals of “a great song title” are about to flee your mind like spray of the top off a Blue Whale’s blow hole.
Some folks are adamant about a song title being killer.
They give you all manner of head game reasons why you need to have one.
Your title needs to be creative.
It needs to have memorable rhymes.
It needs to have a people, place, or thing in it.
“It needs to be that catchy phrase… you know… a great title.”
They say it, probably, because that’s what they heard someone else say.
It’s like this…
Ask someone if losing weight is important to them…
“Oh yeah! I want to lose 30-pounds! It’s really important to me.”
And you believe them too…
Until you notice they told you that with a Cheeto-toothed smile oranger than a September sunset.
Truth is found by actions, not by what is said.
Same goes for the “great song title” statement.
Some say you need a killer title. A clever title tricked out with rhymes, dates, numbers, color, opposites, names of cities, and stuff like that.
Don’t get us wrong. There’s nothing bad about those things.
In fact, when you join our e-mail list, you get a free download on how to find song titles including that stuff and a lot more.
What we’re saying is, a few words won’t make a title great any more than you would turn into a jerk just because you ate beef jerky.
After all, people say, “You are what you eat,” right?
People say a lot of things.
It don’t make it true.
One of the shortest song titles was If, A song written by David Gates.
How crappy is that if you measure it by a, “great title,” standard?
If rose to #1 on the Easy listening charts and #4 on the Billboard pop charts way back in 1971.
Do a search for one-word titles which are just as boring. They are around today.
You could write a killer song called What.
Because whether that song title is truly great, or not, has nothing to do with the word itself.
It does have to do with how well the verses and chorus are written.
A successful country song entitled, Modern Day Bonnie and Clyde, was a great song peaking at #8.
The title gives some context of what the song is about, but…
Someone else could have written a song with that title and mangled it like a toothless granny on a T-bone steak.
So, what does that tell us?
What people are really saying when they say, “Man, that’s a great song title,” is they’ve got a great song idea from that phrase.
It’s really about a song’s idea, not so much the title.
Sometimes that idea is obvious in a potential title, and sometimes it’s not.
The title, If, doesn’t give us buck-naked ideas from its literal reading.
Nothing like Modern Day Bonnie and Clyde can do from reading it.
It’s up to the writer to rite a great song, out of a great song idea, which comes from what seems to be a “great song title.”
So, when you’re looking for song titles, look for the ideas it sparks, not so much the words of the title itself.
Your job then is to craft a great song worthy of your idea… making your song title seem like a great one.