Flip Method #1 – Replacing
Clichés are convenient ways to express ourselves but because they’re so well known, they can make our writing sound mundane and unoriginal. That’s why in this blog post, we’ll be going through a technique called replacing, which will help you freshen up those old clichés you might be tempted to default to in your songwriting.
This blog post aims to summarise the first part of our video “The Crazy Easy Trick to Write Great Lyrics (The Flip Method)’’. Click here to watch the video for more details, explanations and examples.
What is Replacing?
Before we can use this method, we must first identify clichés with a replaceable element. The key is to retain the beginning of the cliche, allowing the listener’s mind to anticipate the expected ending. However, instead of fulfilling that expectation, we replace the expected ending of the cliché with an unexpected one.
For example, when we think of the sentence “They fight like ___”, our mind automatically fills in the blank with “Cats and dogs” to form the cliché “They fight like cats and dogs”. With this method, we replace the phrase “Cats and dogs” with anything else to create an element of surprise.
If you’d like to experiment with this method further, you can download this free PDF eBook entitled “The 5 Best Songwriting Exercises for Writing Great Lyrics”:
Ways to Replace
Now that you’ve understood the concept of replacing, you can start to experiment with it in different ways. One way is to replace the phrase with something entirely unexpected. For instance, you could take the cliché “Time heals all wounds” and replace it with “Time dances with rainbows.” The unexpected coupling of “time” and “rainbows” not only adds a vivid visual but also infuses the lyric with a touch of whimsy and wonder.
Another way to go about it, is to incorporate wordplay and puns into the cliché.By twisting words in unexpected ways, you’ll create a delightful playfulness to your lyrics. For instance, consider the cliche “The apple of my eye.” By flipping it with “The apple of my sky,” you craft a charming wordplay that brings a smile to the listener’s face.
An Example of Replacing
In the song “Wild” by John Legend, the hook he uses is “I wanna drive you wild, wild, wild”.
Normally, when we think of the phrase “I wanna drive you ___”, our mind automatically fills in the blank with the word “Crazy”. However, John Legend replaces “Crazy” with “Wild” instead. This creates a sense of familiarity in the hook but at the same time makes it stand out, and be memorable for the listener.
Conclusion: Flip Method #1 – Replacing
In short, replacing is an easy method to help pull you away from the dullness of clichés. By maintaining a sense of familiarity with your phrases, but surprising people with something new, you can ensure that your lyrics stick in the minds of your listeners.
And if you’re interested in more ideas, tools, techniques, and inspiration for your lyric writing make sure to check out this playlist that we have made just for you
Turn your inspiration into beautiful songs with step-by-step guidance through two professional songwriting methods. By the end of this course, not only will your tool belt be stocked; you’ll have a plan and a method for finishing your songs – all of them.