Flip Method #5 – Swapping
So many songwriters default to clichés when they write their lyrics. This is completely understandable – after all, clichés are well-known and relatable. However, they are also uninteresting and stale. In this blog post, we’ll discuss a simple technique we call “Swapping”, that can be used to create new phrases from old clichés.
This article is a summarised transcript of the fifth 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 Swapping?
Swapping is when we take a cliché or idiom that has two words or images in it, and actually swap their positions. This method relies on finding clichés that actually make sense when you swap them around.
If you’d like to experiment with this method, you can download this free PDF eBook entitled “The 5 Best Songwriting Exercises for Writing Great Lyrics”:
Examples of Swapping
Let’s have a look at the cliché “There’s no time like the present.” If we swap around the words “Present” and “Time”, we instead get the phrase “There’s no present like time”. Whilst the original cliché refers to how we should live in the moment, the swapped one instead implies how precious time is.
Another interesting cliché we could look at swapping is “Storm in a teacup”, which means a great outrage or excitement over a trivial matter. This can be swapped around to “Teacup in a storm”. The swapped version of the cliché paints for us a picture of someone who is able to maintain their calm no matter the situation. However, because we’re already acquainted with the original cliché, it still feels relatable despite meaning something entirely different.
Conclusion: Flip Method #5 – Swapping
Swapping is a really creative technique that can allow us to entirely change the meaning of clichés whilst still maintaining a semblance of their original form. This not only challenges our listeners to think differently about things, but also helps us find ways we never imagined to express ourselves with.
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: