“Down The Rabbit Hole”: How To Improve Phrasing In Your Songwriting

Lyric instructor Pat Pattison adores the use of repetition in the Weepies' song "Sirens."

It’s fun in the rabbit hole – so many warrens to explore: twisting pathways that lead you from rhyme types to phrasing, from modes all the way through blues through the perfect setting of lyric to melody.

At this year’s Rocky Mountain Folk Festival, when I heard The Weepies play their song “Sirens,” I discovered a passage to one of the warrens that led me deep down the rabbit hole. Wanna come.

OK. Here’s the lyric, but I suggest you listen to the song below. What I have to say here includes stuff about rhythm and phrasing.

“Sirens”

(written by Steve Tannen/Deb Talan) Here lie remains of a ship that sailed too close to the storm Capsized, grounded, washed-up, sounded I hear their voices, sirens singing in the street I thought they might be calling out for you, for me I hear their voices, sirens calling out emergency for you, for me, for you, for you, for you for you, for you, for you, for me Here lies the body of a captain Foundered in the waves collected by the sirens Oh, wise women of the sun Oh, what have you done Save this frail one left by Poseidon I hear their voices, sirens singing in the street I thought they might be calling out for you, for me I hear their voices, sirens calling out emergency For you, for me, for you, for you, for you For you, for you, for you, for me For you, for you, for you, for you For you, for you, for me I realize the lights of all retreating cars shine red I... Sign In to Keep Reading

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