titles of songs

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  • @alonetogether 6 weeks

    how do you write titles for your songs?

    for fawm i like to make a list of titles and use it to help guide the song writing process and give me song ideas, and i love writing interesting song titles

    so yeah, talk about song titles and how you come up with them!!!

  • @leah0k  6 weeks

    That seems like it would be a nice way to prompt yourself a little! I’ve never thought of doing that before. I guess I just write a song and then pick the word or line that stands out to me the most, and call it a day! Though most of my music is pretty flexible as far as interpretation goes... gotta have that title!

  • @robotkitten  6 weeks

    Most of the time, people are going to call the song by the most memorable or most-repeated line anyway; might as well make that the title!

  • @tcelliott  6 weeks

    I post an (almost) daily writing prompt (that is usually a title) on twitter and fb. At the end of each month I post a picture with all the prompts of that month or you can scroll back the last several years to get lots of ideas. You can follow them at the following links if you'd like. (But don't feel obligated)


  • @scottlake 6 weeks

    Many times for me song titles come me from phrases I hear or topics from podcasts. I will write them on cards in Trello. Hen when FAWM starts I use the cards and flesh each out into song on a new Trello board.

  • @pearlmanhattan  6 weeks


    A lot of times, I'll scroll through there and write down a few titles that appeal to me, then type them into The Lyric Cloud: http://muse.fawm.org/lyricloud and use the words that come up to write the song.

  • @ayehahmur  6 weeks

    When I'm firs thinking about idea of a song I usually start with "wouldn't it be cool to write a song about X?" and then start pulling together words and phrases that fit with that. Most often one of those phrases will suggest itself as the title and I'll use that as a pin point to assemble the rest of the words around. The title might also end up being the chorus of the finished song, or be mentioned in a verse or never appear in the lyric, but it's most often the key to the whole song.
    *When I get songs where this doesn't happen, those are the songs whose title keeps changing and I'm never quite happy with the result.

  • @oddbod  6 weeks

    2 ways.

    1. The title comes first - When I hear/read/think of something that I think would make a good title, I jot it down on my phone. I'll then write the lyrics around the title.

    2. The lyrics come first - I write the lyrics then decide on a suitable title, which is usually a word/words within the lyrics.

  • @kanttila 6 weeks

    I try to put a little effort into my song titles. When I make a track I sometimes give it a quick working title for the project file that ends up being good. Or when I record little bits on my phone I go with the working name I came up with in 5 seconds. I do also write songs titles down to see if anything sticks.

    I get inspired randomly by something I see or hear. I just kind of come up with stuff and have to write it down. It just sort of happens. I never want my song titles to be boring or anything.

  • @tcelliott  6 weeks

    Also, someone started this world of text Fawm page many years ago. It's... erm, interesting?

  • @guatecoop  6 weeks

    My titles come from what I think of when I save it. Whatever is on my mind or what the music sounds like, as I don’t do lyrics. Collaborators often change the name, but some write their lyrics based on my title.

  • @dasbinky  6 weeks

    I keep an ongoing note on my phone of title ideas. During any given FAWM, about half of my songs are based on prompts from that list. Some are just triggers, others are more fully-formed ideas. Some I steal from titles of books at old used book stores.

    Having a list of titles to peruse is a big help when I'm starting at a blank page (or screen).

  • @jonmeta  6 weeks

    I'm no good at titles. I much prefer being handed one, and taking it from there.

  • @zecoop  6 weeks

    A lot of my songs are instrumental so I try to capture the feel or mood of the song. I also try to make a title that will catch people's attention, or make a really fun title. For songs with lyrics, the titles mostly come from the collaborators, but occasionally we'll collaborate on the title as well. As my brother said, collaborators have both titled it based on their lyrics, or written lyrics based on the title of my initial instrumental song. 😀

  • @tcelliott  6 weeks

    @dasbinky , I, too, have a couple of docs on the phone with titles/ideas. I almost never refer back to them. I also keep some hand written in my writing notebook(s) which I refer to a little more often.

    I also have little voice memos on the phone over the past four or five years. I should probably listen to those at some point.

  • @auditasum 6 weeks

    I usually just pick something out of the chorus that sounds like the title of a song. If there's nothing from the chorus that makes sense, I title it after the subject. I'm not a huge fan of overly creative song titles, because then how are fans going to find it? How are they going to shout it at a show? (Lol, I say this as if I'm a known musician which I am not)

    The only time I've started title-first is during FAWM skirmishes. I have to say, I sometimes end up with more interesting songs as a result.

  • @pipewrench67  6 weeks

    I like @jonmeta am hrrible with titles (and spelling), maybe I'll go title first ths year and see what happens.

  • @aeye 6 weeks

    @alonetogether that's pretty much how we work with songs during FAWM. Come up with a track list, and then write them later. It really helps get the ideas, feeling and sound ironed out for each track.

  • @silvermachine  6 weeks

    The guy who moved in next door said to me one day 'So whats all that noise coming out of your front bedroom?'.
    I said I'm a musician I make instrumental records up there.
    'Oh yeah' he said 'what do you do with them?'.
    I said I give 'em to my neighbours. So I gave him my latest album and he never ever mentioned it again.
    I thought that's a bit rude he could've said it wasn't his cup of tea but to just ignore the thing really got to me.
    So the next album I did, I gave hime a copy thinking it would break the ice and he'd say something about it but no, again complete silence like it had never happened.
    So I made a third album and I changed all the song titles to things like: 'Speak to me, ignorant bastard'
    'Rude neighbour strangled by muso next door'.
    'If you dont f**kin' like it, say so'.
    Two days after I put it through his door he said to me 'That last album was ace, you actually had some good titles.
    You just can't emphasise enough the importance of good titles.

  • @headfirstonly  6 weeks

    It's worth pointing out to those new around here that @silvermachine can always be relied on to come up with titles that will blow your mind. Favourites of mine include "I'm much more famous than you, Gerald" and "Sexy Lady You Can Be Rodent Free".

    Me? I have a post-it note (or, when I'm feeling organised, my notebook) to hand whenever I'm browsing the Internet. If I read something that could be applied as a song title, I write it down. Last year I was particularly fond of "Treacle Assault" and "This Is More Of A Cormorant Than A Question", both of which arose in circumstances that would require *far* too much time to explain.

    The TL;DR version: cultivate the habit of combing any text you read for potential titles, and write them down somewhere convenient.

  • @lvgd09  6 weeks

    @pearlmanhattan I just used your technique and did in fact come up with an interesting title ( to me). "Easier Every Day"
    @headfirstonly My name is Gerald so that title is especially great for me. 😀
    @silvermachine The title (hook) is so very important. Well said and great story!

  • @andygetch  6 weeks

    I use prompts, lists, and strongest hook too. If the strongest hook is a common phrase I have learned to add to it just to have a different title. A couple of title generator I would add are 1) random selection 2) when I hear someone else say something unusual that catches my ear.

  • @wobbiewobbit  5 weeks

    @silvermachine haha 😀
    my titles come about the same way as @oddbod

  • @tawny249  5 weeks

    I'm a little haphazard when it comes to titles. Sometimes it's the first or last words of the chorus, as par for the course, but sometimes I use titles from a verse phrase, and once in while they're not even in the song. A few songs I've written ended up being re-titled years later. So it's a murky process.

  • @eberts0604 5 weeks

    I keep a list, along with a short description of what the song might be about. I also keep a list of "lines" -- possible lyric fragments. Stuff from these two lists often cross back and forth.

  • @lvgd09  5 weeks

    @eberts0604 Great idea...I never thought about a short description for each title. I'll be doing this too....thanks

  • @boyatheart 5 weeks

    Mostly the title comes while I write. I almost never start the songwriting process with a concept unless I’m writing to spec for somebody else.
    The title usually comes from whatever lyrics I come up with or what I think sounds like a cool reference to what the song ends up being about.

  • @mctown 5 weeks

    I usually try to write with the title first. Though sometimes the verse tells me where to go. I remember in a class once they said...verse and then.. think ..and that's why I say.....

  • @mctown 5 weeks

    Coming up with titles.. conversations that have phrases I like... titles of movies...or books... twists on idioms... I read somewhere ...make phrases that start with If ... If Tomorrow Never Comes... etc. Sometimes a song will inspire me ..in the sense...I think the hook is going to be something that it isn't... their verse leads me to a completely different hook.

  • @russiasaturn 5 weeks

    I usually end up titling the song a line from the chorus or bridge, or any other line, phrase, or even a single word, that sums up the feeling or point of the song. 😀

  • @stephenwordsmith 5 weeks

    I've done it both ways - starting with a title and letting the title evolve from the work.

    Beginning with the title (often from Titular - interesting resource) led to songs that dealt with more interesting subjects but were lyrically less tight or fluent. Selecting a title from the lyric led to the songs having more conventional names but their words flowing more naturally.

    Sometimes I found it impossible to distill any part of the lyric into a title, so the title ends up being a brief description of the subject. This, too, has varying degrees of awkwardness. 'The Hotel Ghost' is glib and has punch and intrigue. 'On Camels and Needling' is a mess but at least the song is good (hi, @lazyafro).

  • @jazzgulag 5 weeks

    I just make up random fake band names and these "bands'" discographies.

  • @jazzgulag 5 weeks

    then I use the best titles later on sometimes.

  • @candle  5 weeks

    As I do mostly instrumentals my tittles seem to come up in two ways. Either I have an idea I want to explore musically & that idea becomes the tittle of the song; or the mood of the music already recorded gives me an image or idea that provides the tittle.

    Recently I've been naming a few of my latest experiments after the presets I've been using in HG Fortune's wonderful line of VSTi synths.

    See You In The Shadows…

  • @yam655 5 weeks

    I'm super, duper lazy. When I'm writing a lot of songs fast, I regularly employ Titular. If I'm not using Titular and I'm writing a series (or album) of songs, I regularly use the last line of the previous song as inspiration for the next. Sometimes I'll write three songs to the same theme/title, as a 3in10. Rarely do I want to keep more than one of them in those cases, so I can just discard the others.

    I get a lot of cases where I'm stuck with transcribing 20-40 minutes of audio and I need a title for a song. (This started with songs recorded in the car while driving, so it is older than the improvised albums.) Unless it is stupid, generic, or repeats a previous song I just use the first line of the song.

    My instrumental songs are another matter. When in doubt, I ask my children about them.

  • @candle  5 weeks

    Here's a site that creates random song names in given genres:


    See You In The Shadows…

  • @lastnightilie 5 weeks

    I like my titles to be original, interesting, and/or catchy and to have them at/near the beginning of the writing process to guide the song. Sometimes good ones just pop into my head. Other times if I just have a concept for a song, or parts of the song that don't suggest an immediate title, I do some brainstorming. Like what's a catchy way to summarize the idea of this song in a few words? I'll just sit there and brainstorm titles for 20 minutes if I have to.

  • @larryw 4 weeks

    I keep a book with all my titles in! Horse racing will get you some good ideas, as will looking a title of books!
    Other times for me, they just arrive! I remember writing an "Adele" song on the train, and I was looking at a couple on the platform having an argument! the song is called "Don't Expect me to Love Flowers"

  • @gemhughs 4 weeks

    A title to a song is similar to the title to an essay... It gives the writer a direction to pursue in the creation & gives the work a chance to be more coherent.

    After the title the chorus is created, leading to the hook... which is the title.

    After the chorus, fashion the verse which is an imagined situation that leads to the chorus.

  • @yam655 4 weeks

    @lastnightilie The problem with requiring your song titles to be unique is that -- since you can't copyright titles -- someone can come along and use "your" song titles before you've even released your album. What do you do then?

    Some folks go the other way and specifically reuse popular song titles.

  • @klaus  4 weeks

    @gemhughs I was just going to say that! 😀 That way the song is more whole and structured in a natural way. I wish I could write every song that way. But it takes time.

  • @judypie  4 weeks

    @silvermachine HAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHA. That’s fantastic. I just use the catchiest bit myself, never stopped for more than 2 seconds to think about a title. But fuck, I will try harder! 😂

  • @coolparadiso  4 weeks

    I have written about 20 possible titles for FAWM songs already. Some may stay some may be the concept only and the title will change and some will vanish altogether but it gives me a start point. Very important for me this year as i an going away early Feb and want to get most underway before i go.

  • @lastnightilie 4 weeks

    @yam655 It's true anyone can legally copy a title but tbh I wouldn't worry about something like that, which I have no control over. If I have to choose between what I might think is a boring title, or being original but with a small risk someone will copy my idea, I'd rather take the chance. And if they took the idea in a different direction I would actually think that was pretty cool, and a compliment if they got the idea from me. For me, the point of writing original titles isn't so I'm the only one in the world who used it (not sure if that's how it came off), it's just all part of the challenge/craft for me, and I would hope that unique titles/hooks create additional interest for my listeners along with the concept, lyrics, and music.

  • @krzysiekbb 4 weeks

    Hey. It's my first FAWM, so naturally - I've got a question. Do titles have to be in English or can I name my songs in my native language?

  • @ayehahmur  4 weeks

    @krzysiekbb No reason you can't write the whole song in your native language. Personally, I love hearing songs in languages other than English because they work in different ways - but if I were to comment on the song I'd have difficulty saying more than "it sounds good".

  • @klaus  4 weeks

    Hi @krzysiekbb! Welcome to Fawm. It's perfectly fine to write songs in your own native language. This is, after all, an international community. But it might be a good idea to include a rough English translation of the lyrics and the title. English is pretty much the language people all over the world are most likely to understand.

  • @atitlan  4 weeks

    Ignoring instrumentals, because how to title them is an art all of its own, and concentrating on songs with lyrics ...

    I take a few different approaches. Like most people, the most common thing is to take the title from the main hook of the song. Slightly less often I'll take a line out the verse, often an opening line, that feels like a title. And then more rarely still I'll try to give a song a cryptic title that relates to the lyrical content, but is not included in the lyrics.

    I'm also someone who rarely works from a title. The lyrics are suggested by the music and the title is suggested by the lyrics.

  • @gemhughs 4 weeks

    Short one word titles seem to work better than more lengthy titles when developing a song... It gives you more wiggle room for the development of the the hook & chorus of the piece. For example, you can go anywhere with a title like "Memories". You can probably quickly think of some nice hook lines using "memories".

  • @yam655 4 weeks

    @lastnightilie That totally makes sense to me. FAWM has a set of "Muse Tools" one of which is called "Titular." It is very useful to grab an unusual set of titles. Plus, the "song skirmishes" are super fun and have a group of people all writing to the same title or theme.

  • @fuzzy  4 weeks

    Like a couple of others here, I keep track of and write down potential song titles I hear during the year.
    Last week a couple of friends and I were talking and the phrase "shaving a dead dog" came up in the conversation (don't ask; long story), so I wrote it down and plan to use it as a song title during FAWM. 😀

  • @keithcuts  4 weeks

    I write about what’s on my mind and the song title seems to organically arise from the lyrics. In today’s streaming world I often find I’ll listen to a new song from an artist I don’t know based solely on the title. So it’s important if you go that route ☝🏽

  • @loveonamixtape  4 weeks

    I actually find titling my songs to be the easiest part of songwriting, honestly. It depends on the song, but anything from the most oft repeated line, or a memorable line or one I really like, but sometimes it'll be something that isn't said in the song at all. I usually have a pretty good sense of the "aboutness" of my song by the time that it's done, or I know what inspired it, so I just call it that.

    That said, some of my favorite FAWM songs have come from challenges where I was given the title, or a clear subject that ended up becoming the title, and had to write the song around it.

  • @candle  4 weeks

    @fuzzy, I can't wait to hear your "Shaving A Dead Dog" song. 😀

    See You In The Shadows…

  • @gubna 4 weeks

    I keep a list that I pull from or use as inspration to create with. Depending on what comes out while recording, a title will become obvious to me.

  • @krayzie003 4 weeks

    Since I'm doing mostly instrumental pieces I wait till the song is done then name it according to the feelings it gives to me. Sometimes I try to picture it in a scene for a TV show or movie to help describe the overall picture it conveys.

  • @hammersmith 4 weeks

    My best results always start with a great title -- to such a degree it seems pointless to me to write lyrics without one.

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