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The Craft of Lyric Writing [Hardcover]

Sheila Davis
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct. 15 1984 Book

With over 100,000 books in print, this successful author and songwriter provides a complete guide to writing words for and to music, showing how to create lyrics with universal appeal, choose a song form, and more. 350 pages. 6x9.


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Review

"...the classic songwriting tome." -- Billboard Magazine

"...to young lyricists who come to me for advice: Buy THE CRAFT OF LYRIC WRITING. It's all there." -- Sheldon Harnick, Pulitzer Prize Lyricist, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF

"Davis has fulfilled a vital need in American popular culture." -- American Music

"Davis's book...is both educational and entertaining. A marvelous piece of work." -- George David Weiss, President, The Songwriter's Guild of America

"Now I know what to say to young lyricists who come to me for advice: Buy THE CRAFT OF LYRIC WRITING. It's all there." -- Sheldon Harnick, Pulitzer Prize Lyricist, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF

"Sheila Davis's book deserves not one, but two 'E's for excellence as it is both educational and entertaining. A marvelous piece of work." -- George David Weiss, President, The Songwriter's Guild of America

THE CRAFT OF LYRIC WRITING explains how to combine songwriting talent with various techniques to create lyrics with commercial hit potential. This book also defines more than 100 literary and musical terms and supplies advice and quotes on the creative process from more than 50 experts in the music industry. THE CRAFT OF LYRIC WRITING is a must-read for potential songwriters. -- Song Hits Magazine

THE CRAFT OF LYRIC WRITING is a must-read for potential songwriters. -- Song Hits Magazine

THE CRAFT OF LYRIC WRITING is an exhaustive and thoughtful introduction to the intricacies of song lyrics, and includes analytical insights that are interesting even to those who are not aspiring writers.(International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM)) -- International Association for the Study of Popular Music, IASPM

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars You were so good at keeping things vague. Feb. 25 2000
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I agree that "obtuseness" "can never [or, at least, can only rarely] successfully pass for depth", but I'm not so sure about vagueness. It seems to me that John Lennon and Bob Dylan in the sixties made something of an art of vague lyric-writing--to great commerical success and critical acclaim. (Paul McCartney likes to tell how John Lennon made him replace the lines "She was just seventeen/Could have been a beauty queen" with "She was just seventeen/And you know what I mean" and how afterward "You know what I mean" became a catch phrase in popular song. No one really knew for sure.) My point here is that there are a lot of ways to skin a cat. A true artist will invent his own. But the problem with this book is not that it wants you to write one way and not another; the problem with this book is that it really isn't able to distinguish a good lyric from a bad lyric or to analyze a lyric profitably and that when you read it you aren't getting advice from the horse's mouth; you're getting second-hand, watered down advice.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Your Ticket to Fame and Forturne Feb. 15 2000
Format:Hardcover
Did you ever listen to the radio and wish you could do that, wish it were your songs played, celebrated, whistled and hummed across the nation? Would you like to be able to say, "I write the songs that make the young girls cry; I write the songs; I write the songs"? Well, now you can. Sheila shows you how--how you can make more money than you've ever imagined, how you can be adored by the masses, how you can make the young girls cry. Believe me, music publishers are constantly ploughing through unsolicited manuscripts desperately searching for hit songs. It's gotten so bad that many popular music artists are starting to resort to writing their OWN songs! Seriously. And how much money can you make? Federal law sets royalty rates for recordings at about $.02 per record to split with your publisher, so if your song sells a mere one million copies, you stand to make an amazing $10,00! (That is, if you are both composer and lyricist, otherwise $5,000.) That's enough to feed, clothe, and house you and your entire self for nearly six months! How does the author of "The Craft of Lyric Writing" know so much about song writing? She has actually LISTENED to popular songs; she has ANALYZED popular songs; she has herself WRITTEN...songs! No, this is one opportunity you simply can't afford to pass by.
In addition to "The Craft of Lyric Writing" by Sheila Davis, I also recommend "The Craft of Lyric Writing" by Sheila Davis.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The modern hit-writing authority... Sept. 13 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
...Davis catalogues the fundamentals of the craft, from lyric structure to rhyme and meter to avoiding common pitfalls. She makes all of this easy to understand. Every one who wants to write lyrics should buy this book.
Singer-songwriters be warned: this book is written by a non-performing, professional lyricist. Those not trying to write a Top-40 hit should take Davis' comments about appropriate subject matter with a grain of salt. Davis' prose is what you'd expect from someone who writes catchy songs for a living: hokey and salesmanlike.
None of this detracts from the basic truth of the book, that clarity and specificity are virtues in writing, while obtuseness and vagueness can never successfully pass for depth. For her examples Davis sticks to truly well-written songs; for the most part she does not hold certain genres superior to others. In sum, the woman knows of what she speaks. Read this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars THE Best Inspiration for Lyricists March 31 2000
Format:Hardcover
If you want THE book on lyric writing, this is it! Sheila Davis's highly readable work has inspired beginning as well as experienced writers. I should know! Thanks to Sheila, my CD of 20 of my original songs, I'M IN LOVE WITH MY COMPUTER, was named "One of the Best Cabaret CDs of '98" by InTheatre Magazine. Sheila is not only a published songwriter, but also a supportive workshop teacher. Her book reflects her teaching style: highly accessible but thought-provoking at the same time. She gives examples for every point she makes.Reading the book is the next best thing to working in person with her, which I've had the privilege of doing. I also highly recommend her workbook "Successful Lyric Writing,"particularly helpful to the lyricist starting out, and "The Songwriter's Ideabook" which is wonderful for any songwriter looking for a creative boost!
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By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
If you want the nuts and bolts of lyricwriting at your fingertips this is it. Not only does this book touch on the subject of lyricwriting but the creative process as well. My lyrics have become more focused and structured and writers block is a thing of the past. Also the references made to other authors, books and songwriters has turned me on to a whole new world of literature. My greatest fear as a lyricwriter is to have my work rejected because I overlooked a fundamental lyricwriting principle. "The Craft of Lyricwriting" has eliminated this fear.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Don't leave home without it! April 3 2000
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
To know your craft is power. Having read Sheila's book, studied with Sheila for 6 years, moved to Nashville as a songwriter, and written with hit songwriters in Nashville for the last 7 years, I cannot imagine being a songwriter without this book. It has inspired me, taught me, and is always there to refer to time and again. I believe every serious songwriter would benefit from this book. Sheila is a songwriter who knows her craft and has laid it all out in this easy to read, easy to follow, inspiring book. Go on, get the power!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I bought it for my daughter's birthday
I read the book a few years ago, thought it handled the subject very thoroughly and wanted my daughter to have a copy (if anyone cares)
Published 9 months ago by Jim Boudreau
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have for songwriters library.
Got this to replace a missing copy. The vendor was prompt and accurate in description of the condition. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Fillhixx
5.0 out of 5 stars Top of The List
Sheila Davis has written a wonderful book. Whether you're a pro or novice at the business of songwriting Ms. Davis' has something for everyone here. Read more
Published on Oct. 29 2003 by dlmorrow
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Have!
"The Craft Of Lyricwriting" by Sheila Davis is a must have for any aspiring lyicist. It gives to you, in layman's terms, the essentials of writing a great song lyric. Read more
Published on March 27 2003 by Richard
5.0 out of 5 stars The bible of lyricwriting!
I can't say enough about "The Craft Of Lyricwriting" by Sheila Davis. This book gives you the foundation you need to understand the art of lyricwriting. Read more
Published on Aug. 29 2001 by Richard
2.0 out of 5 stars Hmmm
If you listen to the radio you'll discover that there are no rules, no rhyme (so to speak) or reason, to successful songwriting. It helps to be lucky, well-connected, etc. Read more
Published on Feb. 3 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars Sheila is terrific!
I've read about 12 books on songwriting since 1979. This bookand everything by Pat Pattison is light years ahead of everything elsein my opinion. Read more
Published on July 22 1999 by davidb@microserve.net
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Bible of Lyricwriting"
"The Craft of Lyricwriting" by Sheila Davis is a must have for any serious lyricwriter. The sections on rhyme, rhythm and form I found to be extremely helpful. Ms. Read more
Published on June 30 1999
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