Billy Momo Says: Words

Words now at Billy Momo #25.


by Orren


“Words are very unnecessary, they can only do harm”.

I love that line. Simple, but so true. In romantic situations like the one in the song as well as in many others.

Love pop lyrics. Simple, down to earth and to the point. It’s a damn shame that people don’t pay attention to lyrics – and I’ll get back to that – but I think it’s also a fact that has helped evolve the art of pop poetry. When you know you have two lines to fit into the listener’s attention span, you have to make them count. This I believe has made songwriters step up their game when it comes to one-liners. I love it.

“Oh my god! Look at her butt!” is a brilliant line, to me. Tells quite a story really. The attitude, everything. Brilliant!
“Fuck you-ou-ou” with a sweet, classic Motown groove. Very simple but totally unique. The way he lets the words play with the music, it’s beyond poetry. It’s something else, an art form of its own. Words that are nothing at all, written down, come alive with the music and becomes poetry in the song. It’s the words that give you that feeling, backed by everything else. And you don’t know why. It can seem so simple, so corny out of context and still give you such a kick when the arrangement builds up for that vowel. Make the word shift its meaning, depending on the way it’s accompanied by the song. Magic!

Yes, love pop lyrics, hate bad pop lyrics. They ruin everything! It’s like painting Mona Lisa and then tell everyone she’s doing the face because I just farted.

Words often have that effect. I find myself feeling stupid, trying to describe music. It’s like rebuilding Taj Mahal using plywood. Words are very unnecessary.

More Billy Momo wisdom at The GTC archive

Songwriters, don’t write lyrics if you’re not inspired! And the rest of the team – AnRs, producers, publishers – tell them! You’re not twelve! This won’t do! Find something believable to say or at least form one sentence that works! If you can’t, I’m afraid words will only do harm.

I’m not saying I am better than anyone at this. Only that I won’t do it if I don’t feel inspired. I ask Barba. If none of us feel inspired, well, then we don’t have a song!

5 great lines according to me:

  1. “Huh! ” Always works. You kind of have to mean it to say it. It always feels sincere (fav one: “I’ve got a feeling”, the Beatles at 1:31)
  2. “Aint no grave can hold my body down” (Johny Cash, song titled the same) There are a lot of cocky lines to be heard for those like me who love them. This is one of my favorites. Very dramatic.
  3. “Put on my gazoline boots and walk through hell” (Methodman in “Protect ya neck (the Jump off)” by Wu-tang clan. Same goes for that one I guess. A great mantra when you’re in trouble.)
  4. “Leave the bourbon on the shelf and I’ll drink it by myself” (the Killers, song titled the same. A well-painted picture of loneliness).
  5. “When we meet again, introduced as friends, please don’t let on that you knew me when I was hungry and it was your world” (Bob Dylan, “Just like a woman”. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had moments when I’ve been such a sucker for someone that I could beg her now, in retrospect, not to tell anybody about it.)


Billy Momo

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