Even when there's not a joke or a hook, the first line has to be good and snapem to attention. Songs ain't novels. You don't have 30 pages to slowly wrap somebody in. They're more like short stories or poems. If the first line hasn't grabbed them, you won't get to the second line. Once you've developed an audience, you may have some luxury and trust, so you don't have to knock 'em over the head with line one.
Every time I write a song, it's different. I'm all about the rhythm of the words and the melody. Musically, you gotta have a throbbing pulse going. But as far as what it's all about, there's a million ways to go. You have to invent a new code for every song. Then you have to break it. It's like Scrabble or a crossword puzzle on steriods. I could talk about the process for days. But it's never dull and there's no one way in.
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