When first learning to sing, lyrics can sometimes take a back seat to the main practice of the mechanics of the voice. Finding our range, learning to breathe & support right, transitioning through our passaggio etc, all take up a lot of our main focus. When it comes to singing, we are often concentrating on spinning all these plates at once, and we tend to prioritise the melody itself. And rightly so, of course;  A picture paints a thousand words, but a melody paints a thousand pictures. We’ll often hear and memorise a melody hook far more readily than the lyrical phrase. Singing is in many ways, mainly about the melody! But as we come to deepen our understanding of singing, our focus inevitably turns towards the lyrics themselves, and the additional layer they add to our art practice, bringing a greater depth of meaning to our work.

The poetry of song lyrics takes us into the realm of what we are singing about. Through poetic language, we express different sentiments of the heart. The two hemispheres of the brain come together- we connect language with emotion, and the voice, wonderfully, expresses both. Beginner singers can often be surprised to find that a song they really thought they loved, they have actually very little connection to from a lyrical perspective. In fact, they loved the melody, or the hook, or the beat, or the vibe of the songs production. When they start paying attention to the actually lyrics, they can be surprised to find a whole new world they had previously somehow missed. Sometimes this can draw them closer to the song, other times turn them away.

Through lyrics we deepen our understanding of a song, and also with ourselves. We start to find the songs we really want to sing, that say the things we really want to say- whether this is literal, metaphorical, mysterious, surreal, mystical or as yet not understood. In the end, word becomes as important a part of singing as breathing & supporting. They help us deepen our understanding of the world, and our connection to it.