Editing Lyrics: A Morning Glory Lesson

I am the queen of brown thumb gardeners.

Spring sunshine has arrived! My heart jumps with joy to hear the bird’s song and smell the fresh morning air. This spring I declared to be the year that I would raise Morning Glory flowers from a seed packet! Since my brown thumb has been known to kill silk flowers, I doubted my seeds would ever become flowers.

So, I planted my seeds in a fancy crystal vase with beautiful tumble-glass in the bottom. At least if the flowers didn’t make it I would have a vase filled with glass-decorated dirt that would look great.

As days passed, I was shocked to see the whole package of Morning Glories had sprouted and were quickly overgrowing the vase! WOW, I had a flower garden sprouting out of a crystal vase. Time to transplant them. Before I could transplant them, I had to untangle their roots from all the decorative glass pieces in the vase. I also had to remove the fancy, tumble glass shards to uncover the core roots of each flower growth.

 Tumbled ocean glass from my international travels.

Tumbled ocean glass from my international travels.

After all the clutter and glamour was removed from their roots, each tiny flower could finally do what it was designed to do, bloom in the morning. The very next day the tiny Morning Glories not only bloomed, but they bloomed all day long!

My songwriting often parallels my crowed, decorative vase. I often get too caught up in finding decorative words and phrases. Much like each Morning Glory seed, my song lyrics cannot bloom with all the extra attempts to decorate the words. However, when I remove the impressive, decorative stuff from my lyrics, a stronger lyric reveals itself. Then the song lyric blooms with a more authentic meaning.  I can no longer hide under layers of extra, decorative words. I must strip down my lyrics to the words that are REAL! And to write real, I must become real with myself! Then my lyrics will have more meaning to the listener.

 One of my Morning Glories.

One of my Morning Glories.

Now I know that the impressive word for this is “editing” song lyrics. But I call it writing what is real!

How do you know when you are being real in your writing? Do you have any favorite “impressive” words you find yourself having to edit out of your lyrics?