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​How To Write A Song

This song is by Harry Nilsson and appears on the album Sandman (1976).

How to write a song

If you write it on guitar
Place your guitar upon your knee
If you write it on piano
Don't do that

Place your fingers on the
Strings of your guitar
Not your piano
If you write it on piano, don't do that

Now strum or press to get a feeling
This might take a little time
Now think of something sad or something funny
Which inevitably brings us to the rhyme

Let's assume you're just an asshole
And there's nothing in your brain
It might help if you remember
These helpful little hints

Don't try to rhyme silver with anything yeah
That goes for orange as well
Now notice how cleverly
I just used them both
And all I have to do
Is rhyme well

You've got to be very tricky
'Cause to avoid these words takes talent
So never ever trap yourself like that
Or you'll end up saying words like
Ballent, phallant, dallant,
Wallant, callant, hallant
Oh well, I'm sure you'll catch on fast!

Now some tips on tempo
And some subjects to avoid
Like the use of the word baby
Unless you really have to say it
As to tempo or as we say time
That's strictly up to you because
That depends on how you play it

Now let's do one!
Now think of a rhyme!
That's it, you're doing fine
Now think of the good time
We just had together

If you practice these instructions
On the boat of song you'll sail
And if you listen very carefully
I'm sure you shallant fail

I said sallant, yeah shallant!
That rhymes with talent!
That takes talent!
That is talent!
Oh oh my God, I've done it again
Shallant rhymes with talent
That takes talent!
That is talent!
OH I can't stand it!
Oh my God
I've done it again!