Songwriting is a bit like dating. The first words make or break the impression.
A strong opening line in a song has to be interesting and mysterious. Like the Righteous Brothers sang in the song ‘You’ve lost that lovin’ feelin’: "You never close your eyes anymore when I kiss your lips."
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An intriguing opening line matched with a melodious hook or chorus, preferably with an intro that is not longer than 30 seconds, creates the right impact on the listener.
One can listen and relisten to their favourite songs, noticing how the first words (and the accompanying tunes) make an impact by catching our attention and pulling us in.
Van Morrison once characterized Bob Dylan as the greatest living poet.
Pete Seeger said that the unmistakable elegance in Dylan's words has an almost biblical beauty that has sustained his songs throughout the years.
“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.”
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