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Full Version: An Open Letter Arguing for a Lyrics Subforum
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I was trained as a lawyer at UT, so I'm going to write this up as a lawyer would. I hope the tone doesn't come off as overstepping.

Thesis: There should be a lyrics subforum.

(I) Five reasons.
(1) it would be good for the internet to have a good lyrics crit forum, whereas currently none exists,
(2) I need one,
(3) it would be attractive to certain writers,
(4) it could inform the poetry crit forums, and
(5) it would be fun.

If a lyrics subforum were created, it should contain these parts:

--Lyrics for Mild Critique
--Lyrics for Serious Critique
--Practice Exercises

I'll air those points out.

First, Pigpen is the best poetry forum on the internet, and imho, it's the only one worth a damn.

There are no good lyrics forums. Leastwise, I haven't found any.

Pigpen's expertise would facilitate the development of a meaningful rubric by which lyrics could be critiqued. For instance, there are several standard lyrical formats. Pigpen's authors are already accustomed to identifying verse formats and offering feedback accordingly. That critiquing habit would map neatly onto lyric writing.

Second, I need a place to get feedback on lyrics.

I'm working on a libretto with a composer in Austin, Texas, and it has promise. Workshopping the lyrics here would be wonderful, and necessary when, as often happens, I'm unsure about the merits of a song.

Third, I would imagine certain visitors to Pigpen would become active members if there were a strong lyrics forum, but not otherwise.

The fourth point, above, is self-explanatory, and the fifth is incorporated into the discussion below.

(II) Why not just post lyrics as poems?

Simply put, lyrics aren't poems. They follow different rules.

Lyrics differ from poetry in at least two critical respects. First, with lyrics, the meter is imposed, instead of springing from the words themselves. Second, there are well-defined lyrical formats not utilized in poetic verse.

Note, although lyrics are intended to be sung, it is not necessary to hear a recording in order to evaluate their quality or technical merit. However, it sure would be fun to hear the hogs sing Smile

(III) Summing up.

There isn't, now, a worthwhile lyrics crit forum out there. I sure could use one. Pigpen would do a good job at this. Lyrics are sufficiently distinct from poetry that they warrant a separate subforum. A lyric-centric subforum would allow for the development of a structured rubric for the evaluation of lyrics. Certain writers would be more likely to participate on Pigpen if there were a lyrics subforum. And it'd be a hoot to hear some of the folks on these boards sing a few bars.

Thanks for considering this proposal.

Additionally, I'll volunteer to mod any such forum, if that would be any help.
I agree that posting lyrics in the current workshops probably doesn't work for songwriters.

I don't know if billy wants to go down that road at all, bit IMO a sub-forum may not be neccessary, just additional workshops for mild and serious lyrics. Practice threads could probably just be added to the current practice forum encouraging crossover from both sides.

That's my 2 cents.
We have had several members submit lyrics in the miscellaneous forum in the past along with sound samples and sometimes chords. (Several of us have recorded our own versions and posted them)I think a simple [lyrics] drop down selection in misc. would suffice.

Pigpen is primarily poetry and it should probably stay that way. Lyrics could be a completely different site or a miscellaneous activity on this site much like short stories.

Thanks for considering it Smile

I am not opposed to this. I agree that lyrics are different to poetry, though they share the same mother...

My concerns are largely about administration. It's already hard enough keeping the poetry side of things on track, and I know from experience that at first people are happy to say "sure, I'll look after that"... but then life gets in the way, or things don't go quite the way you expected and as soon as people lose interest in moderating, entropy sets in.
What about just one lyrics forum, instead of a whole bunch of sub forums, then if it gets busy you could split the forums up...

I don't really write lyrics, but, I there was a forum for it, I might could learn.
i'm not opposed to "A" lyric forum as a sub menu though i did promise myself i would never entertain sub forums. i'm not opposed to "A" lyric main forum either my problems is;

that the main poetry boards may get less use.
most (me included) have no idea how to crit lyrics
i'd hate to waste my time if it doesn't work or is only used minimally.

if we (the mods will discuss it) set up such a forum it will be an non-moderated forum as the less thing we need right now are more mods. instead it would come under the eye of all mods who care to enter the place, we won't allow bloody noses etc.

if we decide yeah we'll ask you for a set of guidelines. no need to modify any rules etc.

what i can't do is have mild serious and novice. it would be just the one and the lyricists would simply take what they wanted from the feedback
we've had a talk (the mods and admin) and though i wanted it with all my heart and soul, they all told me NO!
in truth some weren't against the idea and some were. no numbers but it was thought unanimously that lyrics can be in the miscellaneous forum for now, if we get a large influx of lyrics from various writers we'll consider a unique forum for it. till that time, we've add "lyrics" to the list of stuff that miscellaneous can be used for.

thanks for setting up the suggestion.