I don‘t usually post my Cinemibus videos on this blog anymore, but this one is musical-related, so there.
We’ve all been there; you’ve thought of a brilliant little line that works perfectly with your rhythmic scheme. The only problem is that the final word of the line has almost no perfect rhymes. As we must take perfect rhymes as a ground rule (I will talk more about this in the future), damage control is now the main priority. Say you manage to put together a workable but by no means particularly good line out of one of the two or three rhymes for your problem word. You now have two lyrical lines, one of them getting along swimmingly, the other still floating but otherwise dead in the water (like an overextended metaphor). This is what I mean by damage control: we must find a way to reduce emphasis on the lame line.
I’ve heard all too many musical numbers that were very obviously written for no better reason than that someone must have said, “we’d better put a musical number here.” If ever you find yourself doing this, stop immediately and think long and hard about concept, which I assert is the single most important element in a good song lyric.
I will illustrate the importance of concept through a pair of examples from animated musicals.