What Is a Song?


A song is a musical composition accompanied by vocals, usually in distinct and fixed pitches (melodies). It can be composed by a poet in the transient throes of passion and yearning, or performed by a pubescent at the threshold of maturity, or even trilled by a rainbow finch simply conveying its gratitude to the Sun. But no matter its origin, a song must be in the heart to be truly sung.

A good song should be able to describe, in concrete terms, the feeling of a scene or emotion using vivid imagery and senses. The lyrics should be focused on a central theme that ties the whole song together. The best songs also include a climactic point, often called the chorus. This is the moment that ties all the big ideas in the verses and pre-chorus together, and it serves as the culmination of the entire song. The chorus typically includes the song title and should be memorable enough to stand out from the rest of the song.

The music should match the feelings expressed in the lyrics, and vice versa. A disconnect between the words and instrumentals can also indicate more than just a poor choice of lyrics – it can suggest that something deeper is being implied.

The article should also provide details about the song’s historical context and influences. For example, the Charles Mingus jazz tune Fables of Faubus makes much more sense when viewed in the light of Governor Faubus’s attempt to prevent the desegregation of Arkansas schools, and Fleetwood Mac’s famous album Rumours is more meaningful when seen in the light of the controversies surrounding the band at the time.