I just don't see myself as a songwriter or a country singer or any of those things anymore. It's more trying to express ideas and emotional textures.
I’m just the postman, I deliver the songs...I consider myself a poet first and a musician second. I live like a poet and I’ll die like a poet.
Country music is three chords and the truth. I take a whole life story and compress it into three minutes.
I've come to appreciate how special a song is compared to other art forms, because you can carry it around in your head and your heart, and it remains part of you. It's the way singer-songwriters make sense of our lives.
To just put the truth on paper itself is hard sometimes, let alone to put it into a song. But when you do, those are the ones that matter.
Of emotions, of love, of breakup, of love and hate and death and dying, mama, apple pie, and the whole thing. It covers a lot of territory, country music does.
I write a song because I want to. I think the moment you start writing it to make money, you’re starting to kill yourself artistically.
Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.
I don't know much about God. But if everything does originate with God, then certainly songs do as well.
I compare it to fishing. I always had a little routine of going into whatever room I was using at the time to write in, and just staying in there till I felt like I got a bite.
I don't want to think that anything is off limits for me to write about, but I also don't want to intrude on anybody's life, which is why there's very little specificity or names in the songs I write.
J. D. Souther
There's so many other things to write about than unrequited love.
I like it when songs develop in some way. Four minutes usually isn't enough time for something to develop musically.
The ability to provide just enough information in the lyric is what separates great lyricists from great writers.
Nashville is the business center. They forget that the bottom line of it all is still the song.
Jerry Jeff Walker
Don't call my lyrics poetry. It's an insult to real poets.
When I'm stuck for a closing to a lyric, I will drag out my last resort: overwhelming illogic.
I try to write conversationally; I try to write like people speak and put the emphasis on the right syllable.
I don't like to write rhetorically or get on a soapbox. I try to make the stuff multi-layered, so that it always has a life outside its social context. I don't believe that you can tell people anything; you can only draw them in.
I'd like to write some songs that are so good that nobody understands them. Not even myself.
Townes Van Zandt
When you sit down to write something, there should be no guidelines. The main idea is not supposed to be, 'How many different ways can we sell it?' That's so far away from the true spirit of what music is.
I didn't choose a word or anything. I just wrote the song until it stopped.
I think I need the demons in order to write, but the demons have gone. It bothers me a lot. I've tried and tried, but I just can't seem to find a melody.
One of my biggest thrills for me still is sitting down with a guitar or a piano and just out of nowhere trying to make a song happen.
My songs are like my children - I expect them to support me when I'm old.