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Paul Simon Discusses His Songwriting Process

In another excerpt from Paul Simon’s exclusive interview with Tom Moon, Paul talks about writing melody vs. lyrics:

Q It seems when people discuss your songs they focus on the lyrics—the “message.” Yet in talking to musicians, I’ve learned they are more often engaged by the musical underpinnings, the chord changes and structural details … In a way it’s as if your work means something different to different listeners.

A Well, print critics focus more on the lyrics. It’s easier to talk about words with words than to describe melody, harmony and rhythm. Musicians focus more on the music. I’m glad. I spend more time writing music than writing words. The music always precedes the words. The words often come from the sound of the music and eventually evolve into coherent thoughts. Or incoherent thoughts. Rhythm plays a crucial part in the lyric-making as well. It’s like a puzzle to find the right words to express what the music is saying.

Paul Simon’s new collection, “Songwriter,” is available now! Buy your copy today!

Paul Simon - Songwriter