If you’re a songwriter, you’ve probably written a love song at least once. It’s by far the most common song topic, whether it’s about falling in love, breaking up, or rekindling a romance. Today, I’d like to focus simply on someone you love. This does not have to be a significant other. People often contact me to write songs for their parents, children or friends. A ‘loved one’ for this post’s purpose is simply someone you love, whether platonically or otherwise.
If you’re going to write a song for someone, it’s important to make it unique to them. You don’t want them to feel like you didn’t put much effort into it, or that you don’t know them that well. While there are many ways to write a song for someone, I’m going to give you 10 specific ideas for song topics.
10 Specific Song Ideas for Loved Ones
Obviously, you can tailor these ideas to you and your situation. Maybe even combine a few if you want! The sky is the limit here. Above all, keep your intended target in mind and always direct your thoughts toward the end result. When you finish your song, please let me know! I’d love to hear it and see what they thought of it.
1). Tell their story
Take yourself out of the equation. What is their story? Where did they grow up? What made them who they are? By writing a song exclusively about them, you’ll show them that you pay attention to their stories and you care about them as a person. Just make sure you know the story completely and don’t get any details wrong!
2). Tell your story
This is a little more traditional, in the sense that you tell them how YOU feel because of them. It’s important to be specific and use detail that’s special to your relationship. If you use a lot of generic detail, it will be hard for your loved one to make an emotional connection to it (and they may not even believe you wrote it about them). Get personal!
3). Describe one part of them
Pick one physical thing about them you love. It doesn’t matter if they’re insecure about it (and it might even help if they are!), just choose something you love and go into detail about it. For examples, look at “Brown Eyed Girl” or “Sara Smile.” You can be even more detailed than these songs, since these were intended for commercial release. If you do intend to release it commercially, you can afford to be a little more generic.
4). Describe an Object
Pick something they love. A music box, a necklace, a photograph. Tell that object’s story. This item has meaning to them, so they would likely love a song about it! What do you feel about this object? Does it remind you of them? Does their dependence on it worry you? Those are all song ideas.
5). Talk About an Event
Pick one thing you did and write about it. A sporting event, a concert, your wedding, anything you can remember. Even better if you pick a minor event they might not remember well. It will show them that little details matter to you! When did you experience a time with them that you’ll always remember? Immortalize it in your song.
6). Talk About Their Favorite Artist
“Tim McGraw” by Taylor Swift is a good example here (and look how successful that was!). Who does your loved one love? Do you enjoy it as well or do you roll your eyes but let them listen to it, because you know how much they love it? Light teasing is okay here! Just keep it light, no personal attacks or anything.
7). Solve Their Worries
What is a struggle they are facing? Write a song of encouragement. Write about how you would fix it for them if you could. Give their problem a happy ending.
8). Celebrate Their Victories
Did your loved one accomplish something big? Is there something they’re proud of? This would be a great song topic because they’ll have that moment to celebrate forever. This is even better if they are an ‘unsung hero’ of sorts. Let them know that you notice their accomplishments, even if no one else seems to.
9). Talk About Their Hobby
Almost everyone has a hobby they’re into. I have a whole post on writing about hobbies if you choose to go with this one. Even if they don’t seem to have a hobby, what is something they do often? Are they a good cook? Do they enjoy any TV shows? In order to do some songwriting research, it might help to spend some time doing this with them. They’ll be so surprised when you present them with a song about this!
10). Talk About an Inside Joke
This one is tricky, because it’s hard to make an inside joke funny to everyone else. If you can explain it well, you’ll have a great story and a meaningful song. How did your inside joke start? What makes it so funny to both of you? Just make sure to only do this one if it’s a joke you don’t mind sharing. They might not want a private joke in a song, so use caution!
Did any of these spark an idea for you? If so, let me know about it!
After it’s done, definitely let me know and tell me how they liked it. I’m excited to hear what you create!