Canadian singer, rapper and songwriter Drake believes it is important to try to come up with songs with a lyrical message and melody that will still mean something special to listeners in years to come.
If you can write a song that becomes someone’s ‘special song’ because it always reminds them of a particular day (such as their wedding day) or a special moment in their lives (such as the return of a loved one after a long absence), then it is indeed a great achievement.
And there are solid scientific findings to support this ‘long-tail’ approach to songwriting.
In 2008, researchers at the University of Leeds found that music has a powerful influence on the storage and retrieval of long-term memories in particular. A piece of music can become so closely associated with an event from a person’s life that hearing the music again evokes powerful memories of the original experience.
That’s why music is sometimes called ‘the language of emotion’. It has an amazing power to influence people’s emotions and behaviour. As Oliver Sacks, the noted British neuroscientist and author, puts it: “Music brings back the feeling of life when nothing else can.”
Grammy Award-winning Drake and his producer Noah “40” Shebib are hoping that Drake’s song ‘Hold On, We’re Going Home’ will become a “timeless” wedding song that will help to bring back those ‘special day’ feelings and still be played at nuptials in years to come.
“I thought it would be great if we had a record that was played at weddings in ten years or that people that are away from their families in the army could listen to,” he told MTV News. “Something that just has timeless writing and a timeless melody.”
The legendary Burt Bacharach also shares this view. “I like to write songs that will last,” he once remarked. “Once a record is out of the charts it’s dead – as a record. But if it’s a good song it’ll stay around. ”
How do you think Drake’s new single ‘Hold On, We’re Going Home’ (featuring Majid Jordan) compares with other great wedding songs?
‘At Last’ – Etta James
‘Marry You’ – Bruno Mars
‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’ – Elvis Presley
“How [Not] To Write A Hit Song! – 101 Common Mistakes To Avoid If You Want Songwriting Success” is available from Amazon as a US paperback, UK paperback and as an eBook from Amazon’s Kindle Store, Apple’s iTunes Store (Books/Arts & Entertainment/Music), Barnes & Noble’s Nook store, and from KoboBooks.