During my college years, my music theory professors spent most of their time teaching about all of the rules for writing music. Indeed, your writing assignments had to follow these rules or you would find yourself taking the class once again.
After graduating I realized that in the world of music, rules were made to be broken. My advice to anyone who wants to write music – Learn the rules first and then do what you want to! Some interesting examples of this relate to writing lyrics.
Consider the word “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious". this word was not in the dictionary when the song was written and the “rule” would be to avoid using nonsense words. The amazing composers of this song (the Sherman Brothers), however, were ultimately made a a symbol, of sorts, for all things happy. In addition, the song was listed as number 36 in the American Film Institute’s survey of the top songs in American Cinema. Listen to it here,
The word itself is evidently a form of common children’s words from the early 20th century. According to several sources, there was a practice at the time of combining “double-talk” words to make up all sorts of fun sentences for children to converse with. Even the Sherman Brothers themselves admitted that the word was a product of their youth and it was transformed several times while they were writing the song.
In the film Mary Poppins, the song is inserted as a rather pointless, but fun tune that uses the word as “something to say when you have nothing to say.” It brings to mind many well-known songs over the years that contain lyrics – themselves admitting that there are no lyrics at all.
The point is that breaking the rules for lyrics or for music is OK! The Sherman Brothers were always breaking the rules, and often came up with nonsense words and phrases that ended up being a hit with children and adults alike. You know, you can say it backwards, which is “dociousaliexpilisticfragicalirupes”, but that's going a bit too far, don't you think?"
Candid Brilliance Music