Which do you steal first, the music or the lyrics?

Which do you steal first, the music or the lyrics?

mike skliar's picture



Liner Notes: 

I was reading a thread here in the forum about collaboration and writing melody/lyrics to an already existing musical track, and remembered that old question that songwriters get asked- which do you write first, the music or the lyrics? Then thought of the title phrase, and it pretty much wrote itself, bad puns and all, from there.

Recorded quick (and written quick too) with the iPhone, and me playing a Taylor acoustic, live.



Which do you steal first, the music or the lyric
Which gets the bigger laugh, Ironic or satiric
Which victory is more hollow, The fake one or the pyrrhic
Which do you steal first, the music or the lyric

I was listening to your catalog to see what I could steal
All those personal details give me the feels
If I walk a mile in your shoes, does that make me a heel?
( I don’t know)


I was studying the outtakes, that have not been released
Way back in your prime, you were a songwriting beast
My tunes don’t seem to rise so good, I need some of your yeast
(see what I mean, that was terrible)


Now comes the bridge, where I steal from another
Come on people now, smile on your brother…

Here’s my last verse now, my original thought is gone
Time for a gratuitous reference, like I was saying to Obi-Wan
I don’t even like star wars, I prefer the wrath of Khan
(cheap laugh)


(c) 2019 Mike Skliar

Please keep your comments respectful, honest, and constructive. Please focus on the song and not the demo.


Stephen Wordsmith's picture

I'm a sucker for unusual rhymes and off-beat metaphors - needless to say, I loved this. It's also quite clever because the song becomes a self-demonstrating article - having the narrator be a clumsy plagiarist gives all these rhymes and metaphors their place.

metalfoot's picture

The lyric, of course.


Fun song, Mike! Enjoyed my listen a lot.

tseaver's picture

Fun jump to the meta here -- nice write!

nateger's picture

Clever lyrics! I appreciate all of the rhymes with "lyric" too. I'm a big fan of those cool chord changes, too

Roddy's picture

Holy crap! This is great. I laughed out loud at some of these sparking lines. Loudon Wainwright III would have been proud of this song. Underneath the gorgeous words there are some very fine chord changes too. A real songwriter's song.

headfirstonly's picture

Hee hee, I love it! Your choice (and impeccable fit) of rhymes with "lyric" are glorious. And I'm still laughing at the last verse.