How to Write a Love Song
Love songs have a permanent place in music culture and learning how to write a love song is a great place to start. From ballads about romance and first love, to songs about desire and breakup tracks, there’s always a love song dominating the charts.
Writing the perfect love song takes skill, especially if you want to avoid cheesy lyrics. But if you have a raw, original idea for a love song, or you have a crush or experience you want to write about, a love song is a poignant way to express yourself.
Love songs come from the heart. So if you have a story to tell or an emotion to share, the basis for your love song is already there – and it can become a finished piece in four simple steps, whether you’re an experienced songwriter or a complete novice.
Writing a love song ideas
Every song has a message or tells a story. The idea behind a song is what shapes the track and determines what goes into the verses, chorus, and bridge; and it’s the message of the song that usually hooks the listener.
Having an idea behind your song makes the writing process a lot easier. Love songs often tell tales of first love, true love, or heartbreak – but it can be difficult to find an interesting, original take on love-related topics in such a saturated genre.
If you’re struggling to source some ideas for your love song, here are some potential topics you could write about:
- A song from you to a former partner
- One about singlehood
- A song telling your partner’s story
- A taboo love story
- A song about a loved one’s – or your – insecurities
- A letter to your future/former self about love
- A song about your partner’s worries
- A song about your parent’s or grandparents’ love story
Words to use in a love song
Love songs aim to emote and move an audience, so your lyrics will need to do so too. If you’re writing a love song, you’ll want your word choices to create powerful imagery and capture your emotions – but you’ll need to tread the fine line between sounding cheesy and creating original and poignant lyrics.
When you’re writing your first draft, don’t worry too much about using flowery or complicated language – just focus on getting your ideas down. You can then go back and make your lyrics sound more poetic with the help of a reverse dictionary or by searching online for synonyms – this will give you lots of alternative word choices and help you avoid using the generic terms.
You could also check out the most common words used in songs based on their genre, to give you an idea of how your lexical choices might vary depending on the genre of love song you write.
How do you write a song for beginners?
Writing a song always starts with an idea. If you have lots of ideas for a love song, you’re ready to put pen to paper and start fleshing out some potential tracks.
If you’re new to writing lyrics, it’s worth getting a handle on the basic songwriting process before you get bogged down with thinking about the flourishes and embellishments of one particular genre. Writing a love song follows the same basic steps as writing any song, so you can approach the songwriting process as you would for any other song with these four simple steps:
Step 1: Mind-map ideas for your song‘s message
Every song has a message or deeper meaning behind it. If you have a clear idea of what you want yours to be, you’ll have a much better idea of how to write your song from the start.
Jot down all the topics or ideas you might want to write about (if you’re writing a love song, these could be related to romance, heartbreak, or relationship experiences) and then mind map any thoughts or questions that stem from each of your topics – the more original and thought-provoking, the better. To keep your song true to the love song genre, note down all the emotions each of your topics trigger for you, too. You want your song to tell an emotive story that the listener can relate to.
Some lyricists find it easier to choose an instrument or beat to work with before they start mind mapping so the rhythm can help inspire their lyrics.
Step 2: Decide how you want to structure your song
Once you’ve picked a topic you want to write about and brainstormed ideas linked to it, it’s time to pick a song structure. Knowing how you want to format your track will give you a basic shape and body to your song and should help you turn your mind map into lyrics.
Choosing your song structure will depend on what type of song you’re writing. Most love songs follow the same structure;
Step 3: Flesh out your verses, choruses, and bridge
Using your song structure as a template, it’s time to start writing some lyrics for your track. You’ll need to draft some lyrics for your verses, choruses, and bridge.
Songwriters often write their chorus (also known as a “hook”) first, because it’s the most repeated and catchy part of the song. Your chorus should embody the message of your song and should be short and poignant. Looking at the ideas you brainstormed earlier, pick your most powerful, heartfelt topic and work around that to create the words to your chorus.
Once you have your chorus, writing the verses to go around it should become easier. Approach the songwriting process like telling a story; your lyrics should have direction and each verse should say something new or build on the message of your chorus.
A tip for writing your verses is to think of a question you want each verse to answer, or an image you want it to create, and write your lyrics as an exploration into that.
Step 4: Choose your chords and melodies
When you have a draft of your song lyrics, it’s time to start working on your song’s chords and melodies. Practice reading or singing your chorus and get a feel for the natural rhythm of your song – this will help you start to work out the melody of your track.
Choose a basic repeated chord pattern and play (either on an instrument or by using a recorded backing track) in the background while you read or sing your lyrics aloud. The music will set the mood to your piece, so you’ll want it to match the message of your love song.
When you find a chord pattern and melody you like, you can refine and revise your lyrics to flow with the music’s rhythm and finalise your track.
How to write a love song for your crush
Writing a love song with someone in mind is a great way to get inspiration and give shape to your track. If you’re crushing on someone, a love song is the perfect way to communicate how you feel.
Writing a love song for your crush will follow the same basic steps as writing any song; you should mind–map some topics you want to cover, start by writing your hook and melody, and then work out your structure. To tailor your song to your crush, there are a few additional tricks you can try out:
- Write down memories, feelings, or experiences you’ve shared with your crush and use these as building blocks to write your verses
- Look back at texts you’ve exchanged with your crush or social media posts you’ve cryptically written about them, and incorporate them into your lyrics
- Think about the things you like about your crush, and use words and descriptions that are unique and tailored to them
- Focus on what makes your crush unique and avoid clichés or vague descriptions
- Decide what type of love song best suits your story; is it true love, a taboo love, a forbidden love, or unrequited love?
How to write a love song for your girlfriend
Love songs are typically written about partners and can feature current partners, ex–partners, or dream partners.
If you want to write a love song for your girlfriend (or any type of partner you have) you’ll have a head start to the songwriting process because you’ll have lots of real-life experiences to work from.
Here are some ways you can use your relationship to write a great love song:
- Go to a place that’s special to you and your partner to brainstorm ideas
- Pick a key feature about your partner – it might be a physical or emotional quality – and create a working title around it and centre your hook around this trait
- Bullet point the key parts to your love story, like how you met and your first date, and pick out the most unique or interesting events to write a verse about
Write a love song generator
Writer’s block can hit the best of songwriters. You might have lots of real experiences to write about or someone to write your love song for, but you might still be struggling to get your thoughts onto paper. Starting your song is the hardest part, so don’t worry if the lyrics take a while to be teased out.
To help generate some ideas for your love song, you could try using an interactive AI lyric generator like Laughing Squid or These Lyrics Do Not Exist to see what random ideas for lyrics are thrown out.
Generators won’t produce the most professional, polished sounded lyrics, but they can be a good tool to use during your brainstorming process to get some inspiration.
How do you write a non-cheesy love song?
If there’s one thing to avoid when writing a love song, it’s making your lyrics too cheesy.
Navigating the fine line between sounding corny and expressing your emotions can be tricky, but it’ll get easier with practice. Here are some simple ways to keep your song from becoming cheesy:
- Centre your song around a story or event, not an emotion – it’s good to feature emotions in your song, but don’t write the entire piece based around a feeling or it will feel intangible.
- Use words that sound honest – don’t go overboard with using fancy, flowery language that you’d never use in everyday life. It’s good to find original, not cliched phrases, but still try to use honest, raw descriptions if you can.
- Don’t overuse metaphors – imagery and poetic language have their place in a love song, but make sure you incorporate concrete language too otherwise your song might sound too wishy-washy.
Create your own love song lyrics
A love song can start with something as simple as an emotion, or an encounter with a potential partner.
You probably already have the basis for a powerful love song somewhere in your memories or life experiences; you just need to apply a structure, a melody and beat, and a unique, honest perspective to transform your ideas into a love song.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What makes a song beautiful?
Some of the most famous love songs of all time are hailed as “beautiful.” When someone describes a song as beautiful, it’s usually because the melody has been composed in a certain way.
There are typically four characteristics that make a song “beautiful”: a slow melody, a repeated motif or melodic cell, a melody that blends perfectly with the chord progression, or melodic leaps featured in a melody.
- How do you write a wedding song?
Love songs and wedding songs often go hand-in-hand. If you’re writing a song for your wedding, approach it in the same way as you would when writing a love song for your partner. You can follow the same structure as writing a love song and shape each verse around a key moment or an event in your life so far together, paying special attention to personal, unique details. A wedding song should be a heartfelt tribute to your partner and should celebrate your love story.