How to write lyrics for Pop/movie songs

One of my super-duper blockbuster hit posts was “How to write lyrics for Bollywood movies“. The post was written during the previous incarnation of this blog, that was back in 2007. Although I am not immensely proud of it, this post escaped culling during my clean-up program. 

Please do read the comments section if you could.

That post went viral in 2007 and eventually flooded with hundreds of comments at various levels of LOL/FOFL/LMAO. I was literally hounded with email addresses and phone numbers asking me to consider them for a chance to write lyrics in an actual Bollywood movie!. Few of them used this opportunity to talk about their love life as well. 

Anyways, I was wondering, why not follow it up with my expanded horizon. Evidently, I am good at it anyways. So here it goes:

Warning: Rest of this post is extremely sarcastic, have a good laugh, it’s good for the heart. 

How to write lyrics for Punjabi pop songs

  1. Always write lyrics in the first person – male. (main, mennu etc.)
  2. Acknowledge that she has seizures inducing level of fair complexion or even Golden (!?!) 
  3. Apparently, Pakistani beauties are so spectacular that explaining it will be blasphemous. Say that.
  4. Tell her you to take her to a Euro-trip.
  5. Tell her you are filthy rich like Scrooge McDuck and can afford to rent expensive transport such as Lamborghini.
  6. Tell her how much alcohol your liver can metabolise per hour. 
  7. Don’t worry; Director/choreographer will create an unmistakable gold digger model character.  

Alright, here it goes :

Oh Soni kudiye , Goriye ..
Tu inna soni hai.. tu India da ni , tu Peshawar do lagdi
Tu inna soni lagdi, the Pakistan do bhaslpany lagdi
Tu menu red flag lagdi , me yahanse jawangi
Tennu London ghumawanga , tennu Paris ghumawanga
Tennu assi Lamborghini dilawanga, ni chahida to Porsche dilawange
Duss tennu ko chahida ..
Mennu Gucci Zara dilade Prada lolui Vuitton dilade
Assi tussi Lamborghini main, aur papa ko no batayenge.
Hongi dope shope , pilavunga 15 bottle vodka. London Police pakdega etc.

How to write lyrics for a Kannada movie song

  1. Again, go for the first-person male unless you are writing super romantic songs, which are not in fashion.
  2. List mundane stuff you do in lyrics. (Use Soap, scrub well, Take a bath, brush teeth and so on. I am not kidding this is an actual song, rather famous one] 
  3. Every alternate word has to be English, and a third should be in Hindi. 
  4. Throw in some double meaning; the second meaning has to be profanity. 
  5. Compare her to barely edible junk food which would like to swallow. (e.g. You look like Schezwan Noodles) 

I do not have written lyrics for you yet. Do let me know if you want me to write one, would take only five min to write industry-standard lyrics. 

How to write lyrics for Bollywood songs.

One of Bollywood lyrical masterpiece !!!!

The 80s and 90s songs had a different pattern which was entirely revered in the last couple of decades. But from last two decades, the lyrical landscape is entirely changed. 

  1. More 40% of Bollywood songs still are Punjabi. I got you covered there in the above section. 40% are remixes of 90s songs. So follow below rules for the remainder 20%.
  2. Be deeply spiritual. Throw in a few Dua, which you asked with your khuda
  3. Go ahead with plagiarism of folk songs and be unapologetic about it.
  4. If you chose not to talk about liquor metabolism, you could always talk about the stuff from Manali.
  5. Naina is the most used the word. Khamoshian stands at a remote second. Understandably, the Pakistani singers pronounce these words rather conveniently, and hence lyrics get tailored as well.

Get someone spit some rap about why are you a better rapper than others and why you owe it to your mother who burnt some roti while you were a kid.

Bollywood and its exploitation business

A Thumb rule for any movie director, even liberal, is to go very conservative when kids are involved. Several things can go horribly wrong, and I am not talking about acting. Sometimes the messages movies send out will have a long-lasting impact that is irreversible. Let me give you one example from the days where DTH was popular.

BTW, This is a follow-up post in continuation to one of my previous.

The kid here is competing in a singing event featuring some A-listers as judges and guests. I do not know if the song was her choice in the first place, or producer tasked it to her just to appease Saif. Please have a look. For those who do not understand Hindi, translation of Zara means “a little”. There you go ! the rest of the lyrics is in English.

I am not sure how much Sex Education is taught in school nowadays, but I would assume it’s adequate. Also, there must be a general awareness with “the Birds and Bees” syllabus. An integral part of that syllabus is Do’s and Don’t’s when dealing with adults.

To my horror, this girl sings precisely opposite. How was this even allowed to air? What am I missing here?

On a related topic, I hope you are aware of the Netflix movie Cuties went horribly wrong and controversial on the same issue. It’s not Bollywood show, so I will let Americans fight this out. However, if you still decide to watch it, read these warnings on IMDB first.

One more case I wanted to present was from Tamil Industry. I would rank this “borderline inappropriate”, unfortunately, this is what industry is currently aiming for  – a borderline. Also, I was surprised that this came from the Tamil industry, who generally are, cautious with their messaging in a movie.

I can list five things which are wrong with this. But, one-shot surprised me the most is that kid kicks the books as one of the first things in the morning!. I have never seen this act before in any of Indian popular culture mediums. Its one of the value of our culture we generally do not negotiate. In fact, a lot of Indians even worship our books, and I respect the value and reason behind. Again, let me know If I am missing anything here.

To be continued…

Bollywood, the casting couch and narratives

Question:  According to you, what is the most corrupt entity in Independent India? Please ignore all the 100 bucks you slipped under the table for a file to be moved to next table. I am talking about the big stuff. The Corruption at a level of the complete collapse of the moral values and the entire entity has become so dysfunctional and desperately needs clean-up from external forces? Anything comes to your mind?

Generally, the Political Parties comes top of everyone’s list (cause they get caught). Followed by them, we have cops or officers. You may have Hospitals in your list (who arm-twist you for some extra tests); finally Schools who rob you with your life long saving and so on…

But never Bollywood.! It does not even appear in “corrupt” lists, frustratingly never!. They can

  • Party shoulder to shoulder with India’s most wanted Terrorist’s!
  • Kill endangered species or Drive SUV on not so endangered ‘being humans’!!
  • Appeasement of Paki-land talents; the list goes on and on…

But our general response is a large “Meh..!!” And then we go on and buy ticket subsequent Friday. You know, for that movie which has Chunky’s daughter and Jackie’s Son.

I would argue that Bollywood is probably one of the most corrupt mafias there is! And entire Blame should be assigned to us – the Audience, we created this monster. We tolerated the deep-rooted evil practises and allowed it to grow. There are too many things to talk about, but in this post, I will stick to two of them. More to come…

1/ The casting Couch : I am surprised that people are surprised. This practise is as old as Bollywood itself. See the images below and follow the link and these scenes are from late 40s. My best guess is that her role in the movie was nothing to do with swim-suit and probably was fully-saree-wrapped woman. But for some reasons the Director was very particular.

2/: The Approved Library of stories: Bollywood is very particular on scripts and the narratives. They will iteratively stick to a set of topics, continuously remixed. They never churn unless there is a new, collectively agreed narrative.

Let me give you one example: Hatim Tai was a 6th-century Yemeni prince allegedly known for his generosity. But, that bloke never came to India and had no India connection. But Bollywood has made 7 movie/series on him !!. Pakistan made 2 NONE made by Yemen or any other nearby countries. You can search in the Movie database and challenge me on this.

  1. Sakhi Hatim (1955) – Nanubhai Vakil
  2. Hatim Tai (1956), directed by Homi Wadia
  3. Saat Sawal (1971), directed by Babubhai Mistry
  4. Hatim Tai (1990), directed by Babubhai Mistry        
  5. Dastaan-e-Hatimtai(1994-1995) – Indian TV Series aired on DD National
  6. Hatim (2003-04) – Indian TV Series on Star Plus in
  7. The Adventures of Hatim (2013) – Indian TV Series on Life OK

Can someone explain what is going on here..? Even Gandhi did not have so many movies made on him !!. What about Bose & Patel? On TATAs? Or where are the films on real-life Heroes we had.?

To be continued…

P.s. Remember that Kamli Kamli song from Dhoom 3 where Amir Khan as a director conducts casting couch on Katrina’s character . Textbook ! But you know … “the Meh !”

Racist or Not ?

Hi there.., we are super-duper sensitive Indians.! Don’t make fun of us – we do not tolerate any racist acts! BTW we will brand any comments on our accent and on the way we look as stereotypical or racist. Please note these down in bold letters, if you forget it even for a minute – we gonna come so hard on you.., that you may have to run with tail between your legs!

While we are here, let us also make clear that above commandment works one way. Above stated can not take away our birth right of ridicule other who don’t look walk talk like us! for e.g. Gora, Kallu and Chinki are not racist names!

To summarise: non-Indian imitating Indian – Racist !. Other way round – comedy!

Having made this clear, lets go to a case study. Popchip’s ad below by Ashton Kutcher – Racist or Not ?

Review: 7 Khoon Maaf

Saat Khoon Maaf has been underperforming at the box office! What did you expect? You should have anticipated it when you brought that plot for Europe, which does not fit in our “Indian culture”,. I mean, a woman with 7 husbands!, and she kills all of them – what a slut!.  Did you not know that we Indian cinemagoers are bunch of fourteen year olds who would like to giggle for PJs and miniskirts? Let me remind you again, we can’t bare the thoughts of serious thoughts of homosexuality, pre (or extra) marital sex, female polygamy (male is fine) etc, even though they all are stacked up in the closet.

image via wikipedia

It’s so frustrating to see such artwork does not get the attention, recognition and popularity it deserves. Almost a century now of history of Bollywood and its audience still did not reach puberty.

Back to the movie, it’s brilliant, just what Vishal Bhardwaj promises, every time! I am a Vishal fan, ever since Omkara. This again, based on a book, “Susanna’s Seven Husbands” – a Ruskin Bond novel. Story of a woman constantly in search of eternal love (read: overrated love) and she ends up marrying (and killing) all of them. As it was done for Omkara, story was customised to the Indian context. Susanna, of course, is retained as a westernised Christian woman; otherwise it is not possible to tell a story of seven husbands. Remember that Indian cultural thing – once a widow always a widow (Manu wrote this, not me).

Movie is collectively almost a masterpiece – fine acting, great direction, brilliant storytelling and nice choice of character. Priyanka Chopra did a great job, but I am still not a fan. Annu Kapoor was the best part of the movie, other husbands did well. Songs were good; “Daaarlinggg” was worth the applause.

Only departments that fail in the movie are graphics and make up. Black panther was totally a cartoon, and the burning house looked like a gif image from a mail forward. Bollywood has a long way to go make the graphics look real. While fixing that, for the next movie, Vishal can fire his Make-up artists. Plot reads Susanna ageing from 20 to 65 along the storyline, but she always looked like age 28 to 28.5, with several bad disguises!