SONGHOUSE - THE ROOFTOP CHORUS
Your house only needs one roof, and your song only needs one idea
This one single central idea is the heart of your Chorus. Everything else in the song should lead and point towards this. It should also be the high point of the melody - the mountain top that makes the listener want to sing along. The Chorus is often where the title lives too because you want the listener to go away singing the melody of your Chorus and knowing what it’s called so they can then find it again and tell all their friends about your amazing song.
Make your idea big enough to cover everything
The idea will either be way too big and need splitting up or it won’t be enough to expand into a whole song.
Start by writing the meaning of the chorus in plain language ideally in one sentence - imagine you are telling someone what the song is about.
This will help you determine if it's a big enough idea to cover the rest of a song or if it's got holes in it and it’s a bit leaky! Sometimes what can seem like a great idea might only have enough scope for a Chorus. That’s okay, save the words / melody for another day when the rest of the idea comes to you, or perhaps it will be the perfect fit for someone else's song that was missing that killer Chorus.
The Chorus should be easy to sing along too, and catchy so that the listener is eager to hear the chorus again through the song, and at the end wants to play it all again because it's so good!
Keep it simple & catchy
Try summarising your chorus summary sentence into a six word story - and eventually try to summarise it into a title. Try to make that as interesting as possible, as this is often the first thing the listener will see when finding your music - catch their eye with a catchy title.
By all means re-use someone else’s title - you can’t copyright a title. A simple Google search will tell you how many other songs exist with the title you have chosen. If the list is long, then I would strongly suggest changing it. If it has no results then either it's the best idea ever or maybe it’s a little ‘out there’ as an idea.
Un-cliche your idea
One way you can create more interesting titles is taking a cliche and twisting it by adding an interesting adjective:
“Just Friends” → “Just Bad Friends”
“Kiss your lips” → “Kiss your impossible lips”
“Give me your heart” —> “Give me your beautiful heart”
Or extend it even further —> “Give me you beautiful crumbling heart” which could be summarised to “Beautiful crumbling heart”
Titles with double meanings can work well. Also titles with alliterations and numbers are very popular. E.g “11 Lies”
Make sure the listener knows it's your title
Don’t try to be clever and choose a title that either you never hear sung, or is some related idea. It’s not a quiz, leave the listener in no doubt as to what your song is called.
I see titles falling into categories:
Punchline title - this is where a chorus typically works the story towards the title as the last line
Repeated titles - maybe the chorus just repeats the title more than once
Tag line titles - this can be where the title is found in the last lines of the verses, and maybe the Chorus too.
Well done - you’ve hopefully now got a catchy title and you know in plain language what the song is about and therefore what the central message of the chorus will be.