How can you write a gospel song that can change lives? Ask any Christian songwriter you know, “Do you think of yourself as more of a lyricist or a composer?” Most would no doubt choose lyricist. The reason for this is that without the lyrics, it’s hardly a gospel song at all. A country song sounds like a country song with or without the words, so does a rock song. But because a gospel song is about the message, it needs lyrics to come alive.
Whatever words you use, the lyrics of each verse should follow a similar pattern. You don’t have to rhyme, for instance, but you should do the same on each verse – i.e., if you don’t rhyme on the first verse, don’t rhyme on the second. And when you rhyme one verse, rhyme all of the verses.
In gospel music, especially songs written in hymnal style, most use the standard 2-4 verses leading up to a chorus. You can add a bridge or coda, but it’s optional, based on your sole preference for the song.
Keep your working title in mind and make sure that your lyrics are centered on this one subject. Trying to cover too much in a song is confusing for those listening, so try to stay on topic and try not to over explain everything mentioned in the song. You don’t have to give every detail of the crucifixion for people to know what you’re talking about, so keep your lyrics as minimal as possible and trust that others have read their Bibles, too.
One tip to remember when writing gospel music lyrics is that, while writing a song can be very personal, once the writing is done, it becomes more about the hearers. Write with the hope (and prayer) that God will receive the glory and that others will relate and benefit in some way from hearing these words you’ve written.
– By Tammy