What’s in a song title?

It’s certainly too early to think about an album name, but song titles are always something to consider.  As usual, I’m conflicted about whether I should go with a more metal theme, or a more folky theme.

Let’s discuss.

Bluegrass Song Names

Ok, I’ll admit to being a bit unfamiliar with typical bluegrass song names, but they often tend give the feel of simple living in Appalachia. Also, the titles tend to be very literal. Examples:

  • Beautiful Moon Of Kentucky
  • Wreck On The Highway
  • Tomorrow is a Long Time

The above names are usually as long as they get in the bluegrass world. You’ll see a lot of 2 or 3 word titles, and I’ve seen a lot of one word nouns as well.

  • Valley
  • Contentment
  • Graveyard

Of course, a person’s name is quite often all you need to express romance and/or heartbreak!

  • Josephine
  • Little Maggie
  • Eveline
  • Poor Ellen Smith

I could easily take this path for Blood & Banjos.  It’s simple, and elegant, and it gets the point across.  But it’s only half the story!

Metal Song Names

Now I could go on all day about these.  But mainly because metal is way too broad a genre.  Generally, the feel of titles are foreboding, condescending, or otherwise intense, and they tend to be more conceptual/metaphorical. Let’s look at a few examples.

There’s the violent/graphic song title (and these are quite tame):

  • Carnal Ways To Recreate The Heart
  • Entry Level Exit Wounds
  • In Her Blood

Plenty of ironically fun/silly titles:

  • Apocalypse Now and Then
  • Dogs can grow beards all over
  • There’s no penguins in Alaska

The seriously epic/dark song title:

  • The Blackest Incarnation
  • In the Shadow of the Horns
  • Lord of the Depths

Ridiculously long titles:

  • I used to hate cell phones, but now I hate car accidents
  • The sadistic motives behind bereavement letters
  • You suck at life, and I’m not talking about the board game

For some reason, analogies involving body parts were also popular for a while:

  • Mouths Like Sidewinder Missiles
  • Teeth the size of Piano Keys
  • Fingers like Daggers

The list goes on…

If we were focusing on black metal in particular, the titles would probably fall in the dark/foreboding/violent category. But again, I’m still undecided about which way we’ll take this.

I’ll have to come back to this topic later… In the meantime, I still have more music to write!

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2 thoughts on “What’s in a song title?

  1. How ’bout mixing them all “Carnally Reconstructing Poor Ellen Smith’s Heart Under a Beautiful Kentucky Moon While Summoning the Lord of the Depths” 😉

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