Cliches CAN work

Posted on 04/02/2012


Before reading this article, please watch this short video:

Not a bad song, huh? Kind a jaunty.

Now, maybe you didn’t notice, but the entire chorus of that song was a set of cliches. Yeah. THE ENTIRE CHORUS.

But, I bet you didn’t notice too much did you? You were snapping your fingers, tapping your toe, waving your glowstick around.

The four cliche’s were:

There ain’t no rest for the wicked. (a play on no rest for the weary)

Money don’t grow on trees.

I got bills to pay, I got mouth to feed. (How many times have we heard that one?)

There ain’t nothing in this world for free.

So I ilstened to this song about 50 times before it hit me that the chorus was just a bunch of cliches. The dudes didn’t even really write the chorus, they just copied a bunch of crap from other people…but it works.

You know how much I think story telling and song writing are closely related. A song must tell a good story (whether through its words or music). 

To me this song is pretty cool. Prolly one of my favorites when it first came out, and I still like it to this day.

But if Cage the Elephant was to listen to the naysayers, they’d never have even tried to fill a song with cliches. And it wouldn’t have been so good.

I think this goes to show us, write what you want to write. Let the others go hang. Who knows, you might write a cliche’, but it might have a damn good beat.



Posted in: Writing