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Placeholder lyrics left in finished songs.


Occasionally you hear a song and the writer basically telegraphs that they couldn't think of anything to say, so they'll say anything to fill the space;

Gary Kemp (Spandau Ballet) wrote "Why do I find it hard to write the next line?" (True).

Bernie Taupin wrote "Well a few of the verses, well they've got me quite cross". (Your Song). A bit of a letdown after the nice setup of sitting on the roof and kicking off the moss.

Rod Stewart wrote "Oh I never was good with romantic words, so the next few lines come really hard". (Mandolin Wind). This alongside stuff about learning guitar, dying buffalo, rain, snow, sun and cold and someone who seems unwell or wanting to go.

Did anybody else, that you know of, write down what they were (not) thinking like this and forget to replace it with something more poetic or songlike later?

Uncle Bob

Rod Stewart wrote "Oh I never was good with romantic words, so the next few lines come really hard". (Mandolin Wind).
I disagree that is a placeholder. It makes perfect sense even in a one-on-one conversation. He doesn't know how to say it, so he's just going to do the best he can.


Hey Jude, "The movement you need is on your shoulder."

McCarney told Lennon he'd change it, and John said it was the best line in the song.


Red Hot Chili Peppers...Around the World chorus...

I know, I know for sure
Ding, dang, dong, dong, deng, deng, dong, dong, ding, dang
I know, I know it's you
Ding, dang, dong, dong, deng, deng, dong, dong, ding, dang


Apparently Plant was supposed to write new words for Whole Lotta Love instead of keeping Willie Dixons words from “You Need Love” They paid a good chunk of change for that one.


Gold Supporting Member

The story of the song begins in 1978. Allee Willis was a struggling songwriter in LA — until the night she got a call from Maurice White, the leader of Earth, Wind & Fire. White offered her the chance of a lifetime: to co-write the band's next album. Willis arrived at the studio the next day hoping it wasn't some kind of cosmic joke.

"As I open the door, they had just written the intro to 'September.' And I just thought, 'Dear God, let this be what they want me to write!' Cause it was obviously the happiest-sounding song in the world," Willis says.

Using a progression composed by Earth, Wind & Fire guitarist Al McKay, White and Willis wrote the song over the course of a month, conjuring images of clear skies and dancing under the stars. Willis says she likes songs that tell stories, and that at a certain point, she feared the lyrics to "September" were starting to sound simplistic. One nonsense phrase bugged her in particular.

"The, kind of, go-to phrase that Maurice used in every song he wrote was 'ba-dee-ya,' " she says. "So right from the beginning he was singing, 'Ba-dee-ya, say, do you remember / Ba-dee-ya, dancing in September.' And I said, 'We are going to change 'ba-dee-ya' to real words, right?' "

Wrong. Willis says that at the final vocal session she got desperate and begged White to rewrite the part.

"And finally, when it was so obvious that he was not going to do it, I just said, 'What the f- - - does 'ba-dee-ya' mean?' And he essentially said, 'Who the f- - - cares?'" she says. "I learned my greatest lesson ever in songwriting from him, which was never let the lyric get in the way of the groove."

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