Picking Up a Point of View for Your Song

What is a Point of View for a Song?

When we talk about the point of view for your song, we are referring to the perspective from which the story in your song is told. This perspective shapes how your audience perceives the narrative and connects with the emotions and experiences conveyed through the lyrics.

A point of view for your song allows you to control the relationship between the singer (you, in case you are the songwriter and the singer) and the audience. There are four common types of narrative perspectives that you can consider while writing your song. These perspectives give a unique characteristic and feel to your song. Let’s explore these different narrative perspectives and understand how they influence the storytelling in a song.

Types of Narrative Perspectives

There are four main types of narrative perspectives that you can use when writing a song:

  1. First-Person Narrative
  2. Second-Person Narrative
  3. Third-Person Narrative
  4. Direct Address

Each of these perspectives falls on an imaginary scale ranging from most objective facts to most intimate feelings. This scale helps determine how close or distant the audience feels from the events and emotions described in the song.

For more insights on effective songwriting techniques, you might want to read Songwriting Tips for Beginners.

First-Person Narrative

The first-person narrative falls directly in the mid-section of the scale, between the most objective and most intimate feelings. In this perspective, you (the singer/writer) put yourself directly into the story while keeping the audience somewhat distant. This allows you to convey personal feelings and experiences more authentically.

Pronouns used: I, we, me, us, my, mine, our, ours.

Using the first-person perspective in your song can create a strong connection with your audience, as it allows them to see the world through your eyes and share in your experiences. This perspective is particularly effective for songs that deal with personal stories, emotions, and reflections.

Second-Person Narrative

The second-person narrative is the hardest perspective to pin down. It falls in the intimate feeling part of the scale. When used in songwriting, you (the singer/writer) are playing the role of the narrator, where you are telling a story directly to the audience or a specific person. This perspective is less common in songwriting because it can be challenging to maintain, but it can be powerful when done correctly.

Pronouns used: You, your, and yours.

The second-person perspective can create a sense of intimacy and immediacy, as it addresses the audience directly and makes them feel as though they are part of the story. This can be particularly effective for songs that aim to give advice, encourage action, or convey a personal message to the listener.

Third-Person Narrative

The third-person perspective is located at the end of the most objective side of the scale. When you write a song using a third-person narrative, you are introducing the audience to a situation or story that they know nothing about. The audience is kept at a distance from the events themselves, and you, as the writer, take an objective role in the storytelling process.

Pronouns used: He, she, it, they, him, her, them, etc.

Using a third-person perspective allows you to tell a story from an outsider’s point of view, which can be useful for creating songs with broader themes or narratives. This perspective is often used in storytelling songs, where the focus is on characters and events rather than the personal experiences of the singer.

Direct Address

Direct address falls under the most intimate part of the scale. In this perspective, you move away from stating facts and start describing how you feel about something or someone. The audience can relate themselves to the song when it is used in the direct address narrative because of its intimate nature and how it describes feelings.

Pronouns used: You and I.

Direct address can create a powerful emotional connection with the audience, as it speaks directly to them and involves them in the emotional landscape of the song. This perspective is effective for love songs, motivational songs, and any song that aims to evoke strong emotional responses from the listener.

Choosing the Right Point of View for Your Song

Choosing the right point of view for your song depends on several factors, including the story you want to tell, the emotions you want to convey, and the relationship you want to establish with your audience. Some stories are easier to narrate when you put yourself directly in the story, while others are easier to tell when you distance yourself from the story.

Factors to Consider:

  1. Story Type: Personal stories might benefit from a first-person or direct address perspective, while broader narratives might be more suited to a third-person perspective.
  2. Emotional Connection: Consider how close or distant you want the audience to feel from the emotions and events in your song.
  3. Message: Think about the message you want to convey and how different perspectives can shape the delivery of that message.

Examples of Songs with Different Points of View

To better understand how different points of view can be used in songwriting, let’s look at some examples of popular songs and analyze their perspectives.

First-Person Example: “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston

In this classic ballad, the first-person perspective allows the singer to express deep, personal emotions directly to the audience. The use of “I” and “you” creates an intimate connection, making the listener feel the singer’s heartfelt farewell.

Second-Person Example: “You Belong with Me” by Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift’s “You Belong with Me” uses the second-person perspective to speak directly to the listener, or a specific person. This perspective creates a sense of direct communication and involvement, as if the singer is talking directly to the person who belongs with them.

Third-Person Example: “Stan” by Eminem

“Stan” by Eminem is a storytelling song that uses a third-person perspective to narrate the story of an obsessed fan. This perspective allows the audience to observe the events from an objective standpoint, creating a powerful and dramatic narrative.

Direct Address Example: “Someone Like You” by Adele

In “Someone Like You,” Adele uses a direct address perspective to speak directly to her former lover. This creates an intimate and emotional connection with the listener, as the song conveys the singer’s personal feelings and experiences.

Incorporating the Point of View into Your Songwriting Process

When incorporating the point of view for your song into your songwriting process, it’s important to experiment with different perspectives to see which one best serves your narrative and emotional goals. Here are some steps to help you get started:

  1. Identify the Core Message: Determine the main message or story you want to convey in your song.
  2. Experiment with Perspectives: Write a few lines or verses from different perspectives to see which one feels most natural and impactful.
  3. Consider Pronouns: Pay attention to the pronouns you use and how they shape the perspective of your song.
  4. Test with an Audience: Share your song with others and get feedback on how the perspective affects their connection to the song.


Choosing the right point of view for your song is a crucial aspect of the songwriting process. It shapes how your audience perceives and connects with your music. By understanding and experimenting with different narrative perspectives, you can create songs that resonate deeply with your listeners and effectively convey your intended message.

Remember, the point of view for your song is not just about pronouns; it’s about the overall perspective and emotional tone of your narrative. Whether you choose first-person, second-person, third-person, or direct address, each perspective offers unique opportunities to tell your story in a compelling and engaging way.

For additional resources on music marketing and distribution, visit Deliver My Tune.