That Personal Touch: Writing Original Lyrics and Quotes for the Yearbook

yearbook signing party playlist

Personalization is a major component to any great yearbook. With the committee working as a whole, you’ll be equipped with stylish colors, a cherished theme, great photos, and well-written content. But how do you take that extra step to personalize?  What will give the yearbook that final cherry on top?

A long-standing tradition is for students to contribute lyrics and quotes… but what about original lyrics and quotes? Sure, yearbooks aren’t audible, but one thing that a lot of schools will do is carry popular musical lyrics throughout the yearbook that relate to their theme. Maybe the theme is “Forever Young,” and you sprinkle in lyrics like “may you grow up to righteous, may you grow up to be true…”

Or, maybe you’ve been inspired by great writers of the past, and will include relatable quotes like, “In the souls of the people, the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage – John Steinbeck.” But most of the student body will probably be left scratching their heads – they want to hear from people they can actually relate to!

When crafting a memorable, one-of-a-kind yearbook, you don’t have to depend on throwing in popular quotes from famous artists, leaders, and celebrities, or putting in significant lyrics to popular songs. You can write your own, and encourage other students and staff to do the same. In a school filled with vast amounts of eclectic people, you’re bound to find the musicians, the writers, the struggling artists… not to mention the people that just feel like they have something to say! Instead of making others famous by using their voice, use the student body’s voice!

Writing original music lyrics are a great way to personalize the yearbook and add something truly one-of-a-kind.

For those of you that are sweating just thinking about writing original quotes and lyrics that others will read, worry no more!  Here, you’ll find tips to help and inspire you:

  • Brainstorm topics – For yearbooks, topics could include things like growing up, looking back, remembering the past, and embracing the future. Or, they could be more whimsical rather than serious, like sports team blunders, study hall napping, and revolting school lunches.
  • Write a title – For music lyrics, start by writing a title. This will help inspire you, and get the ball rolling creatively. Think of some catchy themes that will provide interest. Use an image or situation that others in the school can relate to  – “Sloppy Joe’s Again?” or “The Detention Blues.”
  • Ask questions related to the title – What does it mean? What are you trying to say? Who will relate to it? How do you feel? Will it be humorous or sincere? This will help you brainstorm how to put your topic into words.
  • Add keywords – Incorporate unique language into your quote or lyric. Think of a word or phrase that encourages someone to do something, evokes a kind of emotion, or provokes a reaction.
  • Make connections – Think of connections in your quotes and lyrics that students can relate to. This is a book that celebrates everyone, so take a sampling from diverse groups of people. Get inspiration from the chess team, the cheerleaders, the Japanese Anime club, and the non-joiners alike.
  • Make it personal – In the same token, write a quote or lyric about something you’re going through personally. Chances are others feel the same way and don’t know how to express it. Your quote may make them feel uplifted and not alone.

Read famous quotes by others to find inspiration in your writing.

  • Read other writers and listen to music – There is no better way to get inspired than by reading and listening to the works of others. People have always had something to say and have recorded those ideas since the beginning of time. Paying attention to previous experts will help you hone your craft.
  • Find an inspiration – Get out of your normal comfort zone and explore! This will clear your mind and help you think of new things. Maybe you’ll go down to the beach and read a book, pick flowers in a field, or shoot basketballs at the court. Whatever it is, getting out of your element will stimulate new ideas.

    Exploring somewhere outside your comfort zone will help your writing.

    Try writing somewhere outside of your comfort zone to find fresh, new ideas.
    Image source: Flickr user Pedro Ribeiro Simoes

  • Record your quote or song – It’s true that people won’t actually hear the quote or song; however, you are creating something real – so finish it off! You will find that as you are speaking or singing, other ideas will come to you. And since no one is actually going to hear it, you don’t have to worry about speaking clearly or making sure the piano is on point; you can just concentrate on the emotion. This could help you develop that quote or song further, or create something brand new!

Creating original quotes and lyrics will truly personalize to your school’s yearbook. Since TreeRing gives you the brilliant option of creating customized pages, you can fill them with all of the things the student body has to say. And trust me, they have a lot to say…