#1 Why this blog and a little bit of POV

So, you might be asking yourselves why do these guys have a blog. Glad you asked. We thought it would be neat to share with you a little bit about what we have learned in the past two years and also what we will be learning in the time to come. The overall topic? SONGWRITING of course and whatever can be somehow related with this topic. In the time at Prairie College we were so blessed with new input about music and songwriting, so why not share it with you? We hope some of the entries serve you to get a new, fresh perspective on your songs or maybe even get you going to write your own songs. Talking about perspective, let’s just dive right into songwriting and look at how perspective makes a huge difference. Let’s talk about POV. 

The POV, short for “point of view”, controls the relationship and intimacy between the singer and the audience. You can talk directly to the people who listen to your song, or you can just tell a story without your audience being involved in it. Compare those two options for a moment. Which of the two feels more intimate? Certainly the first one. 

So what are the different types of POV? 
1. Third person narrative: The singer is considered a storyteller, knowing every detail of the story because he is outside the scene. Neither the singer, nor the audience is involved in the story. Used personal pronouns are: He, she, they. Pronouns such as “I” or “you” are not used, otherwise you jump into another POV. Example: He watched her from a distance. 

2. First person narrative: The singer is still in the storytelling mode, but now the singer participates in the scene. The audience is still not involved in the story. Used personal pronouns are: I, he, she, they. Example: I looked into her eyes. 

3. Second person narrative: Now the singer is taken out of the scene, instead the audience gets involved. The singer talks about something that happened to the audience without him/her. Used personal pronouns are: You, he, she, they. Example: Did you know who much he cared? 

4. Direct address: In this case, the singer (“I”) is talking directly to some second person (“you”) or even directly to the audience. Used personal pronouns: I, you, (may involve “he, she, they” additionally). Example: I love you. 

You see, from third person narrative to direct address you’re getting more intimate with your audience. Let us give you an example from one of our songs. This is the first verse of “Selah”: 

“At dawn, I seek your face 
Before the sun awakes 
In silence, I will stand 
Lord, oh take me by my hand” 

The POV is direct address. It’s a prayer, so we are not talking to the audience but to God. Let’s take the first phrase and change perspective: 
Third person narrative: “At dawn, she/he seeks his face” 
First person narrative: “At dawn, I seek his face” 
Second person narrative: “At dawn, she/he seeks your face” 
Direct address: “At dawn, I seek your face” 

Can you feel how the grade of intimacy changes drastically by changing the point of view? For this song our preferred POV is direct address. In another context, a third person or first person narrative may fit perfectly. 

We don’t want to give you the impression that direct address is always the best choice. It’s not! It really depends on what you want to say with your song. So just play around with the different POVs and feel what serves your message best. Think about, what you want to achieve with your song and which message you want to send. The point of view is one of the means of transportation for your message. Whatever message you want your audience to get, whatever emotion you want to provoke, whatever memory you want to rake up - your point of view can change how strongly it is received and also, if it is likely to be received or not. Did you ever hear of the word “PROSODY”? In the next post, I will talk about this concept in more detail but just for now: 

> Prosody is the appropriate relationship between elements to support the central idea, intention or emotion. < 

POV is one of the elements that have to work together to support your main idea. So, in other words: If your point of view is too intimate for your message, or too objective, it may happen that your message can not be delivered the way you want. So the question I leave you with is: Which perspective serves your purpose best? 

Two last notes: 
At which point in your songwriting process would it be best to start thinking about the point of view of the song? Until you reach a certain point in your songwriting process you may still be able to change the POV of your song, but I would recommend to think about the POV right from the get go. 

Can I change the POV within my song? Yes, a change of POV within the song is possible, however it has to be well introduced, otherwise your audience might get confused about who is talking, which, then, may not serve your message. In the end, the question stays: Which POV(s) serve(s) your message best?

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