Verse and Chorus – one from column A, one from column B

While in Nashville this week, i was listening to a songwriter being interviewed on the radio, and he confessed that he relies heavily on his smartphone for recording and storing song ideas. He said he didn’t know what he’d do if something happened and all that was lost. I thought to myself, at least there’s likely to be a backup. If you ever lost a notebook full of songs, you would pretty much be stuck. My songs are in a notebook. I think I know where it is.

All this reminded me of how much we now use these little devices in this very acoustic, and often nostalgic kind of music we play.

Songwriters may soon be relying on them even more with the release of a new songwriter’s app called Verse and Chorus, which generates new song ideas for songwriters within specific genres, and there’s a bluegrass option available. Through the use of different combinations drawn from different groups of phrases, it enables songwriters to use some classic ideas but with a different twist, making each idea unique.

Each song idea is generated by combining parts from groups A, B, and C. For example, from Group A, which usually spells out the main subject or subjects of the song, we have simply “An old man.” There’s not much there, it’s true, but once it’s combined with a phrase from Group B: “who makes moonshine,” and finally from Group C: “with a broken arm,” an original idea begins to take shape.

I tried the process a few times, and I came up with these: “A forlorn girl misses her home in the boxcar,” “A truckdriver tells his lover to forget the guy with the hat,” and the somewhat mysterious one: “Two dogs arrive in our cabin we built with cotton.” 

As you can see, some ideas are better than others. Below are examples from the three groups. Try combining them in any way you like, and you’ll get an idea of what the app can do for you:

Group A:


The warden

A little girl

Two little boys

A confederate soldier

A young man

An old woman


A horse

A dog

A cabin

Group B:

Finds happiness because

Is dying because 

proposes to his girlfriend while

is falling down but

will set me free if

has quit the coal mine because

makes moonshine but

makes a dying request for

meets a dreadful snake while

always taught us not to be

Group C:

Her brother stabbed him for some unknown reason

He is still able to sing the old songs

It’s too coal miney

He plans to open a soap shop

Planning to throw her in the river

He can still make moonshine

Walking in the deep dark forest

She lived a reckless life

She wishes he hadn’t

She is out at play

As you can see, this gives us some really useful combinations:

The warden will set me free if he is still able to sing the old songs

A little girl is falling down but she lived a reckless life

Willie is dying because he can still make moonshine

A horse meets a dreadful snake while planning to throw her in the river

An old woman has quit the coal mine because she is out at play

A young man proposes to his girlfriend while he plans to open a soap shop

$5.99 in the app store.