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The Songwriter's Idea Book by Sheila Davis

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STRATEGY THIRTY - FIVEThe Famous Person as Plot Device

Some Background

Dotting the lyrical landscape with allusions to famous people adds both charm and memorability to a song: rich as Rockefeller (“Sunny Side of the Street”); Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio? (“Mrs. Robinson”); The nimble tread of the feet of Fred Astaire. (“You're the Top”). Each, of course, symbolizes an archetype.

Taking the allusion to the ultimate results in a lyric designed around a famous person who, for some particular reason, has captured a writer's interest. If the lyric resounds with a universally understood message, it may also capture the public's interest.

Songs Featuring the Famous
American Pie (Buddy Holly)Joe Hill
Elvis and Marilyn (Presley and Monroe)Black ...

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