Examples of Spoken Word Songs

YOUR TASK :

  • Listen to these examples of some of my favourite Spoken Word Songs. 
  • Write down a few of your favourite words and phrases. Write down, or circle on the lyric-sheets, anything that stands out to you or feels special.  

Try thinking about these things: 

  1. Listen for the ways that the artists tell a story in the songs. 
  2. Do the stories which stick in our memories after we've listened? If yes, which bits are most memorable or ‘catchy?’ 
  3. Is the story easy to imagine? Is the main character easy to imagine?

Loyle Carner - Dear Jean and Dear Ben

Loyle Carner is a hip-hop artist and we can look at Dear Jean as a chilled-out rap song. Or we can look at it as an upbeat Spoken Word song. The song tells the story of the artist meeting a girl and preparing to move out of his Mum’s house - a pretty ordinary situation, from the outset, but loaded with emotions.

The song starts, ‘Dear Jean’, like a letter, an unusual beginning for a song. It immediately makes the listener pay attention. It also feels intimate and heartfelt. At the close of the same album, Carner's Mum records a Spoken Word Song called 'Dear Ben'. It is also written like a letter. You can listen to this and read the lyrics below.


Dear Ben.pdf

Baz Luhrmann - Everybody's Free To Wear Sunscreen

Mary Schmich, a journalist for the Chicago Tribune wrote the words as advice to 18-24 year olds. Later, Baz Luhrmann set the words to music and hired an actor to read the lines. The song proved a huge hit when it was released in 1999, and is still played on the radio today. 

Baz Luhrmann Lyrics.pdf

Belle and Sebastian - A Space Boy Dream

This is a story of a boy's dream of going to space. This is a great example of simple storytelling set to a soundscape of dynamic, busy sounds. 

A Space Boy Dream.pdf