Editor's Note: The writeups below were written in an earlier era when noding lyrics was more acceptable here. Noding lyrics is still acceptable nowadays, but you must node them in such a way as to comply with "fair use" copyright guidelines, as detailed in E2 FAQ: Copyrighted Material.

Um, I will now humbly suggest a standard for noding lyrics. This standard has nothing to do with actual node style or formatting of the lyrics. This standard is to prevent unorganized and impossible to search for node titles. The standard would also provide for easy navigation within an artist and album. And remember, oh violent noders, this is only a suggestion. I can only hope it takes off. I am very confident in the way I node lyrics.

In no particular order, here are my guidelines:

I feel a bit arrogant noding this, but I feel that it will help the lyrics noding situation on Everything. Note that I provide this merely as a suggestion, and that I especially don't expect you to go back and change the 30 albums you've noded so far. If you agree, simply keep it in mind for the future. If you really agree, go back and change your shit. I'm suggesting this solely in confidence of my own style, so I should hard link some examples. See Incubus, Fear Factory, and Primus to peruse my lyrics noding style. Thanks for listening...

* Sarcasmo humbly bows at your feet.

Noding Lyrics on Everything2

On the whole, noding lyrics is frowned upon by E2 voters. Not that they're frowned upon by E2 as a whole -- the database is populated with them, and editors almost never nuke them -- but unless the song is a rare treasure to a number of voters, they don't usually get upvoted. More often than not, they get downvoted due to the sheer banality of their presence.

This happens when a user decides to fill a node with one of their favorite song lyrics, adds the band and album, maybe a hardlink or two, and then just leaves it. No fleshing out, no understanding or context, just the facts, ma'am. It even looks dull, just sitting there on the page with no depth or understanding. The user doesn't say anything themselves, they just copy what someone else says and expects an upvote or two for it.

This is acceptable, certainly. It's been done and upvoted many, many times before. But there is a better way. You can enhance any given lyric with... style! or content! or hardlinks to related information! Add your own opinions and insights! Node what you know! Pad the raw facts with insight, humor, and some attractive formatting, in the true spirit of what E2 is all about. No one's going to force you to, but you'll be rewarded for your efforts with a double or triple helping of XP gained.

So, without further ado, here's How to write lyrics nodes that your readers will thank you for:

  1. Do your research. Get the facts straight as to who originally wrote it and performed it. Take a look at the E2 Lyrics Noding Standard to familiarize yourself with the basics. And don't namespace; convention on E2 is to use the song title without the album or musician as the node title, even if a dozen other writeups already use that name.

  2. Use the Text Formatter. This will not only make your job easier, but there's also an option to auto-indent certain lines, such as the song's chorus or bridge. This is a Good Thing as it increases readability of the lyric as a whole.

  3. Explicate your lyrics. This is important enough to say again: Explicate your lyrics! Make the writeup uniquely yours. Precede or follow the song with a few sentences about the artist, the band, the composer and lyricist, the album, the song, the meaning, the history, your interpretation, anything. You can safely cut-and-paste writeups as long as you also write your own stuff. (Good examples: Pancho and Lefty by Willie Nelson, Everything You've Done Wrong by Sloan)

  4. Add creative formatting. This isn't necessary, and it should definitely be done with caution, but it does make the lyrics look interesting. It added an artistic flair to the words, adds a visual meaning to key phrases, and lets voters know you put some time into your writeup. (Good example: Supernova by Liz Phair)

  5. Link and link. Hardlinks and softlinks are your friends in any node, and doubly so when you're noding someone else's work. Pipe linking as commenting is always a subtle and interesting way to beef up any song lyric with subliminal insight. (Good example: Hanky Panky by Madonna)

  6. Don't node for numbers. Don't pick out your favorite band and node every lyric to every song they've ever published. You can't create good nodes when you're only going for quantity. Try to pick and choose songs and, rarely, albums that you feel deserve special attention, and then node them with the above in mind. Your contributions to the database will be more unique and therefore more highly valued for your extra effort.

First off, I want to agree with mblase that the E2 Lyrics Noding Standard has some good ideas, and that the above nodes also hold some good ideas, but after some friendly pressure from mblase to conform, I felt I had some things to say.

Everything should be noded. I can't think of a valid reason why anything should not be noded, especially lyrics. Everyone has a favorite song and the one song they loathe. If it's already noded, why not go on to the next? Unless there is a copyright issue, and the author or publisher has made this clear on the official website, go for it.

M, making sure every noder has access to the complete works of Bing Crosby or Korn is a valid mission within E2. What looks like noding for numbers is usually quite different to the "offending" noder. I'll agree that a node is always better when craftmanship is the goal, when explicating this kick-ass album to the world or whatever. Nothing wrong with lots of noding.

Lyric nodes can be considered a form of factual node: you didn't write the lyric (or if you did, this rant doesn't really apply to you), so you're just reporting the facts of it. The purpose of noding it is for it to be avaliable to whoever wants it, Personally, all of my lyric nodes have low scores, averaging around 2 or 3. Yes, some are in the negative, yes a whole lot of them remain at zero. I don't care.

What I do care about is that a node that is properly formatted, contains correct material, and is linked reasonably well, that people can still look at it and nit-pick it because it doesn't fall within their Meaning of Life framework.

I'm sure mblase was trying to help, in case I felt the same as he/she did. mblase was very polite and helpful, and his suggestion did make me go back and check it in various ways, and a few corrections were made. However, those corrections did not include any of his suggestions. If you want to know the year that song was released, follow a link to the album. Your opinion/interpretation of the work is a great thing to have on E2... but it is NOT a requirement to keep your login at E2. If you mess up, they do not take away your wings and banish you from Noder Heaven.

E2 is large enough for all races and creeds, including those of us who think that noding the song, telling who it is and where it's from is enough. But it also has room for those who feel that the same node is cause for an XP pack rape. No big deal, either way, as long as each party understands that it doesn't matter, in the end. If you feel the node needs more information, go ahead and node more. Make a correction, if needed. Add information about different versions, more recent, or older ones. Or downvote it, and all the songs by the same artist, or the same noder, or heck, every lyric node. Make your own path, and Earn your bullshit.

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