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.