How to Develop a Title for a Poem or Song

By braniac ; Updated September 15, 2017

Just like a title for a novel or educational book, choosing just the right title for your song or poem is very important. After all, the title is what people will usually hear or see first and it should be one that people will remember, that reflects the content and make them want to go further to hear or read your work. Some writers will create the title before the song or poem is written, based on their initial inspiration, and sometimes it will be decided after the work is completed. There is no set rule here, but special thought should be given to the title in either case. I hope to point out a few suggestions and tips to help keep you on track when choosing just the right title.

The title should depict the writings within your work, and suggest the feelings you wish to project in very few words that flow and are memorable.

Let's assume you are starting from scratch and just have an idea of what you want to write about. Upon further assumption, and for example sake, let's say you want to write about a good friend of yours who has always been there for you and been a true friend.

The word "friend" should probably be within the title, since this is the meat of the topic. You are also expressing that this a true friendship, which is rare. The title should also have a universal appeal, which many people will relate to, unless of course you are specifically writing, as a tribute for instance, about this special person.

You want your audience to "feel" within the title, what you are feeling, and at the same time the title needs to be short and catchy. You may also use the title within your writings as a repeat line in a poem or chorus for a song, so it should flow and either rhyme or be easy to rhyme with.

To recap, you need something short and descriptive of the content that also reflects your inner feelings, that flows, possibly rhymes and has a universal appeal. You also know for certain you want it to contain the word "friend" and maybe the word "true" as well.

Jot down friend and true as a good starting point. Now you want to build around these two words. Your feelings are that this true friend is rare, you are fortunate to have them and how important they are to you. Jot down these other key words down for possible inclusions in your title. Rare, Fortunate and Important.

All you have to do now is put some of these key words together in a way that they will make sense, tell a story, flow and express your inner feelings. You may come up with something for starters like, "A True Friend Is So Rare And Important And I'm Fortunate For Having You" Way too long and it sure doesn't flow. Write it down anyhow.

Go through your own editing process now to cut back on the words without cutting out what you want to express. Your second try may be something like, "True Friendship, So Rare I Found In You." Still a bit long and doesn't flow, but it does "suggest" that you are fortunate because they are rare. Think it through some more, maybe substitute words that flow and sound better but have the same meaning. Be creative and don't forget the consideration in using the title as a chorus or repeat in your work.

Don't stray from what you want to express within the title. It has to tell the story. Maybe you'll come up with a title something like, "Rare, A Friend Like You." This does express that this person is unique or special by using the word rare, that they are your friend, and by virtue of this, you are fortunate. You may even jot down a second phrase here to possibly use as a chorus line, but not within the title for it would be too long. How about, "Always There To See Me Through." Put it together and you have, "Rare, A Friend Like You," (as your title) "Always There To See Me Through" (as a possible chorus line to follow).

Tip

The title should be short, catchy, express your feeling and tell a story. Don't be afraid to substitute words that may flow better but have the same meaning. Consider using the title as a repeat in your poem or a chorus in your song, making it easy to rhyme with.

Warning

If you are going to publish your work, check to be sure your title is not already being used.