The Challenge – Week 4 – Rock The Cliché

How did it feel to leave your familiar structures and move your songwriting to uncharted territory?  Hopefully last week’s challenge broadened your approach.  This week we’re going to look inside the box by examining how to Rock The Cliché.

Songwriters are a restless lot. We get bored easily and sometimes abandon things too quickly, perhaps leaving behind some good ideas. We also have a love/hate relationship with clichés. They can sound tired and shopworn or tried and true, depending on the circumstances and how lazy we feel. In this segment, one of the best-loved songwriters of all time weighs in on not avoiding the obvious.
Watch the following video, then pick 10 cliches and brainstorm ways each could be interpreted from a different perspective.

Pick one to expand into a song.

Deadline: March 17
Please post the following:
1. Which cliche you chose to use.
2. A link to your blog.
3. A link to your song.


69 thoughts on “The Challenge – Week 4 – Rock The Cliché

      1. Thanks Christopher, it is a great place to fill the well. I think it helped plant some things in my subconscious as well for this week! And thank you so much for your role in this amazing songwriting experience!


  1. The cliche we worked with was “A man gotta do what a man’s gotta do”, but we changed it to a question “What’s a Man To Do?”, which became the hook and title of the song. In the lyric, we also brought in the cliche “Thank my lucky stars”, but changed it to “The stars have all lined up”.

    My blog: Week 4 – SAC Songwriting Challenge – Rock the Cliche

    The song:


  2. Hello, lovely people, this week was definitely a challenge, I fixated on, the cliché:

    “There’s a Light at The End of the Tunnel”,

    which I initially changed to: “In the darkness, find a light”, and transformed into, “In the darkness, we’ll find light” and finally, “In the darkness, we’ll make light”.

    I also love the cliché, “If you get a lemon, make lemonade”.

    I combined the two ideas to make the title of my song, “Night Lights and Lemonade.”

    I also threw in a third cliché adaptation within the song, instead of “I don’t give a hoot”, this was changed to “really give a hoot”.

    Here is my blog:

    Listen to the song “Night Lights and Lemonade”:

    I look forward to your feedback & thank you!

    Peace/luv from:
    Shera Shakera


    1. Roy Sunstrum

      Wow Robyn. I haven’t listened to a big percentage of songs posted in this competition due to travel and workload, but I love this song of yours. A little risqué (won’t see radio ha ha) but I really like it. I wish you were nearby for week 6 collaboration! Do you have anyone working with you for week 6? If not, maybe we can make the distance thing work.


  3. Top of the morning to you! Well week 4 has come and gone. Here is the song, just voice no instruments. I just couldn’t get the chords right so I decided to do it acapella. Where is the song “My love Cliqué.” I started with the line “My heart burns for you, brighter then the stars,”
    Here is the link to Soundcloud
    Here is the blog posting


  4. My father always told me “That good guys finish last” “You only live once” “If the shoe fits…wear it” “Dont hold your breath” “Quit while you’re ahead” “Better late than never” “It never hurts to try”…and “never play leapfrog with a unicorn”…check my blog out to read the rest..

    in the meantime…’ (tips his hat to Christopher…I chose “Love Is” as my cliche)

    Here is song number 4…SUDDENLY LOVE IS



  5. My life has not slowed down …. lol so tired everyday
    and I’m struggling with celebrity obsession like a teenage girl- again.
    Worst timing I must say… growing one year older apparently doesn’t mean much.
    Made a birthday song- about how I wanted my BDAY to be… none of them came true
    wow. I love my life but this day is quite sad hahaha. at least it’s sunny here in Vancouver today.

    Oops, I talked too much


  6. Week # 4 – The exercise as far as I understand is asking us to modify a cliche by changing the words and making it our own.

    I modified the cliché: “There’s A Light at The End of The Tunnel” and came up with

    “In the darkness, we’ll make light”.

    Further modifications where I added bits and pieces (modifications) of other clichés, can be found, with details after the lyrics on my blog:

    And my song “Night Lights and Lemonade”:


    Enjoy! Peace/luv from:
    Shera Shakera


  7. Finally have Week 4 – sorry for the late post. School is kicking my butt right now, lots of assignments due. This week was about rocking the cliche. I used various cliche in different ways. I used ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ as inspiration for the theme of the song (because I’m a huge Seinfeld fan 🙂 ). Then used the cliche ‘just walk away’ within the song along with a couple of others you’ll trip over.

    This is a very rough scratch mix of the song as I only had a few hours on one day to put this together. I hear much fuller synth layers and vocal harmonies/overlays in my head. This is as far as I could get to for now …

    Blog with lyrics here:

    Soundcloud here:


  8. Roy Sunstrum

    Sorry to be a touch late. I’ve been away for 16 days straight. This song was completed last night in a few hours, I just didn’t get it posted.

    I would really love feedback on this. The verses are fully spoken for a twist. The cliche I worked with is Over the Hill, a place that I’m refusing to go (at 53). Ha ha.

    The song…

    My blog…

    While I’m at it…anyone in the Ottawa area interested in collaborating for week 6?



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