Using Chat GPT To Write Lyrics (Richard Hind)

I have been using ChatGPT 3.5 since summer of 2023 to speed up the creation of teaching resources for my (computer science) students. I always need to verify and often edit what it produces, as well as adding relevant references, but it does a pretty good job.

Over Christmas I was stuck with a lyric, I needed the right phrase to finish a verse and couldn’t find something that worked, so I put the problem to ChatGPT. While the answer was not perfect it sent me in a different direction and I ended up creating a better verse than my first attempt.

That set me thinking, could a chatbot actually write reasonable lyrics? So this time I asked it for three verses and a chorus on the theme of the song I had just written. The first response was very cliched, but had the elements I had employed. With a few more prompts to steer it in the right direction it finally came up with something that I liked almost as much as my own lyrics.

So, I thought I’d set it the task of composing something for the March 2024 challenge, just to demonstrate what is possible and perhaps inspire others to experiment when they experience a bit or writer’s block. Here is the conversation:

User: Write a verse and chorus of a song lyric on the topic of clouds

ChatGPT: (Verse) In a sky of blue, where dreams collide, Where whispers dance on the gentle tide, Clouds like cotton, floating high, Painting stories across the endless sky.

(Chorus) Oh, clouds above, with secrets to confide, Whisper to me, in the language of the sky. Drift with me, on this endless ride, Where every cloud holds a tale inside.

User: Can you now write it in the style of a 1970s heavy rock song

ChatGPT (Verse) In the realm of skies where dreams take flight, Whispers echo through the endless night, Clouds like titans, mighty and bold, Their stories etched in silver and gold.

(Chorus) Oh, clouds of mystery, in the heavens they reside, Speak to me, in the language of the tide. Ride with me, on this cosmic high, Where every cloud’s a saga in the sky!

User: Now give it a heavy metal edge

ChatGPT (Verse) In the abyss of skies, where darkness reigns, Whispers of chaos, echoing chains, Clouds like demons, twisted and wild, Their tales of torment, driving us wild.

(Chorus) Oh, clouds of fury, in the tempest they abide, Scream to me, in the language of the tide. Rage with me, on this thunderous ride, Where every cloud’s a nightmare in the sky!

I don’t think anyone will be rushing to record these lyrics, but it does demonstrate how, unlike a search engine, you can guide a chatbot with simple prompts. In fact if you keep refining your prompts by giving it examples or perhaps picking individual sentences out of its previous answer you can get some very helpful material. I use a similar approach for quickly producing additional examples of program code for students and I encourage them to use it to help debug their own code.

I have a feeling that we’ll soon (if not already) hear songs hitting the charts with chatbot written lyrics. As someone with a very cynical view of mass produced pop music I’d dare to suggest we’ll probably never spot the difference. However, for songs that capture real emotion and that indefinable human element that connects with the listener, I don’t think the current generation of AI / machine learning will be able to do that. However, as researchers find ways to introduce empathy into chatbots (see New Scientist magazine, 9th March 2024) maybe they will start to produce deeper and more engaging lyrics.

However, for now a chatbot makes a great assistant writer if you are stuck for an unusual or tricky rhyme or turn of phrase. And what about the music itself? My only experience so far is that the results are truly awful, so for now at least, music remains a very human driven creation. Long may it remain so.

Richard Hind, Tutor of Digital Technologies (FE and HE).

Using Chat GPT To Write Lyrics (Richard Hind)




  1. It seems to be a creative way to get a lyric going. But personally I would not want to use an outside source to create something that I would want to come from my heart and thoughts. It seems it would take away the creativity of our own minds. I understand how many could use it to help them in the creative process. I just hope they don’t depend on it!

    1. I agree Mark, we have to remember it is nothing more than another software tool. A slightly intelligent thesaurus perhaps. I remember hearing an interview with a rock singer in the 1990s who said he used a computer program to help generate lyric ideas and I was devastated that he didn’t think of them all by himself. However, when I find myself stuck in a creative corner every now and again, I’m glad of an all-knowing assistant to bounce ideas off.

  2. I don’t know how you’ve used Chatgpt yourself. I’ve tried using the lyrics generator on this site and all I get is a message saying
    API Error: 404. The specified Model ID could not be found.

    1. Very odd. I use ChatGPT3.5 (still free) and apart from the occasional glitch it seem quite reliable. I managed to find a few posts about people experiencing this type of error with version 4.0, but no advice on resolving it I’m afraid.

      1. It sounds as if you are using Chatgpt directly, rather than as a service provided by a third party, such as the lyric writer offered on this site. I have no clue how to do that. I had some success using Microsoft’s Copilot, which took a two-word song title prompt and wrote a complete song lyric. Bizarrely, it also created a back story for its work, citing it as an early poem by Robert Frost, even adding a reference for the poetry collection it was first published in. Which, of course, it wasn’t. Bonkers.

  3. Like Mark and Richard shared, I would use ChatGPT more like a thesaurus on steroids than relying on it to just write my song. Writer’s block is a reality for me often so I think I will try this out!

    1. Thanks for sharing that Eric, I hadn’t seen that video before. Interestingly, I saw an advert for a product (just this week) that converts what you sing/hum/whistle into music. I suggested it to my colleague who teaches a digital sound and music unit on our creative digital course. Her students produce great games, with wonderful graphics but usually have to rely on copyright free music and the basics I teach them in a 90-minute intro to multi-track recording with Audacity. This is technology that will really enhance their experience and open up a new dimension of creativity.

      1. Right!? Your welcome and thanks for your blog post! I think I also saw that AD for Vochlea? It converts your voice to midi instantly! Yeah I have been down the AI rabbit hole part of last night and today-It is a brave new world out there!

  4. Thank you for this conversation, each who posted…it connects with some of my own study and reflection but in a perhaps unexpected way, so let me try to briefly, briefly, give a brief explanation :)….I am fascinated by the spirituality-creativity connection in us, and by the profoundly interconnected nature of our humanity (called it what you will: collective subconscious, shared psyche, divine, etc…)…my take on something like AI and the lyrics it might produce, is that it is a way to access “that collective”, whatever it may be, because Chat, AI, or whatever tool may come around , originates ultimately with humans entering information, or with information being searched and collected from “the cloud”, which still ultimately came from humans directly or indirectly…My view of my own individual creative and spiritual processes is that they too are tapping into that same collective, but I do so with a different sort of search engine which DOES also tap into that “pool”, just differently (via my own internal processor, my individual but yet also connected self, soul, heart, et al)….I’ve been writing some of this up for other purposes, and this is as brief as I can boil it down 🙂 But it gives me a different personal approach to AI, of which I have been and remain still quite instinctively cautious, but this has opened me up a bit…Kevin