There are composers who specialize in creating music that is only played on instruments, but others prefer to write shorter pieces that have words to relay much of their message. There are many who write both the lyrics and the music, but others are solely musicians who depend upon writers to come up with the words. Fitting a song to words is not an easy task, so much of the work is finding compromises to make the song one that audiences will favor.
The majority of songs with lyrics rhyme, so choosing a topic can be difficult. There are words in many languages that have no counterparts in sound, so they are seldom used unless they are in a part of the lyric where no rhyme is expected. Many a writer has had to change the words in their composition for this reason, and it has changed the meaning of the song slightly when they did it. Their goal must be to capture the audience with words that are within the tune, but their message must also be very clear.
The person who composes the music to go along with the words needs to match their meaning to specific musical tones, so they must sometimes ask for words to be changed. If a song is light and lilting, a word that can be perceived as heavy or dark will not fit. The same goes for the tempo of the words because they must match the music, so the number of syllables in each line is also an important factor.
Working together to create a song with words is a partnership between the writer and the musician, and many successful teams have worked together for years. If they have the ability to compromise, their task will easier as they attempt to write songs that will capture the imagination of their listeners.