Updated: Aug 18
Punch Thru Songs – what are they and why do you need one?
There’s an old joke in Nashville, “How do you get the songwriter off your porch?” The answer is, “Pay for the pizza.”
All joking aside, virtually everyone you meet in Nashville is a songwriter.
So how on earth can you break into the top songwriter club if you don’t live here?
Even if you do live in Nashville, it can still be tough to get attention with your songs.
Punch Thru Songs to the rescue.
Punch Thru Songs
A punch thru song is one that gets attention. It may not be your best song in your opinion, but it is one you are somewhat known for writing.
Punch thru songs are edgy, different and usually funny or poignant in some way, but all punch thru songs are remarkable.
Remarkable doesn’t mean it’s the greatest in the world.
Remarkable is just that – remark – able. That is, people are “able” to “remark” about your song; and that means they’re talking about you.
And that is what you want.
Once you have your punch thru song out in the world, people will be talking about you, and your name and reputation as a writer will start to spread.
That creates “a buzz” and can be just the leverage you need to get your foot into the door so your other songs can be heard.
Examples of Punch Thru Songs
My dad Kim Williams wrote a lot of punch thru songs for artists including “Pickin’ Wildflowers” with Keith Anderson and “Three Wooden Crosses” for Randy Travis.
But his first punch thru song was his first #1 on Joe Diffie called “If the Devil Danced In Empty Pockets.” Just the title alone is a punch thru!
Official post of "If The Devil Danced" by Rounder Records
If could be argued that all Garth Brooks’ songs are punch thrus, but the first one was “Much Too Young To Feel This Damn Old.”
Back in the ‘90s when that song hit, it was banned from some radio stations because of the word “damn” – edgy and risky for a new artist, but definitely remarkable.
Official Strawberry Wine video on Deana Carter's Vevo Channel
“Strawberry Wine” was a punch thru song for Deana Carter and sole writer Matraca Berg. The song is not only a punch thru song, but it’s also a sheer classic worthy of study by every songwriter.
Official Save a Horse Ride a Cowboy video on Warner Bros channel
“Save a Horse Ride a Cowboy” was a punch thru song for Big and Rich, and launched not only their career, but also an entire movement called the Muzik Mafia.
What is your punch thru song? Feel free to post a sound cloud or other link below in the comments so our readers can check you out.
What makes a song a punch thru to you?
Leave a comment below if you can think of other punch thru songs to share in the discussion.
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