Thorsten Nesch

- Storyteller -

Burroughs, Nesch & Chat GPT

Writing a lyric with Chat GPT (A.I.)

The creation of original art with A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) is a hot topic. As author, songwriter and artist I am first and foremost curious. I had to try it, writing a lyric using Chat GPT.

I prompted (the text you use to describe what you want to accomplish in A.I.: “Generate a song lyric in the style of William S. Burroughs”—I found that appropriate. This was the result.

You see the original with my changes.


I have to say by throwing Burroughs into the mix I expected more, a bolder approach and outcome.

Chat GPT definitely took keywords from his works like “junkie”, but speech ductus and tone wasn't there—let alone anything reminding me of his famous cut-up technique.
Therefore I took this as a weak first draft and worked with it myself, because I like working with words.

But I feel by the time I reached “lies and alibis” I ran out of steam, I wanted to have anything else, not that “vowels” is better.

Is this perfect now? I can't feel it. Sure, I had fun tweaking the lines, also finding a clearer angle on the lyric, but for me it still lacks one crucial thing, the reason I am writing lyrics, songs, poetry, novels: the joy I have applying artistic expression to personal feelings, emotions and ideas, breathing a soul into something new, when words and worlds appear from nowhere or deep within, when the time flies while I am in the zone.
I don't have this here. At no given moment. I am more of an editor. And I am not an editor.

I love to mold my own first versions into shape as the one that felt and penned them in the first place. You can see that on the commented first draft lyrics bonus PDFs my EPs come with on to Bandcamp. The creative aspect of Chat GPT is too low and not satisfying, and the editing part ... putting lipstick on a pig comes to mind.

But what if I prompt my own name in Chat GPT, in the style of Thorsten Nesch?

I had to, right!? And again I found keywords like “ocean” or “memory” from my own lyrics and songs. But no soul—not even enough to make my own artificial me work.


As it is, Chat GPT etc. does not work for me, personally. I can say that because I am also overflowing with ideas for lyrics—all lyrics/poems are written before they join my music.

But if you are a musician and don't have your way with words (what is absolutely okay) you might find something that satisfies you. (I am not discussing ethical aspects of A.I. here). However, I would rather suggest that you read poetry or song lyrics, or you get in contact with poets, maybe collaborate, or ask to record a poem (with according changes for the music). As a young lad I'd have loved that. For an unknown poet (or a “known poet”) it is a win-win situation.

No matter what, you always need luck. So: good luck!

If you are curious about my own lyrics you can read them on Spotify. All songs come with lyrics, there are over 60.

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