Originally Posted by theblue1
What is tricky, of course, is to set free verse to music.
Yes - this is where I was coming from - and I think your comment on consistent structure is important - at least for standard verse/chorus/bridge type songs. My experience is that poem does not move directly to melody often times - or if it does it doesn't seem very inspired.
The times I've started with lyrics first the song tends to meander a bit - driven by the changes in the lyrics more than musical groove. (I do like musical grooves and place premium on them, and accommodating a lyric to me seems often not good for the groove.)
An area of flexibility: Often one short extended word can a disproportionate part of the melody if needed. You know - that song where a word like "Why?" might last a bar or two and carry a melodic phrase over the entire time like Why - ey - ey- eeeyyyyy- ey -eeeeyyyyyyy. :-)