Syd's songwriting voice can fall under the heading of the happy lunatic. Free form lyrics and offbeat subject matter inform his songs. He embraced the role of happy lunatic, as seen by the title of his first solo album, Madcap Laughs. Songs such as "Arnold Layne," about a guy who steals clothing from peoples' clotheslines, or more free form stuff such as "Apples and Oranges" can give people an idea of the direction his songs took. With Syd's degeneration into actual madness, the happy lunatic role did not see him through those dark times.
Roger Waters, on the other hand, wrote lyrics that portrayed the singer as a mentally tortured and tormented mega-rock star. Songs such as "Comfortably Numb," and "Goodbye Cruel World," bear out this take on his songwriting voice. In truth, Roger Waters never played the role his songs had him playing in real life anymore than Syd's did. In his case, I guess he just found his songwriting voice as that guy.
If one listens to Buck Owens songs about love and heartache and what a fool he is for the object of his desire in this or that song, one would never suspect that in real life Buck played the role of faithless womanizer who never even really attempted to stay loyal to any one of his wives or girlfriends. Hank Williams Sr. gets credited with writing songs that really reflected his life, or at least his take on it. "Cold Cold Heart," "Why Don't You Love Me," and "Your Cheatin' Heart," reveal a guy who just couldn't find the right woman. His early exit from life, and the excessive drug and alcohol use that preceded it, has the now-accepted explanation that he suffered from very, very painful, undiagnosed spina bifoda.
Some of my best songs come from my life experiences, or rather, my take on them. "Pardon Me Young Lady (But You've Double Parked Your Broom)," a song I posted on this blog about this time last year, comes from something I experienced. A young lady who looked at me with a hexing, goo-goo type of eye one day while on my rounds inspired that one. The mundane, everyday experiences that can inspire some good songs remains a topic that I might get into in some later post.