1. Never, ever, let it run for more than three minutes. Two minutes and fifteen seconds is ideal.
2. Remember – verse, chorus, verse, chorus, middle eight, chorus, fade.
3. Employ a jingly jangly guitar.
4. In the real world, nobody refers to a woman’s ‘charms’, so find another rhyme for “take me in your arms”.
5. Chapman and Chinn.
6. If your record company wants to bring in Tony Visconti to remix your song, remember they know the business. Welcome him into your lives. However, if the record company wants to bring in Woody Woodmansey to remix your record, remember they don’t know the business. Run for the hills.
7. On first hearing your song, the listener should not be sure if the singer is a girl or boy.
8. A brief sax solo is always a welcome companion.
9. Consider including a line about a radio personality. Start rumours about which broadcasters inspire you. Tell the Daily Mail you wrote the song about Chris Evans. Tell The Guardian it’s about Lauren Laverne.
10. No bagpipes. Ever.
The most perfect pop song. Probably.
Terence Dackombe, April 2015