Non Linear lyrics can work in beautiful ways if, while the song itself doesn’t follow a meaning, it can have lines within it that carry a lot of beauty and meaning. A non linear song should seek to have as many good lines within it as possible. ‘Cool calm colours caress’. Lots of great songs have a lot of great lines that make sense within themselves as poetry, but perhaps don’t connect to the rest of the song in a meaningful way. There are also non linear lyrics that don’t seem to have a clear meaning, but that summon a physical sensation or unspeakable emotion, that feel like poetry.
A beautiful non linear lyric might summon up a physical sensation, or unspeakable emotion. A beautiful non linear lyric carries meaning in and of itself ‘
Context matters for non linear writing. As compared to narrative or pp writing, the non linear lyric should be beautifully fitted within the melody. It is less forgiving if it doesn’t work in the song. One should also pay attention to the song and to what role the lyrics play within it. A psychedelic song that brings on a feeling of openness and non linearity is a beautiful setting for non linear lyrics. A song where the vocals aren’t particularly audible, but words or phrases come through just sometimes, is a beautiful setting for non linear lyric. I’d argue (and arguing with the non linear set is perhaps a fool’s errand) that non linear lyrics seem off when presented within a folk song, a song where the vocals are up front and the words are presented as being important.