Comedic singer Jonathan Coulton sheds some light on the song writing process in this song writing speech. Coulton was formerly a computer programmer who decided to leave his desk job behind to pursue his interests. He's best known for writing humorous melodies such as 'Tom Cruise Crazy.'
Coulton says that the first step in writing a funny song is to pick a character to base the song around. Once you understand that character, knowing what to write about becomes much easier. Coutlon acknowledges that song writing doesn't always come easily, and says that it make take hours of guitar playing and rewriting before something great is created.
Jonathan Coulton says that he's inspired by emotional music genres such as blue grass. He often likes to listen to folky tunes to find inspiration before writing.