To Thread - Forum Home

The Mudcat Café TM
18 messages


03 Jun 99 - 10:17 PM (#83829)
Subject: songwriting
From: CW (inactive)

I've written several folk and country songs, and have been told by local musicians to publish them. I'm not sure how to go about it. Any thoughts on how to get them played/sung/published? (I am not a musician.)

04 Jun 99 - 12:20 AM (#83851)
Subject: RE: songwriting
From: Songbob

Well, there's self-publishing, whereby you put out a book or tape, but "real" publishing, whereby someone else takes a flier on your words and music, and tries to "place" the song with a performer or two, that's a different thing. For lots more info than you need, try (a newsgroup) or do a search on "songwriting" or "songwriter" on the web, and settle down for a few months of reading (assuming you look at every site).

I personally haven't had any luck with my songs, but then I haven't tried all that hard to find a publisher. It depends on the style, too -- rock songs are harder to place than country, since so much of rock music is self-produced (i.e., performer-written), one cause of the [sarcasm on] high level of quality we see in rock music today. [/sarcasm off]

You can try a web-site, too, like mine, at

But it won't get you much more notice than you've had so far.

Good luck!

Bob Clayton

04 Jun 99 - 09:10 AM (#83943)
Subject: RE: songwriting
From: Bert

That 'sarcasm on' should be an HTML tag!


04 Jun 99 - 09:32 AM (#83946)
Subject: RE: songwriting
From: Wolfgang

CW, perhaps you'll find some information in the How do I copyright a song? thread


08 Mar 04 - 08:50 PM (#1131873)
Subject: RE: songwriting
From: Amos

Gee -- what was that?


08 Mar 04 - 09:32 PM (#1131904)
Subject: RE: songwriting
From: Walking Eagle

I'm just at the amature stage. I'm hoping to take the song writing class at Augusta this year. What I have in mind doing is to use two poems that I love and set them to music. I've checked on one and I know that no song was written about her, Anne Bailey. I know that no one has set my deceased friends' poem to music. I won't be selling them. I may give the Anne Bailey one to the WV Cultural Center for them to sell. Good luck in your endeavors!

08 Mar 04 - 11:27 PM (#1131958)
Subject: RE: songwriting
From: GUEST,reggie miles

Okay, I know it's early in the thread, but I hope a bit of thread drift is tolerable. The original question was posed way back in '99 so I'm assuming it has been answered. I was just thinking about starting a thread about songs, and bingo! The moon phase must be with me. I jump on the Cat, and here one is to post to with a title that's got reasonable latitude.

So, here's my twist. I've written a few songs of late too, and have noticed a curious side effect. They not only wish or sometimes demand to be written, but then they seem to insist on being heard as well. It's as though they have a mind of their own. Like a junkie lookin' for a fix, I find myself drawn to any sort of venue that'll have me, just to satisfy THEIR desire to be heard. Once performed, the feelings subside, but not for very long. Soon I find myself needing to seek another venue, not to play the old obscure stuff I've played for years, but to release these new songs. It's a feeling very much like lifting a burden from within. It's as though they (the songs) expect this as part of the bargain. They reveal themselves to me at times, it seems, from the ether, and for that privilege, I must also agree to perform them. That last part, about performing them, must have been in the fine print section of whatever contract I signed because I had no idea it would be like this. I don't really mind singing them. Hey, who else is going to do it? But it's this compulsion inside, this weird feeling that's a little spooky. It's as if I'm being driven to sing them. Folks still enjoy all of that other stuff I've been singing and request it, but it's as I said, I find that these new songs want or desire to be heard. They nag me, and drag me to my keyboard late at night or early in the morning to write them down, but that isn't enough. Then they gnaw at me to memorize them and learn their melodies. Once that's done they're still not satisfied until I bring them to a gig and perform them. It's as though the birth or the idea of the song was not enough. Once born, written down, and joined with a melody, they grow needy with desire to complete themselves and finish their circle, their cycle, and be heard or consumed by those who would listen.

Kinda weird huh?

08 Mar 04 - 11:32 PM (#1131961)
Subject: RE: songwriting
From: Peace

GUEST,reggie miles,

It's late in the thread. The thread started on June 3, 1999. What you say about the writing is neat, and some of that has been my experience, too.

09 Mar 04 - 11:12 AM (#1132094)
Subject: RE: songwriting
From: George Papavgeris

I find the same too. I have come to think of them as children of mine - giving them birth is not enough. They constantly require new clothes (arrangements), evenings out (sung at clubs), spending money (for recording). And after a while, they also want to go out with others (other singers asking to sing them).

But that's not the worst of it - a few flourish under the attention of others more than under mine (daughters getting married?)

Still - we wouldn't be without them, would we?

09 Mar 04 - 12:16 PM (#1132145)
Subject: RE: songwriting
From: GUEST,reggie miles

No, you're right, I do enjoy them and think of them as gifts or surprises at least that arrive sometimes hurriedly or sometimes with much labor but always welcome and appreciated.

09 Mar 04 - 12:53 PM (#1132190)
Subject: RE: songwriting
From: McGrath of Harlow

And until you've sung a new song, you can't really get your head round writing another one, I find. Like it's blocking up the platform so the next train can't get in the station.

09 Mar 04 - 01:28 PM (#1132218)
Subject: RE: songwriting
From: Kevin Sheils

Yes McG of H, "There's another train, there always is" as Pete Morton wrote

09 Mar 04 - 01:57 PM (#1132249)
Subject: RE: songwriting
From: dwditty

This is not an ad, but I have taken several courses, including a songwriting course, at Berklee College of Music via the web. Info is HERE

If my clicky works, it will be the first in a long time...


09 Mar 04 - 02:44 PM (#1132308)
Subject: RE: songwriting
From: harvey andrews

And of course, anyone in Europe can come on my songwriting course in France in the summer. El Greko is! Details on my website or from Martin Wyndham Read.

09 Mar 04 - 03:25 PM (#1132349)
Subject: RE: songwriting
From: McGrath of Harlow

Here's the link to that on Harvey's website, pictures and all...

09 Mar 04 - 04:00 PM (#1132381)
Subject: RE: songwriting
From: George Papavgeris

Indeed I'm going to Harvey's course, and I'm really looking forward to it (while at the same time dreading that I might "dry up" that particular week!). It's an 18 month promise to myself that I can at last fulfill. Do yourselves a favour and snap up any remaining places - if indeed there are any left still...

09 Mar 04 - 08:10 PM (#1132600)
Subject: RE: songwriting
From: Crane Driver

I completely agree with Guest,reggie miles, and it's a relief to find that it's not just me! I've been writing songs in a very traditional style about events and people from local history for a few years now, and there is a compulsion about it. It's as if the songs have been hanging around since the events occurred, waiting for someone to write them. They latch on to me, and won't let go until I finish them. The more vigorous songs write themselves in a few hours, lazier ones take months to finish. And it is a real frustration if you can't get to perform them. I seem to have forgotten most of my earlier repertoire ...... damn!


10 Mar 04 - 06:10 AM (#1132850)
Subject: RE: songwriting
From: Clean Supper

I also agree with reggie miles (but I'm inclined to put it in less magical language...). I write political songs and I feel like I'm having my say when I perform a song. Even writing it gives me some of that feeling but it's not quite complete until I get up on front of people - preferrably strangers - and let them have it.

I'm a bit stuck on getting back to my hemisphere from this strange and freezing North now, though, so gigs are few and far between (geographically as well...). I'm making do with publishing my songs on a web page and telling everyone I can get hold of about it (this now includes you). It's not too hard to create a web site - getting anyone to se it is trickier and putting music on it takes a little learning too. (and SPACE - roger me sideways, even MP3s are quite big, full audio files are enormous!)

go well

salad of raw tomato, onion, garlic, parsley, basil and olive oil :)