Sunday, July 02, 2006

Take Me to Your Library

This month's podcast details the creation of the song "Take Me to Your Library," which recently won first place in the Unisong International Songwriting Competition children's category.

If you're linking here from the Unisong website, welcome - I hope you enjoy hearing the song and learning a bit about how it was created.

The song is available on my CD with the same title. You can get it at The CD includes extensive notes on the writing and recording of all the songs - just pop it into your computer to access them. Here's an interesting bit from the CD notes that didn't get into the podcast...

"One challenge I had with this song was to keep it interesting musically, since it's so long. I had a melody for the verse and one for the chorus, but I wasn't sure how to put it all together. If I sang the chorus after every verse it would be long and boring. Then I heard an interview of Arlo Guthrie on the radio. He said something about his story songs; that often all the verses will follow the same pattern, but he will throw in a different melody after a while to shake things up.

So that's what I tried. The verse that starts 'A bright blue beam dropped straight down around me...' could be sung with the same melody as the others, but I gave it a new one. It comes right in a spot where we need to hear something new, or the song would start to get boring!"

This month's winner of a free CD is Sarah Nielsen of Wilsonville, Oregon. Congratulations, Sarah! All she had to do was fill out the listener survey. If you've tried before and didn't win, you can try again.

Next month my guest will be Mr. Billy, and we'll talk about a song we wrote together. I'm going to keep promising that until it happens!

Listen to or download the new podcast: Take Me to Your Library, the Podcast
Take the survey for a chance to win a CD: Survey
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Saturday, July 01, 2006

Unisong International Songwriting Competition

Big news for me!!

The Unisong International Songwriting Competition results have been announced for 2005.

This competition is run by songwriters for songwriters, so the focus really is on the writing. I've been entering in the children's category for the past three years. In 2003 I took third place with "Diving in the Deep Blue Sea" and in 2004 I took second with "Loose Tooth."

This year I entered four songs. (I find it quite impossible to guess which of my songs has the best chance so I enter as many as I can afford.)

And the results...

"It's Hard to Love a Reptile" from the new Paws Claws Scales & Tales CD took fourth place.


"Take Me to Your Library" from the CD of the same name took first place!

I was also excited to see that my friend Mr. Billy placed two songs in the top twenty finalists. I haven't heard yet how many entries there were in the children's category, but in past years there have been several hundred, so placing anywhere in the top 24 is an impressive accomplishment; it puts you firmly in the top 1%.

Congratulations to all the winners! You can listen to the winning songs at