My songwords

And other stuff

Welcome!

All the lyrics here are free-to-use, help yourself. If you produce a song using my lyrics please acknowledge the fact in your liner notes and send me a link or file so I can hear what you’ve done. If I like it, I’ll post your song on the songs page.

When you add music to lyrics, that’s when the magic happens and that’s why I hand out my lyrics.

A bit about me: My name is John Schofield. I’m also known as Salty John, a nickname from my days of small boat cruising, and as John S Alty, an anagram of my nickname.

For many years I’ve been a writer – magazine articles, short stories, memoir, sailing books – and a few years ago I turned my hand to song writing. I’ve done the courses, read the books and articles, and decided my strength is writing lyrics, leaving the music, production and performances to others. I do play guitar and sing, but only in the privacy of my own home.

I’ve had some success in song competitions, including the UK Song Contest (winner 2020, lyrics section) and some less well-known contests. I also made the top ten in the Commonwealth Resounds search for a new Commonwealth song to be sung by 54 choirs around the world to celebrate the Queens Platinum Jubilee in 2022. I’m particularly proud of that one.

I’m always happy to receive your comments and suggestions.

Cheers,
John Schofield

Season’s Greetings

I hope all my readers had a Merry Christmas and that you will all enjoy a prosperous, fun-filled 2022. Let’s hope it’s the year we see the back of this damned pandemic.
I’ve added a few new lyrics recently, there are about thirty to choose from now. Help yourself and don’t forget, I’m interested in hearing what you’ve done with my words, so send me a link.

Song contests
The end of the UK Song Contest 2021 is in sight. The huge number of entries have been whittled down to the finalists in each category and from those the category winners, and the overall winner, will be selected. My lyrics to “Circle of Life” are in the finals so I’m very happy about that – if I were to win again, that would be super but unexpected. I’m also in the finals with two co-writes so fingers crossed.

Christmas present


For Christmas I received Paul McCartney: The Lyrics. This enormous two-volume tome is fascinating. The lyrics to his songs, from Beatles days to the present, are presented along with his reminisces of the writing of the song, his thoughts behind it and usually some autobiographical gem from the era in which the song was written. The neat trick is that the songs are presented alphabetically so the time-line drifts backwards and forwards between the early Beatles days and the present. This prevents the book becoming just another Beatles story.

New Year’s Resolutions?
Mine are pretty simple. Lose the five pounds I put on over Christmas, learn to play piano properly, add some melodies to my own lyrics. What could possibly go wrong?

UKSC2021

The UK Songwriting Contest 2021 is drawing to a close. We’re at the semi-final stage and I’m still in it. The finalists will be chosen in the next couple of weeks and from those few the winners will be selected.

Last year I won the lyrics section with “It’s Later Than you Think”. The contest seems to be well attended with around 9,000 entries from 84 countries last year.

Fingers crossed!

Update – I made the finals. That’ll do me.

Circle of Life

Seeing news of the continuing drought in east Africa and the burning of the Amazon rain forests I wrote a new climate protest song, Circle of Life.

Here are the lyrics, I’m sure someone will make a great song and spread the word far and wide:

Circle of Life
2021©John Schofield
Verse 1
The sun beats down on the African plain
Where the long rains are late again
The waterholes are cracked and dry
And there’s not a raincloud in the sky

Chorus
A new child cries, an old man dies
The circle of life goes on
A new child cries as the planet dies
The circle of life is undone

Verse 2
The Amazon rain forests burn and smoke
The lungs of our planet are choked
East and West are racing to space
When they should be repairing this place

Chorus
A new child cries, an old man dies
The circle of life goes on
A new child cries as the planet dies
And the circle of life is undone

Verse 3
Wild fires and floods and oceans depleted
Cause and effect still debated
Governments fiddle as mother earth burns
Actions would speak much louder than words

Chorus
A new child cries, an old man dies
The circle of life goes on
A new child cries as the planet dies
And the circle of life is undone

Bridge:
C’mon everybody, it isn’t too late
As long as we don’t procrastinate
Let’s give Mother Nature a helping hand
And she’ll repair our wonderland

Chorus
A new child cries, an old man dies
The circle of life goes on
A new child cries as the planet dies
And the circle of life is undone

UKSC2021 – Finalist

Stephen Sondheim RIP

Stephen Sondheim has died at the age of 91. The New-York born composer won eight Grammy awards, nine Tony awards – including the special Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre – and one Academy Award. He also received a Pulitzer Prize.

Send in the clowns.

Writing lyrics (4)


Don’t despair!

People don’t listen to sad songs to make themselves miserable. When you write a sad song, and sad songs are very popular, be aware the listener is not interested in hearing you whine about your awful predicament.

What a sad song should do is tug at the heartstrings but then show a way out – redemption, hope, light at the end of the tunnel. Make them cry, but then offer a hint of a smile.

A sad song should show how the singer was faced with a sad situation, one the listener can identify with, but in the end found a glimmer of hope, a way forward.

“Don’t despair”, it should say, “I’ve been there and there is hope, I got over it, and so could you.”

Magic place

My magic place is the uninhabited island of Hawkesbill Cay in the Bahamas. I’ve anchored there many times, the most memorable being when the sun set on the last day of 1999.

I wrote some lyrics based loosely on this place, Magic Place, and they’re posted in Lyrics 3.

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