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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.”