Any songwriters here?

I’m a songwriter who just returned to the Church about 6 months ago. I was wondering if there were any other songwriters here.

If so, how does being Catholic affect your lyrics ?

I was a songwriter as a Protestant, maybe 60-70 songs over the course of 25 years. I haven’t written anything since I became Catholic; I’m not 600 years old and can’t write chant or ren-music style :stuck_out_tongue:


Songwriter here. I write in many different styles, including works for the Catholic Mass. Aside from those specific compositions, there are also a number of songs personally dedicated to Jesus. It’s my special way of praying, and thanking Him for giving me this gift.


I wrote a song once when I was woo-ing my then girlfriend, now wife. I had inherited a ukulele from my grandmother, bought a book on chords and wrote a little song. :smiley:

I write songs, although I have not written any since becoming Catholic.

However, many of my “Protestant” songs contain Catholic doctrines. My daughter pointed it out to me in a children’s ditty called “The Boo Boo Song.” Without knowing it, I wrote this song about our Mother Mary.

I wrote one song with a clear message about “the communion of the saints.”

I even wrote a song about the Infant of Prague.

All of this without knowing anything about Catholicism.

Coincidence? I think not.

I’ve actually considered writing a book about “Catholic Songs from a Protestant Musician.” (bad title!)

I’ve written a few Christian songs, at least their lyrics. Unfortunately, I don’t play guitar or piano so I have to try to find someone willing to write music for it. I wish I could find someone. I have a song right now I’d like to work up called “Another Thorn In His Crown”. I heard someone say that everytime we sin we add another thorn to Jesus’ crown, so that stuck with me and I wrote some lyrics based on it.

I’m 19, and have written about 30-40 decent songs (decent referring to quality), many of which have a Catholic/spiritual bent to them. Most have some kind of philosophical tendency to them.

I’m a guitarist, both acoustic and electric. Most of my songs tend to be written on the acoustic guitar, though.

It’s a good way to blow off steam, pray/meditate, state your/my mind, or just have fun!

A few titles: “Dawning is the Day”, “Child of My Time”, “Paradise Lost”, “Beggarman”, “Rock Band”, “Riders on the Storm”, “Silver Song”.

I also write music. Most of my stuff are film score (wanna be, you know), trance, and pop. I have Reason, Cubase, EWQLSO Orchestra and Stormdrum.

Hi Dave, I haven’t written anything since returning to the Church. I’m a cradle Catholic. Up until my return, I had no trouble writing lyrics, but now I can’t get one started.

I noticed Cat said the same thing as you. None since becoming Catholic. Interesting that we have that in common. Hmmm.

Anyhow, thanks for taking time to reply. Perhaps we’ll do a challenge for fun sometime. Might get us writing again :wink:


Hi rc, musical talent is a gift indeed :slight_smile:

Thanks for posting, and good meeting you.
Pleasure’s mine,

Cool story DW, thanks for sharing.

Heck, might as well write another one. Perhaps surprise her with an aniversary song. :wink:


Hi Cat, funny how the Muse works sometimes. Interesting how those ones you mentioned could easily been written after you became Catholic.

Why do you suppose you have not written any since becoming Catholic ? Dave mentioned the same thing as well, and I have not written anything since returning to the Church back in December.

I’m not sure I could answer why I haven’t written anything. I’ll have to think on that.

Anyhow, glad to meet you, and thanks for the reply :slight_smile:


Hey HB, that’s a good hook/title.

There is a songwriter site…

… they have a songwriter message board where you can post a message that you are looking for a co-writer.
Or you can post your lyric on the lyric forum… lyric 3 is the busy one… and get critiques of your lyrics from fellow writers. Just remember, it’s the internet, and the critiques are free from writers still learning to write themselves. Take all comments with a grain of salt :wink: (Pro critiques cost money, and tend to be brutally honest)

There are some good writers there. You can also go to the mp3 forum and listen to folks songs. If you hear someones music you like, let them know by replying to their post and simply ask them if they co-write. Tell them what you’ve got in mind.

Good luck, and keep writing.


Hey Setlew, Child of My Time and Silver Song stand out as interesting titles. Are the lyrics posted online ?

Know what you mean, a guitar can be ones’ best friend.

Thanks for jumping in here :thumbsup:


Hey, I’ve got limited compositional skills. Lyrics are my strength right now, but I’m learning.

I’m still in the Kristal Audio, Samson Co1U phase.

Thanks for the holler, someone may see your post and need a demo or co-write :wink:

Good to meet you,


Ya know, that’s not a bad idea. It’ll be 10 years this summer. :hmmm:


First-one reason why I don’t write songs is that I want to wait until I have learned more.

In the evangelical churches, I saw people with talents who became Christians, and immediately were railroaded into doing “Christian” stuff, and eventually fell away. Too much, too soon.

I’m thinking of Bob Dylan and B.J.Thomas. These men became “born again” and tried to use their talents to write Christian music, and were attacked on all sides. Thomas tried to argue that it was possible for Christians to perform songs that weren’t overtly Christian, and Christians said, “No, you’re wasting your talent writing about the world,” and non-Christians said, “No, you’re wasting your talent writing about religion,” and it went on and on and finally he disappeared from the Christian scene. I hope he’s still a believer somewhere.

So I think it is wise to wait awhile, to make sure that I am well-grounded in Catholic Christian theology. I don’t want someone on Catholic Answers Forum griping someday about that horrible new hymn by Cat that doesn’t teach true Catholic theology and isn’t appropriate for the liturgy!

BTW, if I ever do write Catholic hymns, I will make sure to write only TWO verses, because in most of the Catholic churches I’ve visited, that’s all they ever sing. Why bother to write verses three and four?

cont’d next post


Second–another reason I don’t write songs is that in the evangelical world, I always wrote in response to a need. I’m not a songwriter who writes for my own private worship or edification or praise. I write because someone requests me to write.

I started writing songs back in the 1980s because our VBS committee got tired of paying for Vacation Bible school songbooks that had bouncy little songs that all the kids hated. I told the director that we should just write our own songs so we wouldn’t have to worry about violating copyrights, and she said, “Go for it.” So I did.

In keeping with that year’s VBS theme and Bible stories (Daniel), I wrote a set of songs relating Christianity to athletic competition. The kids really liked these songs. One little girl called our church in September and asked for a recording of the song for use in her PUBLIC school PE class (they were doing an aerobic dance unit and she wanted to teach them the song about being a champion that she had learned at our VBS.)

I’m happy to say that a few weeks ago, my 24-year old daughter ran a 25K race, and she called to ask me for the recording of that VBS song, “Be A Champion,” so that she could listen to it while she ran.

For the next several years, I wrote all our church VBS music, and kids liked it. We made recordings of all the songs and passed them out to the kids–no copyright violations! Most of the kids had no idea that I wrote the songs. During one VBS, a lady talked to me in the lobby–she didn’t know that I wrote the songs, only that I played the piano. She said the main reason her kids came to our VBS was the music.

I was invited by other churches to do the music for their VBS.

Those VBS experiences started up a lot of song writing, always in response to needs. VBS, missionary conferences, Christmas, etc. I wrote the song about the Baby Jesus for Christmas way back in 1986 after watching the way ladies, including myself, held our babies. It’s called “It’s Time To Hold The Baby” and it is so incredibly Catholic that I’m surprised I didn’t get kicked out of my evangelical church! I think it’s the best song I’ve ever written. I’ve done it for Catholics, and they cry.

So IF one of the priests in my church asked me, “Cat, we need a song for our Knights of Columbus meeting next week? Something about service to God and Tootsie Rolls. Could you write one?”–I believe that I could do this. I believe that this is the kind of song-writing talent that God has given me–writing songs in response to needs.

But so far, no one has asked.

con’d next post

Third–and I’ll bet you and other musicians can identify with this–in the Catholic Church, there are not many “venues” for musical solos.

In the evangelical church, if I wrote a song, I would ask one of my friends or a child or teenager to please learn it and we would ask the music minister if we could please perform the song at a service, and he would pencil us in for Sunday evening the 21st and we would do it. Or we would ask if we could sing at the missionary convention or at the Ladies Prayer Breakfast or at the VBS closing program. (Usually, they would ask US!)

Or nowadays, we could go to any number of Christian coffeehouses in the city and just get up on the open stage and do the song.

But it doesn’t work that way in the Catholic Church.

At the church where I play the piano, an Italian parish, the Franciscan fathers who pastor the church encourage the singing of Communion meditations, so that has provided a small venue. But these songs are supposed to be COMMUNION meditations, songs that make us think of Jesus. So you have to be mindful of this and follow the liturgical rules. Yes, my daughter sang “It’s Time To Hold The Baby.” And the people cried.

At my home parish, solos are unusual. I’ve seen Communion meditation done ONCE–by me and my daughter! In the Sunday morning mass, the choir will usually perform a meditation, but I’ve never heard a solo done. I don’t attend that mass often, so maybe there are solos.

There aren’t “evening services” or “singspirations” in Catholic churches where singers can stand up and do a solo.

Even the Catholic Family Conferences that I’ve attended don’t generally include soloists or any music, which I think is a SHAME. It would quiet the people down before each speaker, and give the speaker a chance to compose his/her/them self before their presentation.

I wish that the Catholic parishes in my city would start up a “coffeehouse,” perhaps once a week, and encourage music, poetry, open mike, testimony (and of course, the drinking of coffee!). Maybe I’ll suggest this, because I think this would result in a LOT of Catholics stepping up to write and perform music. It would also be a neat place for people to bring their non-Catholic friends.

You see my point–there simply aren’t as many venues for Catholic song writers to get their songs performed. And there aren’t that many Catholic professional musicians who record albums or tour, so songwriters don’t seem to be needed much in the Catholic Church.

My daughter attends a Catholic university (SLU), and she says that various people in the music department write the Mass parts every week for the 10PM student mass. I think that a Catholic college or university would be a great place for songwriters to have a venue. In fact, I’m guessing that many of our contemporary Catholic hymns come from these universities.

Can you relate to any of this?

i play the piano but not the guitar. how do you guys compose music and learn music theory?

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