I Believe In Songs of Love
I believe in the organization called Songs Of Love. Based in New York, Songs Of Love was founded in 1996 by accomplished singer/songwriter John Beltzer as a way to give inspiration and joy to terminally ill children and teenagers by creating personalized songs for them.
Every week, as one of the organization’s many songwriters, I get a new child to create a song for. It’s a bitter-sweet experience. Sweet because in front of me is a sheet of paper that represents a new song waiting to be written. Bitter because it also represents a child or youth who’s family is battling a very serious illness.
We have 25 days to compose the song, with one of the main requirements being that the song lyrics use the child’s name over and over again, and also include his/her favorite things, and those people who love the child.
It is an intriguing experience to start with an idea based solely on a name, compose a melody and lyric, followed by an arrangement and complete it with a full scale recording and send it off to be packaged in CD form for a child you’ve never met. Sometimes I get a whole page of interests from the family and sometimes I barely get enough to write a sentence. Either way, a writer must find creative ways to compose a song that will inspire the child and their family.
I smile as I read the interests of little girls, which is who I mostly write for. Many of them dream of being a princess. In a world that is changing at a high rate of speed, it brings some sense of assurance to think that little girls are still dreaming of the things most little girls have dreamed of for centuries.
Thanks to ‘Songs of Love’, this little girl’s dreams have come true. I am supporting other parts of my music career by writing songs. Songs Of Love is also giving me the best exercise for becoming a better writer, which is pretty simple, write!
I first found out about this Foundation three years ago when I was attending a conference for musicians in Nashville, Tennessee. They were suggesting ways a songwriter could make it on their own without having the elusive record deal or having to work a ‘day job’.
I’ve been writing and performing music for years, so when I heard about this opportunity, I began researching them as soon as I got home from the conference.
Songs Of Love recently reached a great milestone. 17,000 children have received a song written just for them. The Foundation survives on generous gifts and grants from various companies so that the song is free to the family.
Yes, I believe in songs and I believe in love. What a beautiful duet when you put the two together and create a song of love for someone who could use a reason to smile.