Song Writing Challenge! We Provide the Music, You Write the Lyrics.

Huw Williams of Melodica, Melody and Me explores the cross over between poetry and lyrics. Huw has also supplied an instrumental version of one of his songs. Our challenge is for you to write your own original song lyrics to go with this music!

We would like to unlock your inner songwriter by asking you to write new lyrics for a piece of music by Melodica, Melody and Me. You can listen to this music below.

Melodica, Melody and Me called this music Ode to Victor Jara, however we want you to take this piece of music and turn it into your own song. Choose your own title for the piece and write your own words, about whatever subject you wish.
While the original song was about Victor Jara we would like to encourage you to write lyrics on a new subject. In the interview, Huw from Melodica, Melody and Me, talked about using poems for inspiration; if you are stuck for ideas why not choose a favourite poem to help inspire your new song.

When writing your song it may help to listen to the Melodica, Melody and Me lyrics, you can listen to these below, but remember we’re asking for new lyrics which could be on any theme!

This challenge is now closed. Here are some fantastic earlier responses to the challenge, chosen as winners by Huw – they should give you an idea of the range of themes you could write about. If you enjoy doing this, you could try it with any song you like; why not experiment with giving a well-known or favourite song a completely different spin?

Shadow Land by Jessica Cripps

Diamond Love by Ankita Sexton

You Made Me Lowered by Freya Wilson

The Red Girl by Jessica Matthews

Published April, 2012

27 thoughts on “Song Writing Challenge! We Provide the Music, You Write the Lyrics.

    1. That would be brilliant Bianca, we’d love to hear your version as well as reading it. Could you send both: a clip and the lyrics written down?

    1. Hi Mim, have a look at the section entitled “To Send Us Your Lyrics”, it explains how you can send them to us. We’re asking for everyone to send a written copy of their lyrics, but if you would also like to send us a recording of your version please do attach that too!
      Good luck Mim!

  1. Hello, I was just wondering if we were allowed to submit more than one set of lyrics, or is it restricted to one submission per person? Thank you very much!

    1. Hi Ankita, you can submit more than one set of lyrics. Although it’s always a good idea to focus on getting one submission to the highest possible standard rather than writing lots and lots of variations. However if you feel you have two equally good pieces we’d love to read them both, and of course to hear them both if you would like to record them too!

  2. hi, i’m thinking of entering but i dont sing so would it be possuble to write a sort of written word poem/rap to it as that is my fortay

    1. Hi Alice, You’re welcome to interpret the brief in whatever way you like. But remember you don’t need to submit a recording, you can just send the words, so even if you hate singing you could send a written song.

  3. Hi YPN,
    I have discovered this Young Poets Network just recently, so I was just wondering if I want to submit song lyrics, does it have to be specifically song lyrics, or it can be just a poem, as I write poems, and have never wrote song lyrics or music and not sure if a poem words would make lyrics for a song. Thank you.

    1. Hi Tim, this challenge is for song lyrics because we wanted to encourage you to have a go at something a bit different and to explore the cross over between song writing and poetry. However we’ll have another challenge after this one more poetry focused, if you subscribe you’ll get an email letting you know about it when it goes live:

      If you are looking for a challenges to start off new poems, do click through our workshops section – we have over a year’s worth of challenges there to get you writing. Plus if you enjoy the competition element look at the Poetry Map section, there are lots of competitions listed there and many of them have a theme or a particular brief to help you start writing.

  4. Hey ! I just wanted to know if the new lyrics should suit perfectly whith the ones you sing ; I mean do the lyrics have to go the same timeline ?

    1. Hi Laure, the lyrics need to fit with the music, so yes using the orginal lyrics as a guide could be helpful.

  5. Hello! I wanted to ask if I can submit lyrics without music, and not on the instrumental “Ode to Victor Jara”. Well I don’t play instruments but can compose music in my mind. Second question: I’m no good singer so if I just send you the lyrics on “Ode to Victor Jara” how would you know which way it is sung? This is a challenge right, so is there any declaration date for the results telling as to who wrote the best lyrics? Thank you.

    1. Hi Pranita, the lyrics do need to be on “Ode for Victor Jara” for this challenge. It will be judged by Huw from Melodica, Melody and Me, he’s familiar enough with the music to be able to hear how a set of written lyrics can fit to it. However, if you feel your entry would benefit from being sung and you don’t feel comfortable singing yourself, then why not ask a friend to sing your words for you?

      We haven’t set a results date, we’ll try to turn them results around as fast as possible, but since we don’t know how many submissions we’re going to receive we want to keep some flexibility.

  6. Well, it says the deadline is 28th May, so when exactly (time)? And I’ve composed it (I’ve edited one of my poems to match with the music). So can I send it now and the recording afterwards? Or should it be along with the lyrics as an attachment? Thank you.

    1. Hi Pranita, all deadlines are midnight (UK time) unless otherwise stated. So, since there is no time mentioned for this challenge, you can submit any time on the 28th (UK time).

    1. Hi Brittney, we asked for submissions inspired by this challenge earlier in the year and Huw has chosen his favourites. Now the challenge is there as a workshop to spark a poem – if you like what you write, you could submit it to one of the competitions or publications on our Poetry Map. Or if you want to take part in a challenge, there is a new one based on Stars running until Monday 24th Sept.

    1. Hi Ananya,

      Thanks for your comment – it’s great to hear that you’d like to write songs inspired by this challenge in Hindi! Unfortunately the challenge is now closed, so you can’t enter it anymore, but we do have two challenges currently accepting entries (in English only unfortunately):

      Currently, we have open:

      Thinking Outside the Penalty Box asks for poems inspired by extraordinary African lives, and offers the chance of print publication and up to £100 in book vouchers (we can convert this into your currency, don’t worry!): (closes 28 February – so get your skates on!)

      Nearlyology is a challenge asking you to explore what has nearly happened to you, and how it’s changed your life. Enter by 11 March for the chance of publication on YPN and an exclusive notebook as well as other poetry goodies!

      Best of luck!

      Helen at Young Poets Network

  7. Is this competition/challenge still on? My 13 yrs. old pupils are keen to write lyrics. Hope to hear back soon. Thank you.

    1. Hi Pankaj,

      Thanks for this message. It’s great to hear that your students are keen writers! Unfortunately this challenge is now closed, however you might be interested in the challenge we currently have open, inspired by the enigmatic and inviting work of poet W.S. Graham. Enter a Cloud, Imagine a Forest now:

      The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award is also open for entries – it’s the biggest international youth poetry competition in the world and we would love to receive lyrics or poems by your students! Let me know if you’d like to receive a class set of free poetry anthologies (, flyers and posters and we can send these over if you’re based in the UK. With incredible prizes from mentoring, poetry books and life-long support, why not enter now?

      I hope some of these things sound interesting. If you’d like to be added to The Poetry Society’s Education mailing list, we’ll keep you up to date with all the latest opportunities from The Poetry Society. Do just let me know.

      Best wishes,

      Helen at Young Poets Network

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