5 Ways to Choose the Right Song

    It should be a favourite song of your special person or one which they can relate to easily and certainly one which is familiar to everyone present. You may need to ask around if you are not sure: please provide a couple of song choices.

    We suggest sticking to a straightforward song with a verse and chorus structure.

    Well known traditional folk songs such as “Ilkley Moor Bar T’at” work well as the structure is straightforward and groups of people can sing it easily. Equally most pop songs lend themselves to this treatment as well: e.g. “Livin La Vida” is a fast paced song with a straightforward structure.

    Your choice can be by any singer or group : The great singers of the past: Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Barbara Streisand, Matt Munro, Bob Marley as well as Lionel Ritchie, Adele and Emeli Sandé , any artist as long as the song can be sung karaoke style! Musicals can provide suitable sources too.

    A happy song is probably better than a sad one but I am sure even Leonard Cohen’s lyrics can be adapted for the purpose!

    Step by Step Guide

    This is a bespoke service unique to each person. We realise that getting the right tone and appropriate sense of humour is essential, so we will involve you as much as possible to ensure there are lots of laughs but sensitive and affectionate moments too. As the organiser, you will need to follow these steps:

    Step 1

    Contact Celebration Songs for You to tell us the name of the person(s) to be celebrated and the date of the event: Get in Touch

    Step 2

    You will receive a response by email or phone welcoming you and to give you guidance. We invite you to ask any questions you may have.

    Step 3

    Start to gather information about your special person. Complete the “Providing Information” form. Share this link with friends, family and colleagues who may wish to contribute: Providing Information

    For ideas, see: 10 things to include in your song

    Alternatively, if you use social media, why not set up a private Facebook page or WhatsApp group to gather stories and anecdotes from all your contacts! Include us in your circulation list and we can start creating your song straight away!!

    Step 4

    You will need to choose your song which should be sung easily by one or more people to have maximum effect and enjoyment.

    For ideas, see: 5 ways to choose your song

    Step 5

    We will re-write the lyrics using the information supplied and return a draft version to the organiser within 3 working days

    Step 6

    The organiser should check these lyrics for their suitability and suggest any changes.

    Step 7

    Once lyrics are agreed, payment will then be due: either using Paypal or by Bank Transfer. See our Pricing guide

    Please note that all lyrics are written for this personal tribute and are not for further publishing.

    It’s your husband’s milestone birthday? Give him his own song!

    Well it’s your husband’s ominous next milestone birthday coming up and the expectation is to do something special so when a party is suggested you grab the opportunity straightaway.

    What about something unique during the event just before the cake, which celebrates your hubby? A dedicated poem will always have a warm reception: several people could contribute although getting everyone to use the same rhythm technique could be tricky. Now a unique customised set of re-written lyrics to your husband’s favourite song would be a really special touch! How easy is it to organise? Here are a few steps to take:

    Step 1:
    Find a way of gathering information about your husband from everyone who is going to be there (and maybe those who can’t): childhood friends, post school friends, work colleagues and relatives too. You might set up a WhatsApp, closed Facebook page or similar group to collect all the information in one place.

    Step 2: Decide what you want to find out: anecdotes and maybe events before your time with him: “I remember the time when your hubby stole a milk float after one too many beers in town” or his lifelong love of Penguin biscuits. Include his great achievements: captain of the 3rd team, scorer of many a goal, rising through the ranks at work, travelled to where ever on a very tight budget. Be sure to include examples of his great qualities too: his kindness and care for his friends. It’s probably ok to include his small failings too: will he ever learn how to stack the dishwasher?

    Step 3:
    Once you’ve got together a mix of achievements, humorous stories and a sense of what the tribute is, group them so that they can be joined together in a connected way in the song.

    Step 4
    Choose your song carefully! It should be a song that a number of people could sing: a basic verse and chorus works best. Words should be audible without requiring too much focus for the listener. So for example: Ed Sheeran’s Take it back would be a major task to adapt. He takes 12 seconds to get through this verse!

    “I’m not a rapper, I’m a singer with a flow
    I’ve got a habit of spitting
    Quicker lyrics you know
    You found me ripping the writtens
    Out of the pages they sit in
    And never once I get bitten
    Because plagiarism is hidden
    Which I would sit on the rhythm
    Prisoner with a vision”

    However Lionel Ritchie’s All Night Long gives a much more even rhythm to adapt. he takes 40 seconds to sing this verse: much more manageable!

    “Well, my friends, the time has come
    To raise the roof and have some fun
    Throw away the work to be done
    Let the music play on (play on, play on, play on…)
    Everybody sing, everybody dance
    Lose yourself in wild romance
    We’re going to Party, Karamu, Fiesta, forever
    Come on and sing along!
    We’re going to Party, Karamu, Fiesta, forever
    Come on and sing along!”

    STEP 6:
    Find a karaoke version you can use: http://www.karaoke-version.com have a good service by providing the opportunity to choose which instruments you wish to use and even change key so that it fits in comfortably with everyone’s voices. Download and store safely!

    Step 5
    Writing in the lyrics is the most painstaking step: You should try to keep the scan of the original words and even include some of them if you can in the re-written version. Say the line several times and count the number of syllables and then create a line which will match using your own content.

    In this example our special person left her family home in Cornwall (hence the reference to “maid”, a very Cornish term for young lady) to go to university at Warwick.

    Well, my friends, the time has come
    _1___ 2_____3_____4 ___5___6____ 7
    To raise the roof and have some fun
    Throw away the work to be done
    Let the music play on

    Well, my friends, the time has come
    To celebrate and have some fun
    A handsome maid once left her home
    Warwick was where she roamed

    It won’t always be possible to do this syllable by syllable but whatever happens your party people should be able to easily follow the words! Make sure your song ends with a real and fitting tribute!!

    You’ll want to have some rhyming words of course and you may find some natural rhymes: if you can’t check out RhymeZone (www.rhymezone.com) which will suggest potential rhymes for line ends or elsewehere.

    Step 6:
    Complete your first draft and then share with a few people and ask for suggestions to improve because you can always make little changes here and there: but of course, that depends on your deadline!

    Step 7.
    Make a slideshow of the lyrics using Powerpoint and maybe add a few photos to exemplify or just add a great background to your words. Then import the audio and you can even record the timings of the slide changes as the song goes through.

    Alternatively http://www.karaoke-version.com offer an opportunity to add your own lyrics to a karaoke song with a highlight to show where the words come in the song. They do this for a reasonable one-off fee and then download the video to your computer.

    Step 8
    You now have the lyrics in a slideshow with a karaoke version. Who will sing this song on the night? It may be your children or friends who will perform this to the backing track. Here technical details count! The singers will need to share their screen with the other participants in the Zoom party. Tick the box when sharing which allows your computer audio to be heard. Then your singers can lead the singing at the right point and everyone can join in! There will be a lag from other participants but the singers will be able to lead in time with themselves. You’re advised to practise this in advance! It’s great fun and your special person will have a souvenir which will last a very long time!

    Of course, you could commission http://www.celebrationsongsforyou.com to create your song!!

    Adapted from “All Night Long”