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your theme song 

Last week I happened on to an interesting niche of songwriting.  I saw a fb post wherein a casual friend mentioned she needs a theme song for her life.  This was part of a longer post, but something in me clicked when I read the bit about a theme song.

I immediately offered to write her theme song, if she was serious.  I know her well enough to guess what she was after: something uplifting, empowering, maybe like a rock anthem or a mantra set to music (a chant?), but with a good beat that makes you want to move.  It turns out I was pretty close.  She was into it.  I didn't charge anything, I just kinda wanted to see if I could do it. 

Somehow it all just flowed easily and a week later I had a complete song, based on my knowledge of my friend, my intuition and some ideas she gave me. 

I was surprised how fast it came together and very happy with it musically and lyrically.  And, fortunately, my friend loves it!  That's a win/win.  Because I don't refer to her by name in the song, I have been able to use it, singing it a live shows and it's going over well.  I always tell the story, giving her credit for the idea and for providing me with some pithy lyrics (which became the heart of the chorus).

The last time I sang it, someone came up afterward and asked if I would writer her theme song.  She said I should market this and she called it branding. 

Have you ever heard of anyone doing this?  Let me know if you've done it or know someone who does. 

The only similar thing I've ever done is a song I co-wrote one time, years ago.  I was writing a songwriters' blog, Songwriters Tip Jar, and a reader contacted me. He had written a poem for his fiance that he read during their wedding ceremony and he wanted to hire me to put it to music for their 10th anniversary.  That long distance collaboration worked out well, too. 

I'll keep you posted on my progress and after I get permission, I'll post some of the music.

tags: personal theme song mantra chant brand branding fb facebook songwriting composing dance lyrics

The Illustrated History of Soulpajamas (abridged) 

  600 AD  Pope Gregory the Great codifies & collects the chant, used in Roman Catholic services.  Names it Gregorian Chant in his honor
  850 Western music starts to move from monotony, no, monophony to polyphony with vocal parts in church music moving in parallel intervals

1180 Troubadours, the original singer/songwriters, appear in Germany and call themselves minnesingers, "singers about love."   So Paul McCartney's Silly Love Songs had a historical precedent.
1430 The Renaissance begins and some other stuff happens.
1565 In Italian music, castration emerges as a way of preserving the tone and high range of young male singing voices.  Bad news for males. 
1565 St. Paul's dictum prohibited women from singing on stage and in churches.  Bad news for everybody.
1599 Dick Clark was born
1631 Erin heaves a sigh of relief when professional female singers appear for the first time on the English stage.
1866 Invention of the radio by Al Gore.
1888 Thomas Edison introduces an electric motor-driven phonograph.
1936 Electric guitars debut
vinyl LP
1948 The microgroove 33 1/3 rpm long-play vinyl record (LP) is introduced by Columbia Records

autoharp1959 A young Erin starts the Kumquats, a small and sour
a folk trio, in which she sings and plays auto harp.
1960 Dan gets his first (toy) guitar and takes a bow
1961 Erin takes her first classical organ lesson

1963 Philips introduces the Compact Cassette tape format, spelling doom for 8 tracks
1964 Dan gets his first real guitar with S&H Green Stamps.

1965 Family visits rellies in Kansas and Dan gets his first guitar lesson from uncle: classic C&W songs.
1966 Erin starts weekly commute to NYC for voice lessons
1967 Dan returns to Kansas for his second guitar lesson and Erin auditions for the Broadway production of Hair! in NYC (for real)
1969 While studying theatre at Ithaca College, Erin sings with jazz bands in clubs
1970 Dan starts writing songs with Bob Camp and they form a duo called Nightwing
1973 Nightwing on haitus
1974 Nightwing reunites and morphs into Taxi with added members Don, Denny and Rod
1976 Taxi opens for Steve Martin at Penn State University
1977 Saturday Night Fever ignites the dreaded disco craze.  Taxi adds Al Seligson on drums and renames itself as Hatdance.
1979 Hatdance dissolves and the Student Nurses jam band is born.  Skylab falls to earth.  Dan joins the Phyrst Phamly, a long running tradition at the Phyrst bar in State College, PA.
Buffalo Chipkickers logo
1980 SONY introduces a palm-sized stereo cassette tape player called the Walkman.  Dan successfully auditions for the Buffalo Chipkickers, a quirky, non-traditional bluegrass band and retires from the Phyrst Phamily.
1981 Buffalo Chipkickers do a short tour of Europe
1982 SONY releases the first CD player.  Buffalo Chipkickers return to Europe for another tour.
1982 Dan sings and plays in a variety of wedding bands.
1982 Erin sings in a variety of wedding bands

1988 CDs outsell vinyl records for the first time.  Joe Loftus & Sacred Ground is born.  Dan and Robert Cote help Joe finish the album and it's released on cassette.
1996 Dan and Erin meet.  It's 'like' at first site.  At their honeymoon, Dan hears Erin sing for the first time and sparks fly.  Erin hears Dan sing and tries to annul.

early Soulpajamas (duo) press photo
1996 Dan and Erin start the duo Spa Mamas which plays a few gigs and changes name to Soulpajamas.
2000 Soulpajamas releases 3 song EP.
2001 Apple introduces the first iPod.
2003 Apple launches iTunes Music Store.
2007 iPhone launched.  Soulpajamas releases first full length CD entitled Dreaming a  New Reality.
Chapter Three
2009 Dan joins forces with Chapter Three
2011 Soulpajamas releases Reaching for the Sun, their 2nd full length CD.
2011 Dan, John Robbins and Jeff Halverson start a trio called Mandolin Rain.
Soulpajamas, now a quartet
2012 Mandolin Rain merged with Soulpajamas.
2013 The new and improved Soulpajamas plays it first gigs.