The Difference Between a Song Poem and a Custom Song.

Many of us remember  advertisements such as these in the National Enquirer or Weekly World News calling for poets or would be lyricists to submit their work, with the promise of fortune and fame in the form of hit songs. The companies that produced these adds were referred to as Song Poem companies, and the songs they produced have become known merely as Song Poems.


When I describe what we do here at Custom Serenade, people often refer to these ads, asking if what we do is similar.  Well, it is and it isn’t, so I thought I would use this post to highlight the differences in the world of Custom Songs and that of the Song Poem.

The main similariy between the Custom Song business and the Song Poem business is that most  custom song services do offer to create and record music that will turn the poetry or lyrics that someone has written into a song. But (A) this is only one of many services that we provide, and (B) there is no claim of fame or fortune.

When one would respond to the advertisements of the song poem companies by submitting their poetry, they would usually be met with a very enthusiastic reply stating that their words could definitely become a hit song. All that was needed in order to start them down the path to being an award winning lyricist was a demo recording. Naturally, whichever song poem company it was would be ready and eager to make that recording for a certain price. The starry eyed poet on the other end would often pony up the money and would receive in return a recording of a song that used their lyrics, and that is usually as far as it would go. To my knowledge no song poem ever became a money making hit-(although some  have become popular amongst collectors of the unusual).

Although stardom was never achieved by any song poets, many did relish hearing their words set to music.  It was a thrill to have a recording of a song that they had created the words for.  This is how the Song Poem industry survived through its hey-day in the 1970s and 80s, through the 90s, and to some degree even today.

At Custom Serenade when we create music that will accompany the lyrics of a client, our goal is to help a person reach their creative potential.  If someone wants to write a song but doesn’t play any instrument, we are here to help.  If a poet writes something they think would work as a song, we’re here to help.   If a person has expressed themselves through words in any way and wants to take it to the next level by adding sound to it, that’s what we do.

The other big difference between custom song companies and song poem companies, as mentioned earlier, is that adding music to lyrics is only a part of what is offered.  Most custom song businesses, ours included, also write songs based on information that clients provide.

For more information about song poems, which are fascinating, go here. To listen to a bunch of them go here.

I’ll write more about song poems later, but in the mean time here is an excellent example of a song in which we created music for a client’s lyrics: