A custom song is the ultimate tribute!

Birthdays, holidays, anniversaries and weddings are all great reasons to get custom songs, and we’ve done plenty of them. But this post is dedicated to the use of a custom song as a tribute. Often happening in conjunction with a retirement, a promotion, or some other significant milestone in the workplace, custom songs as tributes are becoming increasingly popular. Usually, it works like this: A group of co-workers pool their resources and commission the song. They each contribute some information about the person receiving the song and then we here at Custom Serenade take the information and work our musical magic!

Custom songs written as tributes are fun because they are usually full of colorful anecdotes, and we love a good story! Additionally they usually contain some good-hearted humor and ribbing. One time, we actually did a custom song for a group of rabbis for an end of year roast!

One of the main selling points of commissioning a song as a gift is that “the person who has everything” usually has not ever received a custom song. This is especially true in the workplace. If every shelf has a trophy and each inch of wall is taken up with another plaque, why not reward them with a song laden with lyrics that sing their praises!

We could talk all day long about the wonders of a custom song as a tribute, but instead we’ll let you hear a couple of them!

Ivy, you’re a rose of a lady

Custom songs about birthdays provide us with a lot of great experiences. We love learning about the people who are having birthdays, and also getting to know the clients that commission the songs. Every birthday is special to us, but certainly all will agree that the one we are about to describe is extra special.

Ivy turned 102 last year and Custom Serenade was lucky enough to play a part in the celebration by writing and recording a song about her. She’s a fascinating woman with a keen sense of humor, a sweet tooth, and a lot of great stories to tell. The song itself is one that avoids specific genres and focuses on an overall nice feel and melody that attempt to reflect the positive outlook of Ivy herself. We hope you enjoy Ivy’s song, and be sure to check out the lyrics as well!


Chorus 1:
Ivy, you’re a rose of a lady
With oh so many stories to tell
Of the time you spent in Cornwall and Kent
And other tales from your endless well

If anybody asks you’ll say that life is wonderful
You always see the glass as half full
Sweeter than millionaires shortbread
You don’t mind a cheeky cider every now and then

Chorus 2:
Cinders, We’re so lucky you’ve been here
For more than one hundred years
With a smile so wide and a heart so grand
It’s lovely to hear you laugh

Hear the black bird sing so beautifully
Think about your wonderful family
Maybe get hooked on an audio book
Or lose yourself in your memories

Chorus 1

You’re a Mother and a Granny
Always go to church on Sunday
You’re a member of the Women’s Institute
No crossword is too cryptic
You love watching cricket
And you’ve got a real sweet tooth

But there is a mystery,
Befuddling and baffling
How have you lived over a hundred years
Without ever eating your greens

Chorus 2

Around the Car Park take Trixie for a trip
Feel the soft breeze and think about Pip
Going to the port, oh the late night drives
Waiting for Francis to arrive

Chorus 1

You’re positive and generous
Known for your sense of humor and fun
Some call you Cinders others call you M
Everywhere you go, you make new friends

Chorus 2 and 1

Katie and Craig!

Here’s a custom song that tells the story of a fantastic couple, AND they made a video for it! Thanks Craig and Katie!
If you’d like a song to tell your story, get started here!


Right now you’ve got right now
So into the moment
Devoted to each other
Soaking up every day
You have together
Music and mountain bikes
TV shows or taking hikes
You must have met in
Different lives

Craig and Katie
When you first started dating
Despite the distance
you kept things consistent
It’s a long way from Kansas City
To Phoenix
But you go where your dream is
And for Katie that dream was named Craig

Repeat Chorus

One loves sketchy Chinese restaurants
The other love fruits, veggies, seeds and nuts
One loves ice tea, the other hot coffee
One is tech illiterate, the other a gadget geek

But if you stick together, the future is bright
No matter what it brings there will always be
Kombucha time

Craig will do anything to
To keep Katie smiling
Making up songs to sing
And dancing so wildly
He’s the hot guy in yoga class
He’s climbed Mt. Ranier
He’s caring and thoughtful
optimistic and sincere

Repeat Chorus

Google Lou

In August I often find myself reviewing the custom songs that I’ve done over the past year, and thought I’d take an opportunity to share some of my favorites! This one is about an extremely interesting lady with a wide array of appealing characteristics that translate well into song lyrics! The song itself turned out to be a nice pop number with some interesting electronic effects thrown in. I had a blast working with all the rhyme schemes that lend themselves to Lou’s numerous nicknames! So, here’s the song, and also a fantastic graphic created by her husband, Jason! The lyrics are also included in this post. Enjoy!

You’re mind is like the internet
a vast array of knowledge that
propels the many things you do
provides the nickname “Google Lou”

You’re massively untidy
But your -brilliance is blinding
You’re a woman of substance
You’re Jason’s ideal romance

You can mix in any circle
that you find yourself a part of
high flying studio executives
or old men in a pub

Chorus 1
Enan and Bea
Love you endlessly
Oh you’re the bee’s knees
Anna Louise

So throw another dinner party
Or go out with the birds
You’re a brilliant party animal
And you’ve got a way with words

You fall asleep on the last train
back from London
you wake miles away
and take a cab back home

A film journalist with a twist
and a passion for Oscar Wilde
You’re always pausing movies
To see if someone has died

Chorus 2
Here’s to you Lou
Here’s a chorus for Doris
Oh you’re the bee’s knees

Your forever broadening
Your very wide horizon
Traveling and writing
And the many things you’ve done

Here’s hoping you find a spring or a fountain
A source of endless cosmopolitans

Repeat Chorus 1
Repeat Chorus 2

A woman of substance
Jason’s ideal romance
For all that you do
Here’s to you……..Lou

Custom Serenade’s Very First Custom Song

Custom Serenade was born out of sheer demand. Something about my style of songwriting spoke to the crafty gift giver and people started asking me to write songs as gifts. The first custom song that I ever did was actually recorded on a cassette! You can read more about my songwriting adventures before the incarnation of Custom Serenade here.

Custom Serenade became official just as high speed internet and digital recording were becoming options in the home. I recall just having gotten a pro tools set up for my wavy dome looking imac and being simultaneously baffled and amazed by how it worked when I got a message on Friendster (that’s right…Friendster) asking if I could write a custom birthday song for a friend.

So, I fumbled and flopped through the complicated world of computer recording, learning as I went along, and the result is the custom birthday song I’ve posted here. I hadn’t learned to use MIDI instruments yet and everything was recorded very much as though I were using an analog 4-track. It is a little rough around the edges but I thoroughly enjoyed working on it, and it served the purpose that custom songs should serve. It conveyed the sentiment of the clients through an original melody, and with lyrics that celebrate all of the unique qualities of the recipient. The folks that commissioned the song were very happy with it!

Lots of people heard it, and it is funny that my friends split into two groups: Those who told me that I should think of a business name and print up business cards, and others that told me I should create a website. Thus was life at the dawn of the new millennium.

I do not remember whether I got business cards before or after the creation of the Custom Serenade website, but I am happy to report that at the time of posting this I have both. If you are reading this you have obviously found the website, and if you would like some of my business cards please contact me! I’ll send you a whole bunch of them!