A few years ago, I was told that the musical I was working on ought to drop the preexisting songs I hoped to get rights to and substitute original songs. I am stubborn. I deleted the songs sung by characters at the rodeo grounds and wrote lyrics for replacements but I kept the songs sung from the stage of the dance bar. My thinking is the diegetic songs are popular numbers from the country/western catalog. Characters singing about their feelings need original songs.

The lyrics have been sitting around waiting for me to find a composer. Not having them put to music makes it difficult to arouse interest in the musical. Meanwhile I hooked up with someone who was writing a musical about Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Although our agreement only calls for me to write the book, I have been coming up with lyrics.

I have no background in songwriting. I have been writing poetry for forty-five years. My collaborator has liked most of the lyrics I have written. I was pleased to hear my lyrics set to music for the first time a month or so ago. Last week I started taking a songwriting course for musical theater. It’s interesting that the instructors, who are Tony, Grammy, and Oscar winners, rely on the same rhyme website I found.

At some point, a musical writing professional will provide me with feedback on my lyrics. In the meantime, I am having fun. I am not sure how much of my work is any good. Based on past experience when I have ventured into a new format, it is at least acceptable.



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Bear Kosik

Writing is Bear Kosik’s fourth career. He writes fiction, plays, poems, essays, and lots more. Google name for info. Contact: