EDINBURGH FOLK CLUB
45th Annual SONGWRITING COMPETITION

Rescheduled to next year due to Coronavirus

Given current government advice and legislation, it's not yet clear how the club will be permitted to operate in 2020-21, and this in turn will shape the nature of the competition

Entry Deadline (likely to be) 11pm (BST) Monday 24th May 2021

What it is

An annual competition where you perform an original, unpublished song, up to four minutes in length at Edinburgh Folk Club, Ukrainian Community Centre, Royal Terrace, between 8pm and 10.30pm on 3rd June 2020 (now likely to be 2nd June 2021). You pay £5 entry fee on the night.

Prizes will be awarded on the night for the best songs, in the opinion of the judges based on the criteria below, and an extra prize is voted for by the audience.


Rules and Advice (provisional but likely - to be confirmed Jan 2021)


Entry

Submit, by 11pm (BST) Monday 24th May 2021,

  • an email to efc1973songs@gmail.com
  • with the title line: Edinburgh FC songwriting competition entry,
  • and the following in the body of the email :
  1. The lyrics of your song
  2. The date it was completed or first performed, and any other copyright information
  3. The full name(s) of the writer(s). (For co-writers, the first named is the "lead author")
  4. The name(s) of the performer(s) on the night
  5. Contact details for the “lead author” including
    1. Email address
    2. Postal address
    3. Phone number

Please do not send attachments, nor links to online recordings.

This information will be stored in accordance of GDPR for the duration of the competition and to provide feedback afterwards.

Rules

  1. All entries must be submitted by email, as described above. Late or incomplete entries will not be accepted
  2. Each entry will be allocated a performance slot and informed by email by 11pm Wednesday 26th May 2021. If too many entries have been received, the organisers reserve the right to select entries, and will advise any rejection no later than 11pm Wednesday 26th May 2021.
  3. The song must have been written no earlier than 1st January 2019 (this date likely to remain the same, to accomodate the postponement). If you have substantially adapted an earlier unfinished song, please indicate the new content made after the above date
  4. The words of the song must be original. If your song is a pastiche of another song, indicate the source and whether it is still under copyright.
  5. The tune may be an existing traditional tune (“public domain”), but not a melody still under copyright
  6. The song must not have been placed first, second or third in any other competition, nor have been commercially released (sold in shops or online).
  7. Only one song can be entered per entrant. If you have a co-writer(s) a different person must be named as “lead author” for a second song.
  8. The entrant must perform the song on the night of the competition, or make their own arrangements for another singer to do so. The performers must arrive, and make themselves known to the MC, by 7.45pm
  9. Each performer must pay £5 entry on the evening.
  10. The performers must each submit, by email before the competition, up to 40 words to introduce themselves and/or their song. These words will be read out by the MC, while the performer is plugging in instruments, adjusting microphones etc. Note that time is tight: please do not add any further introductions on the night.
  11. Five minutes are allocated for each performer on the night, One minute for changeover and intro, four minutes for the song. If a song exceeds this, then you may be asked to stop.
  12. The judges' decision on the night will be final

Marking Criteria

Our judges are human and have only one minute to make comments and award marks (between 1 and 10) in each of these areas (These may be explained in more detail closer to the event). Note that the judges evaluate the song, and not the performance. 

  1. Folk Music Genre (Does it meet expectations of a folk song?)
  2. Sing-ability (Might this song appeal to other singers for sessions or gigs?)
  3. Originality (How novel is the topic and/or the structure?)
  4. Lyrical content (How effective is the treatment of the subject matter?)
  5. Poetics (How attractive is the rhythm and sound of the language?)
  6. Musical Construction (melody and arrangement effective?)

Each audience member can indicate their first, second and third choice for the best song, and while the judges try to ignore the performer's skills and focus purely on the song, inevitably the audience are swayed by the performances on the night. We also invite written, constructive feedback from the audience. This is voluntary, and audience members will likely only comment where they feel they have something to say! 

  1. What did you like about this song?
  2. What might improve the song?

In 2019 our judges awarded, across all criteria and songs, the following. (originally we have had only six bands, but on the night we needed some extra bands - the “almost” marks )

Marking Band

Number of times awarded

  1. Absent

0

  1. Major flaws

10 (all in categories 1,2,6)

  1. Slightly flawed

9 (mainly category 2)

  1. Adequate (nothing wrong but could be better)

94

  1. Almost interesting

40

  1. Interesting (something really caught our attention)

133 (mainly categories 4,5)

  1. Almost excellent

43

  1. Excellent (something really impressed us)

48 (mainly in categories 1,2,6)

  1. Almost outstanding

1

  1. Outstanding (genuinely world-class standard)

0

Advice

Below are some thoughts on the marking criteria. Note that something that scores highly in one area may, as a result, achieve a lower score in another. We are looking for balance across these criteria. The judges will also discuss these criteria between them in advance and we'll let entrants know of any improvements to the marking scheme.

  • Folk Music Genre – we are open to a wide interpretation of this, but, if you are writing in an unusual genre, make sure your 40 words justifies why your song is suitable for this competition. (If you have never been to a folk club before, then try a few - understand the songs and styles that work for an audience that sits and listens attentively, as opposed to other forms of live music).
  • Sing-ability – we are particularly interested in songs that might be adopted by other singers in the future. Try your song out with other singers if you can – to get their feedback and see what aspects of the song they can relate to
  • Originality – this is rather intangible, but the judges will have heard many songs in their careers, and will look out for genuine innovation, while also spotting cliched words and chord structures. (There have been several songs that judges were unable to reward in past years, because they use very well-worn four-chord structures (eg I, V, Vim, F which you will know from Wagon Wheel and many others!)
  • Lyrical Content – considering the topic, how fully and how well do the words explore that topic. Are any lines special, or any opportunities missed?
  • Poetics – assonance, alliteration, onomatopoeic. How well do the words and melody evoke other meanings and feelings
  • Musical Construction – how strong is the melody line, how novel are the chord sequences. Is the accompaniment well constructed and suits the topic?

All competition entries should be emailed to this address

(The link should open in your Mail client - if not then please cut and paste: efc1973songs@gmail.com )

TG McEwan is the competition organiser, and replies and further information may come from his personal email account


44th Edinburgh Folk Club Songwriting Competition Entrants

in order of performance

Gareth Herron  Masks

Beth Malcolm (1st)       Choose My Company

Kevin Ferguson American Cowboy

Neil Fox Lay Your Brother Down

Ian Young (3rd) Monzievaird Hall

Kirsty Murray    Rock o' Ryvoan

Matthew Elton  The Key

Clare McBrien   Govanhill Baths

Terry Weston   Catch Me If You Can

Maureen Morris            Wife and Mother

theMany          The Love Temple

Bill Adair           A Threepenny Bit For Me

Christopher David Rogers          Who Put Bella In The Wychwood?

Fiona Mcandrew           Defying Gravity

Anna Durkacz    Fiddle in the Rain

Eric Sharp         Kibbutz

Jim Byrne         The Yellow Clock

Neil Spalding     Unchain the Unicorn

Bob Knight (2nd and Audience winner) With Me Always

Hugh Hoffman  New Age Man

George Machray           Jingling Geordie

 

 

EDINBURGH FOLK CLUB
44th SONGWRITING COMPETITION
Wednesday 29th May 2019
Results
The jury voted
1 Beth Malcolm "Choose My Company"
2 Bob Knight "You're With Me Always"
3 Ian Young "Monzievaird Hall"
 
The audience selected Bob Knight as the best performance

Choose My Company

(Words and music by Beth Malcolm (c) 2019)

October knocked you over
In November I can’t remember you being so
You being sober
October knocked you over
In November I, in November I lost you
I lost you to the wolves

I don’t know if you want me
Or if you want to run with the wolves
I don’t know if you can love me
And simultaneously run with the wolves

If you choose my company
I will bathe you in honey my dear
If you choose my company
I will bathe you in honey my dear

December I remember
Icicles forming on the wall between you and me
January, I miraculously felt the wall melting to water
And your arms were the bridge

I don’t know if you want me
Or if you want to run with the wolves
I don’t know if you can love me
And simultaneously run with the wolves

If you choose my company
I will bathe you in honey my dear
If you choose my company
I will bathe you in honey my dear

(Bridge)

February, we stuck two fingers up
To the full moon
For the first time, in a long time
I held the old you

In March
You marched right out of the woods
You brought no wolves,
You brought no wolves with you

Now I know that you want me
And you don’t want to run with the wolves
Now I know that you can love me
And simultaneously run with the wolves

And you chose my company,
And you bathed me in honey my dear
And you chose my company
And you bathed me in honey my dear


 

(43rd competition was cancelled)
42nd SONGWRITING COMPETITION
Wednesday 6 June 2018

Results

The jury voted
1. Chris Rogers - 'Lucida'


Lucida

Lyrics and music by Chris Rogers

LUCIDA DREAMS OF MIRRORS AND LOVERS, BY THE SCORE

OF SECRET ASSIGNATIONS AND A KNOCK UPON THE DOOR

OF HAPPY EVER AFTER, THROUGH THE FAMINE AND THE FEAST

OF EVERLASTING BEAUTY AND A BARGAIN WITH THE BEAST

 

LUCIDA HAS HER SECRETS AND SHE LOCKS THEM ALL AWAY

LOVERS CALL AT TWILIGHT, BUT NEVER SEE THE DAY

THE SUN WILL RISE AT MORNING AND TURN ANOTHER PAGE

BUT TIME HAS LOST ITS MEANING, FOR THE GIRL WHO CANNOT AGE

 

BRANCHES BEG, LIKE DROWNING MEN, REACHING FOR THE SKY

YOU STARE INTO THAT POOL AGAIN, TO CATCH LUCIDA’S EYE

THE DEVIL WON’T BE TURNED AWAY, HE ALWAYS HOLDS THE ACE

THE DAWNING OF ANOTHER DAY LIGHTS UP LUCIDA’S FACE

 

BUT BARGAINS CAN’T BE BROKEN AND THE DEBT, IT MUST BE PAID

AND NO REFLECTED BEAUTY COMES TO LUCIDA’S AID

THE COACHMAN CALLS AT MIDNIGHT, TO CARRY HER AWAY

THE WATER HIDES A SECRET AND THE PRICE SHE HAS TO PAY
 


Originally from North Wales, Chris Rogers emigrated to Scotland in 1982 and has been involved with the Scottish folk scene since the 1990s. A former member of Kagan, Chris now performs solo, mixing his own compositions with songs by writers such as Graham Parker, Peter Nardini, Randy Newman and Ian Anderson, all of whom feature in his current setlist. Lucida is Chris’ third winning entry to the competition, following earlier successes with Miss Willmott’s Ghost and From Bellshill to Barcelona, having already previously won the audience trophy with The Racecourse Reds and Blues. Committed to a philosophy of “free music for free thinkers”, Chris records at home and all his material is free to download at www.soundcloud.com/topher-gilpin. CDs are also available, on request, from tartanred@btinternet.com.