I have written some additional verses to your song, will you approve?

I have written some additional verses to your song, will you approve?

This is a very common request, particularly for the song “Days of Elijah”. I have received somewhere in the region of 60 or more additional verses for this particular composition from all over the world. If I added every single one of those submitted it would be a huge song!  Most people want me to approve the verse or verses they have written and permit usage. As you read on you’ll discover that no writer can actually do that. Sometimes people want me to make comment or judge their “new” verse. To be honest, it is also impossible to do this, given that there have been so many. Folks also often tell me that they feel their verse does not alter the heart and theme of the song. In fact I have yet to see any verse which doesn’t entirely divert the song’s original theme. What I can do is say “well done, God Bless!” That is really all. As you read through this answer please try and understand that I am not being obstructive to your God given creativity. I’m just stating the factual realities. Whenever a song is composed and then “published” (that is, placed on CD albums and in song books, itunes, CCLI etc.) then its melody and words become the subject of international copyright law. The ownership of the song is granted to a publishing company who look after it. The writer often relinquishes all or a portion of the ownership. It is actually then illegal to arbitrarily alter, add or change words and melody without permission from the owners, which are typically the publishers. So a writer cannot approve any changes or additions. The song remains as composed, unless there are very special circumstances.  Now, what people do in their own churches and fellowships are a matter for themselves, of course, no one can restrict what you want to sing in that context. Churches often change a word or a line that they don’t like in a song, and sing a modified version. So long as no attempt is made to publish or distribute the changes then that is a matter for the individuals concerned.


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