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Ray Hearne workshop, November 2017

Crafting the Song For the Politics was a songwriting workshop led by Ray Hearne at the John Lewis Community Hub in Grand Central Birmingham.  Ray addressed the following questions:

What makes a good political song?
What are the burning issues we want to sing about?

Participants worked individually, in pairs or small groups – the aim was to write as much as possible, in togetherness and solidarity, to produce two singable pieces at the end of the day, perhaps using some good old tunes as templates.

Most of those attending produced at least a first attempt at two songs, and made a commitment to take these forward in some way.  Two have already been published in the sixth issue of the Political Songster and others will be sung in performances, or at political meetings. 

Here's feedback from some of those who took part:
  • I enjoyed the day and I enjoyed the company of the people there.  Ray is a good pedagogue.  I wrote two parodies!
  • The whole day was a great experience and Ray even managed to make something, in the way of a new song, of the fact that the train he was due to catch had failed to turn up!
  • As the treasurer of a charity for adults with learning difficulties, I had previously seen Ray working with these adults and coaxing fascinating ideas out of every one of them.  I was therefore not at all surprised to see how carefully Ray worked with everyone, including those of us who believed we had no ability to write anything of interest to others.  
  • If Ray decides to run another songwriting session, count me in!