Submitters, say thank you to songwriters

Submitters, say thank you to songwriters

Every proposal writer struggles to find that perfect line, that bit of words that captures the heart and soul of the program – even the entire organization. “Lines that capture the essence of something often come from Nashville, Laurel Canyon, Tin Pan Alley and other songwriter haunts…we could do worse than listen to how they say it.”

Poverty and inequality? For the Lindsay administration, New York City 1968, ‘put your daughter sometimes sleep, with rats instead of nursery rhymes, with hunger and your other children next to her. . . worry about it, Bob Dorough and Stu Scharf. Nothing more needed to be said, according to Boyd. More recently, Bruce Springsteen could have spoken about contemporary poverty with Ghost of Tom Joad: “Hot soup over a campfire below deck; The line of refuge stretches around the corner, Welcome to the new world order. Families sleep in their cars in the southwest No home no work no peace no rest. There are thousands of people living under the bridge today.

Some nonprofits are working hard to get us to take the climate crisis seriously.

Marvin Gaye tried to get our attention 50 years ago: “Where have all the blue skies gone? Poison is the wind that blows. From the north and from the south and from the east” (Mercy, Mercy Me / Ecology). Or maybe we’re listening to Childish Gambino: “Each day gets hotter than the last, Running out of water, it’s about to sink, To come down. Air that kills the bees we depend on, Birds were made to sing, to wake quietly, No sound.” (It smells like summer).

What else to say about guns and gun control? This, perhaps, from Drive-By Truckers: “We’re all standing in the shadows of our noblest intentions for something greater. Than being shot in a classroom in Oregon.

Lead writer Patterson Hood says “that’s one of the reasons the flag is always at half mast these days” (writing credit is shared by the 5-man band, Umpqua Cannons).

And there’s a painful picture painted in Carrie Underwood The ball: “Line of limousines leaving one by one Prayers were prayed, hands were sung Oh, moms aren’t supposed to bury their sons, the ball just keeps rolling” (writers Allen Shamblin, Andy Albert, Marc Beeson).

Proposal writers should not simply copy these images. On the other hand, they could learn from the tight, compelling language of these songs and hundreds of others that convey emotion, imagery and urgency, all qualities we need to incorporate into our submissions. © Copyright 2022 The Grantsmanship Center Thomas Boyd is Chief Editorial Consultant for The Scholarship Center in Los Angeles, California.

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