Can You Submit Lyrics to Elton John?

I was wondering if there is any avenue through which one might suggest topics and/or lyrics to song writers for people like Elton John, Billy Joel, or Roger Waters, as examples? Let’s assume the submission is gratis…just to bring these concepts to life?

  • Jinx

I’d assume their publicists do a very good job of filtering such things out of their mail. Copyright violations are not good business.

No songwriter ever reads lyrics sent in by fans. To do otherwise is asking for lawsuits.

I doubt they’d be all that interested in any case.

Elton is done with creating new lyrics now anyway; he’ll just churn out another version of Candle in the wind if and when he gets strapped for cash.

You can send them, but don’t bet on Elton ever seeing them. Every day, musicians and songwriters mail songs and recordings to record companies, and almost all of them are thrown away without being looked at or listened to.

As Derleth says, their MAIN concern is being sued for plagiarism. Suppose Joe Schmeaux, amateur siongwriter, writes a song in the style of Bruce Springsteen, records a demo and sends it to Bruce. A few months later, Bruce releases a song that sounds rather similar to Joe’s, but doesn’t give Joe credit. Joe fumes, and thinks “Bruce stole my song!” He files a lawsuit in his local court, and Springsteen’s representatives get stuck fighting a frivolous lawsuit in front of a jury of Joe’s friends and neighbors! And if there’s ANY evidence someone in Springsteen’s camp or at his record label ever saw Joe’s demo tape, Bruce may have to give Joe some dough.

So, as a practical matter, artists do well NEVER to look at or listen to submissions from fans.

Or say for example you write a song. Unbeknownst to you (but possibly subconciously) you stole it from someone else. He performs the song, the guy you stole it from sues him.

Ok, now to seriously answer your question. The only way for you to possibly make this happen is to get a publishing deal…which by the way are harder to come by than record contracts. To get a publishing deal as a song writer, you’ll probably have to hire a really good singer (at a grand expense) to record your songs and then send them out like you would a manuscript. Once you have representation it might happen.

Metroshane is pretty much on target. (Except that you can get exeptionally good singers quite affordably. Your recording/mixing costs are another matter entirely.)

Also, if you have an agent you can save yourself some headaches. A publisher is more likely to give the time of day to a known agent than to an unknown “songwriter wannabe”.

Good agents and trackers will refuse artists that are simply not good enough because it would be a waste of everyone time. Record labels, and publishers know this and definitely prefer to deal with established agents who won’t send them crap and waste their time.

AFAIK, Elton never wrote lyrics. His original lyricist was Bernie Taupin, and he’s worked with Tim Rice. But I don’t think he ever wrote lyrics himself.

Yes, you’re correct. I skipped this detail to simply the question. But, along these lines: Elton and Bernie claim they worked in separate rooms, and the lyrics and music never came together until the end. In interviews, Elton claims he never knew what the lyrics would be…but I highly doubt this regarding a few songs:
a) Someone Saved My Life Tonight - autobiographical
b) Empty Garden (Hey, Hey Johnnie) - tribute to close friend, John Lennon
c) Candle In The Wind - could be debated either way, I guess.

  • Jinx