Christian Songwriters Beware!

Christian songwriters

I have a tale of horror that will terrify all Christian songwriters! Songwriters, if you ever get to the point in your career when publishers are interested in your music: beware.

A few weeks ago, I received a royalty statement in the mail from Universal Music Group that brought back a lot of bad memories. It was for a song I co-wrote years ago, and somehow, it had made a total of three cents.

I co-wrote this worship song in the late ’90s when I lived in Nashville, and it generated a little buzz—a few publishers were interested in it.

Christian Songwriters Beware!

One very renowned and reputable man wanted to sign it to his catalog. This guy was well known throughout the industry and had signed some of the biggest songs in Christian music that went on to be sung by some of the biggest artists in Christian music.

It seemed like this was our “big break” as songwriters.

But, ever on the cautious side, I said to my co-writer, “Maybe he’ll agree to a deal—if he can’t get the song cut in two years, the publishing reverts back to us.” This is a fairly typical agreement in Nashville.

The guy refused. “I never sign a song unless I know I can get it cut.”

And of course, he never got it cut.