Advanced Care Research Centre

Blog - Songwriting in Action

Senior Research Fellow Sue Lewis tells us about the process of putting lyrics to music.

Sue is a member of Pathhead Choir,  who were tasked with writing songs about and from the perspective of later life as part of a songwriting project.


Song writing on music

Once we'd written a verse or so of a song, Sophie added the melody. We then began to write new verses, using ideas that the group shared via Googledocs.

I soon realised that song writing isn't easy! Fitting new verses to a tune is a challenge, but we all found our method. Mine was to ensure that each line of each verse contained the same number of syllables (see photo), so that the melody worked rhythmically for each verse. This did mean that finding the right words for new lines wasn't always easy, but I'm very happy with the end result.

Tree of Life is one of eight songs written collaboratively by the We Are Here! song writing group and will be one of the solo pieces performed at the upcoming concerts by singer-songwriter and song writing tutor, Sophie Bancroft.

To hear the songs composed by the Choir, three concerts are going to take place:

Wednesday 21 June @ Crichton Collegiate Church, Pathhead, Midlothian, EH37 5XA Doors 19.00, concert 19.30 Tickets £5 (under 16s free) from

Friday 23 June @ Morningside Parish Church, 2 Cluny Gardens, Edinburgh EH10 6BQ, Doors 19.00, concert 19.30 Tickets £5 (under 16s free) from

Saturday 24 June @ West Barns Village Hall, Edinburgh Rd, West Barns, Dunbar EH42 1UP Doors 19.00, concert 19.30 Tickets £5 (under 16s free) from


Song writing on music