"Songs are the soul of a movement"
– Dr. Martin Luther King
And that soul? It’s in all of us.
We need to sing it out, loud and clear.
We need it now more than ever.
We need... an anthem.
From your bedroom, basement or balcony, help us fuel the fire for irresistible change with easy-to-learn anthems that are universal and inspiring that will be sung across the country, through Election Day in November.
Because at any distance, we'll be singing.
To get started, check out the rules below and more about our partner movements.
See the official rules for the usual legal stuff.
Your voice is the future. Let's hear it.
Submissions started April 30, 2020 10:00 AM PT, and ended July 19, 2020 11:59 PM PT. Round 1 review will begin on a rolling basis. Round 2 (Partner organization vote) and Round 3 (Public vote) will occur in early September. Awards will be announced in late September.
Open to all residents of the United States who are either 18 or older, or younger than 18 and have permission from their legal guardian(s).
No Cost To Enter
Suggested donation is $10 that will go to our partner organizations to advance their civic engagement actions in 2020.
Songs for Good is seeking original anthems that meet the following criteria:
Easy to Learn - can a big crowd join after one or two times hearing it, and perform with and without instruments. See more details in the Record section.
Inspiring - does it motivate, energize or lift us up?
Universal message - do the lyrics speak to a wide range of people?
We don’t have a specific song length requirement, however, we generally suggest 1-3 minutes—long enough to be impactful and short enough for crowds to learn and want more.
We’re looking for original songs. But we also know that some great songs build off other great songs or melodies. If you do that, you’ll need permission from the original artist(s).
You’ll own the rights to the submitted song(s). Songs for Good and its organizational partners will be allowed to use the songs for free.
Song Recording & Quality
Recordings do not need to be professionally produced, although quality recordings will be helpful for reviewers. To the greatest extent possible, the songs will be reviewed on the criteria above, not on the overall delivery and performance of the song. Tips on recording from home coming soon.
Since we are seeking songs that can be performed by crowds without instruments, no instrumentation is preferred for the reviewers to evaluate the song’s potential. A small amount of instrumentation is acceptable. If a more heavily-instrumented and/or more fully produced version of the song exists, feel free to submit that as well.
We're accepting audio or video recordings, along with the lyrics. Approved file types include: URLs to YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, TikTok or .MP4, .MOV, MP3, M4A or .WAV.
After submitting, we encourage you to promote your song (or shortened version) to Instagram or TikTok with the hashtag #songsforgood2020challenge.
Submissions with the most likes per single post per platform, will automatically qualify for the second round of review.
We encourage collaboration; songs may have multiple co-writers. You’ll need to list the full name of the songwriter(s) and social media handles. Participants may enter multiple submissions; however, only one submission per entrant may advance to the review rounds.
All submissions will be reviewed by an initial review panel. The review panel will select ten (10) entries to go on to the second round.
In addition, the songs with the most likes at the end of the Contest Period on Instagram and TikTok posted using the hashtag #songsforgood2020challenge, respectively on each platform per single post, will automatically qualify for the second round of review.
Our partner organizations will review the remaining twelve (12) songs. The organizations shall use the same review criteria as above to select entries to continue to the final round.
The top five (5) highest rated songs will then be announced upon closing of the 2nd round of voting period. The songwriters of the top five (5) highest rated songs will be notified by email indicated on registration or through other social media outlets.
3rd & Final Round:
The public will vote using ranked choice voting. The highest rated song will then be announced upon closing of the final round of voting. The songwriter of the highest rated song will be notified by email indicated on registration or through other social media outlets as they may apply.
The highest-rated song will be professionally recorded and produced by music industry persons of interest, including Madame Gandhi on percussion. The winning contestant will be invited to the recording studio in Oakland, California or other designated location, to produce the highest-rated song. Songs for Good will cover all expenses, including travel, accommodations and per diem, conditions permitting.
The highest-rated song will be used in a professionally produced music video by persons within the music and film industry. Sponsor will pay for travel, accommodations and per diem expenses for the Songwriter and up to one other co-writer, if applicable, to attend filming of the music video in a location to be determined later, conditions permitting. Songs for Good will post the recordings and video on this website and other social media channels.
The writer(s) of the highest-rated song will also receive $5,000.
Estimated Value: $25,000
Top 5 Anthems
The five (5) highest rated songs will be performed at events featuring our partner organizations prior to November 3, 2020.
The writer(s) of the second through fifth highest rated anthems will receive $1,000.