Silly songs, they say so much

Library lyrics contest features the facetious

Posted: Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Kenai Community Library's silly song contest will start with auditions at 2 p.m. Sunday and conclude with a live show at 6 p.m. Monday. For more information, call 283-4378.

Folks mired in 1040 forms and mud puddles may soon have a reason to smile if they're not busting a gut laughing. The Kenai Community Library hopes to bring people out of the dumps of breakup and taxes, but it needs the community's help.

Amateur satirists, shower-singers and closet musicians of all ages are invited to put their best talents before an audience at the library's first Silly Songs and Lyrics Contest. The contest will begin with an audition at 2 p.m. Sunday in the library conference room and will culminate with a live show at 6 p.m. Monday.

"We're hoping for good rib-tickling songs," said Julie Niederhauser, the library's assistant director. "We all need a laugh. It's tax time!"

The silly song contest follows the library's success with its poetry readings and is similar, but the songs must be set to music. Library director Mary Jo Joiner said the idea came from a library in Massachusetts, which held a similar program for Groundhog Day that was a resounding success. With a lot of musicians in the area, Niederhauser and Joiner thought a contest would bring a good turnout.

To participate, songwriters need to show up for the auditions on Sunday. With the poetry contests, Niederhauser said some folks chose to read their favorite pieces. But while performers can choose their favorite tune for the song contest, their lyrics must to be completely original.

"We really are striving for original pieces to encourage creativity," she said, adding that it's more difficult to come up with an original piece and perform it for an audience than singing a silly song someone else wrote. "I think there's a lot of talent in Kenai and this would just give people an opportunity to share it."

Joiner said songs on subjects ranging from political satire to Alaskana are welcome, but they must not exceed three minutes and must be family-friendly. She and Niederhauser will screen the songs for content at the audition.

Audience acclaim will decide the winning song, so Joiner and Niederhauser encourage performers to bring their friends. The grand prize for the winner will be air time on the KSRM radio station's morning talk show. KSRM marketing and program director Matt Wilson said a pre-recorded version of the song will be played along with background information on the song itself.

"We don't normally do music on our morning show," Wilson said. "(But a) focus on the person who created the song would fit."

The silly song contest not only follows the library's success with its poetry readings, but also its success with other workshops. The library made 80 fliers for the contest and as of Monday only two were left.

"There's a lot of interest in different workshops at the library," Joiner said.

So many people showed up to the library's fly-tying workshop on March 15 that a beginner's workshop and an intermediate workshop will be held April 19 and April 26 respectively. Also, Niederhauser and Joiner said the graphic novel workshop that was held earlier this year attracted adults even though it was designed for teens. The library will also to hold a foreign language open house to showcase its books in Russian and Spanish, as well as its new Rosetta Stone software later this month.

"(People) want to get out and use their public buildings," Joiner said. "We want people to use their library."

For more information on the silly song contest and other events at the library, call 283-4378.

Jessica Cejnar can be reached at

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