Congratulations to Isabella Bridge!
Isabella's poem, 'There In Front Of Me' was chosen by the judges as the overall winner of the STEM in Song competition.
The lyrics will be set to music by our composer, Gwyneth Herbert.
The new song will then be performed by the St. Catharine's College Girls' Choir at the Cambridge Science Festival in 2018.
There In Front Of Me
I can be whatever I want to be
To touch the sky
Or dive under the sea.
So much to discover –
It’s there in front of me.
The thrust of thought pulls me forward,
And the momentum carries me through.
It lifts me on wings
And my thoughts take flight.
And the sky seems blue.
Thoughts spin from my mind
A mass of tangled memories
That stem from deep within my soul
And all that strange charm
Is there in front of me.
Our winning entry will have their lyrics set to music by...
Gwyneth Herbert is an award-winning composer and lyricist, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and workshop facilitator. Recent composition commissions include the Bristol Old Vic theatre’s hugely successful production of The Snow Queen (for which she also voiced the title role); various collaborations with the London Sinfonietta; and a choral arrangement of a Swahili folk song for Snape Maltings’ Friday Afternoons, performed by 100,000 children worldwide. Also an established recording and performing artist, Gwyneth regularly tours internationally and is currently working on her 7th album, Letters I Haven’t Written.
Dr. Mary Dobson
is a medical historian with wide ranging interests. She is passionate about bringing together science and the arts and has written books on the history of medicine and disease for both children and adult readers. In her forthcoming book, Anatomica: A Compendium of Blood, Bones and Bodies, she is including a selection of poems written by physicians over the past few centuries, including an amusing one about the 17th century ‘Plague Doctor’.
is the author of many international bestsellers, including the Shopaholic series, Finding Audrey and - her latest - My Not So Perfect Life. She is an accomplished pianist, has an MMus from King's College, London and has herself composed several songs and carols.
Photo by John Swannell.
Lady Welland completed her BSc, MSc and PhD in Physics at the University of Bristol. This was followed by work in industry and post-doctoral research at the Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge.
After starting a family, Lady Welland decided to go into teaching and taught physics at secondary level for many years — first at The Perse Upper School and then at the Perse School for Girls.
Music has been an enduring passion and Lady Welland is an accomplished flautist and pianist. She studied the flute with Robert Winn and Brenda Dykes, achieving her LRSM in Flute Performance and DipABRSM in Flute Teaching. She now performs with the City of Cambridge Symphony Orchestra and teaches the flute at The Leys School in Cambridge.
Lady Welland is married to Sir Mark Welland and they have four children of ages ranging from 15 to 29.
Stephen McGann has worked extensively in British theatre and on screen. He is well known for his role as Dr Turner in the BBC TV series Call the Midwife. Steve is also a passionate communicator of science. He gained a Master’s degree in Science Communication from Imperial College, and has a track record of helping the University of Cambridge. He was a guest speaker at the Cambridge Science Festival in 2015, when he talked to a packed audience about Infectious knowledge: science in popular culture. With a background in musical theatre, Steve shares our passion for combining music and verse with science.
Winning entries will be awarded prizes, with the overall winner's lyrics set to music by an eminent composer. After that, your brand new science song will then be performed and recorded by St Catharine's College Girls' Choir.
Rules and Guidelines
The lyrics you submit should be between 8 and 20 lines (in one or more verses).
Lyrics for songs can take any number of different forms; they can have meter and rhyme or more 'free-style, they can be serious or humorous.
But remember: when words are put to music, you don't get the benefit of being able to read them at your own speed from the page. So the most effective lyrics for songs are often more simple and punchy than other forms of writing; and they may use simpler language and shorter sentences/phrases.
The example we have given you here is a setting of three Science limericks.
The text is by a famous chemist, John Cornforth.
You will see that not all the words are simple! But you will see that the phrases are quite short, and the rhymes are punchy. This is not the only way to write a good song lyric, but we hope it gives you some things to think about.
What We're Looking FOr
We're looking for fun, interesting, and exciting lyrics about science.
To give you an idea of what we mean, listen to our Science Song below and check out our Rules and Guidelines.
By Ben Parry
Words by John Cornforth
You rot all the time you’re alive
And copy yourself to survive
A copy untrue
May work better than you
If it does, you can die; it will thrive.
Spittoons are made out of platinum
Resist all your efforts to flatten ‘em
You can also use rhodium
But never use sodium
For then they’d explode when you spat in ‘em.
A mosquito was heard to complain
That a chemist had poisoned her brain
The cause of her sorrow