Important Information for a Song for the Commonwealth Composers


  • Composers should read this document and follow the instructions below very carefully indeed.

 Am I eligible?

  • Any composer who is resident in one of the 54 Commonwealth countries may enter for this competition.
  • Composers may be amateur or professional. There are no age limits. All entries will be gratefully received and acknowledged.

           How can I enter the competition?

  • Composers may choose ANY ONE of these three sets of lyrics to use for composing their song, which are printed at the end of this document.

Lucy Kiely –A Life Lived with Grace’

 Meenakshi Gautam Chaturvedi – ‘A Light in our Hearts’

Rodrica Rudge – ‘Majesty’

 No other lyrics will be accepted

  • We shall only be able to accept ONE SONG per applicant. If composers wish to update/revise their song after submitting it, they need to send an email and discuss it with us before doing so.
  • Each song will be carefully considered and judged on its own merit as a piece of individual creative work and its suitability for the occasion.
  • Adjudicators will give equal consideration to everyone’s work – including songs produced without the use of expensive technology or professional backup.

What will the adjudicators be looking for?

  • When writing your song, remember it needs to be suitable for SMALL CHOIRS of about 6 people as well as LARGE CHOIRS of 100 voices or more.
  • The choirs may include participants of ANY AGE (children to adults). The song should be easy for them to learn and sing
  • Singers involved may be PROFESSIONAL or AMATEUR.
  • Many choirs will be singing the song out of doors, so the words must be clearly audible.
  • We shall need the song to have a very strong melodic line, so that it can be performed easily without accompaniment by some choirs (for example, those including very young children).
  • Your song may be submitted with or without harmony.

How do I enter my finished song into the competition?

Songs may be submitted in ANY the following formats

  1. A notated score (ideally with an audio recording)
  2. A graphic score with an audio recording
  3. A written description of your song with an audio recording
  4. An audio recording of the song.

If you have composed a song and do not know how to send it to us, please email and we will help you!

Important dates

 Thursday September 2nd 2021 at 12 noon (UK GMT)

The Commonwealth Song Competition opens to composers

Tuesday November 2nd 2021 at 11.59 p.m. (UK GMT)

The Commonwealth Song Competition closes to composers

Thursday December 2nd 2021 at 12 noon (UK GMT)

The WINNING SONG AND COMPOSER will be announced, plus a shortlist of up to 9 other composers.

Sunday January 2nd 2022 at 12 noon (UK GMT)

The WINNING SONG will be made available to all participating choirs

(Other shortlisted composers will also be mentioned and celebrated and are likely to receive other opportunities to hear their songs performed).

What happens next?

On January 2nd 2022, the winning song will be published online in several different formats, which make it easy for choirs to learn and sing.

Choirs in all 54 Commonwealth countries are already being invited to sign up, and many have already done so. The choirs will have 3 months to learn the winning song.

From April 2022, we shall be giving everything and everyone involved as much advance publicity and exposure as possible.

The special event!

On June 2nd 2022 at exactly 9.15 p.m. (in individual time zones around the world) the winning song will be sung by the participating choirs as the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Beacons are lit.  We anticipate that there will be a very large number of performances over a 24-hour period.

The Lyrics

Reminder – all composers MUST CHOOSE ONE of the three sets of lyrics below as the words for their song.

Please do not mix them up

No other lyrics will be accepted

We hope that you will enjoy composing your song!

 ‘A Life Lived With Grace’ by Lucy Kiely

Verse 1

When the world has turned to darkness

And there’s troubled seas ahead

You’re the light that leads the ship back home to shore.


A life lived with grace

A heart filled with love

Peace on earth and harmony in the heavens above.

Verse 2

When the day is slowly breaking

And the dawn can’t find its way

You’re the sun that shines upon the world heralding a brand-new day.


A life lived with grace…etc

Verse 3

When the night has come a-calling

And the daylight starts to fade

You’re the reason why the world keeps turning hoping for a better day.


A life lived with grace…etc.

  1. ‘Majesty’ by Rodrica Rudge

A friendly smile is just a start

When reaching out and warming hearts,

Embrace the world with open arms,

Let strength of spirit heal and calm,

And though we look beyond the trees

Through shades of ever-changing leaves,

There will be sunlight,

Always shining

With its guiding



A ray of hope is just a start

Uniting us when we’re apart,

Let’s celebrate and light the way,

Let’s sing as one and build each day,

And though we look beyond the trees

Through shades of ever-changing leaves,

There will be sunlight,

Always shining

With its guiding



  1. ‘The Light in Our Hearts’ by Meenakshi Gautam Chaturvedi


Long live the Light that glows in our hearts,

The Light that guides our Nations,

When mankind drifts apart.

Verse 1

The aura of dignity,

The aura of grace.

That shines on every colour,

That shines on every race.

Verse 2

You have seen the worst of wars,

You have seen the quest for stars.

You have shown the wealth of kindness,

You have shown the power of love.


Long live the Light that glows….. etc

Verse 3

An era etched in platinum,

On the scale of time.

A genre of strength,

An essence of sublime.


Long live the Light that glows….. etc

 Helpful hints for songwriting

 If you are an inexperienced composer, or if you’re not quite sure how to compose a song, here are some useful videos, which you can watch on Youtube.

Melissa Dunphy – Setting text in vocal and choral music

Dr Catherine Tackley – Setting words to rhythm (Open University) 

 A few songwriting tips from various composers

Good Luck!

We wish each of you the very best of luck as you compose your songs and look forward very much indeed to receiving them.

If you have any questions or concerns at all, please contact us on this email address

Alison Cox OBE  – Founder and Chair of Trustees, The Commonwealth Resounds

Stephen Miles  – Manager for The Commonwealth Song Competition 

Sally-Ann Whitty – Manager for The Commonwealth Resounds