Sunday, August 19, 2012

Thirty Seven Cents!

There’s a song from the Musical “The Pajama Game” in which John Raitt’s character sang:

“I figured it out
With a pencil and a pad I figured it out!
Seven and a half cents doesn't buy a hell of a lot,
Seven and a half cents doesn't mean a thing!
But give it to me every hour,
Forty hours every week,
And that's enough for me to be living like a king!
I figured it out.”

(Song written by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross)

(The workers at the pajama were asking for a raise, and this song carried their message.)

So what difference could 37 cents make to me? Well…I’m glad you asked.

About 3 months ago I received a Royalty statement from OCP (Oregon Catholic Press). A royalty (for those who don’t know, is a payment for use of a writer’s work; in this case a song. My friend Bobby Fisher made a recording of one of my songs on one of his CDs a while back, and because he re-wrote some of the lyrics, I receive about 75% of the available royalties for that song. That means every time OCP sells one of these CDs (“If We Dare to Hope”), I get 11 cents, and 6 cents for each copy of the song book for the album.

That royalty statement I received 3 months ago told me that I had accumulated a royalty balance of $24.95, but OCP doesn’t make any payment to artists until it’s over $25. So when a new statement arrived today showing that they had sold 3 CDs and 1 book (!!!!) I had 37 cents added to my balance, and a check for the total ($25.32) was included.

I sometimes am dazzled by the big bucks that some composers of my acquaintance must be getting. The fact is that 37 cents doesn’t mean a hell of a lot; but if I was to make 37 cents every day for the next year, the total would be over $135. Again, not a lot, but not bad for one song.

By the way, Bobby’s CD is still available If We Dare to Hope

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