A Dad-or-Daughter Songwriting Contest


My daughter, Anna, spent a bunch of time this past summer writing songs. One thing led to another and we ended up coauthoring a song together.  I have more than 50 academic coauthors, but this is the first time I’ve ever tried writing music with someone.

Is it easy for people to tell the difference between songs she wrote by herself and a song where I wrote most of the lyrics?  Is it possible for a 52-year-old lawyer/economist to emulate the lyrics of a 14-year-old Gleek? I think a lot of people would have a surprisingly hard time. But the question is testable.

So today I’m announcing a contest where you could earn a chance of winning an iTunes gift card worth somewhere between $50-$500. To play, just click through and listen to these three songs – Friend Zone, Longer, & Your Way, and then leave a comment to this post or as a YouTube comment to one of the three songs saying:  i) which of the three songs you think I coauthored; ii) identifying a line in that song you believe I wrote; and iii) identifying a line in that song you believe Anna wrote. Here they are:

An entry will get one point for identifying the coauthored song, one point for identifying an Ian line; and one point for identifying an Anna line.

The contest closes on October 31 at midnight. At that time, I’ll figure out how many points to assign to each commenter. If there is only one comment with three points, that commenter will win the gift card. If there is more than one comment earning three points, I’ll randomly select one comment from among this set. If nobody submits a three-point comment, I’ll repeat the procedure looking at two-point comments, and continue until I’ve identified a winner.

The more people who listen to these songs, the larger the prize (up to a cap of $500). On Oct. 31 at midnight, I’ll add together the number of “views” listed on YouTube for each song. I’ll multiply the total views for the three songs by a penny per view and increase the iTunes gift card by this amount. So if by some miracle there are a thousand total views, I’ll give one lucky commenter a gift card worth $60 ($50 + 1,000*$.01).  I’ll add a 10% bonus if the winner tweeted or Facebooked “I played the #DadorDaughterContest at http://www.youtube.com/user/antoniarosemusic.” Under no circumstances will I give more than one gift card, and under no circumstances will I give a gift card worth more than $500.

This is not a legally enforceable offer or agreement. While I intend to give someone a gift card, you shouldn’t rely on this post to your detriment. Feel free to say bad things about me though if I don’t pay off.

Why am I willing to put up my own money for something like this? In part, I’m paying for data. But there is also narcissism at play. I would love for people to have a listen to my and Anna’s songs. Indeed, if this works at all, I might come back and see if I can figure out a way to compensate people for downloading and reading some of my academic writing.

I’d also love to learn which song you like the best. But please be gentle. And I’ve already demonstrated that training in law and economics is not the best precursor to writing quality poetry. You can listen to other songs written by Anna (and maybe glean some information about her solo songwriting style) at her YouTube channel. (I particularly like Picture Perfect and What Might Have Been.)

As a bonus for people who enter before Oct. 10, I’ll send a free autographed copy of both Carrots and Sticks and The $500 Diet to the commenter who comes closest to guessing what the total number of views will be when the contest closes at midnight on Oct. 31.

Danielle P

i) Longer
ii)I could pass your test, I could wait here longer before you realize what you're doing to me
iii) I help you with your homework to spend more time to you why don't you turn the table teach me a thing or two.


I think you worked together on Friendzone.
I think Anna Rose wrote 'I bought it blue to match your eyes but you treat me like one of the guys'
I think you wrote 'I could make you nervous if you only play'

Johnny Mudshark

No contest entries - just a comment that I like all the songs - they remind me of The Weepies. And Anna has a great voice. Thanks for sharing!


Sorry if I am missing something obvious but in the Youtube descriptions, you say you wrote wrote most of the lyrics to one song and she wrote (all) of the other two. Are you saying that the co-authored song is the one you wrote most of the lyrics to?

Dave Roland

"Longer" is the co-authored song.

You wrote: "I'm gonna pass you by like a clock passes time."

She wrote: "As the sun trips and falls in the sky, I wait for the moon to rise..."


i) Longer
ii) What's the point of love, if it isn't fun
iii) As the sun trips and fall in the sky I wait for the moon to rise


Great (and unobvious) way to promote your daughter's music career?


Aw what a charming idea, good for you both, nice little tunes! Well with little confidence I'm going to go for:

a) Friend Zone
b) "What I gotta do to get out of your friend zone?"
c) "You could walk me to my door and make sweet romance"

Alan T.

coauthored song: Friend Zone
Ian line: We could slow it down and touch when we dance,
Anna line: Like Jacob in the twighlight zone,

Great song! You two have a future as a songwriting team!

K Pais

Since my music skills are terrible I will stick to the second contest. I'd say about 8000 views on all the music videos.

JJ Snidow

Friend zone

Ian line--"like _____ in the twilight zone"
Anna line--"treat me like one of the guys"

Annie Decker

i) which of the three songs you think I coauthored: "Your Way"

ii) identifying a line in that song you believe I wrote: "Even your favorite song, ain't your favorite song."

and iii) identifying a line in that song you believe Anna wrote: "But wait, for a better day"

caleb b

I) Friend zone
II) You wrote the line “I’m gonna pass you by like a clock passes time.”
III) Anna wrote the line–”treat me like one of the guys”

Since my incentive is to have the maximum amount of leisure time for myself, and not listen to amateur music, I have chosen to not listen to any of the songs, but simply guess using a combination of publicly available guesses below. Given enough comments, I ensure at least a share of the price, hypothetically. Also, I can affect the number of views by just refreshing the songs (on mute) to inflate the numbers for my own benefit.

I realize that by telling you this, you likely won't accept my entry, but as an economist, you must appreciate my game-theory.


Co-authored song: Longer
Ian's line: Giving my affection, waiting for perfection.
Anna's line: Where do I go from here? I've forgotten all my options?


i) Coauthored Song: “Your Way”

ii) Line in that song you wrote: “If you can't see yourself, can you at least see me?”

iii) Line in that song Anna wrote: “You've lost all hope, you just don't care.”

Jenny B

I enjoyed all of these songs but my favorite is "Longer." More of Anna's songs are available at YouTube and several are worth a listen.

bo roth

Okay my vote for the coauthored song is "Your Way." No idea who wrote what, but I'll guess that Ian wrote either "take my hand and I'll help you through that pain" or "I gotta question one last thought." (Doesn't that sound like Ian? Question one last thought? ahem.)

And as another wild guess, I would say the "It's comin your way" is Annas. Or maybe "If you can't see yourself, can you at least see me."

Probably wrong! But "Longer" is still my favorite!! Great stuff guys! beautiful.

Andrew MacKie-Mason

I commented on the videos with my guess, but for the other bit of the contest I'll go with a total of 5500 views.

Rebecca Morrow

Co-authored song: Friend Zone
Anna Rose Line: What I got to do to get out of your friend zone?
Ian Line: I could make you nervous if you'd only play.
Hits Before October 30: 1,000
Favorite Song: Longer


i) I think that you worked together on Friend Zone.
ii) Ian line: Like Jacob in the twighlight zone.
iii) Anna line: Cuz I know, it's raining hard on you.