Since launching into my life as “Sing Books with Emily,” I have found that many “Children’s Songs” make great songs, period!
“All God’s Critters Got a Place in the Choir” by Bill Staines is a terrific song and can be interrpreted in many ways.
I’ve also found some great quirky material is places like “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” The nonsense poems of Edward Lear, and “Winnie the Pooh.” All these works contain delightful nonsense poems that have wonderfully been set to music. “Beautiful Soup,” “The Owl and the Pussycat,” and “Cottleston Pie” are just one example from each, respectively.
Finally, I have found that many classic poems have been set to music and make gorgeous songs. Robert Frost’s poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” is just one example of hundreds.
All of the works above have been illustrated into picture books. I sing them to children of all ages. But I also think that any of them can be adapted to fit a personal story and would make lovely cabaret material!
I’ve been working on material for my solo show and have been (unexpectedly) mining … TV show themes! Which, I suppose, falls into the category of “pop”. Some of them are 1-2 minutes of great song-crafting, with catchy choruses!
Don’t forget country music. They do such a great job with story songs in country music, that they easily lend themselves to an intimate cabaret setting. My very first cabaret used as the title song, “That’s The Way I Remember It” by Garth Brooks. And, of course, I’m currently having a great time in the Latin genre.