Artist and Former Music Journalist Mike Long Began Writing Personalized Theme Songs for Anyone for $2 a Pop

Tiny Anthems rates have been upped considerably in the ensuing years, but the concept remains the same as when it started.

Tiny Anthems (Courtesy Tiny Anthems)

In 2017, artist and former music journalist Mike Long started putting note cards up on bulletin boards around Portland offering to write a song about anyone for the bargain-basement price of $2. A few days later, he got responses from bemused inquirers asking for tunes about themselves. Those satisfied customers started sharing their personal tunes online, and pretty soon Long was fielding more and more requests. Tiny Anthems was born.

Long’s rates have been upped considerably in the ensuing years (between $300 and $800), and he is a little more selective about whose requests he accepts, but otherwise not much else has changed. His finished songs are charming and quirky and, naturally, rich with details about the chosen subject.

“The process has only deepened and become more interesting to me,” Long says. “The more stories I tell, the more I feel compelled by it.”

See the rest of Willamette Week’s Best of Portland 2023 here!

Willamette Week’s reporting has concrete impacts that change laws, force action from civic leaders, and drive compromised politicians from public office. Support WW's journalism today.