WASHINGTON — If there’s one thing you can apparently count on at the annual We Write the Songs event on Capitol Hill, it’s a good ol’ cry. While Jason Mraz brought the feels at last year’s event, it’s hard to imagine that singer-songwriter Siddhartha Khosla left a dry eye in the house at the Library of Congress on Tuesday night. After all, the man does compose the score for arguably the most tear-jerking show on television, “This Is Us.”

The Indian American musician demonstrated the power of music firsthand by showing a scene from the NBC drama sans music. He then performed the song he composed for the moment before playing the version that aired, complete with his score. Khosla followed with a moving tribute to his parents, who were in the audience, which put the nail in the coffin for the people who were trying to pretend their sniffling was from allergies.

As Rep. Doug Collins, R-Georgia, put it, “Music helps us speak when words will not come.” That is why the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers has spent the past 11 years advocating for songwriters with an annual concert aimed at reminding lawmakers of the importance of music. Tuesday’s event was especially poignant after the recent passage of the Music Modernization Act. ASCAP has been pushing for the legislation — which helps songwriters get fair royalties for their music, among other things — to be signed into law since its introduction in 2017.

“God bless each and every one of you,” ASCAP President Paul Williams said, thanking the crowd comprising mainly members of Congress, which passed the bill unanimously before President Donald Trump signed it in October. “It proved that the power of song is a bipartisan issue.”

From left, Andrea Martin, Paul Williams, Don Felder, Felix Cavaliere, Jane Wiedlin, Siddhartha Khosla and Charlotte Caffey at the We Write the Songs event Tuesday on Capitol Hill. (Photo courtesy of ASCAP Foundation We Write the Songs)


The politicians who attended, such as Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., seemed equally as appreciative — they gave standing ovations to each of the night’s performers, including former Eagles guitarist Don Felder, who rocked the “Hotel California” solo, and the Go-Go’s, known for “Our Lips are Sealed.”

“I’m going to try and do this as a professional member of Congress,” Rep. Martha Roby, R-Alabama, said, attempting to contain her inner fangirl while introducing band members Charlotte Caffey and Jane Wiedlin of the Go-Go’s.

Though ASCAP has succeeded with the passage of the Music Modernization Act, it appears that Williams will continue the tradition of bringing songwriters to the Hill.

“You know you’re doing something right in your life when you can walk into the Library of Congress and feel like you’re home,” he said.

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