Songwriter’s Association Of Canada Challenge Week #3 Song

Scott MacKay – Shooting Star

I just saw a shooting star
A shooting start touch down
I’m going to find that shooting star
And show all the kids in town

Oh oh oh oh oh I oh x2

I swam in the ocean blue
I opened every clam
But I did not find that shooting star
So I began my search on land

Oh oh oh oh oh I oh x2

I searched in every valley low
Climbed every mountain high
And there I found my shooting star
And with it I could fly

Oh oh oh oh oh I oh x4

Introduction

This was an interesting challenge. We were to write a song targeted for advertisement use. Below is the creative brief we were given.

Creative Brief:
The spot features a child so we’re looking for something child-like, light and playful, fun, capturing the moment and that captures the spirit of a child. However, we don’t want to be emotional or heart-stringy — we’re looking for something that’s purely fun. You can definitely be somewhat quirky, while appealing to a mainstream TV audience.
A few references they’ve given us in terms of tone are The White Stripes’ “We Are Gonna Be Friends”, “On The Radio” by Regina Spektor, Sheryl Crow’s cover of “Sweet Child O Mine”, “Big Yellow Taxi” or “Mushaboom” by Feist. We also like something along the lines of Karen O’s tunes for ‘Where The Wild Things Are’. We’re open to different instrumentations.
Lyrics don’t have to be perfectly on spot on thematically, but speaking to childhood (in a fun way, not in a nostalgic or longing way) is great. Female or male vocals are A-OK.
The spot is 60 seconds in length, with 30 and 15 second cutdowns, so your submissions need to be at least 60 seconds long, but be able to capture the same sentiment even if only 15 seconds was being used. Including the full length track is always best as it allows the editor the maximum flexibility in hitting the right points in an ad with specific lyrics or musical moments.
Words About Writing This Tune
The first day of the challenge I steeped myself in the references provided in the creative brief and also listened to a few other artists whose style of music seems to be used a lot in TV advertisements such as Patrick Watson. I started thinking that a marching feel would be well suited for a children’s song. Much like “The Ants Go Marching One By One” so I selected a 2/4 drum beat and went to work. I played around with some simple chord progressions and came up with a melody that was catchy and used it throughout the song. You hear a lot of oh oh and ah ah’s in modern tunes these days so I thought I’d incorporate that and by doing so it gave the song a “Boy Scout” feel which I think suited the song perfectly. I wanted the song to be about a journey of some sort as the marching feel lends itself to that subject matter, so I came up with the idea of a young boy or girl using their imaginations to go find a shooting star. In the end they find the shooting star and with it they can fly. This is symbolic of reaching a goal, or finding oneself. If I had more time I’d definitely invest it into the lyrics. I’d like to develop it a lot more but what can you do when the sand runs out 🙂 “When The Sand Runs Out” I like that as a title 🙂
I had to fly home to PEI this weekend so I didn’t have any of my good recording gear, hence the below par production quality.
I hope you enjoy it!!
Till next time,
Scott

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