I’m currently (somewhat belatedly) showcasing each track from my latest album Coming Home in a “behind the song” blog series. I hope some listeners find it interesting or helpful. “Seeing Stars” is the seventh and final track, which means we’ve reached the end of this blog series! But that’s okay, I’ll have more songs to release soon enough. For convenience, the lyrics and YouTube & Spotify streams are at the bottom of this post.
This song is an interesting case because I wrote it as a frivolous little exercise and included it in the album on a whim, but then some people ended up really liking it.
I’m not sure if I’m actually going to keep trying to complete 50/90 (50 songs in 90 days) for years to come like I thought I might, but last year was my second year finishing it. At the beginning, I was in a bit of a depression/low motivation phase, and I always need to give myself a little push to get started with these things. It helps me to start by writing without pressure, like I’m just going to write this song, and I don’t care if it’s the worst song ever written. But then, I don’t try to write the worst song ever written, so you don’t know. It might be amazing. It might be terrible. That’s kind of the fun of it. And I’m not always the best judge of the finished product because I’m always going to judge my songs based on my personal relationship with them. How much did I enjoy the writing process, and how well does it express my personal thoughts and feelings? But those characteristics are invisible to everyone else, so there’s no reason they would like the same songs as I do.
So this is one of those songs that it’s hard for me to like because it’s subjective, and subjectively, I didn’t enjoy writing this song and I don’t necessarily love what I expressed with it. I didn’t enjoy writing it because I was in a low motivation state and had to force myself.
I suppose I kind of like the sentiment, and it is relevant to my life right now – a simple song about becoming disillusioned with your dreams when they don’t seem to be coming true and no one believes in you, but refusing to give up hope completely. But I tend to find my shorter, simpler songs more boring, even as everyone else prefers them, haha. I always wish for it to be more idiosyncratic and specific to my personal situation, even though I know that will reduce its potential appeal. But it certainly makes it fun for me to sing! Plus, I guess I perceive a certain cheesy factor in this lyric. The title makes it seem like it’s more about someone who was trying to make it in Hollywood than someone like me.
The other issue is that I dared to write a higher melody, which everyone else seems to like when I do it, but I hate singing high notes. It’s uncomfortable, more difficult, takes more concentration, is hard on my voice, and I don’t personally like the way my voice sounds up there. (Of course I don’t like my voice at the bottom of my range either; I think it sounds best right in the comfortable middle.) This is why, even though I agree that it’s a pleasant, pretty little song, I barely sing it live even when requested.
But anyway, for better or for worse the song is out there now and people can hear it and make their own judgment. I kept it acoustic when I recorded it. I would say that my favorite aspects of it are the simplicity and the little chord motif with the open B string that I play in the main progression. I do like the lyrics, but they don’t excite me the way some lyrics do – that’s the best way I can explain it. I respect everyone else’s right to love it if they want to, though!
You could see them in my eyes
In every old picture
Mirroring the night skies
A timeless, boundless fixture
And when I’d get my wish
I’d stay content for all of time
Though they say everything dies
Seeing stars, I was seeing stars
They told me to give up
Those lights were getting dimmer
I started to get stuck
They all knew I’d never be a winner
But nothing’s ever certain
So why can’t we just keep trying?
And everything might be all right