“Shining Star”

“Shining Star”

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Story Behind the Song

Philip Bailey
“Shining Star”

Written by Maurice White, Philip Bailey and Larry Dunn
Recorded by Earth Wind & Fire

We actually wrote “Shining Star” up at Caribou Ranch in Colorado when we were doing the “Way of the World” album. There was a lot of paranormal stuff going on there — like ghosts! We were told before we got there that they’d been there for a very long time, since the cabins were over 100 years old. I was not one to actually believe in those kinds of things but I remember seeing something in the middle of the night, being startled by it, and the image wouldn’t leave. Finally I shooed it away and it went through the wall. I know it sounds crazy, but it happened.

In concert with that, we were writing “Shining Star” in Maurice White’s cabin. Maurice was upstairs and I was downstairs. I was singing, ooh, aah, shouting, “I have the second verse!” He was simultaneously walking downstairs saying that he had it. As he got down the stairs, without having discussed the song at all, simultaneously we sang the exact same lyric. And neither of us had even written them down yet! We always remind each other of that. We wrote the lyrics in one session that morning.

We wrote this song to inspire ourselves and, therefore, everybody else as well. We were early in our success but we were very encouraged by the whole idea that our frame of mind had everything to do with how we felt about ourselves. Value is a perceived thing — it doesn’t matter what your financial worth is. Everyone is a shining star no matter who they are.

It was a very spiritual recording session up there. Unusual things like that happened a lot that inspired us. It happened when Maurice and I wrote “Devotion” as well.

Through devotion, blessed are the children

Praise the teacher, that brings true love to many.

Your devotion, opens all life’s treasures

And deliverance, from the fruits of evil.

So our mission, to bring a melody

Ringin’ voices sing sweet harmony.

“Shining Star”

Yeah, hey

When you wish upon a star

Dreams will take you very far, yeah,

When you wish upon a dream

Life ain’t always what it seems, oh yeah,

Once you see your light so clear

In the sky so very dear.

You’re a shining star, no matter who you are

Shining bright to see what you can truly be,

That you can truly be

Shining star come into view

Shine its watchful light on you, yeah

Gives you strength to carry on

Make your body big and strong

Future roads for you to pass

Love to watch your mug past.

The shining star, lucky you

The sinful redeeming shall be true

On an adventure of the sun, yeah

Yeah it’s all awake and just begun

Yeah, thought I had to stir the mood

That’s it now I got my own, oh yeah.

So if you find yourself in need,

Why don’t you listen to his words of heat?

Be a child free of sin

Be some place, yes I can

Words of wisdom: yes I can

You’re a shining star, no matter who you are

Shining bright to see what you can truly be.

You’re a shining star, no matter who you are

Shining bright to see what you can truly be.

Shining star for you to see, what your life can truly be

Shining star for you to see, what your life can truly be

Shining star for you to see, what your life can truly be

Words and Music by Maurice White, Philip Bailey and Larry Dunn. © 1975 (Renewed 2003) EMI APRIL MUSIC INC. All Rights Reserved. International Copyright Secured. Used by Permission.

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