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Click here for

A  Songwriters perspective on American Idol

American Idol Myths

The Kelly Clarkson story

Songwriting Tools and Techniques

 

Bill Pere - Song Analyst and Music Business Coach

Songwriting that Gets Results, Combining Arts, Education, and Community Outreach
Song Development - Music Production - Music Business Mentoring  - Recording -  Workshops - Artist Development

=\=THE STORY BEHIND THE SONG

Teach Me How to Fly
 

 

Title:     Teach Me How to Fly
              (words and music by Bill Pere)

Appears on:
Version  1 - "Cityscape " (original with Bill's vocal)
Version 2  - "New Day ComingTomorrow " and
                    "High School My School"   with
                     Shauna Beth Mandelburg vocal

Version 3 2008 - revised for Voices For Hope
                             program, to be released

Notes:
High School My School was in the top 10 on multiple indie chart playlists for more than 140 consecutive weeks !)

Click here for Lyrics

2009 live video with Emma Passaretti vocal

( CD  Baby Store)

Bill Pere

 

 Teach Me How to Fly  

This song was much like an elephant -- long gestation period.    Even over a 15-year period of development and refinement, the message of the song has (sadly) remained socially relevant, as much today as when it was first conceived.

When I arrived in Connecticut in 1979 from NYC, I began volunteering at a group home for teenage girls. The stories they shared with me of their lives and home situations  were incredibly compelling, particularly because of the way most of these girls were able to rise above the troubles.  The common theme in all their hopes, dreams, and sources of despair was the simple need to be loved and cared for, particularly by their parents.  The stories from these girls over a five year period became the sources of many songs, mostly from the Cityscape collection.    When "Cityscape" was first released (vinyl 1982)  "Teach Me How to Fly"  was not yet written or conceived. 

"Teach Me How to Fly" began its life many years later.   Even after the original Cityscape, I knew I had not yet told all of the girls' stories, or had fully done justice to the ones I did tell.

So along came Cityscape II in the 90's, when I had the initial idea for "Teach Me How to Fly".  I had the music kicking around in my head for quite awhile and could see the story I wanted to tell, like a movie, but I could  not find matching words for the music.  I was out jogging one afternoon and, seeing a young dove fly over the cemetery,  I thought of  the phrase, "touch me, take me, teach me how to fly", which fit the music and provided a clear ending for the story.   The rest of the words then came easily, but I still didn't  have the right way to deliver the message.     The first vocalist I worked with wanted an uptempo feel, and that initial incarnation didn't feel right to me., but we went with it.

 In  1996, we found an exceptional 16 year old female vocalist, Shauna Beth Mandelburg,  who could deliver the song as it was meant to be heard, from the perspective of a teenage girl.   So we did Version 2, working on it from 1996-2002, in live performance and in the studio.  

The final and current incarnation came in 2008,  making further refinements to words, melody and arrangement.  The vocal was now taken over by 16 year old Emma Passaretti in live concerts.  This final version, which we will use for the Voices For Hope program, has yet to be recorded, but will be soon.  

There is a live YouTube video version.

 Lyrics      CD  Baby Store    Bill Pere

 

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