Shining Light
by Ash

Album: Free All Angels (2001)
Charted: 8
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • Ash is a Northern Irish rock band. This song was written about frontman Tim Wheeler's now ex-girlfriend Audrey. As he was driving home one night, the tune and line "Yeah you are a shining light" came into his head. Wheeler raced home and wrote the song straight away using his acoustic guitar.
  • This won the award for Best Contemporary Song at the 2001 Ivor Novello Awards and Best Single at the 2002 Irish Music Awards.
  • This was the closing song in the final episode of the sci-fi series Roswell in 2002.
  • Among the artists to cover this song are Coldplay and Annie Lennox. For Lennox, it was one of two new tracks on her 2009 The Annie Lennox Collection.
  • Bass player Mark Hamilton recalled on Ash's website the song's promo, which was directed by Darren Tiernan: "In the video Tim went through David Blaine style torture as he was submerged for the guts of a day in this water tank. He encounters some form of mermaid as he swims up from the dark abyss towards a bright, shining light. As if in a coma he reaches the surface to awake in a hospital bed, while the rest of Ash look on wondering why they were called at 5am for this video shoot!"
  • This song brought Ash back to the UK Top 10 for the first time since 1997. "'Shining Light' saved our career and really set us up for good," Tim Wheeler told Louder. "I knew we needed to come up with a really big song to get ourselves back on track and I spent a long time writing trying to find that song. The night I wrote it, I was really excited, I got the guys round the next day and they loved it too."

Comments: 1

  • Bryan from Melbourne, AustraliaInstead of a funeral, when I die my instructions are to instead send everyone who was important to me during my lifetime a copy of the Free All Angels album, specifically for this song. I want them to play it loud and often.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Songs in Famous Movie Scenes: '80s Edition

Songs in Famous Movie Scenes: '80s EditionMusic Quiz

You know the scenes - Tom Cruise in his own pants-off dance off, Molly Ringwald celebrating her birthday - but do you remember what song is playing?

Loreena McKennitt

Loreena McKennittSongwriter Interviews

The Celtic music maker Loreena McKennitt on finding musical inspiration, the "New Age" label, and working on the movie Tinker Bell.

Lace the Music: How LSD Changed Popular Music

Lace the Music: How LSD Changed Popular MusicSong Writing

Starting in Virginia City, Nevada and rippling out to the Haight-Ashbury, LSD reshaped popular music.

Sam Hollander

Sam HollanderSongwriter Interviews

The hitmaking songwriter/producer Sam Hollander with stories about songs for Weezer, Panic! At The Disco, Train, Pentatonix, and Fitz And The Tantrums.

Loudon Wainwright III

Loudon Wainwright IIISongwriter Interviews

"Dead Skunk" became a stinker for Loudon when he felt pressure to make another hit - his latest songs deal with mortality, his son Rufus, and picking up poop.

Rock Stars of Horror

Rock Stars of HorrorMusic Quiz

Rock Stars - especially those in the metal realm - are often enlisted for horror movies. See if you know can match the rocker to the role.