Waiting For A Star To Fall

Album: Reel Life (1988)
Charted: 9 5
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  • Boy Meets Girl are American songwriters George Merrill and Shannon Rubicam. They spoke with us about this song and explained how they got together:

    Shannon: "We met at a large Seattle socialite wedding for one of the Boeing daughters of Boeing Airplanes. Then we met again later when I went to see George and his singing partner at the time at a club and thought, 'Wow, they're really good. And cute.'"

    George: "I had been pretty smitten by Shannon when I first saw her at the wedding. It was Susan Boeing of Boeing Companies, and all the Seattle musicians at the time were hired to perform some function at the wedding, either performing at the wedding or the after party or something. I was singing in the choir in the loft, and Shannon was singing the solo, so her voice was going out throughout the entire church, and I thought, 'Oh my goodness, where did that voice come from?'"

    Shannon: "We met a year later and I ended up joining his duo at the time to make it a trio so we could have extra harmony layers. We played the Seattle club scene and up and down the coast, until we got stone tired of playing clubs and dealing with people who were on their way to being drunk, and then well past that line. We ended up moving down to Los Angeles after we wrote and recorded a batch of songs, and sent tapes out and actually got a response from one of those wild card tapes we sent out."
  • George and Shannon wrote Whitney Houston's hits "How Will I Know" and "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)." They got the idea for this song when they were at a Whitney Houston concert at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles:

    Shannon: "It's a beautiful venue. It's an outdoor kind of amphitheater built on the Greek forum idea, and so it has an open air - no ceiling. Whitney had just finished playing How Will I Know."

    George: "It was a big night for us. There we are in a crowd of 8,000 people standing on their feet cheering to one of our songs."

    Shannon: "It was cool. At the end I looked up at the sky - because it was a clear night, the stars were out - and a star just shot across the sky just right through the middle of the dome. I just quickly jotted down a line, 'Waiting for a star to fall,' and stuffed it back in my purse. As we were driving home, I told George about it, and said, 'I think I'll write a lyric around that.' We thought, 'That's fortuitous, we got the idea at a Whitney concert, we should send it to Clive (Davis) for Whitney for her next album.' So we did, and he sent it back saying it wasn't what they were looking for because they were doing a little bit of a direction shift with her. So we thought, 'Well, we'll just do it ourselves, cool.' So it worked out fine for us to do it."
  • George and Shannon got married after Reel Life was released, but they were going through a great deal of turmoil in their relationship while they were writing the album:

    Shannon: "Things were difficult to talk through sometimes. We just ended up keeping our musical diary going and that really was our uniting factor. So a lot of the songs are reflective of that, even if they sound initially upbeat musically, I think really it was a tough time for us, and thank God for music."

    George: "Yeah, and there was a level at which I think Shannon and I had a mutual admiration for each other and the process of writing together. And also, it's a relationship thing where if Shannon needed to get a thought out musically, I wanted to assist her, and I think it was both ways: if we had a song that was kind of a sensitive topic, there was a level that the two of us would just write our way through it."

    Shannon: "It's a lament for what appears to be unattainable to you. It does have some poignancy, it did for us at that time."
  • Arif Mardin, who did a lot of work with Aretha Franklin, produced the album. This is the song that convinced him to work with Boy Meets Girl, and he helped secure the song for them. After Whitney Houston turned down the song, Robert Palmer heard it and wanted it for an artist he was producing, so he put a hold on the song, which is kind of a gentleman's agreement giving him rights to the song for a while. Arif thought George and Shannon should record it and was friends with Palmer, so he called Robert and convinced him to relinquish the song.
  • In 2004, Mylo did a mash-up of this with "Bette Davis Eyes" by Kim Carnes for a song called "In My Arms." In March 2005, this song was remixed by both Cabin Crew and Sunset Strippers, with the Cabin Crew version hitting #4 UK and Sunset Strippers reaching #3. Says Shannon, "It's really an honor when a decade and more later, somebody hears your song and they've got an inspiration about it. And I even read, I think it was Mylo, saying, 'This is one of the most saccharine love songs I've ever heard,' and yet he used it. There was something about it that caught his ear. So once I got over my momentary offense with that, I thought, 'You know, this is cool, he used it, it's fun, it's his version of creativity.' Adds George, "I really loved that he had this little sultry groove that he'd come up with. It actually had a real slinky sort of cocktail hour groove and was very cool. But the one that really caught my ear was Cabin Crew. They were an Australian couplet, remixers, that did a really cool, real tight sort of a pop song rehash of Waiting For A Star To Fall the chorus, and it was just a really tight arrangement. I was really impressed with what they did."
  • George and Shannon were married throughout the '90s and broke up around 2000. They have a daughter together and continue their musical partnership. In 2003, they released The Wonderground, an album dealing with the complexities and emotions of their relationship. (Thanks to George and Shannon for speaking with us about this song. Check out the Boy Meets Girl website at www.boymeetsgirlmusic.com.)
  • This was played under the ending credits of the movie Three Men And A Little Lady. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Kirsten - Chicago, IL

Comments: 23

  • Adam from 'bama"To dream the impossible dream...
    To try when your arms are too weary
    To reach the unreachable star."
  • Seamus from Bushey, Hertfordshire, England'Waiting for a star to fall' is one of my favourite songs. Every time I hear this I think of love, love past and love now. I feel hope and I feel hopeful. A truly wonderful song.
  • Seventh Mist from 7th HeavenOne of my all-time favorites. How many other mainstream songs sound as uplifting as this one? It's not a gospel song, of course, but it brings plenty of them to my mind whenever I hear it.
  • Bdc from PerthThis song not only has the power to take me back to my glory days in the late eighties but it also has the best hook ever - powerful, uplifting, but deeply moving at the same time.
  • Kermit from Bath UkIf you're in THAT place be it 16 or 60. As someone else wrote it's for that person who will be forever out of your arms however much the opposite is wanted.
    The ultimate limerence song.
  • Tania from Brisbane, AustraliaThis is a truly timeless song, and no matter how many times a day it repeats in my iTunes playlist, I never tire of it!
  • Steve from Denver,coI had a high school sweetheart..her name way Raylene....I went off to college in California..to pursue my dream of pro baseball...she stayed in Colorado and got married and had a family....now 45 years later...I am back in Colorado ...and we have re-connected as "friends"...every time I hear this song...it only makes me want her more now...and every word in this song ...makes me depressed...because this is how I feel more than ever...but yet...since I truly broke her heart when we were younger...and much as I tell her I love her more than ever...this will never happen...and I am truly "WAITING FOR A STAR TO FALL'....and she comes back into my arms...which probably will never happen....I WILL STILL BE WAITING...
  • Hucklecat from New Jersey UsaI recall think that Shannon R. was so very pretty, and I kind of felt bad for George because - at least in the lyrics - she seemed to be just beyond his grasp. But it is a great song with a perfect hook that takes the audience along for the ride.
  • Shandroise De Laeken from Davao City, PhilippinesAugust 17, 2015 - The radio station here which I'm a fan of has a segment "Most Requested Song of the Week" and this is the most requested song for the week of August 10-16, 2015. It's being played 4 times a day everyday last week. Everytime it came up, I didn't feel something like I'm sick of it. Maybe it's because I can relate to this song well! Hahaha as I have a crush who is a big star in Korean Pop music world so he's that star I'm waiting for to fall! I agree with Jason of Dublin, Ireland about the line "Trying to catch your heart is like trying to catch a star". Sooo true (funny how it seems, a-ha-ha-ha!) I love this song as many people can relate to it! Thank God for George and Shannon... and hey!!! George commented here! That Geo-Seattle, Washington down there, 2nd comment from the bottom!
  • Cletus from Louisville, KyShannon: "It's a lament for what appears to be unattainable to you". My unattainable star was an Irish girl I met in the late 80's- Pamela. This song captured that feeling perfectly! Unfortunately, she ended up actually being unattainable in the end. So this song is bittersweet for me. But I've listened to it, and the Reel Life album literally hundreds of times. 25 years on, it still reminds me of her. I'm very thankful that George and Shannon recorded it themselves. It is perfect!
  • John from Wolves, United KingdomI love this song it's fab....The words are great as is the video....sounds good 2 day as it did many years ago....
  • Esskayess from Dallas, TxBeautiful song. It exudes such joy that I still love hearing it today, even though I will always link it with a love of mine who called it "our song" shortly before deciding she'd rather wait for someone else's star to fall.
  • Joann from Portsmouth, VaGood song, being able to go thru list of songs alphabetically brings back the time of watching MTV in the 80's when it was MTV so glad I found this site, thank you. Listen to various songs ev ery morning now before work.
  • Jim from Brunswick, MeI LOVE this song! It hit its peak at #5 on the Hot 100 during December 1988. Uplifting, postive & hopeful are the 3 words that best describe this tune. This is one of the finer songs to come from a Seattle based artist. Too bad they were a 1 hit wonder (Oh Girl just scraped into the top 40 in 1985). It's also sad they're no longer a couple. Seeing the video on YouTube was a hoot. They seem to be having a good time (& wearing typical late '80's garb).
  • Jason from Melbourne, AustraliaI love this song. It bring me back to the days when i use to live in Poole st Burwood in 89.
    Even time i hear it, it reminds me of a girl i liked who use to lived in the same street
    The line i enjoy the most in this song is:
    Its such a happy, powerful, uPlifting song.
    It makes me smile :-)
  • Jason from Dublin, Irelandi love the part 'trying to catch your heart is like trying to catch a star' best bit of the song. my opinion of course
  • John from Manchester, EnglandHave to say,this is a really beautiful song. The lyrics are very strong and as already said the song gives hope for the future to those of us who are single.
  • Robert from Seattle, WaI have been listening to pop music since the early 60's. I have heard every top 40 hit since then and zillions of others. But there is something so special about this song (Waiting for a Star to Fall) that I can't explain. Perhaps, Kathy, from Toowoomba, Australia (above) says it best..."energising and uplifting". I never tire of it..none that I have ever heard has the same effect (even lyrics aside)..and still to this day stop what I'm doing whenever I hear it...makes me smile. Thanks so much to George and Shannon..unbelievably gifted song writers!!!
  • Kathy from Toowoomba, AustraliaAs a child of the 80s, I have to say that I absolutely LOVE this song. It is so energising and uplifting......always gives me a bolt of energy and enthusiasm.... Congrats on your success and hopefully much more to come!
  • Mjn Seifer from Not Listed For Personal Reason, England(Sighs) "The song that sporned a million naff, cover versions..."

    Original is excelent. The worst cover is the "One Line Cover" that just says "In your arms baby yes" because the way it's eddited makes it sound like "And my arse say's yes". I wonder if the orginal singers have heard that cover...
  • Darren from Auckland, New ZealandI'm pretty much a kid of the late 90s and only discovered this song in late March 2005 after downing 6 tequilas and whislt on the dancefloor at a bar at the Viaduct in Auckland... infectious song and one of the best pure melodic pop songs i've heard. I started listening to the 1988 version later that year and I still think the same of the song as when I first listened to it. The lovely part to this is one evening I hear my mum singing along to the Ministry of sound version I was playing on my computer- and after much wondering as to why she knows this song she tourns arund and says "of course honey- this was the song that used to play on pop hits everytime I tucked you into bed..." I was 5 then and I just find that it's so amazing how I re-discovered this song in a whole new way. How endearing. It was and is a part of my childhood and it makes me feel warm in my heart and generates a feeling of hope for the future...
  • Geo from Seattle, Waa word on the above comment from Jani-thanks first off! Whitney never heard the song, as far as we know. Clive Davis from her record company Arista thought it wasn't quite right for Whitney. We love and are thankful to Whitney Houston always for that lovely gift of a voice and bright personality that she shared with the world on our songs.
    George, BoyMeetsGirl Music
  • Jani from Auckland, New ZealandI heard a story that Boy Meets Girl is a professional songwriting team, and the song in its original form was written for Whitney Houston.
    She didn't like it and told them so in no uncertain terms. So they changed the lyrics to "have a go" at her, and recorded it themselves. The "Star" in the title refers to Whitney.
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