Dream Big

Album: Download Only (2008)
Charted: 15

Songfacts®:

  • Cook chose to perform this entrant for the 2008 American Idol Songwriting Contest on the Idol finale. Randy Jackson commented his performance: "You were singing your face off." Paula Abdul said: "David, a song in your heart, a guitar in your hand … this is a great way to take a song we don't know and fall in love with it. Simon Cowell said: "Using the boxing analogy, it was a bit of a lightweight, actually. Keeping in mind this is supposed to be a winning song, this didn't feel like a winning moment for me. That was a 6 1/2 out of 10."
  • Minnesota native Emily Shackleton wrote this. She told the Minneapolis Star Tribune how the song came about: "I was just having a really bad day. I was lonely and it was raining outside and I was really homesick, trying to remind myself why I'm here, why I sacrificed leaving my family. It started out as a slow song to write just for myself - 'Oh, yeah, it's OK, you can dream' - coaxing myself to feel better. It came at such a pace that I really don't remember writing it. I really feel sometimes like the song was alive before I was."

Comments: 2

  • Theresa from Murfreesboro, TnI wished this song would have been the winning Idol song instead of The Time of my Life.
  • Krista from Carbondale, PaThis song was sung BRILLIANTLY by David Cook!! He can sing the phone book! The guitar playing MADE the song!
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Jason Newsted (ex-Metallica)

Jason Newsted (ex-Metallica)Songwriter Interviews

The former Metallica bassist talks about his first time writing a song with James Hetfield, and how a hand-me-down iPad has changed his songwriting.

JJ Burnel of The Stranglers

JJ Burnel of The StranglersSongwriter Interviews

JJ talks about The Stranglers' signature sound - keyboard and bass - which isn't your typical strain of punk rock.

Jimmy Webb

Jimmy WebbSongwriter Interviews

Webb talks about his classic songs "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," "Wichita Lineman" and "MacArthur Park."

Joan Armatrading

Joan ArmatradingSongwriter Interviews

The revered singer-songwriter talks inspiration and explains why she put a mahout in "Drop the Pilot."

Max Cavalera of Soulfly (ex-Sepultura)

Max Cavalera of Soulfly (ex-Sepultura)Songwriter Interviews

The Brazilian rocker sees pictures in his riffs. When he came up with one of his gnarliest songs, there was a riot going on.

Jon Anderson of Yes

Jon Anderson of YesSongwriter Interviews

From the lake in "Roundabout" to Sister Bluebird in "Starship Trooper," Jon Anderson talks about how nature and spirituality play into his lyrics for Yes.