Dream Big

Album: Download Only (2008)
Charted: 15
Play Video


  • 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

Artis the Spoonman

Artis the SpoonmanSong Writing

Even before Soundgarden wrote a song about him, Artis was the most famous spoon player of all time. So why has he always been broke?

The Girl in That Song

The Girl in That SongFact or Fiction

Billie Jean, Delilah, Sara, Laura and Sharona - do you know who the girls in the songs really are?

Alice Cooper

Alice CooperFact or Fiction

How well do you know this shock-rock harbinger who's been publicly executed hundreds of times?

TV Theme Songs

TV Theme SongsFact or Fiction

Was a Beatles song a TV theme? And who came up with those Fresh Prince and Sopranos songs?

Mark Arm of Mudhoney

Mark Arm of MudhoneySongwriter Interviews

When he was asked to write a song for the Singles soundtrack, Mark thought the Seattle grunge scene was already overblown, so that's what he wrote about.

He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss): A History Of Abuse Pop

He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss): A History Of Abuse PopSong Writing

Songs that seem to glorify violence against women are often misinterpreted - but not always.