"I can practically see it, the dream I"m dreaming," Miley Cyrus sang on she 2009 struggle ballad, "The Climb."

"But there"s a voice within my head saying, "You"ll never reach it." "

The song"s co-writer, Jessi Alexander, heard the voice a lot — even together the director of "Hannah Montana: The Movie" told she he want to make that song the musical centerpiece of the film. But while she and co-writer Jon Mabe were skeptical, it actually happened, and the song"s substantial success adjusted their lives.

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Alexander and also Mabe called the story that "The Climb" come Bart Herbison of Nashville Songwriters combination International.

So (Jessi) is driving to a writing appointment through Jon Mabe, and also you hear part music in your head. Is that the way this thing came about?

Jessi Alexander: We songwriters really are nuts, you know.

Well, this was good nuts! 

Alexander: It"s funny, though ... I simply remember that certain morning, i didn"t have actually an idea. I had actually nothing. You obtain so distracted in the car. Now we have actually phones, and also the radio and also whatnot. However I to be like, "I"m no going come do any of that because I require an idea. God, you re welcome send me one idea." that was really simple. I would certainly love to discover that initial tape, however it wasn"t much. The was simply the chorus" kind of rise melody ... Words that preserved coming to me was possibly "classic." There was something around the song, to the suggest where ns was thinking, "Am i (re-writing) something? Is this "(Love lift Us) Up whereby We Belong?" What is this song?"


By the point, I"m simply trying to acquire in the door and to a guitar because a song can come and also go genuine quick. My immediate thought to be "get her hands on a guitar."

But once you heard it, (Jon), friend knew.

Mabe: She to be on a mission once she came through that door. ... I"m reminded that us talked about seeing a documentary ~ above somebody, a movie star standing in ~ a allude in your career to take a chance to look back. (They saw) when they were struggling, living in one apartment the they can barely salary for and eating noodles.

Alexander: through Mabe singing. It was in 3rd person. It to be a lot much more spiritual and a little more adult. I got to meet the director, Peter Chelsom, and he said, "Put some songs ~ above a CD because that me." I simply remember (thinking), "This is it. This is my just shot. If we"re walk to gain a track pitched to the movie, this is it." ns looked at this list — me and also Lisa Ramsey, my (song)-plugger at the time. We were like, " "It"s the Climb," yeah, isn"t that type of poppy? it sounds prefer it could be cinematic."" And, certain enough, he called maybe job later and said, "If you"ll rewrite this, I"m going come rewrite the script about it." At the time, both of us had our hearts broken. Me, especially. At that time, because that 10 years, I"d yes, really been top top a rollercoaster ride as an artist and songwriter. A most misses. I remember as soon as (the director) stated that I"m thinking, "Aw, you"re cute. You"re no from roughly here. Girlfriend don"t realize the there"s going to be a enlarge songwriter that"s walk to move in and also get this slot." because there"s no way me and you space going to acquire this tune in this movie.

Mabe: (laughs) Absolutely.

Alexander: That"s wherein you have to think in something more than the Nashville song gods. There"s something else that, for everything reason, we acquired to have this. Ns feel so grateful because if that hadn"t taken place for me, i don"t understand if I"d quiet be functioning as a songwriter.

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— Compiled by Dave Paulson, The keolistravelservices.com

About the series

In partnership through Nashville Songwriters association International, we will release a video clip interview v a songwriter about his or her work each week.