From the Mud to the Stars is the title song for the whole project. We chose this name because it is a loose translation from the Latin motto of the Royal Air Force (per ardua ad astra) which means ‘through adversity to the stars’. In other words, striving to achieve success despite challenges or difficulties.

The dictionary definition of a motto is ‘a short sentence or phrase chosen as encapsulating the beliefs or ideals of an individual, family, or institution’. You might like to open discussions before tackling this activity by asking the young people to think about a good motto for their school (if it doesn’t have one) or for a sports team or other special interest group to which they belong.

The first objective of this task is to teach the young people the song, which is written from the point of view of the pilots of the RAF as they fly their aircraft ‘ high above the clouds’. The sheet music is included in the resources for this task, but don't worry if you don't read music; the four short films above will guide you through every stage of learning the song. In addition, we have recorded a ‘guide vocal’ backing track with basic piano accompaniment that you can use to teach your class or group the tune. When they are confident singing with this version, you can move on to using the full orchestral version of the song that we have also provided in the 'Audio downloads' section below.

A key extension of this task is to encouraging your participants to have a go at writing new lyrics for the verse of the song. Video four above explains a very simple way of doing this, making use of the 'Songwriting Template' below, to great effect. This will add to their enjoyment of singing the song and give them a sense of achievement and of ownership as they perform it.


CfE Experiences and Outcomes this exercise covers are: LIT 2-02a, LIT 2-05a, 06a, LIT2-09a, LIT2-15a, LIT2-20a, 22a, 23a, 24a, ENG 2-03a, ENG 2-12a, EXA2-01a, EXA2-16a, 17a, 18a, 19a

Audio downloads