Stay Home Songs

Stay Home Songs: The Album

Thanks to the creative efforts of some of our region’s most talented musicians and songwriters, the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (RACVB) is excited to unveil this locally-produced 11-track playlist on the GoRockford YouTube channel. “The Album” songs were created in the spring amidst the shelter-at-home order as part of Stay Home Songs, RACVB’s free community songwriting contest that featured all ages and genres and shined a light on the creative excellence and resilience of our community.

“The Album” features jazz, folk, a cappella, rock and pop songs, including the contest’s winning lead track “Up, Up, Up”, by Rockford native Clark Kelly, which celebrates upward journey of our community. The album's 11 songs include:

  1. “Up, Up, Up”, Clark Kelly
  2. “It’s Up to You”, Andrew Bruhn
  3. “I’m Gonna Stay at Home”, Carl A. Cole
  4. “Rock the Pandemic”, David Hayes Project
  5. “I’ll Come and Visit You”, April Parker
  6. “Rockford is for Real”, James Richter II & Ali Elaine
  7. “Freedom Found”, Jeremy & Kristin Tews
  8. “Bootstraps”, Michael R. Dresser (with Chopped Wood Band)
  9. “The Stay at Home Song”, Grace Hoening
  10. “Everybody Turns Away”, Matthew Caleb
  11. “Change the World”, Jessica M. Fries & Naomi Fries

"Up, Up, Up"

Up. That is the direction of our community, and, as such, RACVB is thrilled to continue celebrating our upward journey together by announcing “Up, Up, Up” by Rockford native Clark Kelly as the winner of Stay Home Songs, RACVB’s community songwriting contest. One of 25 entrants, “Up, Up, Up” stood out to our five expert judges and was selected as the song that best embodies the resiliency of our community. Click on the song image below or HERE to listen!

"Although I have spent much of my adult life in Nashville, as a hometown boy I’ve always been proud of my Rockford roots,” Kelly said. “This songwriting contest from RACVB was the perfect opportunity for our creative community to showcase the resiliency of Rockford. My hope is that the song I wrote affirms the hard work and pride of Rockfordians, as well as the continued rise of our great city."

After growing up in the Forest City, Kelly moved to Nashville, TN, for awhile to attend Belmont University while studying music. While there, he was voted best songwriter in an annual songwriting competition, establishing him as an artist to watch. After graduating, Kelly signed with Sony/ATV, which represents many top artists including Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran. He has played concerts across the country, opening for Panic at the Disco and the All-American Rejects, among others. Kelly released his third EP, Frames, in 2018 and is currently living back in his hometown writing new music scheduled for release in 2020.

RACVB introduced Stay Home Songs in early April 2020 as part of its #StayHomeRKFD campaign to spotlight the creative excellence and spirit of our community amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The contest featured a contingent of talented judges including: Jodi Beach of the Jodi Beach Trio, Vince Chiarelli of The Vince Chiarelli Band, Duntai Mathews of SOAR Radio, Miles Nielsen of Miles Nielsen and The Rusted Hearts, and Antonio Ramirez of Domingos en el Parque.

“It was a joy to listen to the variety of entries and be encouraged by the lyrics and the music—and it was much more challenging to judge the entries than I anticipated,” said Beach. “’Up, Up, Up’ is a fantastic song and a reminder that out of quarantine comes creativity!"

"Up, Up, Up" Lyrics

Download the lyrics sheet here!

Up Up Up lyrics