Breaking down “Skydive”
Rob Schiffmann

“We, who dream that a thing such as this be ours,
rise when skies tell us we might ascend”

This post was free-written while listening twice through to the below recording of the song “Skydive” by Rob Schiffmann and Jon Rothstein, a.k.a. The Hillary Step. I made myself stop when the 2nd play through stopped. Enjoy!


“Skydive” was written for the original production of Full Circle, which was done at a high school in Florida and directed by Nina Cochran, my and Jon’s mentor and the best director of children’s theater out there. It was actually Nina who initially suggested that this review of our songs was put together and then she and her genius husband, Randy Cochran, built the entire show. Randy built beautiful sets and the students did an incredible job. I got to music direct and loved every minute of it.

As we were putting the show together, it became clear that we needed a song for all the women to sing. Nina had them journal about several prompts she gave them and when I read through, I came across the word ‘skydive’ in the context of what one of the one young women wanted out of her life. That was all I needed to get started. We actually wrote a version of the song and sent it off to Nina but before she could hear it, I sent her a text telling her not to listen because I just knew we were not there yet. The next night, we tried again and this time, we nailed it. “Skydive” is one of the best songs Jon and I have ever written, hands down. The chords in the piano part have a haunting quality and the melody is simple and hooky with a fun rhyme scheme in the lyrics: “SO GO THROW me away like a cannonBALL, SHOW NO trace that you know what you DO. I TRY deNYing that you can get through at ALL but MY disGUISE is thin-paper see through.” I also love how the melody changes for the final chorus after a build at the end of the bridge. The new melody at that point has an octave leap on the word ‘skydive’, which makes sense both melodically and lyrically. “Skydive” also contains one of my all time favorite of our lyrics: “We, who dream that a thing such as this be ours, rise when skies tell us we might ascend”.

Come hear “Skydive” live!!

Wanna hear this song live and in the flesh?

“Full Circle: upbeat depressing songs about life in your 40s at four in the morning” 
performs on 12/16 and 12/17.