Cat Bennett, a farmer in upstate New York, reveals her experience of the changing American dream.
What do you do when money fails?
For me, wealth was measured in healthy food
And getting to play outside. I never noticed we were poor,
I had cows to hug and trees to climb.
Before his passing at the age of 96 in early 2017, Lester Tenney recounted this story and inspired this blues song about finding hope during World War II. After Lester heard Will Foote on a sketch recording, he requested a CD so that he could practice singing like Will. He and Will differed in age by 73 years, but something about this song bridged that gap.
When we walked by the Filipino’s hut,
We saw the apples and we knew
Americans were sending us a message, saying
Prisoners, we have not forgotten you.
We were Americans on a death walk,
Prisoners of the Japanese.
We didn’t know whether we were going to live
To walk, to walk, to walk another ten feet.
Yiyu Cui left her home country of China, but that doesn’t mean she can leave home. Her family has a long reach.
I was raised by my grandma.
My parents are always busy.
When I wake in the morning,
They’re already at work.
They sent me to boarding school
My dad used to hit me
And he drinks a lot.
Grace Tamlyn vacillates between compassion and ambivalence. She raises the question, can you care for someone even if they never care back?
The cat was never playful
But I was getting paid
A friend came over
The cat bit my friend
So she didn’t come over again
Malcolm Brooks finally learns to love someone and also let them be free.
I want to be that way with you.
I missed you so much, you moved to Boston
To a new home with new friends
Who fight the dragons you fight, fear the things you fear
Swear to stay together to be strong
Mia Bertelli heads to New York and learns about the city and herself.
They told me, “Look up Jimmy’s no. 43”
I could hear the sounds of singing, but the entrance wasn’t clear
Iron bars in front, stairs that just went down
And this fellow smoking a cigarette
Sometimes all one can do is live moment by moment. And sometimes it’s unclear where each moment will lead. Will Foote works on living with uncertainty.
It could be good, it could be bad
But I don’t know
That’s just the way that my life flows
I am Francis Dowling, born in 1899
I went picking blueberries in the bright sunshine
That was the last time for me
In January of 2017, Melodi Var Öngel came to Maine and collaborated with Jillian Galloway on this documentary song about a vintage Volvo. The summer before, Jillian had seen the Volvo with a for sale sign on the side of the road in Acadia. Now here it was winter, but that Volvo remained on her mind. As the song reveals, Jillian has her own sense of what’s important.
Up to the beaches,
Feeling really salty,
We had all the windows down.
Chloë Isis tells what it took her to get her license.
I took Driver’s Ed, I sat for hours in class
I learn to park and yield and best of all how to pass
Hazel Delehey finds herself at a camp with strangers, after she thought that friends would be there, too. She longs for even one friend to join her, to help her fend off loneliness and inner turmoil.
Knock, knock, knock,
The wolf is at the door.
I’m too young to meet my maker,
Need an angel and a sword.
When Nora Willauer’s uncle Peter, who lived in the Maine woods, would come to visit the family farm, his ways challenged the family norms and inspired Nora’s independence.
I don’t know if you ever met my uncle
He died nearly four years ago
My mom’s youngest brother, he lived in the woods
In a cabin he built by himself
Dancing at Home was Hannah’s birthday song for Jason Bolton. He was her fiancé and is now her husband.
You’re flying around the country
Sitting in airports
Thinking of me
And I’m at home alone counting the days
Chloë Isis makes it through the Maine winters, because the summers are so sweet.
I’m tired of winter, I’m tired of snow
I’m tired of the sky weighing me down
I’m tired of waiting for summer
To come around
Nora Willauer – teaching artist, cello, vocals
Will Foote – percussion, vocals
Alex Wilder, guitar, vocals
This song is part of the #MeToo Songs project.
He stumbled into my bedroom
He put his arms on either side
At first I laughed, then tried to say
Go away go away go away go away
I want a lock on my bedroom door
He held me down with his hands
Should I call out, I don’t want a scene