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.
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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.
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Li Meiling 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
Since kindergarten.
My dad used to hit me
And he drinks a lot.
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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
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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
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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.
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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.
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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
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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
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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
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