Learning that a long-time friend is gay and has decided to move away, story source Malcolm Brooks wrestles with losing contact but wanting what’s best for his friend.
You finally told me your secret
You told no one for years
You tell me that soon you’ll be moving
There’s nobody like you here
You tell me you can’t keep pretending
And fighting the grain of the world
You have to be true to your body
And do the things you feel
They told you, you had to change
Now everything is changing around you
My wish for you
Is that you never have to be something you’re not
Don’t ever get lost
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Meeting in the buffer zone, Androulla Shati tells teaching artist Melodi Var Öngel about her childhood when Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots would play together.
Dali, my village
The only one left with people
For centuries
People lived in peace
My house was between
A church and a mosque
Sharing each other’s
Joy and sorrow
Every moment
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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.
But now, as the whole world falls apart,
As the whole world falls apart,
We band together, keep each other going,
Side by side.
We band together, keep each other going
To survive.
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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.
Then I saw those Washington State red apples
From the U.S. submarines.
I saw those Washington State red apples
Like a thorn to the Japanese.
I saw those Washington State red apples
Like a comfort to me.
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Fabiola Ferrero, of Caracas, Venezuela, reexamines her path as a photojournalist, looking out into the world and also into herself. (English translation below)
Yo soy periodista
Llego acá no hay nada
Cerrada en cuatro paredes
En esta ciudad
Empecé a meditar
Como un intento desesperado
Eso es lo que hace
La gente que está perdida
Soy yo y el silencio
Me he estado esfumando
Quiero conseguir un nuevo camino
No puedo seguir perdida
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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
Since kindergarten.
My dad used to hit me
And he drinks a lot.
I want to play guitar,
Do art, and dance,
And to have the right to love
Who I want to love.
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Malcolm Brooks tries not to be a helicopter parent.
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
All this in the week of the Boston Marathon
Runners run, trusting no bombs explode
I want to be that way with you
I want to love and let you walk your own road
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This song is part of the #MeToo Songs project.
Nora Willauer – teaching artist
Dina Black, story source, breaks four decades of silence. She hopes for a solution that is broader than justice.
If I spoke up
After 40 years
Does it take away what you’ve done
Does my life get any better
If you spend yours in jail
My father said
Do you have your legs
Do you have your arms
Then you’ll be okay
That is kept me standing
And I’m still here
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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
I don’t even like whisky
But your eyes are green
And there is a kindness about
The way you seem
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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
Wakin’ up
Goin to School
Wakin’ up, goin’ to school, and comin’ back
Doin’ a lot of work and going to bed
I see my breath
I bite my teeth
I see my breath, I bite my teeth, It’s getting cold
I wanna hibernate inside until it’s warm again
It could be good, it could be bad
But I don’t know
That’s just the way that my life flows
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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.
There was this old car.
It looked forgotten.
Volvo 240.
Navy blue, leather seats,
Jump seat in the back,
Been looking for a car like that.
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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
There were all these questions, I couldn’t answer them all
I missed the one about the legal limit of alcohol
I drove with the teacher, he had his own brake
He made me stop at the stop signs, that was his only mistake
I drove to Waldoboro and then back again
I was counting the hours, I had to get to ten
I love the DMV, you know what I mean
They gave me a number, it was a hundred nineteen
Long story short, I got my permit today
Good news for me, but maybe you should consider staying out of my way
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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.
 Don’t send me letters.
One rip and they get torn.
I need something stronger,
Need an angel and a sword.
Don’t leave me.
Don’t let this be my fate.
Stand by my side,
And tell me that it’s not too late.
Please hurry fast,
Faster than this chord.
I’m fighting these devils,
Need an angel and a sword.
Please hurry, I
Can’t take this anymore.
I’m fighting these devils,
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
We’d never know when he would be coming
He’d do projects around the house
He’d sleep in a tent in our back yard
Because he wouldn’t sleep inside
He’d never sleep in side
Things I hesitate to do
It’s mostly everyday
Like what to wear and what music to listen to
I think of him drinking milk from a carton
And I laugh and say
I don’t care what they thought of him
And what they think of me
No, I don’t care what they thought of him or me
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