For A Better Life

by Various Artists

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    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Harvest Moon, For A Better Life, Nothing stays the same, Two Way Street, Gallatin Pike, Used To Be The One, What we said (Do I Dare Remix) (Probable Cause Mix), Nikki's Song, and 4 more. , and , .

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1.
I put myself in the shoes of a mother of a son Running from the guns of gangs Armed by the CIA Same story today and every other day We’ve covered ground at a hurried pace Cause I saw the fear on my baby’s face And I’m not taking any chances Not today or any other day What would you honestly do? Look your child in the eyes and tell me You wouldn’t do anything For a better life too I imagine we arrive with no stars in our eyes Cause word has traveled fast That things are getting worse Rumor has it they’re putting us in cages And sure enough we’re chased down By men in green outside the town Thought we could get around it But now we know the sting of tear gas What would you honestly do? Look your child in the eye and tell me You wouldn’t do anything For a better life too? I can see the life we’re running for Just a quiet street and a front door Don’t want your job, don’t want your wife Just don’t want to fear for my child’s life It’s been three weeks and four days Since they took my son away from me And I still can’t breathe I don’t feel grief, I’ve become it But my mother always told us There were heroes among us Fighting every day for strangers far away And that keeps my hope alive What would you honestly do? Look your child in the eye and tell me You wouldn’t do anything For a better life too? What would you honestly do? I look my child in the eyes, I tell you I would do anything I would do anything too I would do anything too
2.
Who do you think you are trying to re-write history Tearing out the pages you don't wanna believe I know our history and it ain't pretty But learning from it leads to new beginnings Who do you think you are Trying to re-write history Who do you think you are Tearing up the family You're blurring up the lines so we can't find You re-write, drawing up new lines You're tearing up the states 'til they're to your liking Re-write, re-write, you lie Who do you think you are Trying to re-write history Who do you think you are Tearing up the family Who do you think you are Trying to re-write history Who do you think you are Goddamn, you're family
3.
In the morning they wake up like you and I do Brush their teeth and go to work like you and I do Call their mom to say hello like you and I do Rest their head when they are home like you and I do Who are you to say they haven't earned their right to stay They are more brave and just and true than any one of you Charging forward on the front line, how do you Define American When they were born they cried out like you and I did Learned to walk and learned to talk like you and I did But when they tried to learn to drive like you and I did They were told to run and hide or say goodbye Who are you to say they haven't earned their right to stay They are more brave and just and true than any one of you Charging forward on the front line, how do you Define American
4.
A bottle of Bulleit And a bowl of rice Never drank so warm Never bit so nice I think of you whenever I am in this place With a bottle of Bulleit And a bowl of rice The senoritas are folkloring outside I want so much to join them But my rhythm ain’t right If I could only barter one song of light For a bottle of Bulleit and a bowl of rice We came through here just you and me In the back of a pickup without windows to see We held each other through the blackest pitch They sent you back and left me naked in a ditch. Oh God help you If you come a-lookin’ for me I’ll be sittin’ right here But you will not see I’ll be crying for you through my sightless eyes Into my bottle of Bulleit And my bowl of rice Into my bottle of Bulleit And my bowl of rice
5.
They’re sleeping tonight near the border In an abandoned big box store Chain link cages blankets for space They sleep on linoleum floors They came here seeking asylum They were torn from the arms of their moms Now they’re sleeping tonight near the border In an abandoned big box store They came here from Honduras From Guatemala and El Salvador Their parents did what a parent should do To escape from the brutal drug wars They came here seeking asylum They were torn from the arms of their moms Now they’re sleeping tonight near the border In an abandoned big box store Congress does nothing though they disapprove For the press they will all shake their head But political threats trump moral regret So they save their seats instead The children seeking asylum Who were torn from the arms of their arms Now they’re sleeping tonight near the border In an abandoned big box store The President, he blames the Democrats And demands that we build his wall We’ll continue to separate mother from child He could end this with one single call Still he ramps up his rhetoric to rally his base To enrage his old rebel core Now they’re sleeping tonight near the border In an abandoned big box store Who will stand up for these children? And would you stand up for your own? If they had been torn away from you For the crime of not having a home They came here seeking asylum They were torn from the arms of their moms Now they’re sleeping tonight near the border In an abandoned big box store
6.
Steal them from the border Peel them from their mothers' arms Feed them to the fire And watch them burn With eyelids open wide Beat them if they clamor Teach them not to holler out Feed them to the fire And kiss our wives With eyelids open wide Swarms they came With names unknown In their cages They’re calling out for someone And when they go home They’ll tell their mothers That they were broken By the cowards With eyelids open wide
7.
Coyote 03:26
I’m just a kid in a bed It’s not my country, not my language Did you poison my food? Do you see me? Do you pity me? Came across my coyote Riding hiding like a refugee Just another illegal Fleeing gangs and poverty I was working a job When they put me into custody I don’t trust you at all You’re not my family It’s not my home Came across my coyote Riding hiding like a refugee Just another illegal Fleeing gangs and poverty I’m just a kid in a bed It’s not my country, not my language
8.
In memory of Jakelin Caal Maquin Hallucinations And a tired kid The next three weeks Will be the worst of it Snow is coming And we need new shoes Some clean water And just a bit of food It's a beautiful trip The closest I've come to death Won't you spare my kids Don’t put them in a cage Violence rose In a tidal wave A cartel’s cleansing Of their enemies Questions came About a month ago Stay and die Or make the long walk north It's a beautiful trip The closest I've come to death Won't you spare my kids Don’t put them in a cage
9.
What’s your country done for you now Is it making you feel that you just don’t count Even if you know your way around You better watch out when the sun goes down Bankers lawyers collecting their fares While the sick and diseased are left to despair Each of us knows what another can’t bear Being cheated and lied to treated unfairly Sometimes I wonder if everyone sang loud as they could at the top of their range All of the glass would come shattering down To litter the streets of this American town What’s it take for some folks to see What it’s like to have never been free Watching you waiting for one little slip Do you know what it’s like to be treated like this Sometimes I wonder… Rivers of blood have begun to flow Each of us caught in the undertow The hardest rain has yet to fall When high on the hill there’s a clarion call Sometimes I wonder if everyone sang loud as they could at the top of their range All of the glass would come shattering down To litter the streets of this American town
10.
Live Free 04:13
She came across the water with her brother and her daughter in a boat they called a coffin on the sea, They left their home in Dublin when the landlord killed her husband, said the land was going to another lease, And there at Ellis island they misspelled her name O’Brian sent her brother to the railroad company, Everywhere she went the so called natives cursed her head but she determined that she wasn’t gonna leave, Oh Mama! All I wanna do is live free! Oh Mama! Piece of the American Dream! He came to San Francisco and was greeted with a pistol and was told to take a trip across the Bay, They put him in a room and told him he’d be leaving soon and then for months he had to watch the weather change, Released into a culture that would label him a vulture and restrict where he could make a decent wage, He held on to a hope that one day he could make a home and then his kids would get to see a different age Oh Mama! All I wanna do is live free! Oh Mama! Piece of the American Dream! They come from all directions but the reasons always fit the same themes, And if we’re the greatest country, what have we to fear from those in need She came up to the border and encountered standing orders it’s against the law for her to cross a line, They said she’d be a burden and she might commit a murder so we have to keep her on the other side, She left the old republic ‘cause the violence was ugly and she had to find a way to stay alive, Every step she takes she knows she’s found a better way and so she keeps her steady eyes upon the prize, Oh Mama! All I wanna do is live free! Oh Mama! Piece of the American Dream! Oh Mama! All I wanna do is live free! Oh Mama! Piece of the American Dream!
11.
I don't know how to get ready to be ready for this this is my only home taken away and taken back to a country I have never known she said, I imagine Mexico as someone would who had never been there because I have never been there my mother and father died a thousand times just to give me a better life they're my inspiration, taught me love this nation now we’re all being criminalized I don't know how to get ready to be ready for this this is my only home taken away and taken back to a country I have never known on this stolen land of immigrants who work hard, pay in full but get no benefits yes on the stolen land of immigrants who work hard pay in full but get no benefits he said, it's hard to focus now when you're a dreamer your life is used as a scape goat, a political punching bag I got to watch my every move got to watch my back I don't know how to get ready to be ready for this this is my only home taken away and taken back to a country I have never known living in between the shadows of two worlds If you took the time to look into my eyes see your reflection in my soul If you took the time to look in to my eyes you might realize we are each others only home
12.
We ran out the backdoor, then sailed to the north shore In the cover of night, moonlit seas The tide, it was grasping from the edge of a new world, Inviting a change like a seed And with eyes sparkling at the tangerine dawn I don’t know, I don’t know if it’s home but i feel new beginnings We know love carries on, no matter what….it remains Through the burning flames and the ice parades, Carries on…whoahhhh What once moved so slowly Now the arms they’re unfolding To everything that we are meant to be Though the words are unspoken We know it’s not broken And we can’t give up yet, that’s the key. And with eyes sparkling at the tangerine dawn I don’t know I don’t know if it’s home, but it feels like we’re winning We know love carries on, no matter what….it remains Through the burning flames and the ice parades, All the love…whoahhhh Let us work, let’s not worry though the light can seem buried In the cover of night it is free
 We Grow stronger and wiser And everyday kinder Climb higher and higher to see These are diamond days, We are free, we are brave In the cover of night we are seeds And we bloom in the rain and we learn from the pain Carry on…whoahhhhh And with eyes sparkling at the tangerine dawn I don’t know I don’t know if it’s home, but it feels like we’re winning

about

"Immigrant Families Together is a “volunteer-run group that works fast to provide bonds, living expenses, medical, legal, and support for urgent needs of immigrant children and families at the U.S. Mexico border. Since June 2018, IFT has spent $1,141,500 on bonds, freeing 119 people, representing more than 25 detention centers and seven countries of origin.” 100% of the proceeds from For a Better Life go directly to Immigrant Families Together. Annie Bacon, Audrey Ryan, Charlie Mosbrook, Cloud Like Steps, Emily Zisman, Dyrty Byrds (fka Eric Martinez), Jimbo Scott, Megan Keely, Morley, Pete Donnelly (The Figgs), Ryan Trager, and the ‘Mericans contributed tracks for the project.

“Look your child in the eyes and tell me you wouldn’t do anything for a better life too,” Annie Bacon challenges the casual listener over plaintive acoustic guitar and reflective vocals on the project’s opener/title track. The ‘Mericans follow with “Climbing Fences,” a sparse Americana ride driven by an inviting bass line and tired snare reminiscent of an immigrants tired stride. “Who do you think you are, trying to rewrite history, tearing out the pages that you don’t want to believe, I know our history and it ain’t pretty, but learning from it leads to new beginnings,” reasons The ‘Mericans. Each artist presents a different take on the modern immigrant experience and the American dream. Highlights include Emily Zisman’s waltz “Bottle & Bowl,” Charlie Mosbrook’s brooding “Abandoned Big Box Story,” and Audrey Ryan’s xylophone and percussion dominated “Coyote.” Pete Donnelly brings appropriate noise and energy to his roots rocker “American Town,” a heartland radio ready tune equal parts Coug and Boss. Jimbo Scott’s “Live Free” compares immigrants’ tales from earlier generations to the current border crisis.

Whether you are looking for a collection of topical Americana music or a way to support immigrant families at the US Mexico border, For a Better Life will not disappoint. Visit immigrantfamiliestogether.com to learn more about Immigrant Families Together’s mission." ~Americana Highways

credits

released December 3, 2019

Cover art by Brian Stauffer brianstauffer.com.
All copyrights remain with original artists
Mastered by Piper Payne at Infrasonic Sound, Oakland CA

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annie bacon & her OSHEN Ann Arbor, Michigan

Annie Bacon is a songwriter musician in Michigan. She aches for a more empathic humanity + her creativity orbits around this. She also composed a Folk Opera.

More at www.anniebacon.me

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