One Day I Woke​.​.​. (to the American Dream)

by The Barrel Fires

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about

This song was entered into the 2017 Philadelphia Songwriters Project songwriting contest. The contest called for a theme of "Songs of Our Time". The chorus and the idea have been around for a while but recent events and the songwriting contest inspired the filling out of the tune.

lyrics

Lyrics:

Pictures on the windowsill unfold into the past
Children of the Great War soldiers pressed in glass
He was born in Indiana in the shadow of the smokestacks
Followed his father to the lines and it nearly broke his back
But there were blue ribbons on the weekend and sweet corn off the cob
They were the golden days before the bankers shipped the jobs away
One day I woke to the American Dream and it’s not me Lord its not me

Curtains open in the morning on the streets of West Baltimore
Where there’s bars in the windows of every corner store
Granddad came North from Raleigh in search of opportunity
He had no idea how good his little girls would have to be
First her baby was crying then he’s running with the boys on the block
The law won’t protect him she’s just praying he’ll get up and walk away
One day I woke to the American Dream and it’s not me Lord its not me

Stepping off the elevator of a San Jose high rise
Most people don’t think a sea of cubicles is paradise
Got his papers and left Karachi in 1993
It took some time getting used to morning prayers to the east
He broke the world wide open, taught our kids to write the code
Now he’s worried bout all the anger that’s threatening to close the gates
One day I woke to the American Dream and it’s not me
One day I woke to the American Dream and it’s not me Lord its not me

And It’s tearing up our homes
I feel it aching in my bones
And I know I’m not alone
One day I woke to the American Dream and it’s not me
One day I woke to the American Dream and it’s not me Lord its not me

Now we find ourselves standing on unfamiliar grounds
Feeling voiceless in the middle of these strange modern sounds
The rich keep getting richer behind smokescreens of fear
While most of us are barely scraping by from year to year
I’m thinking about our children trying to figure out what it means
I’m talking bout the faces of these new American dreams we made

One day I woke to the American Dream and it’s not me
One day I woke to the American Dream and it’s not me Lord its not me
Will it ever be?

credits

released March 17, 2017
Written by Jay Carlis and recorded at Wynmoor Basement Studios by The Barrel Fires

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about

The Barrel Fires Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Barrel Fires have been lighting up greater Philly-area stages with catchy original songs since the release of their first, self-titled EP in 2015. A tight four-piece influenced by Wilco and Ryan Adams, The Barrel Fires create original classic rock with soaring guitar harmonies, atmospheric folk-tinged ballads and everything in between. ... more

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