We are a nation of immigrants, although some like to act like we’re not, but our musical heritage is rich in songs of the travails and contributions of immigrants.
“Thousands Are Sailing” by The Pogues tells the first person stories of generations of Irish arrivals on American shores.
“America” by Neil Diamond is a cheerful ode to the ideal that’s not always realized.
“Fam Jam (Fe Sum Immigrins)” by Shad is a Canadian hip-hop exploration of the same theme.
“Paper Planes” by M.I.A documents the red tape and paperwork needed to cross borders today.
“Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos)” by Cisco Houston reminds us that not everyone who makes it here is allowed to stay, and often human live are treated as disposable
“Esta Tierra Es Tuya” by Sones de Mexico Ensemble. But, all the same, “This Land is Your Land,” no matter what language you sing it in.
There are hundreds of songs I could share here, so please let me know some good ones I left out in the comments.
Author: Tom Wessels
Title: Granite, fire, and fog : the natural and cultural history of Acadia
Publication Info: Hanover : University Press of New England, 2017.
This book integrates the natural and cultural history of Acadia National Park in an intriguing way. Wessels describes the geological processes that created Mount Desert Island’s unique formations and how the location of the island brings together fauna and flora not found together anywhere else. For a short book, it can be quite detailed, as almost an entire chapter is dedicated to the different types of lichen that grow on the island’s rocks (don’t step on them!) and nearly as much as space to how fogs provide hydration and nutrients to the island’s plants. The Fire of 1947 is also described as a cataclysmic event that unexpectedly shaped the national park that we know today. This is a fascinating introduction to the wonders of Acadia, and a good field guide for visitors there.