Heartland

by: Nicole Upchurch, with Miriam Alarcón-Avila

"Of all the processes of writing/performing/recording this album, the story sessions touched me most. Many farmers, food workers, gardeners, and other folks joined us in conversation about the nostalgia, politics, and importance of food. The Center for Worker Justice graciously hosted one of the Awful Purdies story sessions. Many of those who attended were from Mexico. The director translated from Spanish to English and vice versa as we patiently communicated our thoughts. After hearing detailed recollections of family recipes like barbacoa and mole, I asked how long it had been since they’d seen their families in Mexico. For some it had been 10 to 15 years! One woman divulged her dream of becoming a bird so she could fly between her two homes – the United States and Mexico. This idea of no borders also echoed in a poem written by my good friend, Miriam Alarcón-Avila. Her composition found its way into the chorus of Heartland."

~ Nicole Upchurch


At home I'm Mexicana
At school I'm American
We used to live in Sabinas
On the south side of the borderlands

My mother she is a painter
Her landscapes are vivid and bold
Her dark eyes reflect the memories
Recuerdos de Mexico

Y mientras caminamos por las tierras del Norte
Nuestros corazones apuntan al sur
In the North we may stand
Still our hearts are directed south of the borderlands

Abuelito, he worked in the factory
For a dollar and a quarter each day
His worn hands a distant memory
Maravillas upon his grave

Y mientras caminamos por las tierras del Norte
Nuestros corazones apuntan al sur
In the North we may stand
Still our hearts are directed south of the borderlands

Now our family lives in the Heartland
But our hearts are broken in two
Un pedazo nos mantiene vivos
Y el otro enterrado, en el sur se quedó (esperando)

A la vida le pedimos que nuestros anhelos
Se llenen de alas para volar en una tierra sin fronteras

All material Copyright 2006-2016 Awful Purdies
"2 Headed Woman" logo designed by Mara Cole

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