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about

Election year, 2004. We had voted using absentee ballots before we left California. Later, we heard that the absentee ballots were not going to be counted, due to some technicality. So we called the American Consulate in Florence and voted again, because we felt it was that important to be counted.

We felt like Americans had lost tremendous ground in the world in terms of how we'd dealt with other countries, and even our own people. Conversations were constant with Italians about the frustrating American policies and attitudes that had reverted to an old style of command and control. It felt like the future was at stake like never before.

After the election, we felt compelled to write this song about the values that we held in our hearts, and how they would rise again. Since we both grew up in the Midwest, we decided to use the metaphor of farming. We were not giving up hope even though we were disappointed with the outcome. We wanted to state our intention of “staying the course” not only for us, but more importantly for the future generations.

Check out our related story at Uncommon Promise
uncommonpromise.com/story/Heartland

lyrics

Dark storms roll in the heartland, overhead
As a threat to the work we have done
We were counting upon better weather
Some relief, a reward for what we had begun

Since you know it means the world to us
And to our sons and daughters
Clouds will clear, we will survive
Because you know it means the world to us
This harvest for our sons and daughters
Times may be tough but tomorrow comes
So we won’t stay down, we will rise up again

Someday when storms are weathered
And all the trials are over
Then there will be a change
Struggles won’t be in vain
If we just stand together
Sharing the things that we have learned and loved
With hope we will prevail

Now we wait in the heartland, patiently
With some strength we have held in reserve
We are counting upon better weather
Some relief, for it’s nothing more than we deserve

Since you know it means the world to us
For all our sons and daughters
Clouds will clear, we will survive
Because you know it means the world to us
This harvest for our sons and daughters
Times may be tough but tomorrow comes
So we won’t stay down, we will rise up
No we won’t stay down, we will rise up again

credits

from The Way to Love, track released July 1, 2006
Cheryl Martlage - Lyrics and vocals
Emerson Martlage - Music, guitar and vocals
Inspiration - US election of 2004

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about

Cheryl and Emerson Martlage San Diego, California

At the age of 48, and after 25 years of marriage, we headed to a secluded town for 6 weeks, to create a new relationship and begin again.

When we arrived as if by magic, we co-wrote our first song ever— "Never Sleep," evoking the mystery and magic of the new adventure. Twenty years later, we're still making music. Join us on our musical storytelling as the adventure continues to unfold
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