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Our friends spent the night at our place prior to our early departure for a little road trip. That morning, Em came downstairs to find Gary reading in the living room chair. As Em went to fix his breakfast, Gary got up excitedly and started telling about this dream he had that night, where he was just elected President of the United States, prompting him to start laying out his plan for how he would change things and make the world more humane and a better place. Curiously, he said that while he made the speech he was holding a small child.

Em and I were both impressed by this image and decided to write a “what if” song about a new political system that honored first and foremost the seven generations concept that focuses on the children and what they will inherit. That idea was especially striking since we were in the midst of the 2008 presidential campaign in the US, with Barack Obama delivering a very different message emphasizing inspiration and hope. We asked ourselves the question—what if someone making speeches held a child?

Check out our related story at Uncommon Promise


What if someone making speeches held a child
To remind us of our promise
Imagine while looking in their eyes
The world that we will give them

All we leave behind
They will inherit

Consider including everyone
When making changes
How can we keep the children safe and sound
In future generations

All we leave behind
They will inherit

We know our deeds are felt by more than 7 generations
Making the most of all we’re given is our charge
We can’t protect the world, relying on just good intentions
Building tomorrow means caring today

It’s up to us to make a difference

How can we know just what we are to do
Someone must lead us
Imagine we are keepers of the hope
Guardians of the future

Everything we do
They will inherit

All we leave behind
They will inherit
What if someone making speeches held a child


from After All, track released September 1, 2008
Cheryl Martlage - Lyrics and vocals
Emerson Martlage - Music, guitar and vocals
Mr Toad's San Francisco - Mastering
Gary's dream - Inspiration


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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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