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American Dream

©2022 Tom Arnold/Ellen Whyte/Deadbeat Music

Let me tell you a story
That was so hard to find
But it never quite looked the same
Through each other’s eyes

I searched through all of the city
Only to find
Nothing that stuck what a pity
All of the alleys were blind

I read every tabloid
Tuned in radio live
I sought out news outlet stories
I watched the talk shows at five

I searched through all of the gossip
That I could find
I followed Hollywood romance
Hoping to find in the stars

The American Dream (Dream on)
The American Dream (You can only dream on)
The American Dream (Dream, dream on)
The American Dream it’ll blind you
                               (Dream)
So don’t try to find it too hard

Ten thousand people come here
Every day
Leaving other lands because
Their hopes will come alive
They know that their sweat
Will take them very far
They know it will
Make them rise
No matter who they are

People live under bridges
Their needles land in my yard
They get their food out of dumpsters
Clothes from piles of discards

Gangs ply their trade in the city
For their reward
You’re either rough or your pretty
You’ll take the shortcut and hoard

The American Dream (Dream on)
The American Dream (You can only dream on)
The American Dream (Dream, dream on)
The American Dream if you buy it
                               (Dream)
You know that you’ll bite it so hard

The American Dream (Dream on)
The American Dream (You can only dream on)
The American Dream (Dream, dream on)
The American Dream if you land it
                               (Dream)
Are you sure you can stand it


I wrote this song some years ago. It remains uncomfortably current in describing the fractures, divisions, and inequalities I perceive in America. Ellen Whyte helped me in revising some of the lyrics to eliminate anachronisms in language usage, which has evolved over the years.

JP Garau and Jeramy Burchett put this song in the pocket.

Released June 23, 2022
Tom Arnold, vocal, guitars, bass
Ellen Whyte, additional vocals, lyrical revisions
JP Garau, grand piano
Jeramy Burchett, drums
Dean Baskerville, Baskerville Recording, Sound Engineer
Photo by AJ Colores on Unsplash