During the late 1960s, I started writing commercial country music. One of the interesting things about songwriting is that all but a handful are one hit wonders. Even writers with considerable success will have a hit that stands out -- like "The Tenessee Waltz". I remember walking around Music Row and being introduced to a guy who was just working somewhere like any other person you might find. Turns out he wrote the classic "Green Green Grass of Home".

Songwriter's rules

I made a major double-error as a commercial songwriter. I did not live in the center of the action which was indeed Nashville.

The only time I lived there was in the early 1960s when the civil rights movement was starting to gather momentum. I participated in that. Had I hung out there permanently I would probably have done pretty well. The other error was that by the time I started I was no longer a callow youth. Ageism is rampant still.

In any case, one song I wrote seems relevant today. It is always relevant in my opinion, but today with the Dream Act about to be subject to the harmful actions of Donald Trump. It is very unlikely he will leave that delicate piece of legislation be. At best he might insist the Congress make it work for his nativist base. That seems a stretch. I doubt the president would allow this song to continue after the first verse or so.

We Are All Americans -- Roy Clark

The politics of immigration were not exactly welcomed in the late 1980s. When this song was used at the half time during a Shrine Bowl game in San Francisco, the bridge that quotes (almost exactly but not quite) the text on the Statue of Liberty was deleted.

What would people say to day? Fake song?

The DACA crisis

Here from today's New York Times is an up to date look at the possible fate of the Dream Act. This is as touchy a political issue as Trump has faced, but any compromise will put over half-million human beings on the block.

We should be moving to free movement everywhere in the world and Trump has made a winning political issue out of tormenting immigrants.

My wife tells me

My good wife has been urging me to get this song into the hands of the Democrats. She says it might help them on immigration. I have no interest in trying to get the Democrats to play the song. My late publisher Scott Turner said this would be a great success, but it wasn't.


But what the song says is true and the truth is at least a reasonable justification for saying anything these days. We Are a country of immigrants, including a large chunk who came against their will and another influx of people who had no idea they were living on borrowed time. If this song can help create an environment of tolerance, that's enough for me.