An anthem for the Dreamers
The song "The Dreamer" by Jackson Brown and Los Cenzontles is the anthem that the struggle of immigrants in the Trump era needed.
For those of us who have been away from home for years; those of us who have a piece of the family watered in all corners of the planet; for those of us who come to a new country with a backpack full of diplomas, hopes, and abilities, and we are often rejected by hermetic immigration policies, the song "The Dreamer" is a catalyst that breaks us in sobs from the first minute.
"She was just a child when she crossed the border, to reunite with her father, who traveled north to support her, so many years before."
In an era where voices such as those of Bob Dylan ("Times They Are A Changin"), Billie Holiday ("Strange Fruit"), Pete Seeger ("We Shall Overcome") or John Lennon ("Imagine") are deeply needed, Jackson Browne has taken the responsibility and has jumped to the scene with Eugene Rodríguez and Los Cenzontles.
The collaboration allowed addressing a reality as urgent as the undocumented immigrants brought to the country before the age of 16 (Dreamers), from two points of view, two languages and two cultures.
"I think the song really represents a true collaboration in terms of the fact both of us come to this issue from different perspectives," Rodriguez told Forbes columnist Steve Baltin. "For me, it’s really a portrayal of the community within which I work. This issue of immigration has deeply impacted that community. So what I’m really doing is painting a picture of people that I know.”
“She left half her family behind her and wears a crucifix to remind her. She pledged her future to this land, and does the best that she can do”.
For Browne, on the other hand, it wasn’t so easy. "I never could get very far into the subject (writing the song). There are some things that are hard to sing about from that vantage point," said the author of" Doctor My Eyes". According to the musician, it was Rodriguez who could put a story behind the melody "in a brilliant way". "He just told the story of a particular person (…), somebody, we can all feel for, a child who is coming here to be reunited with her father,” he recounts. "That’s a thing that’s is written in every sentence about DACA, children who were brought here illegally, but without any choice in the matter. And who are now the most earnest, and hardworking, and ethical and virtuous people we have."
"Where do the dreams go? Born of faith and illusion. Where there is no road nor footprints, only desires that whisper to the heart."
The intention of the musician is one: "that whoever listens to it has a greater sense of connection with this population that is with us and has been with us since the inception of our country".
"We come from a state (California) that was Mexican before it was… all these states, Arizona, New Mexico." Browne assures. "I’m hoping people will get a stronger connection with the hopeful and virtuous and hardworking Americans they see in this film. I defy you to tell me which ones are the immigrants, and which ones are documented and which ones aren’t”.