Eliza Gilkyson Premieres “My Heart Aches”

Photo by Philip Rpsenthal

From the new album, 2020, which comes out on April 10.

American Songwriter is very proud to bring you “My Heart Aches,” a powerful new song from Eliza Gilkyson, from her upcoming album 2020.

Written with Tim Goodwin, “My Heart Aches” reflects the tradition of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, whose spirits of folk activism echo throughout this album. This song interlaces scenes of the recent horrors America has endured so much as to become almost numb – from the mass shootings to caged children – with the message of beloved songs of peace that were once the soundtrack to a generation, such as Pete Seeger’s “If I Had A Hammer” and John Lennon’s “Give Peace A Chance.”

It was written with Tim Goodwin, who had started it on his own. So moved by it, she asked if they could finish it together, as it was perfect for the new album. He agreed, and this song of empathy, about seeing America with eyes open, and responding in the most elemental human way, with genuine heartache, was born.

Like Pete and Woody, Eliza’s always honored the power of song as an instrument for social change. 2020 beautifully merges her folk roots with beautifully inspired, heartfelt songwriting. Produced by her son Cisco Ryder in Austin, she blends the old and new in great ways, with great new originals like this one with some folk anthems, including Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” and Pete Seeger’s “Where Have All the Flowers Gone.”

She even wrote a new song with Woody Guthrie; “Beach Haven” was adapted from a letter Woody wrote in 1952 about Fred Trump, father of Donald, and the hatefully racist, segregationist policies he established as landlord of the Beach Haven Apartments.

2020 is the ideal antidote to the darkness of now, an album of much luminous hope. For all those lamenting that nobody is writing songs that can make sense out of now, lament no more.

2020 comes out on April 10 on Red House Records. American Songwriter will bring you a spirited interview we had with Eliza about this album, this moment in time, Pete, Woody, Dylan, and more, on that day.

Until then, here is “My Heart Aches.”

My Heart Aches

We marched 50 years and 500 miles
From a Mississippi bridge to the Ferguson trial
Stepping over bodies of other mothers’ sons
Singing how someday we shall overcome

My heart aches
My heart aches

We marched 50 years and so many miles
With folded hands and complacent smiles
Condemned a generation to circumstance
And all we were saying was give peace a chance

My heart aches
My heart aches

We marched 50 years and countless miles
Ignoring the signs with our own denials
Waiting for some others to take a stand
And hammer out justice all over this land

My heart aches
My heart aches

For the children locked in cages far away where no one sees
For the helpless and the hopeless, for the homeless refugees
My heart aches
For the voices who’ve been silenced at the mercy of our greed
For the prisoners of conscience who speak out for those in need
My heart aches
For the victims of the hatred lying on the ground
In the churches and the schoolyards
From the shots that took them down
My heart aches

From “My Heart Aches”
By Eliza Gilkyson and Tim Goodwin

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