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Their Stories With The Debut Album
Edited by Aurélie Moulin

© 2018

Their Stories With The Debut Album

Over the years, I’ve read many stories from people whose life has been impacted
or changed by Tracy Chapman’s songs. Running a website 1 since 2001 and co-
running social media accounts 2, there’s not a day goes by without someone
telling their own touching story. A tweet on Twitter, a comment on Facebook or
a photo on Instagram, right now, someone on this planet is sharing few words
online about Tracy Chapman, hundreds, if not thousands, of people are listening
to one of her songs and are feeling it. Of course the Debut Album is Tracy’s
most popular release, selling millions of copies worldwide, a large percentage of
stories told online are related to this particular album or a song from it.

It’s for this very reason that we cannot celebrate the 30th anniversary of Tracy
Chapman’s Debut Album release without doing something special. It seems that
there won’t be any special edition of the album for the occasion. Or maybe, it’s
just Tracy who wanted to keep a low profile as she always does. So here we are
with this collection of stories related to the Debut Album.

We have a total of 278 stories and 33 artworks from the 5 continents and 49
countries, if we put those countries on a worldwide map, more than half of the
planet is covered.

1 Website
2 Facebook @tracychapmanonline ; Twitter @tchapmanonline ; Instagram @tracychapmanonline


Their Stories With The Debut Album

People of ages 15 through 79 tell us what the album means to them, from the
most touching stories to recurring themes, you’ll be amazed by their diversity
and yet, all they have in common is this collection of 11 songs, 36 minutes of
words and music that were delivered to the world on April 5, 1988. My own
story is not the most extraordinary one but it’s the first one you’ll be able to read
in this book as I chose to publish stories in the order I received them and I had
written mine even before deciding to put up this project together.

The Debut Album literally saved lives, helping ones who wanted to end their
own life find a reason to live, encouraging some to runaway from an abusive
relationship, find strength to fight and be strong while life wasn’t that easy…
The album is a companion of many lives, is part of many memories related to
childhood, a mother, a father, a grandparent, a sibling, a friend. Some listened to
Tracy from the womb, some found their vocation thanks to this album, some fell
in love on a song from this album, some made their last journey with one of the
songs played at their funerals…

There are 278 stories in this book, it’s a lot, but let’s consider the volume of
untold stories don’t we have. Whether that’s because they are sadly not here
anymore to tell it, because they missed this online call for submissions, because
they don’t have access to the Internet, or maybe because they don’t speak
English fluently enough to tell their story comfortably…

When asked which song from the album they would choose if they could keep
just one, here’s what they answered:


Thanks to all those who contributed to the project. without you. very often it’s the album as a whole that is evoked as having a huge impact. I hope you enjoy reading! Aurélie Moulin 4 . Their Stories With The Debut Album In a way this chart reflects the distribution of testimonies related to one song in the ebook. still. nothing would have been possible.

in Talkin’Bout A Revolution. Talkin' Bout A Revolution was huge in France and Tracy's voice became familiar to my ears. how could 36 minutes of words and music could be the start of the rest of my life? We are all the result of choices we made. My English teacher decided to teach us the lyrics of Talkin' Bout A Revolution. wasting time in the unemployment lines". I needed to hear that "the tables would start to turn" if we’d rise up. Some songs were talking to me more than others: . I mean. my clothes weren't the same as theirs). it makes me dizzy. The Debut Album made me took that specific path that ultimately led me to where I am today. which was and still is quite rare. I thought that it was unfair that being in this situation. This is how it started for me: I was 10 when the Debut Album came out. I found the Talkin' Bout A Revolution 7" single into my elder sister's room (I eventually stole it from her) and Barcelona. The album came with a booklet in which the songs were translated into French (+German. 40 chapmanist@gmail. decisions we took. actions we did. I consider it as a second birth. Who knows where I’d be? I encountered it on my path at the right moment in my life. The music video taken from the Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute would be shown a lot in the weekly TV music show Top 50. How genius it was to do so! I could understand everything and really start learning English. When I seriously think about it. That day definitely changed my life. Spanish and Italian). the voice and the feeling that it was expressing kept me intrigued until 1. The song was telling how it was impossible that it lasted forever. my parents unemployed. retrospectively. Unless you're born into a bilingual family or rich enough to attend private schools. people we encountered. Spain (from France) She’s Got Her Ticket Without the Debut Album. 5 . I didn’t know of course it would have such an impact on me. somewhat lost between hits from the greatest Pop Music (Michael Jackson. I wouldn’t be who I am today. could affect my social life that much as a child (young people at school rejecting me because I was poor. radio stations for adults and radio stations for teens. the song was heavily played on the radio. George Michael…) and those from singers who made it only once to the Top and we never heard from again. but still. That week I took the 40 Frs I had been given by my grandmother for my birthday and went to the supermarket to buy the Debut Album LP. I pictured my parents "standing in the welfare lines. Their Stories With The Debut Album Aurélie Moulin. crying at the doorsteps of those armies of salvation. I then couldn't understand anything in the lyrics. you don't speak English when you're 10 in France in 1988.

I found my "place in the sun". I did the contrary. no.She’s Got Her Ticket was in the end the song that ultimately changed everything. from high school to University. no things. "a ticket to anywhere". I decided then that I would study hard to try to offer myself a better life. Yet the song made me realize that we were not defined by our possessions and we would not find happiness in buying things. I recognized my father living "with the bottle ». . But i didn’t leave school for him.In Mountains O’Things. I was the first in class. It took years but thanks to the initial start of the Debut Album (and also with the help of all the other albums). It helped a lot when we had nothing. . I succeeded into being independent and thinking by myself. I could rise and make all alone by myself in Paris and in Life. and those whose sole misfortune. I’ll be forever grateful it crossed my path. it was me and my family "who deserved the best in life. was having mountains o’ nothing at birth". Diplomas in my pockets and even with an empty stomach. and know what money’s worth. I used it and I flew away. I love to think that the Debut Album was the start of everything and that Tracy’s other albums accompanied me on different stages of my life.In Fast Car. How many copies of an album that changed your life can you reasonably have? 6 . I fought and it paid. I focused on school. When you can't afford anything maybe the only place where you can still have a chance to find your way without money is at school. Their Stories With The Debut Album . I had that ticket.

that soft gentle strings of her guitar. Fast Car probably till this day was a classic one of those songs you sat on a fall afternoon wearing a sweater and drinking coffee under the falling leaves. A friend of mine had got this album from his relatives in France and I was lucky he lent it to me. Poland was a post communist Hazel Park. graduated from English philology and became an English teacher :) Whenever I hear a song from this album I can see myself struggling to understand the lyrics and I am sure this struggle helped me to find my way in life. When revolution rang out at Nelson Mandela’s celebration the world knew that something spectacular had just happened. years after it had played throughout my childhood home. Something rare and special. 7 . Their Stories With The Debut Album AcousticAsh. This album. 31 Acousticash@icloud. more exciting world was waiting for me abroad. Thank you Tracy :) Lando.. That something was Tracy Chapman. This experience motivated me to learn English and I realised that a different. USA Fast Car Her Debut Album to me was the turning point for so many of us who were looking for something during that era. At this time we didn't have any access to Fast Car. 53 lando_v@yahoo. Thank you Tracy Chapman for creating a timeless work of art that has saved me in my darkest times and inspired me in my brightest. I remember it well toll this day that bouce. Poland I heard the album when I was still in the secondary school. I hardly knew some English so it took me ages but finally I did it. She brought the calmness with her voice and guitar. I learnt the language.. passion and made me want to be the best version of myself and stand up for others than can’t stand for themselves. We all know she is definitely a true diva. the melodic guitar and the soulful tones. Dorota. USA Talkin’ Bout A Revolution Tracy Chapman’s Debut Album awoke my soul and desire to stand for what’s right in the world. Tracy Chapman’s Debut Album inspired me like no other music ever has! The lyricism. We were poor and didn't have an easy access to foreign music. filled me with hope. I remember listening to each of the songs thousands of times in order to write down the lyrics which I didn't have. 47 Baby Can I Hold You Warsaw.

on July 18th 1988. My life was never the same again. So recently I thought. Their Stories With The Debut Album Nasina. but for me that has never been the case. 45 Fast Car Kos. she is amazing!" Shortly after. It apparently was also released around the same time I was born (April 7). This song has been with me through every step of my life. Canada I have this problem where when I love a song. I play it over and over again until I become so tired of the song that I can’t listen to it anymore. well. I knew every lyric within a week. My 10 year old daughter now listens to it and knows just how precious it is. Jessica Marshall. I was totally mesmerised by her voice and moved to tears by her songs. Tracy Chapman's Debut Album on cassette. Tracy Chapman's music has been a huge part of my life. A few years ago I was inspired to Google the meaning and story behind the song. my Mum was shot and killed by her ex partner. Greece On June 11th 1988 I was 16 years old. and I still get excited when I hear it. Mum came home with a present for me. we were both given to the world around the same time (I wouldn't be surprised if this song was even playing when I was being born!). the year I was born. this must mean something. I have listened to the song Fast Car more than any other song. There are people who can listen to the same songs over and over again and still love it. This is when I saw and heard Tracy Chapman for the very first time. comforting me and inspiring me. and as it turns out. 8 . It has meant so much to me throughout my life. I remember saying to my mum "I just love her. Surprisingly. I was watching a concert on TV celebrating Nelson Mandela's 70th Birthday. it was the most amazing album I had ever heard. Thank you Tracy for helping me through the most difficult times in my life. Thank you Tracy Chapman for sharing this beautiful song with me and the rest of the world. The last thing my Mum ever bought me was my treasured cassette. and I realized it came out in 1988. It lasted until 1999 until I replaced it with a CD. One month later. 29 Fast Car Victoria.

43 Fast Car Vianen. the song Fast Car always and still has such a powerful message to me! It will be played at my funeral because it is in my top 3 of most meaningful songs! Avgousta.. The Netherlands I heard Fast Car for the first time on the radio. Because of Tracy I wear my dreads real proud and it makes me feel I dared to embrace myself because she showed me. Being true telling about the choices you can make in romantic relationships. She described exactly the Den Bosch.. Tracy's voice immediately touched my soul and warmth my heart Paphos. so I literally lost my voice and confidence. living in runaway shelters.tzani@gmail. 9 . 24 Irene. 36 Stipendolly@hotmail. I have it on play every night relaxing and bringing in mind all the good and the bad memories that made the stronger person I am today! Love Tracy.. So many memories from the song that helped me be the person I am today! Love the whole album. She also taught me it's okay to have questions about life and relationships. my parents splitting up. And that's what got me through the rough rivers of love later on. "Only you can know". tearing you down.. secretive and almost not having hope anymore as I did. Their Stories With The Debut Album Debbie V. The Netherlands Fast Car Having a youth of abuse physical and mental. not knowing what could happen next. Tracy sounded to me like a big sister. physical and sexual abuse against my elder sister and myself. and I knew that if she was able to go through it. At that time I've experienced so much violence. love the songs! Yoganda. Cyprus Fast Car Fast Car has helped for most of my life through difficult times and many many situations. listening over and over to: For My Lover and For You. This song just gives me hope that everything is going to be fine at the end. I could too. building you up. that's what I understood. sadness.

com Madrid. Spain I remember how Fast Car caught me in my youth. It always bring me back memories from people I keep associated to that song. I'm still about to take my fast car. 10 .. Their Stories With The Debut Album Juan Osborne. It was so simple. but true message.. 47 http://www.juanosborne.

We as humans live each day yet we don't realize the contradictions we've set ourselves when we do live. I listened when I did my house. United Kingdom This album means so much to me & my forever family. we miss & love you - drive your heavenly fast car & turn it up LOUD xx Angela "Cookie" Hodges. but Fast Car strolled through my head after listening to it and way after that. When I was hired as a Social/Cultural Director (teaching kids the basic of awareness of our American history and what would come in their future) at the local Boys and Girls Club. it represents unconditional love that knows no boundaries. 53 jmparra1963@yahoo. We’ve listening all these beautiful songs throught the years. Tracy Chapman! Josemi. U. This story is for Sylvie Salmon. Thanks a lot because of your music. It felt good!!! I learned the lyrics by following them as Tracy sang the songs. I've always enjoyed listening to music. In 1988 I continuously heard Fast Car on the radio and wondered who Tracy Chapman was as I began to like the song more and more every time I heard it. I don't believe computers nor I-pads were invented yet so I couldn't see of Tracy's videos on websites as I can now. Thank you. Why? is the MOST important song to me on this album. this love doesn't understand distance & doesn't accept death. I treasure this cassette as a memory piece and have bought the Tracy Chapman Madrid. Last August my wife passed away. Tracy Chapman was the very first music cassette I ever bought. 49 Why? Temecula. I was still in high school. Their Stories With The Debut Album Helen Fitzgerald. CA. 42 Fast Car (even a kid) when I did school lessons and when I did jigsaw puzzles. Your music has been a gift to us. it's a love that continues regardless just like this album will outlive time. 11 . last days of her life. Spain Fast Car I knew my wife just when this album arrive to Spain.S. while she was in bed I played a lot of Tracy’s songs including some cuts of this Debut Album.

sexuality and religion. I am now 34 and I still play this album at least once a week. Their Stories With The Debut Album David Dowdall. 6 years ago I was 28 and my dad got diagnosed with terminal cancer and 6 months later he passed 12 . Peace and love to you from Lloyd Harris. We played Fast Car and Baby Can I Hold You at his funeral service and on repeat at the wake. driving on holiday. son of Dennis Harris. The memories I have of these songs stay with me forever. England Baby Can I Hold You I was born in 1982.harris@hotmail. Merseyside Fast Car will always be my song it's the 1st song I danced to with my wife and it will never be any other 1st dance for us. Ultimately I think I've become more humbled and rounded since I've started listening to Tracy. When you listen to the rest of the album. 34 Lloyd. ❤ Dan. Lloyd Harris. I was 6 when the album was released. in the car. 42 Fast Car Liverpool. She will always be my favourite artist. we would sing along if we heard it out or on the radio. Thank you Tracy for making this Nottingham. I remember going to fetch the takeaway on a saturday night with my dad and we would have it playing in the car. From the age of 6 my father used to play this album in the house. Sometimes when I play the album I will sit and close my eyes and I can hear my dads voice singing in my head. 21 Mountains O’ Things Burnham-on-Sea. I’d sit in my room listening to it over and over and writing the words down so I knew every single word to every single song so I could sing to it in the car with my dad. going to work with my dad we would always play it. it intensifies this view of identity and greater social issues with songs like Behind The Wall and Mountains O' Things. England I think a became struck by Tracy Chapman when I heard Talkin' Bout A Revolution. he loved this album. I would love to see you tour in the UK sometime so I could take my mother and sister to see you perform live. I became more socially aware of different people in terms of race. you will never know how you touches our lives with this.

44 She’s Got Her Ticket London. I instantly connected to every song and realised that I was not alone in my thoughts and feelings about love. Israel My story begin when I was 18 with first album by Tracy Chapman with the song Talkin’Bout A Revolution. there is no other lyricist . clarity and solidarity. Jimbo. Keren. Thanking Tracy Chapman is simply not enough. She saved me at 16 and continues to do so... Their Stories With The Debut Album Apz. my goddess and my saviour. Beyond thankful and forever grateful. I am now 44 and I often return to this ablum for strength. the world and the political structures in which we live. This song became for me to a symbole of Orlando.. By the time I became a teacher and educater students I read this song to my students and told them about Tracy Chapman who I adore. She sat on a stool and played her guitar. UK I was 16 and my heart was broken from my 1st love. I didn't have a car to take. She will always be my light.storyteller like Tracy.artist . People were yelling at us to stop and we never did! 13 . Her father let us take his Royal Crown Victoria! Not till then did I realize that I was a gay man and now I'm married to my husband for 20 years! I wish back then I knew that I was gay and I still miss the time we had together! I would love to have that time together with my husband at the Boston Symphony Music Hall! Tracy you are someone that I grew up with!! I remember singing from the top of our lungs out of South Boston apartment that people were yelling at us to stop but we never did! We sang your songs so loud. 49 Jimmyc213@yahoo.musician . This song has been apart of who I am as a strong women that acts by her beliefs with courage. struggle and survive. 40 Talkin’ Bout A Revolution Gadera. It was my first girlfriend her name is Sharon and we went to see Tracy Chapman at the Boston Symphony Music Hall. USA Across The Lines I am going to tell my story.

Their Stories With The Debut Album

Kenneth Stavitzke, 44
Hobart, USA Talkin’ Bout A Revolution

This stunning album gave me personal strength to successfully complete Basic
Training in the U.S. Army Reserve National Guard. Tracy's inspired messages
of hope and resiliency ran through my head daily to give me courage. Later in
my life, the song For My Lover helped me to avoid sorrowful mistakes. This
insightful Debut Album continues to reveal itself to me so many years later. I
can't imagine where I'd be without it.

Nellie, 43
Wesley Chapel, USA Fast Car

I heard Fast Car when it came out on the radio and couldn't understand the
hype. Then I moved to San Francisco, grew up a bit, purchased the album and
was blown away by that song and every other song too. So perfect to listen to
when you're trying to find your own way. During that time Tracy Chapman
came into the restaurant where I worked- she was loved by everyone. Only other
time I've seen that was with Mohammed Ali. Just started listening to the album
while I walk in the mornings and it brings back that time in San Fran, my
roommate and the fun we had, every great thing about being 23 and conquering
the world without a map.

Ny, 31 Talkin’ Bout A Revolution
Phoenix, USA

At the age of 5 my dad gave me Tracy's album. It is my first memory of music. I
listened to it everyday. As I grew older I realized the beautiful words she sung
and the powerful messages in her songs. I believe those words truly shaped the
person I am today. Her album helped me through the passing of my father and I
always will have great memories of days with my dad whenever I listen to her

Giovanni Giacomelli, 20
Corinaldo, Italy Fast Car

In March of 2013 my grandfather died the day before his birthday, and I listened
a live version of Fast Car for a lot of days during this period. And now, every
time I listen to Tracy I think about my grandfather. Thank you Tracy Chapman!


Their Stories With The Debut Album

Dajo, 39 Facebook :
Stargard, Zachodniopomorskie, id=100024265966459*

Simple and sincere music and very wise and life-long lyrics. I like You :)



Their Stories With The Debut Album

Houda, 26 Fast Car
Montréal, Canada

I was 25 years old.
I've never loved any men before. I was truly passionate about the men I've dated,
but I've never loved any of them.
Love is such a big word, I couldn't give myself to anybody. Until I've met
He is an italian owner of a restaurant in Palermo. I'm a moroccan-canadian
teacher in Montreal. He came to Canada to learn french, and we fell in love.
We started to get to know each other and our love grew stronger each day. He
told me that he was a huge fan of Tracy Chapman. That his deepest wish would
be to watch her perform during one of her concert one day.
We declared our love during the song Fast Car of Tracy Chapman.
And that became 'our' song. Many crazy and beautiful stories happened between
him and I. We became inseparable and we spread kindness around us.
Then life happened. We had to break up. I had to let him go.
Lack of love? Not at all. We love each other more than anything. He wanted to
sacrifice everything to come live by my side but it was too big for us. Because
of distance, families ... and other stuffs. The story is complex. Never the less, he
had to go back to Palermo. Life has won over our love.
I had my first heartbreak. The word 'heartbreak' is the perfect word to describe
how I felt. My heart was in million of pieces... and still is but that's another
I tried, this summer, to contact the agent of Tracy Chapman because I wanted
her to do one little thing for me. I wanted to give the best birthday gift to the
man who made me believe that true love exists. I wanted her to talk to the phone
with him, just for a few minutes. I just wanted him to make his dream come true,
because he deserves it.
I've failed. No one could help me get to talk to her agent, which made me sad.
But life goes on.
Now he opened a new restaurant in Palermo, and I'm proud of him. Fast Car
reminds me of the intense time I had with him.
Tracy Chapman's deep voice gives me hope. One day, we will be reunited. If it's
not on earth, it will be somewhere beautiful.
"You got a fast car
But is it fast enough so you can fly away
You gotta make a decision
Leave tonight or live and die this way"


Their Stories With The Debut Album

Chwee, 49 Mountains O’ Things
Singapore, Singapore

1988 was an unpleasant, miserable year for me. I was in my late teen,
impatiently waiting to complete my mandatory service in the military, and
eagerly looking forward to start my freshman year in college. I got by the
doldrums and miserable times by listening to pop music a lot. Tracy Chapman's
seminal Debut Album was one of those landmark albums which I played
repeatedly in loops on my auto-reverse portable stereo cassette player as I
traveled between home and the army camp. That soulful vocal and folksy
arrangement were a huge refreshing departure from the rock and dance tracks on
the charts that I was accustomed to. Each of the 11 tracks was a wake-up call to
think hard about my predicament and take ownership of my future (Fast Car,
She's Got Her Ticket), coming to terms with domestic issues (Behind The Wall),
and learning to 'see the world as it is, not what it should be' (Baby, Can I Hold
You; Why?). The one song that anchored me on Buddhism philosophy was
Mountain O' Things -- it made me questioned the excessive desire to be
materialistically successful, which was a cherished, romanticised ideal in my
society in the 80s. The allegorical, poignant lyrics, delivered in a mantra-style
vocal and music arrangement was a mirror for me to reflect on who I was inside,
and who I should be. And 30 years later, I still do not own a fast car or fur coat;
I do not have a maid to bring me anything. I have never tried caviar but I do
indulge in a little champagne as I listen to the album from time to time, with
fond memories, gratitude and a sense of peace and contentment.

Laura Mahnken, 42
Wheat Ridge, USA Mountains O’ Things

Many a dark night, driving home on the highway, with you blasting into my
brain, on the cassette deck in my Oldsmobile Delta 88 that I bought from my
grandmother. I owned next to nothing. I was young, disillusioned, frustrated
with society, and you were my words. You saved me, more than once, when my
heart was broken and the thought of being here was too much to keep waking up
too. You were words of honesty, sadness, hope, reality, love, heartbreak... Then
in this chapter of my life, your words still ring true, still hold fast in my heart.
Thank you so very much Tracy Chapman for the soul you have and the
willingness to put its journey into words.


After 3 dates and my nerves getting the best of me. I was diagnosed with MS and life has been a privilege since. she then moved over to me and snuggled in my arms as we listened to the song about Lexington. A beautiful and very confident young lady. hence keeping them closed most of the time. and my memories of our time together will always echo of Tracy Chapman's music. 49 Inky1229@yahoo. For a week I was in hospital. and yes. not knowing why this happened or whether it would pass. Tragically Maggie died in a car accident a few years ago. I gradually lost my eye sight. I was studying English at the University of Bergen. Their Stories With The Debut Album Marie Anett Riste. Norway. I was feeling sad. I was told to rest my eyes. Norway At 22 my life changed dramatically. Maggie and I loved Tracy's music. and as I was revising for my exams in the spring of 1999. Tracy Chapman is to me an important part of this privilege! Michael S. A long planned stay in England a month later seemed impossible to materialize. we sat on her couch in her small apt and I was so shy to even kiss her so I asked "Would you like to listen to my new CD by this amazing new singer"? To break the ice I played Fast Car first then I played. USA Baby Can I Hold You As a 19 year old hormone driven new US Navy sailor I was smitten with Myleen. My first love. My eyes started healing rapidly when given the right neurological treatment and a month later I used my ticket and spent three fantastic weeks in York with my best friend. That's no easy task when you're scared of never being able to see again. Ah what a great memory. At 22 my life changed dramatically. 40 She’s Got Her Ticket Fiskaa. But then one day my dear friend Maggie came to see me in hospital and she brought me her portable cd player and our favorite album! For days and nights I listened to Tracy Chapman's soothing music and I gradually gained confidence that whatever comes my way I can take it! My favorite song was She's Got Her Ticket .and I decided that whatever happened I would use my ticket to go to York with Maggie. 18 . Baby Can I Hold You. She and I locked eyes.

Denmark She’s Got Her Ticket In 1989 I traveled from Orlando to Rio de Janeiro with my friend Claus. Louise Shrewsbury. they shot him down. My son is 25 now and I'm so proud of him. The song stayed with me but I had grown up. it reminds me of an amazing year. 19 . He had me a tape made of music and on that tape he added The Love That You Had by Tracy Chapman. especially I heard Tracy Chapman. we share bonding moments with no words just Tracy Chapman music and we share our experiences through her lyrics. UK Fast Car I heard Tracy Chapman’s Debut Album for the first time when my parents played it in the car during a family holiday to France when I was a child. Not only do they stir up wonderful memories of that trip to France but also of many other times in my life. which I will never forget. United kingdom I was 17 and got involved with an older man who was a known drug dealer I was obsessed with him and his lifestyle I spent many nights in his car listening to Fast Car. After I had my Herfølge. 43 Why? Stockton. I gave birth to my son three weeks ago and have already introduced him to Tracy Chapman. 6 years later he was shot and another song that stays in my mind is Bang Bang Bang. We had a cassette recorder with us. and that year. Fast Car was the best song I’d ever heard and remains so to this day. I realised this was no life for a child. I hope he can appreciate the timeless classic throughout his life as much as I have throughout mine. His father was sent to prison for violence.painter@gmail. Always I think he heard it in the womb. June 2018. He listens to Tracy Chapman. All through my pregnancy I listened to Tracy Chapman. and it took us 1 year to drive through Central America and South America. both happy and sad. 28 joanne. Pia Jacobsen. Tracy’s beautiful deep and soulful voice completely blew me away and the CD was played over and over. I got pregnant and had a son. I was a mam. Their Stories With The Debut Album Jo Painter. I will never get bored of listening to each of those eleven tracks on repeat.e. when I have just felt the need to listen to them. 57 sorenpia@sol. Every time I listen to the album. We each had a motorcycle. Claus and I have been married for 25 years and we love to hear and sing Tracy’s songs. and I loved it.

about which I learned a lot. hit my heart. Torrey was acting different and I was feeling sick but didn't know why or from what. Spain Baby Can I Hold You I was in a time when I did not know what to do with my life. So. And I loved it. and above all about great music. Came back two months later. The next song of mine was. I was going through Torrey's cd's. and it hurts. I finally left my ex. I held up a cd to torrey and asked. From being left at a truck stop when I was only 15. Being the gypsy I was and wearing my crown of dreads. But the music I had to play helped me a lot to get through the hard times and to enjoy my work more. I was still in love with my ex. baby can I hold you. 55 selahadams1@gmail. Then the next song I loved was. The doctors told me this past July. Crossroads. It is now October 21. good people and excellent music. people here didn't know how to except me. I wanted a total change. The one song. So I started working in a Moroccan restaurant without any experience. but Torrey. I learned about this CD and since then it has an unforgettable memory in my heart. Selah. sing. He was. the first kind person I have ever met. I arrived at a Torrey Walker's house August 22. or play any more. but we are only friends now. with the great food. but about Berber and Moroccan culture and their endless respect for me (including the male colleagues and clients). give me one reason to stay here. I finally fell in love with someone half normal. As soon as I played it I felt the soul. It turned out I fell for Torrey and my next song was. 52 Brussels. I'm forcing my tears. Belgium Santa Cruz de Tenerife. It was physically very hard. Selah 20 . I have up to six months to live. It will always remind me of the times in this restaurant. and I'm fighting for my life. Their Stories With The Debut Album Renata. not that much about how to work as as waittress. but he changed at night when he drank. Thank you Tracy. By the end of 2016. I use to sing traveling on the road. For You. I never knew love until now. 2017. from his using me to gain his own needs. I thought. Tracy Pittsburg. I'm not dead yet. I learned about being humble in life. The job was a lesson for life. like this one. if not less. 2013. From that age until I met Torrey was abuse. in my gypsy motor home that barely made it here to Oklahoma. but I don't write music. but he never did. of 19 yrs. USA For You This is hard. I left. I still have my guitar near me. I had such a bad life. "Who is this?" He told me.

Their Stories With The Debut Album Selah Adams. I did my art which was my designs. I was in such pain.. 55 Facebook @your. I lived as a gypsy for years.. USA I am not ego. and crochet rasta hats and tops. first time in a long time. 21 . her songs helped me to adjust to being around the norm. I use to play guitar and sing around the country. The road was my home.selahadams Pittsburg. Being I was no longer on the road but in a house. She helped to heal my soul. jewelry. pottery. but I am fussy with music. My heart was broken and I was coming out of shock.

. The fact that I could discover this album 27+ years later and still enjoy the record is a testament to how universal Tracy's sound is. I was instantly hooked. ❤ Life goes on. I couldn’t stop looking at my ring and I couldn’t believe I’d married my soul mate. Sometimes I play Baby Can I Hold You tonight and wish things were different but mostly I play Fast Car and smile so. I was a freshman in college. We listened to Tracy Chapman all the way home. Their Stories With The Debut Album Jigsaw Piece. I fell in love with the album. 36 Fast Car Manchester. Denmark 1988. We were certain we would spend forever together. USA In 2015. cheap wine. I was to exhausted to fight for our marriage. We were so excited on the drive up. We spent most of our time living off beans and toast. I love Baby Can I Hold You and learned "sorry" is not easy to have or give. I still have the CD and now and then I listen to it. Fast Car was our song. We moved to NZ but life was hard and I decided to come home with our daughter. 11 years later materialisticly we had it all. Thank you Tracy Chapman xx Anne.. The love had seemed to die. Somehow I discovered Tracy Chapman and Fast Car. it was my top song of the year and I listened to it at least 500 times. She is the soundtrack to our love story. According to Spotify. 62 Baby Can I Hold You Copenhagen. We ran away to Gretna at 22 years old. It is a part of my life and hereby I want thank you Jordan. 22 . My eyes burst with tears and I realised I’d made the biggest mistake of my life but it was too late. Even though I needed to hear. On the plane home She’s Got Her Ticket came on. candle light and making love (bonking 24-7) to Tracy Chapman. 20 Fast Car New York. because its so timeless. They bring all the feelings back from the best and worst days of my life. For years I couldn’t listen to her songs but eventually they found a way back into my life and I often find myself smiling to them. I had many problems to solve and to listen to this album was the free space I needed. UK When I was 17 I met the love of my life (19 years ago).

be/qaIP4xevYPk Rebecca. Tracy's first album is the main inspiration for me to always have authenticity in all that I do. I felt deeply and instantly connected to Tracy's voice and her lyrics. Although I might not fully have understood the depth of her songs until I was older. Fabulous. I am still a singer/songwriter. I've learned… https://youtu. Their Stories With The Debut Album Maria Hamer-Jensen. 39 If Not Now… Copenhagen. Denmark Facebook @Maria-Hamer-Jensen- lumieremusicmgmt@gmail. I am eternally grateful to music As just a little 10 year old mixed Danish/Guyanese girl. USA Freshman year college while 'studying' for finals out in the garden I played this over and over again. Even now I still mentally pause at the end of the 'first side' before remembering it is on my MP3 player and I no longer have to flip the tape over. I knew every word by heart and always knew with out her I might never have found my voice. then when" I still live by that.. I got signed to EMI at just 15. "If not now. 23 . 47 Baby Can I Hold You Boston. Lucky to have touched others with my songs. and now at almost 40.. When I play it in the car my kids are amazed because I know it BY HEART.

but I was taken on a journey with her that helped me to make sense of so much of what I was feeling at the time. now educator and artist. 24 . I'm listening now and I'm going to listen for the rest of my life.. It seemed so long ago. and it reminded me as with the whole album of the fragility and contradictions of being wholly human in this life. I used to spend my days off school cleaning the house and singing along especially to this track She's Got Her Ticket. Her song Baby Can I Hold You moved me to tears everytime I heard it. It made me feel like I wasn't alone. Penguin. I've listened since I was 6 years old. and I remember vaguely the depth of her voice ringing through the subway. USA Being 57 now. I know that no matter what people don't want to acknowledge domestic violence and even now when I speak of my experience people often think I'm Uberlândia. 28 eduardohumbertof@yahoo. Brazil Fast Car Tracy Chapman Debut Album is unique. I still cry when I hear Behind The Wall because I know how true it is. All my friends around the world remember me when they listen to Fast Car. When her album debuted. it's an honor. I grew up listening to her music and it helped me find hope in my darkest hours. As an young adult I had a bad relationship which was very abusive and listened to her songs often to help me get through it.. I was then and still am a journal writer. 57 Baby Can I Hold You New York. always trying to give a voice to the complicated feelings I have about my own life. Eduardo Humberto. always in my head. I was blown away not just by the lyrics and the passion she conveyed in her music. her poetry in music still deeply resonate for me. 29 She’s Got Her Ticket London. Gave me strength when I was exhausted. England I first listen to her album when I was a child. I almost wondered if I actually did see Tracy perform at Harvard when I was a grad student at the Ed School. I was born at the right time. The album gave me hope that I could leave my circumstances. Their Stories With The Debut Album Ann. When I was born (1989) the world was involved with the creative light and the unmistakable voice of Tracy. just hearing someone sing about a topic that was considered and still is regarded as a taboo helped. Her voice.

59 debluuz@yahoo. I found my way.x3. Whenever I hear songs from the album it now makes me smile thinking of the growing up I did in Plymouth. the journey I was on and where it has led to since. And I will always hold a place for Tracy. Sint Maarten It was 1992 and I was 8 when my dad started to talk to me about Tracy Chapman and her lyrics. two adopted daughters with special needs with me. Together we sang wholeheartedly her songs until the day I moved out of the house. 25 .com Henniker. studying in Plymouth and in my final year. and yet I could feel how Tracy her lyrics had a huge impact on my dad and his political beliefs. USA For You She's Got Her Ticket… I was in the midst of leaving a marriage I thought I would be in forever. He had grown up in a upper middle class family the Netherlands. I was spellbound to learn about her but in particular what the lyrics meant to my deep down in my soul determination to find my way out & through. Their Stories With The Debut Album Sanne. Unfortunately my dad passed away 6 years ago of cancer at the age of 56. England Baby Can I Hold You I was an under graduate living 200 miles from home. I kept the promise to me.all of our "has beens" were suddenly becoming our "use to be's" and I needed my heart. 34 She’s Got Her Ticket Philipsburg. I absolutely loved this album and often listened to it whilst studying and on the long coach journey either back to Brighton or to see my then boyfriend in inner core strength . Her words brought the strength and her music helped me stay on course in the journey. 50 Scw1266@yahoo. I made Debi The Nurse. but some of the fondest memories I have of him are us singing our hearts out to She’s Got Her Ticket and him explaining me how he saw the world with Tracy her lyrics. My boyfriend and I split up only a short while before my finals and listening to this album was pretty bittersweet for a while. These lyrics that have brought on many tears now bring me tears of joy! Shoreham-by-sea.

This was the year I began to sing Remember The Tin Man in first person (I truly felt it was written for me).. The first time I listened to Tracy Chapman was thanks to Sylvie. and I had an old Sanyo Walkman as the only means of listening music. I prayed for Tracy's spirit to come and help me write a song to help me get through the break up. I absolutely loved the record.. but our favorite are Fast Villavicencio. It would be great!! Anita Jones/Ruby Woods. I was a little homesick. Colombia Fast Car I am Colombian and between 1997-1998 I was living in London. my late mother bought me the album on cassette from WH Smith's in Stockport. Years later. where I work as Spanish assistant. It was so special when I played the cassette. I think of her every time I hear Tracy. when I had to leave my kids Dad. Alba. We love all the London. 40 danjohcos@gmail. It was the first time I was far from my family and country. 26 . When I listen to it. we are in touch and always when we meet. On my birthday. I played that music that made me feel that I belong to something like a brotherhood. 64 Behind The Wall Ferndale. Their Stories With The Debut Album Danny Costello. Sylvie gave me Tracy's cassette. What Manner of Woman. It cost £6. an african french girl. When I finished my work in London and came back to Colombia. Everyday as soon as I arrived home. My parents were poor. United Kingdom Talkin’ Bout A Revolution I was 11 years old in 1988. which was a lot for her then. I would like to be in one of her concerts and to have the opportunity to meet her. The following morning at 4:30am. Behind The Wall and Baby Can I Hold You. we listen to this Tracy Chapman album. And we are still friends. with Tracy’s music I felt at home. I wrote my first song. It helped me to go through difficult times. I am a Tracy fan and I teach her songs to my students. it reminds me some special memories from London and my friend Sylvie. I still have it. She was my room mate. 51 albainmersion@gmail. and still have the very cassette Mum purchased. USA I listened to Behind The Wall over and over and it probably took about three weeks for me to realize that Tracy was singing a capella! The richness of her voice contains notes and tones that penetrate the ear like an orchestra! I became an instant fan as did my children.

libertyblakecollage. ask community members to join them in creating stencil portraits for the mural. More infos at Liberty Blake www.lynnblodgettphotography.jannhaworth. sciences and social justice. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover in 1967 and later produced the SLC Pepper mural in downtown Salt Lake City in 2004. Their Stories With The Debut Album Jann Haworth www. inviting members of the community to participate in the process. local groups were invited to make stencils of women who had inspired 27 . Haworth then began to conceive of a socially relevant and timely mural that would honor the countless achievements of women across disciplines. No stranger to transformative USA Work in Progress Project is a collaborative traveling mural that pays tribute to women who are catalysts for change in the arts. Director Jann Haworth. together with collage artist Liberty Blake. As names for the mural grew. Haworth worked with Peter Blake to create the Beatles’ iconic Lynn Blodgett www.

Denver 2016 Student Union 2017 Nicholas Treadwell Gallery. Gallerists and Museum Curators. Film Festival 2017 TEDWomen San Francisco Oct Women’s March SLC 2017 2016 MOA at BYU Feb 2017 Congressional Commission The Leonardo Museum Human Presentation/Women’s Hist. The mural soon will consists of 14 panels [including the TEDWomen Panel 2106-2017]. Vienna Governors Mansion Arts Awards 2016/17 June 2017 Galerie du Centre. The full size mural can be seen at The Leonardo Museum’s Woman /WomeExhibit 2017-2018. their community will be asked to create 15-18 new portraits to add to the expanding mural. YWCA Board. U of U Nursing School and Medical Researchers. and what is her story. The Leonardo Museum staff. Salt Lake Artists. First exhibited at Utah Museum of Contemporary Art in Salt Lake City at the end of 2016. SLC 2017 TEDWomen New Orleans Nov 2017 Women’s March Washington DC Utah State University Jan 2018 2017 Town Club [talk] Jan 2018 28 . who is that woman. Liberty Blake brought all the portraits together in thirteen 8ft X 4ft panels using the collage technique. The larger than life-size visual presence of each figure confronts us directly asking what we know and what we don’t know. The mural asks us to remember. Residents and Staff of the YWCA. As each successive institution exhibits the mural. Paris 2016/17 Alta Club Aug 2017 Modern West Fine Art.. Their Stories With The Debut Album This mural would not have happened with out the images created by the YWCA Young Women’s Council. and this is just the beginning. Who was Henrietta Lacks? Who was Isak Dinesen? Was Mata Hari a spy? Where can I see Agnes Varda’s films? Why don’t I know these women? Jann Haworth: Project Director/Artistic Director Liberty Blake: Mural Collage Artist and Designer Lynn Blodgett: Portrait Photographer So far: Oct 2016-Jan 2018 [1st 15 months/17 venues ] UtahMOCA Oct 2016 Sundance Rally. to wonder. Rights Gallery May 2017 Museum Report Washington DC University of Colorado. the murals then consisted of 7 panels. in length. and includes stencils by 200+ contributors. will span almost 56 ft. spanning 28 ft. the City and County Mayors’ Office Staff. BYU faculty and students.

But I always went back. from a different relationship. We were together for five years the first time. claims he is dying and wants to see us again. I could have been the scream that was silenced so many times. Fast Car really hit home. And everything he ever did before is like child's play compared to the horror he revealed this time around. We had another son. 60 Behind The Wall Clatskanie. I got free. there was blood all over the living room. My son and daughter. That was one of the things that attracted me to him in the first place. They didn't really do anything. We had a Newport. I finally got free and started my life over. Ruth Ava. was the first time I was with my abusive estranged husband. somehow wheedled his way back into my life. The whole album helped get me through some really heartbreaking trials. I fought him so hard. nine years later. United States Behind The Wall The first time I heard it. He wouldn't leave me alone. Remarried. The other song that I thought was so close to my life. I met my ex at 18. I was terrified he would come back and kill me. I thank God he has been gone for two years now. I don't know where. I told him no for nine months. were also affected. Then after four years he came back. they just told my husband at the time to go stay somewhere else for the night. Tracy's songs gave me courage and strength. USA I was in an abusive relationship and the song Behind The Wall reminded me of the so many times the police were called because of the fighting. was Fast Car. He eventually succeeded in getting me to let him past my boundaries and there we were again. 41 groovycurvinator@gmail. Again. 29 . Their Stories With The Debut Album Bunny. I stayed for fifteen years until he started beating the kids. That also fell apart. he comes back into my life. My neighbor called one time and by the time the police came. Then. The sadness and despair he caused was more than I could take. And I don't care.

all I can tell you is that this album was played on every car ride to horse shows. Their Stories With The Debut Album Gereon Ardivilla. I was moved by her song Behind The Wall that it inspired me to conduct case studies in domestic violence in my hometown. Emily Adams. You are beautiful. The songs bring back memories to remind me how strong I am and that I can get through anything. USA The year doesn’t matter – my age at the time doesn’t matter. 36 Fast Car Ocala. 28 emilyadamswrites@gmail. I support initiatives (like the Zahra Foundation's Women on the Run) against domestic violence. There are many songs by Chapman that allowed me to grasp those struggles.I am happy to have had (and still do have) her as a guide. Canada Across The Lines My mother listened to a lot of female musicians who inspired an entire generation of girls. They grounded me and got me thru some extremely hard times as a kid. I appreciate that kind of knowledge and I think her music/art is so powerful and influential . Australia Baby Can I Hold You I was studying for my undergraduate degree in Psychology in the late 1980s in the Philippines when I first heard Tracy Chapman's Debut Album. The memories are priceless and 30 years later the songs are and will always be Adelaide. I can’t tell you the exact moment it 46 gereonardivilla@yahoo. Tracy Chapman's songs and philosophy. in a Windsor. South Australia where I reside. I have only my parents to praise for raising me the way they did. Tracy. We were lower class and surrounded by ethnicities separate from our own. Tanya Hudson. Thank-you. They come on the radio and I am taken to a moment back in time yet the surroundings are today.S. Thank you Tracy for bringing me such joy every time I hear your songs. shop radio. but I don't think a white person can fully understand the struggles 'minorities' endure in Canada and the U. I grew up on Tracy Chapman’s songs since I was a little girl.. guided me in my relations with women. 30 . Until now in Adelaide. Being alone and away from your parents trying to make a better life for us as a family. The 90's that I grew up in screamed "Girl Power" and Tracy Chapman was an important cog in the great feminist machine I was influenced by. car shows.

I played She's Got Her Ticket on a loop. Then by chance. You're an angel and prophetess among us. It was healing to me that Tracy's music spoke so freely about her troubles. Without She's Got Her Ticket I probably would not have had the courage to leave a place where I could never be happy. even till today.. Love you loads! 31 . I considered quitting school to help her and help raise my little sister. and the passage of the law further demoralized me. Their Stories With The Debut Album Priscilla. spoke to my soul. I found Tracy's debut Delphi. at that point in my life. which I re bought a few months earlier. It gave me hope that one day my troubles would be the stepping stones to the human I would be later just as she demonstrated on stage and in her life. I had to give up pets that I loved and move to a new place that we could afford. she will take me out with I'm Ready. I was never afforded the opportunity in that day. Fast Car and Mountains O'Things are the two that stand out in memory. 45 pmunson72@gmail. Even after my time has ended here on earth. Seeing Tracy perform has always been on my bucket list. but it is still my hope to see her live and feel the energy that filled me when I was at my most impressionable stage in life. worked in our local convenience store during the school year and on weekends and worked in the fields all summer long. South Africa She’s Got Her Ticket She's Got Her Ticket influenced me and gave me the courage to take one of the greatest decisions of my life. Thanks you so much Tracy. USA Fast Car Tracy's album.. So. Deinde. which stipulates fourteen years imprisonment for anyone suspected or proven to be gay. she will find her place in the sun!" remains a great prayer for me. And the line in the song "She knows where her ticket takes her. I had been in the closet all my life. 52 deindefalase@yahoo. I. I still listen to Tracy's music as a reminder of where I was and where I am today and what is truly important in this life. It was January 2014. After my parent's Johannesburg. I walked away from my job and everything familiar and headed for South Africa (even though I didn't have a job lined up or knew anybody) where I am much happier and free. On Monday. Former President Goodluck Jonathan had just signed into law. too. I was working as a television journalist in Nigeria. spiraling me into depression. I watched my mother cry as she could not provide the simplest of needs. I quickly realized what it was to have nothing and what it was like to work all day and go to bed hungry at night. like 20 times each day during a weekend. I went to buy a flight ticket to South Africa. I went to work. Desperate to help her in her struggle. Nigeria's anti-gay act. Today.

When cds became the in thing it was constantly played on car journeys & now we're in the download age it was the first album I put on my phone. USA Driving car pool in the early 1990s and listening to Behind the Wall. Turning my point of view and reaching. CA. What I know now is that they have been like a magic revolution in my soul. She had it on tape & would play it every day. my next crossroads and go. by a different way. 43 annalisa73chiariello@libero. Kildare. 55 York. straight with my thoughts and my choices. Ireland Behind The Wall Not a story as such. UK Talkin’ Bout A Revolution In 1987. Dr. Made these kids aware of poverty in America 32 . they're talkin’bout a revolution it sounds like a whisper". we had Margaret Thatcher in power so Talkin’ Bout A Revolution was an anthem to me. Tracy's music was one of the best place in which I found safe. Mama. I still listen to it today. but I remember it always being played by my mother. It's my favourite album of all time. Italy Talkin’ Bout A Revolution Discovering Tracy's music was one of the most important thing that changed my life and gave me the possibility to save myself from a so hard reality I was living. "Don't you know. 31 danielbride1986@gmail. finally. I was stunned by Tracy Chapman’s Debut Album. Daniel Bride. unpredicted and I was stuck in it but in 1988. I was only a teenager who was living difficult driven by the whisper of her music sound. The beautiful thing was that I really had an imaginary Fast Car. in Athy. we had a great storm. sings Tracy in her most famous song. Mark Sullivan. Their Stories With The Debut Album Annalisa Chiariello. What Tracy's Debut Album made with her songs and magic sound still remains inside me and moves active feelings by holding powerful effects like feeling extremely grateful for her Music. 62 Mountains O’ Things Pasadena. Repeatedly listen to it over and over again high volume for a higher impact on my mind and my life.

I also went with all the questions of Why? straight to my parents who were surprised of my sudden interest in human rights at the age of eleven. Lovja. Listening to this album was the first time I actually listened with attention to lyrics. I remember she was sitting in her bed listening to it quite loud. Next time Tracy Chapman will tour. but alone in my room I preferred Baby Can I Hold You on repeat because I had this huge crush on a boy in my class but I knew there was no way he would like me back. Use Your Illusion I & II and the Black Album. I remember I brought it to the boarding school where I was staying and at that time everyone was so excited about the new CDs of Guns and Roses and Metallica. I was living in a remote countryside in Iceland and I had visited my niece in the village who was two years older than me. OK? Promise? I love her because she reminds me of you and only you. Chapman´s lyrics were full of stories of people far away living very difficult lives and very different lives of my own happy. I would lie in my bed and see the scene of Behind The Wall very clear in my mind (still can) with eyes full of tears. Their Stories With The Debut Album Inga. The first love when everything is so crazy exciting and dramatic. Couple of years later I met my first boyfriend and For My Lover will always remember me of him and our time together. Iceland I was eleven in 1988 when I first listened to Tracy Chapman. empty cassette and taped the record while playing it. safe and peaceful life at the farm. Few days ago I turned 40 and I got a message from my best childhood friend: "One promise. We didn´t have a record player at home so I couldn´t borrow the record but the next time I came for a visit I brought a cassette player." 33 . I was too. Terrible sound I remember but at least I could have it in my Walkman and listen to it whenever I wanted. I sat down with her and fell instantly in love with the sound of Chapman´s voice. She had just bought the debut album and was listening to it when I walked in her room. I am coming with you. 40 Baby Can I Hold You Egilsstadir. When I was 14 I bought the debut CD and started to listen to the album again.

I had the chance to attend one of her concert in 2008 and I was very impressed to see her alone on stage surrounded by a dozen guitars that she changed every song. Their Stories With The Debut Album Yvon Allies. It was a great evening in which Tracy talked a lot to us. My painting uses pen ink and bleach on watercolor paper. including Obama's election.allies@live. France Tracy Chapman has always been one of my favourite Marseille. I think that this technique gives an outdated and raw style that fits fine with the spirit of this first album 34 . 55 yvon.

while I found a way to become an adult on my own in a big. This first album was my best friend. Who is this? Tracy Chapman they said. all the while looking for love. Mahalo Nui Loa. It was a rather unexpected. As I was checking out. I was in a desperate situation finding a place to live. I had no idea who it was. I was feeling rather home sick when I happened your albums at the Tesco's superstore. and being so wonderfully naive about the possibilities of the future. Tirzah 35 . Tirzah RockHard! Rodgers Kula. It was fabulous. USA I had just moved to Boston. Their Stories With The Debut Album Shelia. didn't know anyone." That made him smile. He had known your tunes since living in Africa. "Are these yours? I mean for you?" I was a little causious responding. and some kind women took me in and let me stay on the floor of their one bedroom apartment until I could find a place to stay of my own. Like liquid chocolate gold. But her voice. the young sweet gentleman cashier from Africa noticed the albums and we got to talking. 60 Mountains O’ Things Wilmington. USA Thirty-six For My Lover Well Aloha Tracy. to my first real job. Thank you so much Tracy Chapman. I was on an air mattress on the floor and they played her album. I would say that cross cultural connection over music is one of the most welcoming and heart warming and gave me the courage and confidence to continue and strive for a great and successful time away from home. I ended up being there for 11 months and working on 12 plays. Maui. I was pretty jazzed about it. At first he was curious. quite positive of a memory to gain in my study abroad experience and happily welcomed. and figuring out how to come out. but I said. "Yes. so he asked. He was so pleased to meet another fan. I was in Guilford England. looking at the inequities. I got the cd or the tape and played it over and over and over again for the first year while my life changed from the floor of strangers. studying stage production at the Guildford School of Production in 2002. on my own. big city.

or a husband. and cold.. As a child it was so hard watching my mother be abused and hearing the loud voices.the album came from a man that caused so much heartache and pain. hungry. When I was very young around 3rd grade. This album relates in the ways of hearing screams and calling the police only for it to be too late for help but then police would show up being very mean and not caring about my welfare at all. mother was an addict and had a very abusive boyfriend we lived with. It turns out it was just a fairytale. song after song cause it related to my life in so many ways. Blessings come from the oddest places. Mind you he was very angry and selfish. The thoughts would ring out of me with my mother driving far and fast away from all the drama and evil. California is where it all began. He wasn't cut out to be a dad. We would spend countless times at the welfare office all to only learn it was for my mother's addiction while we were homeless. 35 melissadeanda15@yahoo. and New Windsor. Her music has helped me get through so many situations in my life. Music was my only out of all the darkness around me.. 52 alliewill65@yahoo.. Fast Car was a motivation for me. 36 . and journal because I knew my mother would be grabbing me to leave soon after. My day to day dealt with the constant abuse my mom went through that trickled from her to myself. USA Behind The Wall Riverside. I love Tracy Chapman. cassettes. I'm 35 Shelley. So I would listen to it day after day. How odd that I asked to have it and he said yes. Their Stories With The Debut Album Melissa DeAnda.. I've always had the album and now I share the music with my 9 year old son today. My mom's boyfriend had a small collection of cassettes which had this album in it. The album is a reminder of where I came from and who I've become today.. I ended up with children I was raising alone. So much pain but so much healing with this album. I felt that I wasn't alone. Today I am a very strong woman helping others to see red flags before it hits them too hard. Every song in every one of her albums touches me in one way or the other. that someone else felt my pain. USA Baby Can I Hold You I was molested and abused in my childhood and I thought this man was going to be my hero. In the other room I would try to hide to avoid getting caught in swinging arms or things being thrown. Most the time I would be packing up my most important things like my radio. slamming around.. go figure :):):) Alliewill.

We moved to a small town in Kansas and my husband almost immediately became best friends with the police chief. I would call the police. 37 . Thank you Tracy. The police’s response was "no one saw him do it so it didn’t happen". who sings the song the most like Tracy. We've even invented a little game when we're going out of town. Their Stories With The Debut Album Angie Crowe. 52 Bamako. USA She’s Got Her Ticket The first time I heard this album was on a cassette. The police showed up. She is just fantastic. At one point he was standing in my front yard with a gun pointing at my three children (ages Huntsville. Lucy. we play this CD and each pick a song that we sing along to. 8 and 14 at the time). I discovered her and kept following her. I knew if I stayed in the area we would be dead. my ex sister in law loaned me. for making such beautiful music! Abdoul Kader Ky. Even though he was living with another woman he would break into my house. Mali Mountains O’ Things Her songs give me inspirations and help me to go through hard times. 40 Kelmeron@yahoo. It actually got stuck in my tape player. after 30 years so special to me and relevant. When I finally got the courage to divorce him it only got worse. I really love her. 44 angela.crowe@gmail. For 14 years he brutally beat me. rape and beat me. from there the game varies. although the car is different. I loaded up and we moved two hours away. this is my go to CD whenever I need to de-stress. to who messes up first. and it became the back drop of my life as I drove around in my little ford escort. I remember listening to Tracy’s album and especially Fast Car when we left. They would tell him to "take a breather" and go on their way. it's one of the few things my daughter and I are in perfect agreement about! She grew up on this CD and knows almost all of the songs by heart. Since the age of 10. This album is still. etc. took his gun and sent him home.d. I found there was something in every song that I could relate to. I married shortly afterwards. They gave him back his gun the next morning. She has a unique style. my daughter plans on keeping up the tradition when she has a family of her own. Many years later. United States Behind The Wall I was 17 years old when I had my first child. I remember getting Tracy’s album around that time and realizing that her song Behind The Wall was my story.

I started with the one I mentioned earlier. it was the maximum. but I have to say this memory has made me stronger.mikely@gmail. 18 marisol. he was still only 4 months old when he hit the ground. Khuliso. insists on doing what the lyrics say. tears wanted to roll down my eyes. Greetings Paul Serrano. simply say "I love you" "I love you".com Pretoria. but I'm afraid you do not tell me the same. Police officers came on time and took him away. my mother suffers from many things. anxiety and depression. I admire you and I love your songs. Since I’m a little girl I listen to your songs Tracy Chapman. Texas First time I heard Behind The Wall by Tracy Chapman. we do not talk. I want to tell that boy that I really like him too much and sometimes. Besides that. I have to say that this memory keeps me going because it reminds me that if I went trough a tough time like that. I remember feeling paralyzed not knowing what to do. 22 Behind The Wall Galveston. 37 khuliso@icloud. the song Baby Can I Hold You. but I ran to get my brother off the floor and to call 911. We lived with that monster for almost 2 Perú. This memory has caused me PTSD. South Africa Fast Car It captured my happiest childhood memory and my first Vinyl record given to me by my dad! 38 . I can do anything. neither dad and I do not want to lose it. right now. when that punch hit her she dropped my baby brother on the floor. I want to do everything possible to be with always and you know I have to risk it and I will do it. on the family trips to which they put that song millions of times. The song remind me when I was just 5 years old seeing my step Father hitting my mother with his fist. because of pride. we do not do it and it's so simple to say it as the letter says. Their Stories With The Debut Album Mikely Reyna. but the next morning he was released because of his bail money. before we packed our bags while he was at work and left.Lima Baby Can I Hold You Now I find myself with an amorous illusion.

It's cliche to say. but the best albums are truly timeless and I feel that this debut still serves as a document to the timeless folk genre. We dissected the lyrics with regards to immigration and social mobility. my favourite song on the album. of course. the civil rights struggle through to the presidency of Trump and everything in between. (Across The Lines). Their Stories With The Debut Album Michael Boucher. I remember studying it in a Geography lesson in secondary school. I'd bought the album on vinyl and this song absolutely stunned me and is still to this day. Her Debut Album is an honest social document. love songs. It was clear to me at that young age that this was a songwriter with the same level of ability as Bob Dylan. If politicians listened to albums like Tracy Chapman's Debut or The Times They Are a-Changin' by Bob Dylan then I believe the world would quite possibly be a better place 39 . Fast Car. UK Instagram @mboucherart The first track I heard by Tracy Yorkshire. 25 mboucherart@gmail. a testament to this is the second song of Tracy Chapman's that I heard.

George Washington III. To this day. I played that song over and over for the next seven years. I was walking a slow path which was destroying my inner spirit. and every note of it still rings true to me 30 years. Their Stories With The Debut Album Carrie Griffith. sang them all every time. The only thing I could be sure of was my husband drank. I was a sophomore in college. Talkin'Bout A Revolution can move me to tears.. Always filling envelopes! But that was when we could listen to music. 52 Cdurr614@gmail. Baby Can I Hold You can recall a semisweet bitterness that to that point in my life. two marriages. Did he drink too much? Was it my behavior that pushed him to drink more? Maybe it was stress causing him to drink more. I memorized every song. I had never even experienced. that longing everyone has had. resetting Charlotte. and the voice helped me through to find MY smile again. I questioned everything else. All these years. 40 . Christopher and I were working on campus for the summer session office.Augustine Florida. and 4 kids later. but can't put words to without this song. And If Not Now. Ms Chapman. This was a towering debut album I've ever heard in my lifetime. Later whenever my grown children hear the song Fast Car they look at me and smile.. I like to believe they know that St. Tracy Chapman's debut record was the most important and moving thing I listened to that summer. USA Fast Car It was May of 1988 when I first heard words spoken with music that felt as if it wrapped around me. running here there.but had no idea it was to become my key of empowerment to hold on and eventually obtain freedom out of a toxic marriage. 49 George@voevolution. the exact amount of time to replace doubts with an unbreakable faith and a rebuilt spirit I walked away from hell. I was a young woman who doubted everything around me except the love I held for my children and the spiraling feeling of "lost". and was silencing the summer following that year living in an apartment with one if my best friends and working with another. Fast Car can bring up unbidden sadness. NC. those words. I was 28 and pregnant with my third child. I knew it soothed me. USA Talkin’ Bout A Revolution In 1988. Thank you. and filling envelopes.

the song of my teenage life. he’d been allowed a CD player as a reward to the section for working hard etc. That album has been with me everywhere since. And so I did. Their Stories With The Debut Album Jasio. I heard a wonderful song. This was also the song where I did my first road trip with my friends. anxious. and listen to Tracy Chapman. I have so much memories with this song. But boy was it powerful. Scared. 120kph and nothing but us singing this song like everything was gonna be okay. In a small room with a close friend. coming from broken families and difficult childhoods. Not just that first evening. It was the album that got us through a tough few months. But I’ve always had the security of it. That evening. We'll ride the fast car again hopefully soon. Tracy Chapman. excited. Living. It was a windy night where Fast Car played again as I was staring at her. Bring your kit to my room. I told him I would like to listen to it one day. I asked him who it was. As I returned to our accommodation block after evening meal. He told me. Just me. We became great friends. A young lad was sat polishing his boots outside. And all these years later. It helped me get through everything and stayed with me during the trials. We’ll do it together. Sometimes just getting by. 39 jasiocollins@gmail. her and the moon. For the rest of our training. Surviving. We were all a mix of emotions. But never alone. the best night of my life. She was perfect. A new singer. The windows were open. I was 17. I miss them sometimes before I sleep and when I'm alone. and I am there. 16 Fast Car Parañaque City. Overlooking the sea we were singing this song while listening to the 1am London. A new song. The best night of my life using a "Fast Car". but pretty much every evening. :) 41 . Raf Rivera. Kenwyn Hughs came to my bed space whilst I was polishing boots and ironing uniform. She was so gentle blue and the skies were inside her eyes. away from home. We were both young. England Talkin’ Bout A Revolution I was 7 weeks into basic training in the British army. Very different to my usual music. I stared at the moon and the stars with my friends and the part where "be someone" really struck us to the bones. and the good times appreciated. Much love for Tracy Chapman. It’s a wonderful album. The first seconds of the first song. Philippines Fast Car. Compounded by a wonderful album that made the difficult times easier. Some very up and down years.

49 emileyx@gmail. Her voice and song spoke of a change that was blowing in the wing and although it was a call to I lived the "run run run run run run run" and eventually feeling like "finally the tables are starting to turn. It gave me renewed faith in humanity and that eventually change will come. like this one (Butterflies Fly By) https://www. an overwhelming darkness of Apartheid South Africa. South Africa Talkin’ Bout A Revolution I want to THANK TRACY CHAPMAN from the bottom of my heart for being a Cape Town. 42 .facebook. Talkin’ Bout A Revolution helped me to get through Apartheids murderous government and eventually tell my own stories in song. Their Stories With The Debut Album Emile Jansen aka Emile YX. her voice had a calming effect. in what seemed to be. talkin’bout a revolution".

Here are a few clip of the work I do in South Africa and I feel that Tracy Chapman inspired with her lyrics. Her reference to "standing in the welfare line... by empowering youth to follow their hearts instead of this manufactured idea of wealth equals success. it still rings true. Many youths lives were lost during the years that followed. I desired to teach in a different way and in 1991 I left teaching and started to teach using Hip Hop Culture as a tool to rise up and liberate the minds of Africans who were now physically freed. "Poor people are gonna rise up & take what's theirs (. THANK YOU https://youtu.. I just wanted to share with Tracy Chapman what her music inspired all the way in Cape Town. South Africa. I was star struck for a week. In 1989 Nelson Mandela was released and the change she spoke of seemed to come. I could see that coming and total war in South Africa. In listening to the song again.. 21 Baby Can I Hold You I once had an opportunity to attend a question and answer session before Tracy Chapman's show in Cape Town. OMG Her music give me the power to get out of bad situations and come in to the right powerful girl.) take their share". I am today!!!!! 43 . Morocco Her lyrics rescued me from many difficult phases in my life. Their Stories With The Debut Album She helped me to get my own voice and reach out to attain conscious information from others into the Black Consciousness Movement and Hip Hop Culture in the USA. but had to leave to do one of these workshops with the youth. wasting time in unemployment lines" reached me at a time when I was in my final year of studying to be a school teacher and I was afraid of begging for work from a system that would have me teach other Africans to hate themselves and be who they were https://youtu. but still mentally enslaved. because many of the poorest of the poor in South Africa feel neglected by the current government and I now work to find an alternative to the illusion of what is sold as democracy. https://youtu. Even if my story is not published. We passed each other at the door to the venue. especially the song Baby Can I Hold You.

As I walked up the stairs into our apartment there was a song playing. I told him to call the police. Then she started yelling at me like she always did. it’s only to remind myself of how far a person comes after they decide to steer the wheel of their own life. for my debit card.lafayette@yahoo. I had just come home from hanging out at the pub with friends. She told me it was best to come over the next day. If and when I do listen. and called names. and putting my dog on his leash. 25 karina. I was shaking. By now my mother asked. It was in the neighbourhood but having been so nervous I forgot the exact street. Canada Fast Car It was late September 2014. as she held me down. eager to find the station." "I wasted twenty-two years of my life. My gut told me this couldn’t wait. When I listen to it now it carries a heavy feeling that sometimes still lingers. Their Stories With The Debut Album Karina Lafayette. I couldn’t go back. but this night would be defined by it. That summer I endured nights of being yelled at. "You’re ungrateful. I called my grandmother from a phone booth. It felt like she was speaking to me. as she did many times before. On one of those nights my mother had an episode where she projected herself onto me. She wanted to see if my student loans came in. I was scared of what might happen. and soon to also turn into one of the very best. It was the worst year of my Toronto. 44 . Before I knew it her hands where wrapped around my arms. stomped out of the house. By now the neighbour downstairs was on his balcony. Walking with my dog. I opened the door. like Dorothy and Toto." "After everything I’ve done for you." The usual scenario would end with me going in my room and closing the door after the yelling. This time my mind went blank. But this night in late September was different. Tracy Chapman’s voice wailed from the speakers. screamed at. I had heard it many times before. It would’ve been the fourth or fifth time they visited in the past year.

I’ve since had gigs onset and have gotten to chance to do what I love: make films. the cops drove me to my grandmother’s at four am. The music of my departure from my native country. With my dog on my lap. let me in. One of the last memories of music I shared with my childhood friend. the cut of my Roots. There are things that we do not explain. I'm sure Tracy Chapman usually brings her back to me. While being interrogated. Their Stories With The Debut Album Finally I found the station and called the police so they could come meet me. With career ambitions and a real home. the only one I can call this. The chance of life doing things right. Like all those I had worked with at that time. After what felt like hours of questioning. A sort of premeditated text. a female cop received a notice that I had been reported missing. was like a call. She tried to convince to come home. I understood from the beginning that this song would be the anthem of all future Paris. Aly. in secret. 47 marega@me. France Talkin’ Bout A Revolution 1989. The homesickness comforted by the memories left in the only family. the night Fast Car changed my life. this piece is also the link with my friend. I quit university and started working. Today I’m in a new city. saying that I had everything there and she didn’t understand why I was doing this. having just arrived from speaking to my mother. Talkin’ Bout A Revolution. as if Tracy Chapman had seen in a crystal ball what the world would be like decades later. all I could imagine was what happened to me now? Where would I live? One month later I moved with roommates. The cops. A friend helped me. I called my mother. 45 . In a whole new world that would’ve seemed impossible that night. Perhaps the link between Africa and Europe. Rehearing this music by coming to France had brought me home at once.

38 My name is Vincent Jacobs. Also on my Facebook* you can see some work I'm 38 years old and live in Belgium.gekcos. I had the Debut Album on vinyl and already consider this a musical bible. I have discovered Tracy Chapman because of my ability. A testament of love for music that I definitely want to pass on to my children… * http://bit. I am a graphic designer and have my one company Belgium 46 .be/. Their Stories With The Debut Album Vincent Jacobs.

Tracy Chapman's Debut Album was my constant background companion playing on cassettes on my burgundy clouded "Sony Walkman" I played it on planes. I am instantly transported back to my teenage years when I hear the album and plan to have it on our playlist at our school reunion next month! Tracy.salm@btinternet. I guess my favourite track was and still is Fast Car as it matched so well my "get away" mood at that time. not a commercial London. on beaches. Tracy let me know that the only thing you have is your soul and when Fast Car come.. in tents. you were my teenage companion for many years! 47 . Hard to believe that's half my life ago! Matthew Holden. that creates commercial success. United Kingdom 30 years ago I was heading towards 30 and I quit my job. UK Talkin’ Bout A Revolution This album is the songbook of my teenage years! I can’t believe I was 11 when it came out! It brings back so many memories . Their Stories With The Debut Album Kim. thank you for the memories. All the places I saw and people I met. singing all the words to every song with my School friends at boarding school. The androgyny that was of her own. observe the full reality and learn from the world. showed me the beauty is strictly being an artist.. 41 Nathalie. not like that of the great Grace Jones. Nat Adams.driving down country lanes with the windows down. When I listen to the album now it transports me back to that great travelling experience. hearing Baby Can I Hold You over and over all night including the reggae version at a Jamaican street party. sold a flat and headed off on a very late 'gap year' travelling around Thailand and Australia. USA My life was awakened when I first heard Tracy Chapman. 59 and 4 months Fast Car Hersham. Tracy blaring. 28 Mountains O’ Things Arlington. greyhound buses. As a gay child in the 90s.

In anticipation. 41 Eleigh922@gmail. the struggle. so I would say she’s mine and they would all laugh at me. I believe during Fast Car. Empress Erudite..1997. and the whole performance was and is. hands down. became the words I could never speak. USA I went to Lilith Fair at Jones Beach (NY) when I was in high school . performed Behind The Wall without any introduction. I somehow snagged seats 2nd row center. USA Fast Car I always came to life behind the silence of my eyes. me and my folks we used to fight for girls who would come out on TV. At some point. a large tapestry was hung at the back of the stage. as the sun was setting. Little did I know she will always touch me with her music. barefoot. 40 alubi0202@gmail. So non of them would want Tracy Chapman since they all wanted models and actors. My recollection may be imperfect. but this is what I recall. Zimbabwe Baby Can I Hold You Back then I was a young boy. could never fully quench the hope for a better tomorrow. Fast Car spoke to the depth of my soul. Tracy walked. and a single microphone was set at the front-center of the stage with an acoustic guitar leaning against it. The stage was largely cleared. un-manned instruments were set toward the back. and still the experiences I lived through.. Alubi. I feel good every time I play her songs like Baby Can I Hold You. love lost & lost loves. Tracy and I made eye-contact while I was singing along. Talkin’ Bout A Revolution. and mostly I always practice with her music. now am 40 yrs old I just started learning how to play a guitar. It was deep purple/blue with pinpoints of the constellations to allow light through like Freehold.. failures. the truth of life and it's Chegutu. writing prose or poetry or listening to music. onto the stage alone. the most moving musical experience I've ever had. Tracy was the first of the headline artists to perform. Less Than Strangers etc. 48 . It was HUGELY moving. Their Stories With The Debut Album Amy. I hopped in that fast car to get away but it only took me to another place in life I ended up needing to escape from. She walked directly to the microphone and. and that was OK. Crossroads. 37 Baby Can I Hold You Woodside.

Don't publish this. I'm just an amateur fan. I rewinded almost 20 times to listen to that one line again and again. even I want to break free from the caste systems. I could still relate. I can't describe that in words. and on how with music you can fight for your rights. That's the first reason for which I started to study english. My mother bought the tape and I discovered it when I was 8 or 9 years old. I cried (and I never stopped). 22 ani7sh@gmail. on what writing for a higher reason means. the lyrics are not female centric or anything. I was shocked. 29 Behind The Wall Forlì. I will surely want to meet tracy tell her this personally that YOU SIS! YOU'RE MY INSPIRATION. the first sign of relationship between me and Tracy Chapman's Debut Album. I'm not an old fan of Tracy. I instantly started writing a music just to dedicate it to Tracy and I don't know if Tracy hears it some day. When I understood what Across The Lines meant. India Fast Car So I was just over Youtube listening to my odd playlists (as my friends call 'em) because they are mostly inspirational and not like an electronic song which fades off after a month or so and I found this beautiful cover with Tracy's face on a yellow background and I clicked on it just to start of with that amazing with a crescendo of her voice and i was liking it and then came that beautiful like when she says "Any place is better" and I felt that one small four letter line was so new and refreshing to hear it. Thank you for everything! Mila. and then of course went ahead and heard the whole song and I like how the simplicity of the song works. Their Stories With The Debut Album Anish Menon. to understand Tracy's words. I just heard the song 4 days ago. but if she gets to read this GREAT. When (after some years) I understood Behind The Wall. Now. the dogmas we follow. 49 . I didn't know anything about that world. I am a 22 year old boy and I am from India. it is very personal to Ambernath. I will always thank Tracy because she opened my eyes on music. on what singing with heart and brain means. The song even changed me as music producer. I kept listening to it and I wanted to understand what that warm voice was telling me in a language that was not familiar to me. I produce classical symphonies and sometimes a little ambient music. it is not a great story but somewhere deep inside me. Italy I was born on 1988. I was hypnotized by the tracks. I'm still discovering more of her songs and I am loving it! If i ever become a good musician. When I studied Talkin’ Bout A Revolution I was ready to stand up with that girl and fight. from the so called society.

Now. even thought Fast Car was the only song I had listened to. I remember childhood. When I finally crossed the bridge. As soon as I got a CD Player it was one of the first CDs I bought. I worked hard to pull myself out of that world. Must have been the only hot irish summer ever. I heard your music. Thank you for giving a voice to injustices in the world. My kids Vallstedt. before it was cut down. Because my tape melted. USA Where to begin.. From that point I knew I didn’t have to be silence that chills the soul. Deutschland Behind The Wall I saved up my pocket money to buy the Tape. I was heartbroken. and though I grew up in a different time period. 15 scarletpearcy2002@gmail. my mom introduced me to Fast Car and I immediately fell in San Antonio.. You made me realize I wasn't alone. I remember the old tree down the road my cousins and I would climb on. Then my older brother borrowed it and left it sitting on the dashboard of his car.. 45 heycliona@aol. her music still speaks to me almost as much as everyone. Rebecca. I say this without conviction. I remember. Played it all day and night!. USA Baby Can I Hold You When I was about five. convinced I was an adult. She is truly talented. but I am a huge fan of older music thanks to my parents. 12. neglected. I decided to listen to Tracy Chapman's other songs. 43 Across The Lines Scappoose. She is a beautiful soul. when I listen to that song. 50 . Their Stories With The Debut Album UnaG. Scarlet. This turned out to be an amazing decision. I remember my grandfather playing the song on his guitar and my grandmother dancing along. 10 & 4 listen to the CD too. Every song on that album spoke to my life in one way or another. About a year ago. I haven't been alive for very long. The eldest plays Fast Car on the guitar too. abused. I remember riding the forklift at my grandfathers job. I grew up poor. But Tracy Chapman was by far my favorite artist..

But this time he did it for his nephews. I have gone farther in life due to the mental strength gained from Tracy's songs. women. the next night we did Higher Ground -. 75 Robert@ExtraordinaryPeople. When I first listened I could not figure out all the lyrics. She has "made up my mind". I really admire her. a three hour effort to educate people about creating a sustainable environment. Niankan (this is his name) would tell me the main idea and all words. I was 19 when I first discovered debut album in my uncles disks he handed me. as he knew my passion for English language. What a gift she Kowloon. I have helped friends understand her work and battle. I enjoyed life while listening to her.. John shared Talkin’ Bout A Revolution and said "I'm blown away by her music.included lots of late night conversations and sharing each other's music. Talkin’ Bout A Revolution and She’s Got Her Ticket were my favourite titles. Today. I enjoyed it with some friends. a French speaking country. I am from a small rural village in Mali. The way I see her curiosity seems a good start towards understanding this music that has passioned my life. This was a perfect match for me. That six months of travel -." 51 . I like her work. The Debut Album of Tracy Chapman has changed my life for good. Hong Kong Fast Car I traveled with my friend the late John Denver to promote his Windstar Foundation's presentation Higher Ground. Mali Fast Car Fun studies with music. I like her themes. 36 citoyen81@gmail. Of course I was using the music to improve my English proficiency. a neighbour told my aunt I was not learning my lessons and playing in stead. My 5 years daughter Mafio asks me "But dad. I had never seen my uncle sing before. is this one on the album a man or a woman?" This reminds me my first day when I was picking up her album from the many records that my uncle handed me. Talkin’ Bout A Revolution over the Sikasso. minorities face in their daily lives. My name is night John performed a concert.. Robert White. The subjects are still relevant to this date. Later the same year in Bamako. If I had been born a different colour and raised in a different culture. one of our school modules was 'listening to conversations'. Their Stories With The Debut Album Zosoué Dabou. In Bamako once upon a time. because they all talk about society challenges children. Today. I used to spend long hours listening to Tracy Chapman's music. I hope I'd be writing like she does. the world is open to me due to support from Chapman's work.

you feel no pain". New Zealand I must have been about nine when I first heard the album. In those moments listening to this album I was not alone or odd. my mum said "you need to listen to this lady" and from then on her voice and lyrics had me captivated. I think Bob Marley said it best when he said. USA Baby Can I Hold You Tracy’s music has been moving me since I was in middle school. 45 Fast Car Midland. Their Stories With The Debut Album Cheryl. after years of hearing my mother crying behind my very own wall. Thank you sincerely. felt Tracy has always lifted me up & kept me centered. Very few people in my world openly spoke about abuse. 52 . Talkin’Bout A Revolution was the stand out. 21 For My Lover Christchurch. I just wish she would come back on tour or write more. it transports me back to some very magical spiritual times. she is greatly missed. Having an increasing interest in music. 35 Avaluv21107@yahoo. Julie Wakefield. my mother lost her life to domestic violence. 61 Behind The Wall Skipton. We both loved it and wouldn't speak but just listen to the Holden. Tracy's music followed me all the way. I’ve in my darkest of days in this beautiful yet crazy life. Greta. Jes. But Tracy Chapman did. United Kingdom My late husband and I would play the album when we were on journeys back from somewhere. I’m forever blessed to have your music all through my life. is when it hits you. I am very thankful that she reached out through her music giving me what has become the soundtrack for my life. I was 15 at the time and very alone in my world. Whenever I hear any if the tracks. "One good thing about music. For the next few years I worked my way out of poverty and into a a better life for myself. USA In 1988. I’m now 35 & Tracy’s music continues to inspire & move me everyday. And I could escape in my imagination in that fast car and be empowered by Talkin’Bout A Revolution.

. miss her. Sleeveface is an internet phenomenon wherein one or more persons obscure or augment body parts with record sleeve(s). Sleeveface has become popular on social networking sites. Source: Wikipedia 53 . Their Stories With The Debut Album Juan.. 16 Instagram @Kozmicyei Madrid. and I fell in LOVE. Now my Life is more peaceful! I hope she will come to Madrid. Spain A few years ago I stole the Tracy Chapman's Debut Album of my Esther. causing an illusion.

I mean it when I say that despite the closed doors in this music industry. loving and losing. TN. I am reminded of the power of the artist to be a social justice advocate as well. vulnerability. it was as if she gave me permission to do the same. Across The Lines. Behind The Wall is so stunning. TN and try a different music scene. 33 Fast Car Nashville. haunting and important in the best possible ways. I listened to. It remains a kind of "true north" that I look to and am reminded of the freedom in authenticity. Why? and Talkin' Bout A Revolution are songs that I return to often in my own attempts to stay awake to the injustices around me and try building bridges of understanding. I listened to She's Got A Ticket and felt so free. I feel so deeply grateful to Tracy Chapman for living in her truth. light. This album (in its entirety) is one of the most beautiful bodies of work that I have had the pleasure of hearing and holding for all these years. When I was transitioning from working full-time to working less in order to have time to record an EP. For You has quietly been a song that I have returned to time and again. Mountains O' Things to remind me of what was really important and worth holding onto in this life. 54 . trying to navigate love. and now living as a singer-songwriter. Their Stories With The Debut Album Courtney Ariel. I have often gathered strength and encouragement from God through this album. And on the drive across country when I left my home in Southern California to move to Nashville. Growing up as a Black-American girl who loved Folk music. Thank you. USA Tracy Chapman's Debut Album is one of the first that I can remember truly falling in love with. or being told where I can and cannot fit in.

Their Stories With The Debut Album Oriana. in my own solitude. Not about being famous or regarded as a object. I learnt the whole songs of the album. It used to be with me when I locked the door. I thank you so kindly for being the soundtrack to my life and maybe one day I can do the same for someone else. You inspired a young girl as your music was thoroughly about the music and nothing else. Emma https://youtu. She lived in front of the sea and singing it I knew exactly what kind of person I wanted to be. With Baby Can I Hold You the importance of showing my own feelings. With a lot of high and lows throughout my upbringing you were always there and your soul understood mine. Italy Baby Can I Hold You Tracy Chapman's album really changed my way of feeling Marcianise.spera@virgilio. Love. it does not matter. 30 emmakullandermusic@gmail. Music is love. You have inspired me of doing music and songwriting and although I will make any money out of 55 . I have been writing my own music for 10 years now and I fought really hard for being able to express myself as I have come to do. I was ten years and began to be aware of my passion of singing and my new interest in english language. Emma. I found your music in my childhood bedroom outside a small town in Sweden. I used to write when I listened to your music and my biggest wish was that someday I could write and express myself. Scotland For You Facebook @EmmaKullanderMusic Dear Tracy. Fast Car represents my childhood memory at my grandmother's house. I started collecting one CD after another and I got the whole collection of your music. 41 Glasgow.

Fast Car became my hope. knew it by heart. the LP has melted from the sun. Tracy Chapman was the first on my list but this time it was not only the love songs that drew me closer to her instead her social and politically songs unfolded my comprehension of what took place in our country when I was young. The song Fast Car means a lot to me. Now 30 years Heru kuti. I'm Bert happy Now. I have the CD. Sometimes I would have like to have a fast car so I can drive and drive. Their Stories With The Debut Album Morena Sbusiso Makade/Tem smakade910@gmail. i stayed in a psychiatric hospital. Anita. She brought with her the Debut Album of Tracy Chapman which I suspected it was a love gift from her boyfriend because she played mostly love songs from it. Most of all our innocent voices seem to soothe her moods. She's Got A Ticket my slogan. Now I’m married for 26 years and we have 3 children. South Africa The first time I heard the Debut Album of Tracy Chapman I was ten years old. From this lovely experience I learned to listen carefully to lyrics of any song and I developed a sharpened sense of choice in music. We would tease her when she was seem to be exhausted by her swellon belly by sing her favourite tune aloud not realizing that we were also paving our path to understand love.. the young ones. It was also the year marked by the release of one of the Pan Africanist political prisoner from Robben Island (Japhta Masimola). compassion and appreciation.. that she was polishing our pronunciation of word and printing pleasant memories of childhood during difficult times in our country as we did when she was moody. 45 Drunenn Netherland Fast Car I was 15 years old. I thought later. she would smile truthful and call us to sing with her. 39 She’s Got Her Ticket Johannesburg.. I started buying books to read on my own when I couldn't make it to university. I was away from home. Now I value my ability to discipline myself without authority. Thanks!!!! Your music keeps me going on!! 56 . I was Bert confused about life.. when I could read better. she would keep on rewinding the tape to sing which her favourite song Baby Can I Hold You to an extent that we. It was the last years of a dying oppressive system of apartheid in our beautiful country of South Africa. I listen to the cd and it reminds me of the time when I was a teenager. My sister cousin who was pregnant at the time had to move from the rural homeland of Eastern Cape to southern township of Johannesburg where our family was in order to receive better health care for her well wombed child. When I became matured enough to buy my own music.

I am not girlfriend number ninety-nine. twenty-nine. So when my mother matches me up with this guy. a good job. ever got divorced. then gets silent as it fades. Just when they were about to lose hope. even. what could be better? My mother glows during the months that our relationship grows. The Dodge Dynasty takes me to his parents’ house every week where I am introduced as his girlfriend but looked at like the daughter-in-law. who's one of her real estate clients and who just bought a house from her that will be built over the months of our relationship. driving from one place to another. treated badly and then dumped. Was he setting the anthem for our relationship even then. I imagined myself a coveted object: a womb with legs. his pager going off. and certainly he’s working when we’re out on dates. and the pager goes off every time we’re out. this girlfriend is good 57 . for some reason. like just-waiting-for-the-court-date-divorced. Soon we are dating steadily and soon I am spending a lot of time in the car with Tracy Chapman. left in hotel and restaurant parking lots with the stereo on while my boyfriend makes service calls for his job because. It takes me to my boyfriend’s company picnic where I’m introduced as his girlfriend but looked at like just another one of an innumerable line of lovers he’d had. single. and this is my first date. USA Fast Car Girlfriend Number Ninety-Nine Our relationship starts off with me floating out of my apartment and into his brand new Dodge Dynasty company car. It’s 1989 and I’m kind of divorced. he’s working during our endless Mexican meals. brick-type mobile phone. I console myself that this relationship is different. giving people around us the distinct impression that he’s a doctor. This is what I dreamed of when trapped in my marriage: dating anyone but my ex-husband. but really he’s just a salesman for a commercial products company and so it’s always just restaurants and hotels calling with their version of an emergency: they ran out of soap. The Dodge Dynasty takes me a lot of places. he works twenty-four hours a day. I wonder later? Because this album forms our theme song and sets its tone from the first night: bad things are happening and any optimism is perhaps misplaced. He’s working when we were rolling around on the bed. our first date. baskets of chips disappearing one after the other. His parents are thrilled. to be sitting passively in this monster of a car while he guns the engine and pops in a cassette tape. So I am thrilled to be in that car. Tracy Chapman’s Talkin’Bout A Scottsdale. The fantasy that fueled me all the years I was with my ex-husband is that if I ever got free. thrilled to not be married any longer. 57 lindajpr1@gmail. thrilled. He has a pager and a heavy. Their Stories With The Debut Album Linda Pressman. the minute I became single I’d be snatched up.

getting me ready for sadness. the dial tone humming. intertwined forever which I consider quite romantic although he doesn't seem as passionate about Tracy Chapman as I am. no. which had seemed so full of possibilities starting out. from stucco to paint. noncommittal way.playing out of the cassette player. like when a divorce starts with a word and ten years later the couple is done. Finally. he hasn't memorized any songs. from open door to shut. I had the washer and dryer. to apologize. the front yard moving from dirt to trees. I stalk the house he's building. not quite understanding what just happened. He agrees it’s good that I have a washer and dryer. furious. fallen off a cliff. a revolution. Then he tells me he's bought a washer and dryer. He hangs up on me one time. although that is unsaid too. calling back later. in a cautious. My divorced years. I was supposed to live there when it was finished. to me driving over. In the final dying days of our relationship. Another time he yells at me and then calls back later to apologize. after all. I watch as construction moves along. I inherit the Tracy Chapman cassette.she in a Fast Car and we in a fast car . It takes me to his townhouse where it then takes me home again in the morning. he happens to need a set. Still. leaving me looking quizzically at the phone in my hand. When we begin to unravel it starts slowly. from chicken wire to stucco. After the breakup. 58 . Then he storms out of my apartment. playing it to remind myself of both the good times and the bad times. I'd get there and he wouldn't touch me. to two-by-fours to walls. equipped for breakup. To occupy my time as I sit in the car parked behind the various restaurants in the car out by the dumpsters I memorize the words to all the Tracy Chapman songs. that we are in love. Then he calls back to apologize. he’s reduced me to a late-night call. certain there is some mistake. It’s unsaid but implied that this will be my house. we make some tentative plans as we rattle through the house. finished. Their Stories With The Debut Album enough to bring home. The Dodge Dynasty takes me to the house he’s building and I watch with him as it rises from plumbing pipes to concrete slab. There is no later call to apologize. On my final drive in the Dodge Dynasty we have a fight and he. down winding mountain roads with only the sound of Tracy Chapman . Through sheer willpower he’d succeeded in turning into girlfriend number ninety-nine. His mother sits down on the couch in their tiny family room. gossipy chats with me. turning his back on me in bed. of course. The Dodge Dynasty takes me on long drives to restaurants and bars. drives me home and tells me to get out of the car. the sounds of Tracy Chapman singing Baby Can I Hold You filling my tiny Toyota Corolla. had hit a wall. and then to chicken wire. pats the cushion next to her and has cozy. his music and now mine. But.

USA 59 . 51 Flickr @sreed99342 London. Their Stories With The Debut Album Steve Reed. UK (but from the USA) The photo was taken in 2010 in Washington.C. D..

I wanted to runaway and Fast Car and She’s Got Her Ticket were the two songs I listened to over and over again as I dreamed about leaving and starting a new life. JennX. I had no idea who Tracy Chapman was. She gave me hope. Kathleen. USA I rarely know the names of who sings what. or what it is called.. I used a pen to wind the tape back into the cassette. My friends all thought I was weird as they all liked boy bands but it was this album that kept me happy and dreaming of the future and ultimately got me through some very hard London.. Your voice touched my soul in a quiet way. but I picked it up. She gave me light at the end of my dark tunnel. The tree of life grows strong.your presence is a gift. I know your name. threw my back pocket and took it Houston. and my unborn child's life.the messages it carries .. Some deeper than others.. Minnesota debating on whether or not to jump in front of the next train. Tracy . I was skipping school and I hated my father because he was abusive to me and I felt he didn’t love me which made me miserable. Their Stories With The Debut Album Jemma. and will always believe that Tracy Chapman's Debut Album saved my life.. the whole album became my soundtrack to life. In time. even tho several parts were slowed and sounded warped. I listened to her words over and over all night long. and tall in you Thank you for sharing. I have often thought about writing to her and thanking her. It was June of 1989 and I found myself pregnant and alone. Some songs and voices that reach me leave their initials carved in the bark of my heart. for literally saving my life. appreciate your voice . At the time. but just never have. and life of my unborn child. then I put it in my cassette player and pressed play.and depth of ground at the root. so.. 37 jimjamjam@hotmail. As I was walking along I looked down and saw a white cassette with the tape strewn everywhere. Tracy. I could not believe my ears! It sounded like poetry that was set to music. USA Talkin’ Bout A Revolution I believe. through all your songs. I was walking along the railroad tracks in my hometown of Lake City. 60 . 47 kroppiegirl@yahoo. United Kingdom She’s Got Her Ticket I was 12 when I first heard this album. Thank you. 67 If Not Now… Seattle. until now. I have been a dedicated fan ever since the day she saved my life... I was too scared to tell anyone.

Their Stories With The Debut Album Lauren Atkinson. this album. 30 leatkins27@gmail. I pursued a master's degree in Social Work. to my sister. I considered lip-syncing to Fast Car in my 5th grade talent show. There were of course children's songs and songs my mom played in the car that I could sing along original experience of self-awareness as an elementary-aged child. imagining myself donning a wig made of dreadlocks. Not recognizing its age-inappropriateness. This Greensboro. I assumed she was referring to She's Got Her Ticket. Tracy Chapman was on my brain. a high schooler in the early nineties . though I did not yet understand the depth of wisdom and beauty that I would someday discover through this work of art and social activism. Still today. I heard it from her own beautiful vocal chords.eight and a half years my elder. so naturally it was mine. but this was the first song I actively chose to listen to. 61 . But. and to my spiritual self the way only beautiful music can. This experience wasn't random. being 1997 at this point in time. And still today. As an adult. I heard this song floating down the hall from her room to mine. Tracy Chapman and her Debut Album have had a place in my heart since the moment my sister brought Fast Car into my life. USA Fast Car Fast Car was the first "real" song I ever knew. My sister . but. Fast Car connects me to my inner child. and this artist became part of my identity. friends tell me I'm who they think of when they hear Fast Car. and this artist remain an integral part of my identity. my present-day self connects to the meaning of Tracy's lyrics. unlike my inner child. and it was at that point in my life that I more fully understood what an advocate Tracy Chapman is for social justice. which continue to serenade me and the rest of the world today. I heard it playing in her 1988 Acura Integra while she drove me to soccer practice.was my inspiration. a song I gradually memorized from beginning to end. When my friend told me her favorite song was Fly. she was of course referring to Sugar Ray's hit single. a song and an artist that felt like mine . The knowledge I gained through my education illuminated the power of her words and how effectively and poetically she sheds light on the oppressive realities of our society. It was her new favorite song. this song. this album. and I was proud of it. North Carolina.

If not now began to play and tears streamed down my face. getting power from her music when they feel weak. Oddly enough. This Album is truly a part of the soundtrack to my life. the feeling of changing the world and on the other hand when I felt lonely she always reminded me to keep on going. FL. and I realized how much my time with him has shaped my existence as a woman. I have two great daughters now and . as I pictured being that little girl again. he would play Tracy Chapman’s album and we would both sing at the top of our lungs and laugh until we got wherever we were going. I'm singing with Tracy for them and while I enjoy the moments of motherhood I often have a flashback of my own youth and in my head I see my girls listening to Tracy in the future. Germany Since I was a small kid I know the songs from Tracy... When the album Our Bright Future got released I went to her concert in munich. The most prevalent memory that I will always treasure is going joy riding with him in Louisville. In my youth I was listening to all her songs so many many times. cause this was the last time she went on tour. Their Stories With The Debut Album Buma. sadness (a broken heart needs more than just time. 29 Fast Car Munich. My mom had a cassette and this cover picture is branded so deep in my memories of my childhood. As we rode. this was such an big event and I'm still so happy we joined it. happiness (I was listening with friends and a bottle of wine or vodka to her. I was born in 88 and the songs from Tracy Chapman accompany myself since I can think. USA My mother raised me alone but I would spend summers and holidays with my father. 62 .). We would go cruising in his Lincoln Towncar and he would let me sit up on the armrest with my arm around his shoulder while he drove. KY on those visits. I decided to play the album on YouTube.. I cannot count.. just like my old me <3 #teamchapman <3 Ebony. 32 If Not Now… Riverview.guess what? . I am still full of hope that one day she'll have a comeback. just last night as I was completing homework for my Masters’ program.. I miss him deeply and will go visit soon. I connect different emotions to her. My dad is much older and is not in the same health shape was he was back then.. having a drink with their friends.).we're listening to Tracy's songs while playing Lego.

I started falling in love with Tracy Chapman's music in a very early stage of my life. I used the long exposure technique to make the effect of light give this fast motion and create the sensation of someone feeling like drunk through the blur and city lights. her music comes even before knowing a single word in English. where few people knew about American music in General at that time. its presence continued till this very moment of me writing to you under her beats. I plugged my phone to the car's music player and the song was Fast Car. I grew up in a totally different environment. I feel lucky that the absolute coincidence played a noble role in bringing her music into my life. I took this picture while I was hanging out with my friends. Their Stories With The Debut Album Arif Ibrahim Abdulrahman. I am a photographer from Sudan. 34 Instagram @arifsnoopy Sudan My name is Arif Ibrahim Abdulrahman. that exactly hits the part of the song lyrics when it says: "So I remember when we were And your arms felt nice wrapped driving around my shoulders Driving in your car And I had a feeling that I belonged Speed so fast felt like I was drunk And I had a feeling that I could be City lights lay out before us someone" 63 . I practice different types of photography including abstract photography. what makes this image valuable to me is the moment behind it.

Happy 30th anniversary!!! Leo. This was the heightened time of stop and frisk. while living in D. As much as I admire her selflessness. was another one I listened to constantly. It genuinely expressed my emotional state. I attribute the privilege of knowing this album at such a young age to my mom who constantly had it on the CD player. USA For My Lover I was introduced to Tracy Chapman and all her glory during my sophomore year in college. my lover at the time proposed to me while visiting her in Arizona. Their Stories With The Debut Album Reva-Michaele. So she couldn’t fly. Tracy Chapman’s albums have truly saved me over the years. Listening to music was her only way of taking brief breaks from the everyday responsibilities and hardships. 34 Fast Car Iowa City. Honestly trying to figure out how I could rescue her from that hell. but her school visa had just expired. During this time I relentlessly played For My Lover. For You. I had become dependent on this album as an emotional Calvary. 64 . While aboard the greyhound. A recent opportunity to share with my mom the YouTube link to Chapman’s most recent live performance was such a special moment for me. this album is one of the first albums that I had ever listened to. because one of the officers filled out her paperwork wrong solely so he could "look" at her longer. My mom is such an amazing women that sacrificed her own dreams to support our family of four. USA As far as my memory goes back. She told me she wanted to start a life with me. She then was detained. 29 R_rosemond@yahoo.C.. Fast forward to a few years later. I cannot thank her enough for passing along her great taste of music. thus she tried to take a greyhound to me. I’m so grateful to her! For the past twelve years there’s not a week that goes Nashville. Her choices of music that I unknowingly grew fond of still resonates with me to this day. immigration started checking ID’s and passports. I felt like every word that came out her mouth was filled with sincerity and truth. She was held there for four months like a prisoner. I don’t listen to her. in a way saying thank you for everything my mom did for me and my family.

If the song came on in public. NY & Washington. or when our mother just wanted an excuse to hug us. first in one direction. and it’s in the background of some of my earliest memories. then in the other. but 25-plus years later. We were almost brought up together by the death of my father's sister. We didn’t have very much money. around 10 years later. she would put on that song. and loved. She made a spectacle out of us more often than not. A few months ago he came home to visit us. Their Stories With The Debut Album Itziar Álvarez. protected. and I think they gave her hope. DC. If we heard it in the car. 65 . For a few minutes. grab us in a bear hug and twirl us around. Then she’d pile my sister and me onto her lap in the oversized bowl chair in our living room. I think she identified personally with the songs. We only saw him on a few occasions but these days. I only feel the joy and the love that came out of the time the three of us spent together. but when I was about 5 years old he left. USA I was only an infant when Tracy Chapman released her first album. We even sang a song to our grandmother together. and we had that complicity of a long time ago again. 34 & 61 Baby Can I Hold You Brooklyn. hearing those first chords still makes me feel safe. Kate & Michelle. She was working 12-hour days while raising two young kids by herself. but my mom made it the soundtrack to my and my sister’s childhood. Baby Can I Hold You evolved into our anthem. I didn’t know her then. 17 Fast Car Salamanca. Our early childhood was a difficult period for her. she’d drop everything. with their grit and honesty. and all thanks to the amazing Tracy Chapman. When one of us was sad or worried. Tracy Chapman is the thread that brought us together and always will. 30. my mom would squeeze us really tightly and spin and spin and spin us all around together. Whenever the chorus came around. And despite all the album’s difficult themes. when I listen to it. she would pull into an area off the main road and drive in tiny little circles until the song ended. Abby. but I will never forget the tears of happiness that she shed that day. he was too involved in his adolescence to understand a little girl and I was too childish to understand him. She died a few months later. Spain I hadn’t seen my only cousin for many years. we are at the center of the universe and nothing matters but the three of us. but he presented it to me in such way that I fell in love with her until today. She played it on endless repeat. At some point along the way.

hanging by her feet from the bedroom door frame. would "say they can’t interfere with domestic affairs between a man and his wife. we were greeted by her cushion-less sofa. And as they walked out the door. "They had DNA evidence. like the song says. but there’s no fixing a flawed human being. looking for comfort she hadn’t received. The blood-soaked cushions were more than evidence. who had been murdered months earlier. they were a reminder of her absence. As I listened to Behind The Wall. nice and cozy where everyone knew everyone’s business. Behind The Wall gives voice to Irene. I thought back to the day when my sister Kathy and I were tasked with reclaiming Irene’s apartment. To break the cycle and to ensure her safety. Most times the police. the tears well up in her eyes. Their Stories With The Debut Album L. Irene. I was convinced. and she returned to California to start anew. Irene lived in a cute little duplex bungalow. The three duplexes were built in a close-knit horseshoe shape. Irene sought psychiatric therapy. pursued employment and informed all her 66 . We gasped before Kathy Round Mountain. "here to keep the peace. who like hundreds of thousands before and after her. When the police officer." removed the crime scene tape and allowed us into Irene’s apartment. For years. Irene liked to fix things. "Where the feck are the cushions?" We knew the answer. USA Behind The Wall The first time I heard Behind The Wall. The sofa was now like our family with missing parts." She would call our mother. It was a polite way of saying Paul’s semen and Irene’s blood. The officer said the cushions were confiscated. I chocked back tears as all the memories came rushing in. Irene endured Paul’s angry outbursts. the haunting lyrics and beautiful voice." he explained softly as he rolled up the tape. The lyrics described her last hours—and incidents she endured so many times before. became the victim of a violent man who didn’t like an independent woman. The final assault came in Virginia when Paul left Irene home alone. obtained a restraining order. but the shock of seeing Irene’s sofa looking like a toothless mouth forced the realization out of her. this ballad had to have been written about my eldest sister. 59 lcarricorussell@gmail. He went to the brig.

In many ways Tracy Chapman raised me." and had endured "another sleepless night for me" … Kathy muttered obscenities under her breath as I stared at Irene’s neighbors. 54 Why? Toronto. it was obvious these people had "…heard the screaming. 30 therossrebellion@gmail. Hopefully one day I will guide young girls like you did me Tracy. it was worth holding out for. Their Stories With The Debut Album neighbors of her situation. They did the hem and haw shuffle before describing what a wonderful person she was. Her morals ingrained in every thought. From the violence that had occurred in Irene’s tiny home. Laura Clare. how did they ignore "… when I heard the screaming" … followed by "… a silence that chilled my soul" … did they "… pray that I was dreaming" … "when I saw the ambulance in the road"? Behind The Wall was the siren call for me to leave my abusive marriage. together we sing "and finally see what it means to be living" while driving through a still beautiful Pinery Park Ontario. knowing what they knew. I started writing age 14. Canada Sweet memory of a 20 something me. not the money. I am more like her than any member of my family. Irene set about rebuilding her life. 67 . All I could think was. carefree and singing "I want a ticket to anywhere" while driving through the beauty of Pinery Park Ontario. coupled with two teens. my first song was called The Sky Was Blue and it was about the 9/11 terrorist Byron Bay. I have since built a music career (and turned down a record deal with a major label offering to turn me into a shallow pop act singing other people’s songs). Tracy taught me that it’s about the message. Thank you. Linda Hazard. I wouldn’t of dared to stand out from the crowd. Australia Across The Lines Tracy Chapman’s Debut Album came out the year I was born and played on repeat by my mother and now by me. Fast forward to a 50 something me. Thinking she had covered all the bases. I too had a unique voice." "loud voices behind the wall. deep and husky from a young age and had I not been exposed to Tracy’s beautiful deep unapologetic tone. and her integrity carried on through my own music. I am now about to sign a record deal with another major label. The value is in what you leave behind on this planet. That was until the night of February 4th. I owe you everything.

Baby Can I Hold You has always played at the right times. Thank you so much. anger & a belief in magic. UK The album was the soundtrack to my formative years. growing up fast as an English girl in Singapore. This song has made me ache with grief. Their Stories With The Debut Album Hollis Carney.holliscarney. As I grow it means more and more to me. and has taught me so much. and then learning to know what it means and what it can transform. love. the power of 'sorry'. 39 Baby Can I Hold You 68 . I have a print I created which is on my website in the gallery of my nod to Tracy Chapman https://www. Saying sorry.

. The killer even abused the kids. Shortly thereafter I was given my first guitar. 30 years later. I left him and immediately ran into a emotionally abuse that I tried for another 5 yrs but what most brought it all home was my only childs murder by her kids dad. In 1 nite I lost my only family.. DSS did nothing even after she was dead. I will always thank Tracy Chapman for being a part of our love story.. Becca... I kept quiet for 17 yrs. she was already dead almost 2 days.. cause he beat her for 11 yrs and every where I call I get the same response.. USA I was a victim all my life from a young child.. USA Baby Can I Hold You My story starts in a small city in Brazil called Santa Barbara. her songs are still my favorite thing to play on my guitar.. I’m disable veteran and don’t have the money to fight for visits. Their Stories With The Debut Album Brenda. 55 Behind The Wall Fayetteville... He beat her over 60 times with a table leg. 43 Baby Can I Hold You Brunswick.. From this chance meeting and after over a year of writing love letters and me sending her Tracy Chapman's Debut Album on a cassette tape across the Atlantic Ocean we became husband and wife. My father did things to me too. She lived for 49 hrs but he took 4 days to call 911. 48 zematthew@yahoo. 69 . I only hope by telling my story I help just 1 person not to live this kinda life and kids don’t lay in bed at nite and hear what is really going on. ME.. It sucks too. The cops did nothing.... You can reach me if you have any questions at 240 803 9032 Matt Barnes..... This is where I was visiting 19 years ago from the United States when I happened to be walking down the street and met Ana Carolina.... Now almost 20 years later with 2 kids. When I ran into the army to be forced sex on me 3 times by 3 officers. I knew no chords but the first thing I did was sit on the floor and listen to Baby Can I Hold You over and over until I could play it... to a 5 yr relationship that I was beaten on a regular basis. The song on Tracy’s album that speaks about through the wall makes me think of what my gbabies experience their whole lives. He killed there mom in front of them.. DSS lied to me and stop all contact with my gbabies with no reason. USA At age 13 I saw Tracy on Saturday Night Live and was moved in a way no performance had ever moved me Saline.

the love and warmth they gave us for those years they were alive. My joy was brought to an abrupt halt however when after many days of continuous Tracy Chapman my father in law inquired if I had brought any other tapes with me. at the time I was struggling with life and self harm. I am now in recovery and have been for over 4 years now. Scotland She’s Got Her Ticket I first heard this album when I was 14 year old . I now work with people who have addiction issues who have been through similar story's like mine and I've always had a ticket. I've found the song isn't about having a ticket to escape life any more. I was with my husband. Their Stories With The Debut Album Lynne. emotional and sexal abuse that song sent so much. Every time I listen to the album it reminds me of the anticipation of seeing them both. England I miss my grandparents so much. but I remember making the almost hour journey every Sunday to see them in the car when I was smaller. drug addiction that song means so much a lot more. we sang our hearts out every journey for years my little sister and I. I enjoyed it so much. We had the album on cassette and played it every journey. 62 Baby Can I Hold You Liverpool. 36 laurageddes2@gmail. I'm now 36. as a child who had been through so much physical. England I love this album and as soon as I purchased it I took it with me on a caravan holiday. Thank you Tracy x 70 . it’s about having the courage to live it when all the odd have been against you. two young children and father in law who owned the Glasgow. After several more suicide attempt. it’s just now I'm using it not to escape my life but to help others survive it x James. He was obviously not as impressed with the album as we were. Chewy G. 36 She’s Got Her Ticket London. played it over and over again and managed to sing along with the tracks after only a few days. find a purpose in life and standing up for what you believe. The song She’s Got Her Ticket was the song that was playing on repeat the night I tried to commit suicide.

It was a bonding of sorts between a Turk and an African-American in of all places Switzerland! Next thing we know a white car appears to our left. I would intervene. Their Stories With The Debut Album Donna Neil-Demir. Can I sit by and watch my husband subjected to God knows what? The decision was made. then speeding up in front of us. His English was so so and he was able to grasp Fast Car easily unlike his brother who spoke no English but loved to flash the CD cover. Pretty. Oh how I loved/love the album. Out of the white car emerges 2 men and a VERY large 3rd person with long blond hair. Americans and myself were accepted. All the songs. As for my new brother in-law this was his way of offering assurance that America. my husband steps out. USA I remember it all as though it was yesterday. 58 Fast Car Palos Heights. In the early years home was the small town of Basel Switzerland. my husband of 6 months and I were on the freeway headed home.. South Africa Fast Car Tracy Chapman's music makes me end up crying every time I listen to it.. your music is food to my soul.I try not to panic but my husband grows tired of this game and motions for the car to pull over. I love you Tracy. 71 . I'll be turning 54 in January 2018. Keep in mind this was a time of high racial tensions with many refugees seeking asylum all across Europe. that's what she was twists and talent apologetically KOOL and Black. A cover I was so proud Brakpan. The strangest part is that every time I feel down I just listen to her music starting from Fast Car and so on. it reminds me of many of my friends and family who have passed on. ALL the songs were and still are so timelessly engaging. By the way. They pull over. As we try to get away the car is close behind. 54 thithorejoice@gmail. I was in the process of explaining the lyrics of For My Lover as we flew down the road. For My Lover still playing. IL. definitely-not a woman! I watch the scene play out like a movie it becomes clear that I am going to have to make a decision. It was winter 1988. It appeared to be 2 men and a woman with long hair riding in back. It was Tracy Chapman "TWISTS and Talent". As I open the car door with Tracy blasting I jumped in between two of the men grabbed my husbands resisting arm and drug him back to the car… FOR MY LOVER… FOR MY LOVER.

Tracy still playing over and over-until l have to flip the cassette-I feel like life is possible… I’m possible. I lay at her grave. Before I take off.check. it’s late. I think if she were here everything would be better. I too have a voice that needs to be heard. I rewind the tape to For You and get it all out before I get there. USA Cigarettes-check. Batteries-check. When I pull up to her grave. As I get into my fast car. The sun rises and I know in my heart that I’m leaving this cemetery a new person. Sprite. surviving on my own in an alcoholic abusive home. 72 . like always. It’s a 4-hour drive and I’ll spend it chain smoking. I’d like to say that I drove fast to feel the wind on my face and have that freeing feeling but actually I spent most of my time running away and hoping that I would lose control. crying and singing at the top of my lungs so the whole world can hear me. I look up at the stars and wonder if my Mom sees me. Tracy. propped between the bench seat and the dash-check. Their Stories With The Debut Album Ellen. is singing tonight. I know I don’t have to go home. She’s dead and buried up north where she and us kids would go in the summers without my Dad. Boom-box. allow me to fight for what is right. I know when I hear her sing that women are strong and that includes me. I grab a blanket and find my Mom. It is in her words that give me the strength to see beyond myself. I’m speeding again. and show me that I am worth it all and can make a difference for others. Motherless. I shut off the headlights and listen to the buzzing in the air. She’ll get me all the way there. 43 If Not Now… Minnetonka. Volume on high-check. You see. I press play to If Not Now and head south to my new life. As I listen to Tracy’s words. the words have new meaning. I hope so. I’m going to visit my Mom. I’m 18 now and I’m going to college. windows down and headed north. Tonight though. The last 2 miles I slow down. memories flood my brain of the first time I heard the album Fast Car with my Mom. This annual drive gives me time to speed and not think. When I arrive. I just want to drive fast and hear the music. I sing louder because I miss her so much. I press play to my favorite tape. living out in the middle of nowhere Tracy gives me hope.

2017. USA Instagram @mylivelybrush http://www. It was your messages that spoke to my heart and made me want to survive in my environment and be true to myself. It stated: Dearest Tracy. 73 . 43 Facebook @ArtofEllenSweetman I wrote to Tracy through her FB page on August 30th.. I wanted to say thank you for your music over the years. I was asked from my mentor to answer the ? who is a big influence on my art and why do I paint. I'm sure you are told this a lot. I'm grateful that you exist in our world. The paintings are from my sketchbooks 20 years ago. Their Stories With The Debut Album Ellen Sweetman. I think sometimes thank you's are never enough. Minnesota. your voice carried me most of my younger years when I literally had no one. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for your talents and gifts.livelybrush. So. She then told me to contact that person no matter how out of reach it may seem. I retitled them to reflect the songs in which I felt most related to each painting.. your words.

Anyway I wrote this piece that tells how I made it. Seems like Tracy's album came out just in time to save me from me. 55 Fast Car Minneapolis. I played this album all day everyday to ease my mind. Thanks Tracy I dreamed about you endlessly saving me rescuing thee from the blind dark space I held you sang I listened over and over I played you happy for a time crying my pains other days I dreamed I screamed I cried I died You were there holding me Telling me it was okay you sang I listened and in the end We both made it Deborah R Shaw The Silent Stalker 74 . USA Can't remember all the issues but I thought about killing myself everyday for a year. Their Stories With The Debut Album Deborah. I was getting sober 1988 and my relationship was ending and my life was a mess.

I was 22. I had a cassette player with headphones. but when you are 22. Living at home under constant pressure to get a job where you had to type 60 words per minute and wear a suit was not an option. Love. It also made me realize how lucky I was to get the choice to do so. I wasn't good at my job. but passionate. it seems that way. CA. Now. My major was Business Admin with a concentration in Marketing. 52 Fast Car Peoria. when? Sarah. then when would we? It was at that time that my husband decided to relocate to Northern California. but this will have to do. My parents wanted me to be a career person. more to be independent than anything. He lived in Southern California and I lived in Northern. Sales or Management. Sarah 75 . if not now. Their Stories With The Debut Album Robin Pollock. USA When my husband and I were dating. we stop what we’re doing and reminisce about that time. Closing down the salad bar and restaurant was much easier with Tracy in my ear. I was young. or something. like. Not even close. Wow. which is actually no big deal. meaning that I was supposed to actually do something with my college degree. We were married within a year and are celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary this year. I never thought I'd get the chance to thank her. Thank you Tracy for all you are. The majority of the music on the radio stations in the late 80's didn't inspire. Neither of which I could get behind. This story doesn't even come close to what I feel about her contribution to my life as it is right now. Which meant. When the song came out If Not Now it really made us stop and think: If we don’t get together now. Melissa Etheridge and Tracy Chapman. we had to have a long distance relationship. whenever we hear it on the radio. or pull off. We played the song at our Wedding Reception because it meant so much to both of us. I wish I could tell her in person. USA I was going through a difficult time in my life. be a secretary. It brings tears to my eyes every time I hear the song and remember how much we wanted to be together and how the song made us realize. 63 If Not Now… Sacramento. She was beyond the most passionate songwriter I had ever experienced. At this point in my life. Her songs gave me the courage to move on. Then came the Indigo Girls. I ended up as an assistant manager at Wendy's.

. be someone.. I had just got my school diploma and was wondering what to study in the future. I switched it on (or. comforted. "I pressed the 'on' button"). from time to time I feel the need to sit down. But just like the story in the Kid. I was 8 years old and we had some very troubled family dynamics going on. "You got a fast car". Tunisia. be someone". Tunisia I remember that day well. Always have it on standby to play. "There was no doubt!") By the time the song had finished. "and be someone. Then the voice came in. put that record on and listen. brings me to a place spiritually that both uplifts me and let’s me cry it out. It all starts and always leads back to this album for me. USA I first heard Tracy when her first album was released. every album. I put the tape on and was so soothed. and remember the same feeling that I felt on the day when I knew for the first time that I wanted to play music.. gentle and deep. No doubt ! (maybe. 34 Fast Car Tunis. http://www. Now that I have become a musician. I remember the chords. A scared little girl trying to find her voice. To this day.. 37 Mountains O’ Things Glen Ellyn. She is so gifted and has this ability to help me remember who I am at times when I feel lost.abderraoufouertani. Abderraouf. 76 . I had already taken my decision to study music. At that particular moment I understood that music was the most important thing for me. That music was the way. One of my best friends gave me that Tracy Chapman tape. Their Stories With The Debut Album Abderraouf Ouertani. It was the Fast Car track. North Africa. listen to that voice in me and follow my passion. one of my parents must have picked up the cassette tape. and it was like she held me in her arms. I am in her debt forever. every journey. that sweet guitar loop. things went differently and it took me several years to realize that I had to be courageous and honest.

and should not. with my children’s writing. One of my favorite song was (and still is) Fast Car. and one day I bought the CD. but there is something special. Your songs resonate and your words have touched so many. and I still can’t explain it. A special thing that I felt when I was this little girl. but I still don’t understand why I loved her music so much. her soul. I was struggling at school at the time and her music was a way for me to forget about my troubles. United Kingdom When I first heard Tracy's Debut Album it changed my life . The album has a real place in my heart. 44 Mountains O’ Things Preston. I think that sometimes the most magical things that happens in our favourite song on the whole album is Mountains O' Things I think I wore the CD out singing along with that song. and I immediately fall in love with her voice. Of course now I understand the lyrics.I was 14 years old and someone bought my mum the album on CD. I clearly remember listening to it for the first time. At that time I was a big fan of Michael Jackson (and still is). even if I could not understand a word of what he was singing! I’m French… When I first listening the Tracy Chapman’s album. that I keep feeling all over this years. I could not explain why she touched me so much and so deeper. France When the first album of Tracy Chapman came out I was a ten years old girl. but it was the case. I could listen this song all the time. It was magic! I could have the lyrics as well as the translations! I could finally understand all of her songs! Now that I’m a 39 years old women. Thank you Tracy for bringing so much joy to people all over the world. Then I started to learn English on middle school. 77 . 39 Fast Car Nice. I’m still thinking that way with the Tracy Chapman’s first album. it was at my uncle place. and that what he did. Robin Ridgley. I’m still listening of the Tracy Chapman’s album. I remembered of writing carefully the name of the songs. I cannot believe its 30 years ago since the album was released it sounds even better today than it did then. the power of her voice. I kept this tape many years with me. the meanings. can’t be explained. Their Stories With The Debut Album Virginie Vignolo. I had never heard songs like this before with words with so much emotion . Maybe this is just the power of music. So I asked to my uncle if he could recorded me the vinyl on an audiotape.

I do not speak English. but I do feel your music. I was a teenager when my cousin put on the Fast Car radio cassette. 78 . it was your Debut Album. Spain Instagram @rafaelcachaldora http://cachaldora. Their Stories With The Debut Album Rafael Cachaldora. Today I know what your song means and it is very similar to what I felt and felt when I heard this song. 44 Facebook @rcachaldora Twitter @rcachaldora I knew your music traveling by car.

He is become mature enough to fight the system and he is planning a small revolution. I had decided that I want to become a musician and a writer after doing business for 20 years plus. 79 . The 3rd verse is about the gas and how the rich companies that had found it should return it to the people. The first verse is about a child that his parents send him to go to sleep. I loved her song Talkin’Bout A Revolution and the whole album produced in 1988 when I was only 16 years old and it moved me. My mother always told me I can’t sing and now she is amazed to see that I can. The hebrew words are very different from the original song and so is the music. economist and I am passionate about making our planet better for everyone. 4 years ago after a trip to Brazil. Not so many views but not bad for my first song ever. The second verse is about the child that has now become a man and will not allow the government and the media tell him to go to sleep. next to Tel Aviv. Talkin’ Bout A Revolution Israel Hi my name is Barak Paz Tal and i am 45 year old from Israel. but he does not want to go to Givatayim. 45 Barak. Their Stories With The Debut Album Barak Paz Tal. I live in Israel and i am the author of 100 Vacation days a year which is now live in English in Amazon. but I was inspired by the original song. In 2015 I had decided to create my own Hebrew version of the song as an activist song to fight the Gas companies that found Gas in the Mediterranean sea and took it away from the people while inflating the price of Here is the song in Youtube https://youtu. and I like green energy and drive an electric car. I still have a lot of work to develop my voice and my guitar skills but I am on my way there. Singer songwriters like Tracy help me get inspired and overcome the challenges I face as a young musician. I am an activist entrepreneur.paztal@gmail. I had no experience and background in music what so ever only strong passion to learn after long years of listening to great artist like Tracy Chapman.

I remember talking to my mum about the songs and how they were telling stories so clearly in their lyrics. and I have a dream to perform it with her one day on a live stage. The song was broadcasted in the local Israeli Radio channel B known as "Reshet Beth" once in an activist broadcast in September 2015 short time after it was released and up to date this is my only released song that I had recorded in a studio. 80 . Their Stories With The Debut Album I would love Tracy to know about my song. listening to those familiar songs we’d heard so many times together was a comfort then as it is now. With Love. borrowed it and listened to it again and again in my room. it was the first time I’d realised that a song could tell those kind of real stories. I am planning now my first album that will be in English and will be released hopefully in 2018. 39 Fast Car Manchester. 28th February 2018. my mum died after a very short illness. admiration and great respect to Tracy. Barak Shelly Harvey. In 2015. I am not sure how this can be done but I am a strong believer in dreams. UK When I was around 10 years old my mum bought a copy of Tracy Chapman’s Debut Album on vinyl 12 inch. aged only 59 years old and when I drove back from the hospital at about 2am having just said goodbye for the final time it was Tracy Chapman’s album I put on in the car. The closing date for requests falls on my 40th birthday. so feels like fate I spotted your Facebook post asking for stories. That album always stayed close to my heart and it’s one I can always listen to again and again. I saw Tracy perform in Manchester with a close friend years later and hearing her perform those songs live was such a privilege. I instantly loved it.

I was in my room with the door closed and I used to slip always at same part of the music but still persistent. Australia She’s Got Her Ticket I was born in 1988. when I got my drivers license. I must have listened to this tape over 1000 times. When we where at home as a family on Sunday's doing jobs around the house we would have the tape playing on the stereo. so. 30 g_parton@hotmail. I grew up with my mum playing Tracy Chapman in the car when we would drive to see our family. North Carolina. USA For My Lover In 2016 I put down my guitar and I was a Manager at McDonald's. Every time I get in the car and put this tape on I get taken back to my childhood. I get transported to a relaxed state of mind and life seems a little better. Grant Parton. I was working 60 hours a week sometimes. To this day this is the only tape I have had in my car (yes I still have a cassette player in my car). One day. who lived a day's drive away. Brazil Baby Can I Hold You was the first music that I learned to play entirely on acoustic guitar. but I could easily listen to it another 1000 times because her music brings a new meaning to me as I get older and hopefully a little wiser. When I paused to took a rest because my fingers were so tensed. Now I'm playing music again and I have a different job now. I was going through so many problems with my job and my marriage. I left my room.garcia1ykm@yahoo. 21 Talkin’ Bout A Revolution Salvador. Roberto Garcia. my parents were outside listening me play and they congratulated me for my goals. Their Stories With The Debut Album Ione Cristina / One. I got my paycheck and I went to Dean's music and I saw the first Tracy Chapman album. It was the first time they listening me playing a music which they knew very well. Fast forward to 2005. Thank you Tracy! 81 . 23 roberto. The more I listened to it the more I became inspired and I pick my guitar up Brisbane. the first cassette I got for my car was this very tape of Tracy Chapman from Marble.

the lyrics.-) And whenever I see the dark side of America . sexism . I can sing along from beginning to end. 82 . Like every true artist Tracy Chapman can capture the common truth in a specific narrative. A story of a poor.homophobia. Germany Twitter @sos25 Facebook @stefan. although all the stories are not necessarily my story. All the songs on this Debut Album manage to achieve that .o. And I am crying a little. uneducated woman hanging her hopes on a guy with a fast car and not much else. it was touching me and talking to me nevertheless. of course .9 When I heard Fast Car in 1988 I was immediately blown away. You could hear the end of this ‘love’ story already in the beginning of the song. almost word for word. Although I could not personally attach myself to the story. The music. the sadness in Tracy's voice. . racism.they all tell something about my life. 53 Instagram @sos2501 Berlin. Whenever there is a song of this album on the radio.words of this album jump to my mind. Their Stories With The Debut Album Stefan Schmidt. And I hear TC’s voice yearning for a better version of her country.

Many times I had seen my mother‘s swollen and battered face. My father ruled over the household with a heavy hand and my mother bore the brunt of it all. but shame each time she suffered the abuse. Zambia BEHIND THE WALL The lyrics of this song were so real to my life at the time I first heard it. I kept things in. Thankfully times have changed." Even your own family was ashamed of you for causing your husband’s dissatisfaction to the point where he was compelled to beat you. 43 Baby Can I Hold You Lusaka. The overriding emotion I saw on her face was not pain. I can see that the chaos I was confronted with those years took away some confidence from me. shame on her. When I look back now. The shame and silence on her part could have stemmed from the way our society perceived an abused woman. It was common to hear whispers behind an abused woman’s back saying "he can’t keep her home in order. I became more introverted as I felt that I had to hide those ugly aspects of my life from others. I ended up having very few friends. If an attempt to help the situation came from the family circle. It was as if the man could do no wrong. I don’t think people considered it a crime at the time. It was a 83 . The chilling scene described is very similar to the ones I often saw in our home as I was growing up. The song not only captures the terror I felt as I witnessed these things happening but it also gave me some very much needed emotional support. Even If I had wanted to share my troubles with anyone. There were times she spent the nights with our neighbours after being beaten and thrown out of the house. shedding tears of helplessness. The mind- set promoted by this saying has lost its potency and so it is not as prevalent as it was back then. which when translated goes "a man‘s infidelity. We had the usual step children rivalry problems. it was usually to "re-educate" the woman on how she could improve in her role and appease the man. which was in the same year the album came out. In fact that is the idea echoed by one of the sayings in my country. it wasn’t going to be of much help because issues of domestic violence were overlooked in my community. Their Stories With The Debut Album Minty chocolate. does not break a home". but what made it unbearable was the abuse I watched my mother endure quietly. I came from a blended family.

I needed this because I didn’t have many places to find comfort. the song reminds me that whether I am a victim or a witness. Jarad. I shouldn’t wait until I see "the ambulance in the road". she's still one of my favorite artist. There is something I can do to help the situation. There has been progress. I was comforted by the thought that someone knew my pain. which every man had to deal with as he deemed fit. Further. the feelings invoked are of hopefulness since we are now able to speak up about domestic abuse freely and seek help from law enforcement authorities. Thirty years later. Some day I hope to take my mom to go see her live would be a dream come true! 84 . United States I was born in July of 1988. "I understand". it was not anyone else’s business. 29 Behind The Wall Watertown. Even though the events described in the song are heart- rending. I am grateful that my love for music came quite early because I could find solace in a song when I felt low. My mother was a single parent and was dealing with my father walking out. and this song is still part of my emotional first aid kit especially when I am thinking about that painful part of my childhood. to make them less prominent. She constantly listened to her first record religiously. She's obviously the first music artist I was ever into. but listening to the song helps to massage the emotional scars they made. Behind The Wall became a special song for me. Talking about domestic abuse is not a taboo anymore. With an older mind now. I felt as if I had poured my heart out to a close friend and she responded by throwing her arms around me and saying. listening to it made me feel a bit better. If "dealing with it" meant abuse of his partner. each time I listen to this song. Their Stories With The Debut Album domestic matter. And to this day. because it somehow helped me to unburden myself of a painful and untold story I carried inside for a long time. Those terrifying memories from my childhood may not get erased from my mind. Society is ready to listen.

34 For You London.a Mesh-p.a. to date. lol. Gbenga Meshida.. 85 . hahaha. United Kingdom It's 1990.. Hyundai XL).. such as following the birth of my kids. Mum reaches over to the glove compartment and pulls out a cassette. I'm eternally thankful that I've had the privilege of listening to her music throughout my life . At the time (and during the 100's of journeys that follow). and. and we both break into song .. I've sung her songs to them as lullabies. however. I don't understand what it is I'm singing. I love you Tracy..k. still one of the highlights of my life. in the suburbs of Sydney Australia.. I naturally become more aware of the meaning of songs like Across The Lines.and watching her at The Roundhouse in London is.. Their Stories With The Debut Album Andie. I'm still a die hard Tracy Chapman fan. As I grow older. For My Lover remains a song close to my heart. while my own independent music choices start to take shape and meander through all sorts of genres. 37 gbengameshida@yahoo. In good times and bad! During "bad" times . Still remains my number one motivational songs. in the back of my Mum's "little chili pepper" (red. are my favourites). to this day. And as a die hard Tracy Lagos. Reminds me of my first love because I actually spent 5 days in a Nigerian cell for her. presses the "play" button on the dashboard. and I would like to do a cover of her song if she would mum tapping the steering wheel to the beat.whether it be heart ache or bereavement . lulling them both to peaceful slumber and. And Across The Lines is still one progression till today I still cant play. she swiftly removes the tape from its surrounding plastic and paper. in a single fluid motion. I just feel blissfully happy singing these beautiful songs with my Mum. about to embark on a typical 40 minute journey. Thank you Tracy. I'm 6 years old. it’s one of the first songs I learnt how to play on the guitar. I always return to Tracy. rebalancing my perspective and sense of hope in the process. words will never capture exactly how much your music means to me. In "good" times. creating two new Tracy fans in the process..her music has served as the antidote that my soul craves.. Any proceeds would go to charity. For You and If Not Now… (which.. Nigeria Fast Car The first track Talkin’Bout A Revolution took me from where I was to where I am. come to think of it.

. The Netherlands Instagram @Mattiailic Mountains O’Things Twitter @Mattiailic When I was a kid the selection of CD's. to accompany our morning ritual was often limited to about three of my stepdad’s favourites: Paul Simon’s Negotiations and Love Songs. It was often playing when I came downstairs to get ready for school and have breakfast and it made love for music a permanent part of who I am. Over the years..Mattiailic. The songs on her Debut Album are songs where every sentence in them is a poem and a painting on to itself. 29 www. 86 . enough said. One of these timeless classics that will never be Amsterdam. I further discovered the true genius in the album and ever since I laughed and cried with it and all her other albums. Bob Marley's Legend and Tracy Chapman’s '88 Debut Album which I thought was a greatest hits album for the longest time. Their Stories With The Debut Album Mattia Ilić.

USA She’s Got Her Ticket How do I Get this Right?: My Life According to Tracy Chapman’s Self- titled First I have been trying to write this essay for the past thirty years since the day I sat on my mothers couch and heard a voice. but mending. Jeannie. I realize along with Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez. I hear Odetta Holmes and Elizabeth Cotten in Tracy Chapman. I heard the urgency in the lyric. like Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now (secret wish: Tracy Chapman will cover that song). "Yes. My jams were from a previous generation. "We have got to get out of here!" Getting out of here was a sentiment I understood. Miriam Makeeba’s. Pata Pata. it was a classic folk song. I remember the song ending and wanting to hear it again. yet so familiar. Beware of fools who ain’t about nothing but slowing you down. Their Stories With The Debut Album Sherrie Fernandez-Williams. and Celia Cruz’s Guantanamera all in the icon of my youth and my now. 47 sfernandezwilliams@gmailcom Saint-Paul. There was something in the story she was telling that I profoundly understood. In 1988. Even though it was the late 80’s and I was a black girl living in the housing projects in Brooklyn. I remember not understanding how was it possible that I had never heard the song before. I had been the fool and will be again. exposing an honest heart. although surely. I remember afternoon sun pouring through lace curtains. Letta Mbulu’s. My mother in the kitchen. and Janis Ian’s At Seventeen. finding the exact words to 87 . NY. With each fail. women who looked like me who produced a music that spoke to me. I must admit. as if I heard the song when I was just floating energy looking for a womb to enter and provide me with a body. I knew a classic song of real folk when I heard one. It was what I wanted for myself. I recognize the impossibility of this task. Joan Baez’s version of Blowing in the Wind. Ain’t Gonna let Nobody Turn me Around. I hear Sweet Honey and the Rock’s. so different. I was fan of folk music like my oldest sister. Who was that voice speaking directly to me. If only I knew about Odetta Holmes or Elizabeth Cotten. How had it been so new. I remember the patterns left on the floor. Water running in the sink. perhaps my inner odd-child would have felt less odd. but with a caution. We have to make a decision. Oluwa. I’ve started and stopped this essay about ten times. Tracy Chapman. telling a truth that I shared? Who was the strummer of that guitar whose notes stopped time? Thirty years later. perhaps slightly broken. in my forties. leave tonight or either die this way. Now. rich and grounded but layered. a desire to escape my circumstances and a belief that I could. but Fast Car was brand new according to the DJ." I wanted to say back to the voice. There had been fools in my path before and more would follow. At times.

empathic. It was at that very special time in my life when I first declared myself a feminist. genetically and environmentally predisposed to going insane. my personal connection goes deep. listen to Chapman. identified my tribe. that wasn’t all of who we were. artistic. read black women writers like Walker. I had no intention of giving away my personal power. but with a shyness that might have kept us all from getting in too much trouble. honest and specific about a familiar pain. Jordan. Mountains O’Things. but I was mostly content to stay in the dorms. I defined myself. and authentic glee. anti-consumerism anthem. I had a feeling I could be someone. Set goals. She gave me the words to streamline my internal chaos into something productive. Although I wanted to serve. There were too many young deaths and I was certain I would have the misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time wrong time and get snuffed out before I could live a life of my choosing. a womanist. she found the exact right words to say what needed to be said and her message was further elevated by her uniquely emotive voice and melodies. fly. Like the protagonist in Chapman’s lyrics. except when it came to love. and a quiet revolutionary like the poor people rising up in Chapman’s Revolution. like a stowaway trying hard not to be seen. I would enter a profession where people are served and not exploited. 88 . I imagined myself living the (s)hero’s journey. fly. I was just fifty minutes away from home. 1988. especially someone who did not respect me. Never would I put my future in someone else’s hands. Yet. Things we won’t do for love. and discerned my purpose. the usual trials of public housing dwellers. Like the speaker in Fast Car. Be generous. She sung my trauma and hopes. Shange. Morrison. We weren’t huge risk-takers. This is the dream. On every track. Of course. full of deep emotion. Much of Chapman’s music has been a call to live right. Consume more than you need. be clear. poverty. We were a highly sensitive bunch. Live a life of the mind. My friends went home on the weekends. I would become an educator. Freshmen year. Aided by her music. I needed a way out. at seventeen and eighteen. crime. fly--overcome circumstances. Make you pauper or make you queen. Do not take more than what one needs. Teach young people how to properly flee unhappy circumstances. and make my own attempts at writing. Get my ticket and fly. Their Stories With The Debut Album describe a perfect album. College was going to remove the dark matter of hopelessness I felt at home during the height of the crack epidemic. but I had little interest in going there. Chapman and all of these women were in harmony with each other and I wanted to be in harmony with them all. Achieve. a family in a state of shell-shock. And. Lorde. Although I could backslide easily into self- doubt. something can happen to a young person on the escape route. became my anti-materialism. I found comfort on my sprawling suburban campus. It was a daily fear until college.

I want to dance to one of the sweetest love songs. I did forgive and I’d be close to forgetting until his rage reappeared. or forget to turn off the computer before going to bed. like in her New Beginning album. Eighteen years. I loved harder. dishes and furniture breaking. I’m still a super-fan of Tracy Chapman and her music continues to be the soundtrack of my life. a scholar with a terrific sense of humor. I’m ready to let the rivers wash over me. I’m launching my young adult children into the world and hoping for the best. When I marry my beloved. Perhaps I made a mistake. so when the reserved junior with the nice speaking voice came around. I came out as a proud. And while that particular story was being told. 89 . on the floor of my living-room. I hovered over a computer at coffee shops. I might be called a name. When he withheld love. The loud voices behind the wall came from our apartment. I set goals. Listening to Tracy Chapman’s music was my solace in dark days. When he asked me to marry him twenty-four hours after he was seen being publicly affectionate with the woman he was actually in love with. Left my body and went somewhere else. I am in a loving relationship with a magnificent human. libraries. We find a way to live as well as we can in the midst of it. I don’t know if I am living the shero’s journey. he would say. together. How else could I have stayed for as long as I did. I begged him not to. I was ready for a new beginning. Concerned or annoyed neighbors heard shouting. These days. If I protested. I might be berated or physically threatened. He was kind at first. Chapman’s. I’ve been an educator. I’m progressing through new work. I forgave. Sorry. After. there were more heavy things to carry in raising children alone. For years. for the most part. I’m ready. For more than a decade. I am certainly living a determined one. all of my paid vacation days went to telling the story of how I became that woman. walk away from it. I’ve held onto sanity. and eventually. We will marry soon. We cannot prevent tumult. hoping to get it right the second or third time. tipped over a glass. a rebirth. I’m ready. I think I dissociated. a battered spirit. When he tried to leave. Their Stories With The Debut Album she may develop a need for company. The police were called multiple times. but when the kindness faded. I let him in. After a day or two. Forgive me. didn’t tell him I needed to be at work thirty minutes longer than I thought. fourteen years of marriage. I wrote my first book and it was published. I felt I needed a partner on the journey toward my Bright New Future. screaming and pleading. Promise. Over a decade ago. he would apologize. I said yes. and now an arts administrator. grieving the loss of siblings and a mother. adjusting to life with more strained relationships. I knew that finding the right words would help me manage the confusion. all of these years. I’m ready. I make plans. a cleansing. queer woman of color.

Tracy. "Me too.1 Tracy Chapman is a big part of my life since i was a little girl. Carla Correale. I remember how the life of my choosing began thirty years ago with the help of Tracy Chapman’s self-titled. again and remember from where I have come. I begin again. I don’t know if I can do right. sometimes a cautionary tale. first album. 30 Fast Car Rosario. Argentina Facebook @carla." I think as I’m singing along. 90 . Today. Admit. it's the reason why i started to play guitar and to study music later. "Ain’t that the truth. I was the lonely stowaway who ran away from home and she was great company who told me the best stories." Admission is the first step of recovery. Each day.correale. sometimes a challenge to wake-up and stay woke. sometimes a mirror reflecting the choices I have made which has led to my own suffering: Done so many thing wrong. Their Stories With The Debut Album Tracy Chapman’s music from the very beginning.

Paul. for your beautiful gift of music. United Kingdom When I came cross Tracy Chapman's Debut Album songs. but which had proved elusive.. My oldest is also my son and he graduated as "best in class"! Now it’s my young daughter’s time to graduate.. today I am the father of 2 kids that I am so proud to be able to guide through school. social justice and many other things... Sweden. I could go on and on! THANK YOU. driving for 3 hours to pick up my son from college to bring him home for the weekend. I instantly knew every word "standing in the welfare lines (…) of those armies of salvation"!!! I have been there and I have done that and so forth.. Tracy's voice is beautiful and the stories she tells are meaningful. I listen a lot of your music but I will always have Revolution as a special place in my heart. And some day I'd love to see her in concert! Thank you especially. Linleigh S. I finally felt like I had found my home. especially the music from this CD in particular. Baby Can I Hold You. but in particular Across The Lines. in my marriage and in the lives of my children. Excuse me now. Guided by your Talkin’Bout A Revolution. Keep in mind that a revolution also can be a personal one. sings. I am alone in the car. it's 1998.. I'm going to listen to your CDs. Tracy. The music was turned up loud. I have several of her CDs.. I wonder how it was ever posible to pull that of! But it was possible and you bet that I have been trying my best to teach them about inequality. she plays piano. and oh my gosh. plays the guitar and is also graduating junior 9th grade this summer with high scores! When I look at my kids. Their Stories With The Debut Album Stefan Guthenburg. She is a young artist and amazing... Give Me One Reason. 91 . Heaven's Here On Earth.. but hearing Tracy's music the entire time was relaxing and thought provoking. I've never really liked driving long distances. 65 Baby Can I Hold You Loveland. and I was singing along to every word. USA Every time I hear a Tracy Chapman song. Tracy for these songs: Fast Car. 53 steffo1535@hotmail.. spoke to me of a world that I had been seeking. All of the songs.. 37 For You London. Her songs have become an anchor in my life.. Sweden Talkin’ Bout A Revolution The first time I ever heard your song Talkin’Bout A Revolution I was a young drugaddict living my life as a homeless under a bridge in the city of Gothenburg. both with music and drawings.

I've seen Tracy Chapman twice: once at the stadium in Orange County. Their Stories With The Debut Album Stephanie Staehr. it is 70 Firebird and I used to drive that thing fast trying to get away. You definitely made a difference in my life and helped me through so much of it. Everybody sang every song except the one that we had never heard before. NC. Tracy! 92 . I remember in Orange County in the stadium. and congrats to YOU. I saw her in San Francisco in a very small intimate concert when she first moved there. I was 25 years old and struggling with all the emotions and challenges of coming out in my first lesbian relationship at a time when being gay wasn’t really accepted in North Carolina. Mountains O’Things. USA When Tracy’s Debut Album came out. every single person in that Stadium stood and nobody sat down. USA Wow where do I begin? San Diego. oh yeah. oh my God. Best decision I ever made as my wife and I are also celebrating our 30th year anniversary this year. 53 Baby Can I Hold You Las Vegas. I have to say thank you Tracy because I was going through such a hell and unimaginable hell and I could turn you on in my firebird and fly away or headphones or speakers. Louise. smiles at me and tells me she loves me too. I believe you help me through. My daughter is now 33 years old and to this day I can't fix what damage was done to her but I can still turn Tracy on and she calms down. Tracy’s messages helped give me the strength to follow my heart and not what society (or family. told me get off my property. Ramona Sheriff's knocking on my door asking me to turn my music down. Tracy Chapman walked onstage. I'm still alive and so is everybody in my life. friends. I think that's how I buried myself. I knew every word of every song on the album. Tracy wasn't getting turned down and they knew my situation enough they left me alone. 54 Fast Car Greensboro. I have to say I fell in love with Tracy. Nobody. but Fast Car was my favorite. Fast Car. It's still hard. I was going through divorce my daughter was being sexually abused I married a man and stole my heart away you cannot believe how close that song was to my life it felt like you were singing My Life in so many of your songs. Thanks. or work) thought was the "right" direction. I slammed the door in their face. She doesn't even know me but she helped me through so much.

some are bright and reflecting the more difficult times in life. not only as an artist but as the wonderful woman that she is. Her wise words and flawless tones emanate with listeners so powerfully that it makes her music almost haunting. What I particularly love about Tracy’s Debut Album is that her music is still current and relevant – even almost 30 years on. my photos can be seen to depict human emotion. As a young girl. and I’m honored to have her music in my life. 93 . I didn’t fully understand the meaning behind the lyrics.mostly in the Highlands . I ventured out and discovered her other wonderful albums. An unusual feeling of sadness washed over me when I heard this song for the first time. All of my photos have been taken in Scotland . I listened to Tracy’s album on cassette as much as could. Scottish Highlands For You Profoundly Moving: Diana’s Love for Tracy’s Music The first time that I can remember hearing Tracy's voice was on cassette in 1996. 26 dianacox@hotmail. and soulful. but I knew that it was meaningful and heavy. This song made such a lasting impression on me that since that day on. It was Behind the Wall. her soft and effortless singing. to this day. representing happiness and joy while others are rugged and moody.a place very close to my heart. passionate. By the age of 10. It was also at this time that I had worn Tracy’s Debut cassette out due to listening to it so much. I have such a fondness for her. Therefore. I was five years old. I had learned all of the lyrics of this album off by heart. Their Stories With The Debut Album Diana. riding in the car with my mum when I noticed a profound and deep voice coming from the car speaker without any accompanying music. but always very touching and genuine. and the fact that she was something both my mum and I enjoyed has created very precious memories for me. The crackling of the tape. I still come back to and listen to the album Tracy Chapman because it holds a place so close to my heart. However. Tracy is unique. melancholy wasn’t something that I’d experienced so intensely Isle of Skye. ------------ Much like Tracy's music.

Their Stories With The Debut Album 94 .

Their Stories With The Debut Album 95 .

. and wrestling our individual demons. At a tender and impressionable age. "Don't you know you better run run run run run run run run". Every time I hear it. I'd lost a family member. then when. We were both healing. 36 dielle@diellemusic. Their Stories With The Debut Album DiElle. Then we arrived. had my heart broken for the first time. tape deck. I knew I had to do it. I left with no knowledge of where I was going but an address."? I volunteered for a charity called Project Trust and was put in a placement in Sri Lanka teaching English and doing social work at the local children's hospital. And one year in particular. Katy had also come from difficult circumstances and her parents got divorced while we were away. No one should t to stop her. we would just leave it to play and it would just stop at the end of whichever side it was on. but couldn't articulate what I was looking for. I think she's gonna fly away. and my own thoughts. and had a huge influence on me as an individual. No Wickham. My last year at college had been incredibly hard. Being on tape. My project partner Katy had brought Tracy's first two albums on tape. nothing but my guitar. we were struggling at work. I'm back there in my formative years. My god. I think she's gonna use it. I discovered Tracy Chapman properly on my year out. has it been 30 years? It's one of those timeless albums that will always sound fresh and contemporary. "She got her ticket. "if not now. Having been truly faced for the first time. no pubs and clubs. The first month was hard. and my oldest friend in the world had been killed in a car accident. but suffering terrible homesickness and culture shock when we first got there. with the fact that no one gets out of this alive. I was a terrible insomniac for many years and that year 96 . she says that her mind is made up". hungry because we couldn't eat the local food it was so spicy. we both found that difficult to process "why do the babies starve when there's enough food to feed the world?" We took great comfort in Tracy. I just knew I had to "leave tonight or live and die this way". The children's hospital was poverty stricken and people were suffering from preventable disease. persuade her with their power. I decided I couldn't wait any longer to start my life. homesick. England Baby Can I Hold You Tracy Chapman. and we pretty much had them on repeat. who sung us to sleep every night.

In fact the every song is a classic. I was always getting teased and bullied for being dark brown. 97 . I joined the army in 1988 and heard Tracy Chapman's Debut Album. Fast Car. Thank you God for Tracy Chapman. We had a ceiling fan in our tiny square room. Baby Can I Hold You and it's beautiful simplicity. Fast Car with its hypnotic guitar part and detailed story line. Australia Mountains O’ Things My best friend in primary school was a European ancestry and I was black. they mostly do in the first month. Tracy saw us through that first period of risk. He was accidentally shot in the head by his brother. this album gave me hope to have Faith in God and overcome hate with love. where if people are going to quit. Katy and I started to heal. and started to see the world anew. I made another best friend in high school. Darran Williams. Behind The Wall and it's stark bravery. that year put me on a roadmap that has influenced every positive decision I have made since. His name was Scott and he was murdered by a school class mate over $20. which enabled us to live an amazing experience. became very close. Thought provoking yet comforting. stood by me and stood up for me. we settled into our work and began enjoying it. were like personal anthems of my life and her words and music were like gifts from God above to help me create and not give up. I would listen long after Katy had gone to sleep. and the plaster was peeling off the walls in the humidity. Rory. 47 didjdaa@gmail. "Maybe together we can get somewhere". I never tired of listening to those amazing songs. complete some very valuable work. "finally the tables are starting to turn". She kept us there. and became the soundtrack to it. my best friend. Sometimes I'd turn the tape over if I didn't think I'd wake her. The long dark hours started to feel more friendly. Every time I hear that album. Ultimately. Their Stories With The Debut Album was no different. After that first difficult month. I can hear the fan and smell the plaster. It took me a few years to overcome his death. from her album such as Talkin’Bout A Revolution was my motivation to use my aboriginal culture to share and push the didgeridoo world wide. My best friend in the army was killed and my mother died of cancer and hearing Tracy's songs. was his name. Tracy's If Not Now….com Brisbane. Lying awake for many hours. a white boy and he was like a brother and stood by me.

Simons. Talkin’Bout A Revolution is the best example to study phonology specifically progressive liaison. and the very next day I begged my parents to buy me a guitar for Christmas. I would not be doing what I am doing now. she just kept rewinding the tape and played Fast Car so many times that by dark. I’m now 41 and my 16 year old daughter sings to the top of her lungs with me every time I play it. 41 Heatherly1976@gmail. Cote d’Ivoire For You Talkin’ Bout A Revolution. archiphonemization. My Grandmother was 52 then and died not many years after from breast cancer. I had never seen a black woman sing or play the guitar. I am so grateful. She didn’t really even talk to me that day. I knew every word too. Today I work as an artist/songwriter in Los Angeles and Nashville and I know for a fact that if Tracy had not sung the song she was made to sing. Sebastien Guehi Apali. suppression. If you were able to grasp what Tracy says while performing. I can hear loud music playing. But beyond that. In our English club. I was about 9 years old when I saw the video. Joy Oladokun. 98 .com St. 40 sebastienapali@gmail. When I round the curve to her gravel Abidjan. USA Fast Car I’m twelve years old and walk to my Grandmother’s trailer. This song reminds me there is always hope regardless of your circumstances or age to break the chains and find big love that makes you believe anything is possible. USA Before I saw a video of Tracy Chapman singing at the Free South Africa concert. we used to be challenged by the English pronunciation. Their Stories With The Debut Album Heather. When I walk in my Grandmother is in the kitchen making lunch and singing along with this song with more soul then I ever knew she had in her. I have always been thrilled by Baby Can I hold You. then you are likely to have sound listening practice. 25 Baby Can I Hold You Nashville.

30 http://www. Israel Instagram @spivaklena For My Lover This poster was part of my study. Their Stories With The Debut Album Lena Spivak. This song means a lot to Tel Aviv. the mission was to take lyrics and make a typography poster.lenaspivak. my lover recorded it for me in the past and it has been following me ever since. 99 .

but the freedom and choice was mine. 30 ltmogase@gmail. That was us. United States My sister and I wore this album out for each song seemed to tell our story. Just her and sleepless nights. The words in her songs speaks to me and it feels like she knows what am going through and at the same time she tells me how handle the situation. 1st of all it introduced me to good music. South Africa Fast Car Tracy Chapman's Debut album changed my life in many ways. Lordly Tshepo Mogase. Rachel. Music that lifts your spirits when nothing in your life is going the way you planned but listening to Tracy's album specially Fast Car gave me hope for a better tomorrow. I am forever grateful. 48 benedict_benedicta@yahoo. When I turned Pretoria. Growing up my kids (a boy and a girl) are also lovers of Tracy’s songs till date. No instruments. Nigeria Mountains O’ Things I was on a road trip with my love when he played Tracy's song (Fast Car) in the Year 1990 that was the first time I heard her song. I left home. We were the girls behind the wall. ever since that day. 100 . I was in my room one day feeling very sad and down. Their Stories With The Debut Album Benedicta Oyo state. 41 Behind The Wall Santa Ana. It was life and no other voice said otherwise until we heard Tracy Chapman. music that touches your heart and soul. But it was Behind the Wall that stole my voice. though never knew the things that happened in our home were abusive. It's been 13 years since I bought the album and to this day it's still my favorite album of all time truly a classic. Her music from this album let me know I may not get far with only a little bit of money. For that. Tracy’s songs have helped me through so many sad times and I have turned to her songs also during happy times.the next think I heard in my living room was Tracy’s song (Talkin’Bout A Revolution) my kids noticed my mood and played Tracy's song because they knew it will cheer me up and it did.

46 If Not Now… Easton. Yet. I was at an all time low. Sadly. listening to Tracy with the fondest memories of my father. He would play her albums loud on his Hi-Fi to wake us up. teacher and socialist in South Africa passed away from pancreatic cancer on 14 December 2017. I lost the first baby five weeks later. who was an activist. I learned just how strong I am and I am happy to say we went on to have two additional sets of healthy twins. his daughter. politician. Thank you Tracy for your blessing. minister. 26 Baby Can I Hold You Cape Town. We were both unbelievably excited for our future with our children. My mornings as a child are filled with Tracy bellowing in the background while we are all trying to get ready for the day. Their Stories With The Debut Album Katie. USA After three difficult years of infertility my husband and I finally found out we were having twins! We moved into our new house the same day I reached my fourth month of pregnancy. During that time I was on strict bed rest and listened to Tracy Chapman’s Debut Album over and over. Growing into my adolescence I fantasized about my crush while listening to this song and many other Tracy love songs. South Africa My father introduced me to Tracy Chapman from a young age. The songs spoke to me and brought light into my world that felt so dark. Not only did my Dad pass on wisdom to me. I am grateful for those days. The second twin was born too early and did not make it. who are all now teenagers! Terzel Rasmus-Williams. 101 . childhood and growing up into the adult I am today. but so did Tracy and still does. Fast Car was the one song that resonated with my father and Baby Can I Hold You resonated with me the most. To the amazement of my doctors. What helped me get through it was spending the remainder of the summer outside at our pool listening to Tracy Chapman on my CD player. I now lay here. I still listen to Tracy's songs with the childlike wonder I started out with. Tragically my father. I remained pregnant with the other twin for two more weeks. He loved Tracy so much and he passed his love for her to me.

Life would be not well lived! 102 . I connect with her then. I collected all her albums. I could follow the choruses then but not the words. deeply connect me with my roots and struggles and the love of ordinary people across the world who spend each day trying to improve their lives and that of humanity. My sister and I continued to sing to Tracy each time we heard her on radio. even in the craziest of parties. I was in Grade One. I was about 7 years old. having just started school in one rural area in the highveld of Mpumalanga Province near Kriel and Secunda. And Johannesburg. then only one word can explain that: magic! And perhaps. South Africa Talkin’ Bout A Revolution It must have been 89. When the music and sound touches a youngster of that age in an unforgettable way like that. I never forgot the sound. We moved back to my father's house. I recall the voice from the speakers like yesterday. I mymed through the lyrics. I never forgot the sound. Years passed. Their Stories With The Debut Album David Maimela. That's the genius of Tracy: forever shinning. artist and inspiration. She puts it better than many of us ever could. the songs whose meaning I fully appreciate today as an adult. It was etched in my mind and memory forever. when Mandla the boyfriend of sister Martha. Because we grew up in less fortunate circumstances. it was really amazing to do so. That's all I could follow then. played Tracy for the first time. And my sister loves me for that. But when I grew. 35 dmmaimela@gmail. We did not afford to buy a record for a long time. gracious and visionary! I truly believe each of one of us must not leave this world without hearing just one song by Tracy. He played it cassette of course in a Toyota bakkie/van. I play her anywhere and anytime. But boy. And each time I play her. when I listen to Fast Car now and Subcity and Talkin’Bout A Revolution and Mountains O'Things and many of her classic and signature social consciousness songs. ever. the rhythm and the voice. And Tracy is such a worker. My sister broke up with her beau Mandla. genius too. now and in the future. everybody stops to listen. It has a canopy and speakers for the canopy side.

That's what and who Tracy is to me and others close to me. Their Stories With The Debut Album So. Each time I listen to it I imagine as if she is singing to me. My fiance Lelo loves her so much too! We love you Tracy. Love. Bab. I feel the warmth her voice gives off and it puts me into a trance. (Unedited. and oh yes. of which I believe Tracy knows him well says. Louisiana Ever since I was introduced to Tracy Chapman’s music a few months ago. I feel safe and at peace listening to her voice. she is all I listen to. sound. 32 Hanoi. and just everything about the song makes me feel like I’m floating. I was listening to it last night and introduced it to to people who had not heard it as they were baby's. Vietnam 103 . I would probably not have met Middlesbrough. My favorite of all Tracy’s songs is For My Lover from her Debut Album. It’s a sound I can’t compare to any other. 'pastpresentfuture' is always present with us. Deliberately) Em Young. a better future! As the late Prof Keorapetsi Kgositsile. The lyrics. Timeless inspiration x Eisen Bernardo. where you played Fast Car for the first time. 49 leyyahx2k7@hotmail. Such is the bond we share! I'm eternally grateful to my sister for dating Mandla. England Fast Car It was the first album. D. I ever bought. I have gone to sleep each night for the past week with her songs playing. May you live long and come to South Africa to perform. just once. social consciousness. struggle. 15 For My Lover Baton Rouge. We recall your Mandela Concert. Beautiful and truly one of a kind. Otherwise. Tracy reminds me of love. kindness.

com Instagram @albumplusart Fast Car When I was in the college. Fast Car was a staple song in the bar that I usually hanged out. Tracy Chapman by Tracy Chapman + Giovan Pietro Maffeis by Giovanni Battista Morini 104 . Their Stories With The Debut Album eisenvbernardo@gmail. It brings back a lot of happy memories.

It is going to be 30 years since the first album. So with out any help or information about the chord changes. USA Mountains O’ Things Not only did I live this album and played it on a cross country trip non-stop but my nieces and nephews were introduced to it when they were 6-8 and they LOVED it then and love it still. I just kept the CD player on repeat to learn the song Talkin‘Bout A Revolution by listening to it over and over again when I was 23 going on to 24 years of age at the time. I was very privileged to see her last time she performed in Britain at The Hammersmith Apollo in November 2005. no other musicians on stage with her. Charlottesville. So Tracy Chapman has inspired me as a musician and many others over the years. So when I got the opportunity to play in the side room at the London Opera house for charity. Their Stories With The Debut Album Zak. I was blown away. 54 Jenstacy344@gmail. As it was a solo and half un-plug. 52 Talkin’ Bout A Revolution Portsmouth. My favourite song of the album is Talkin’Bout A Revolution. full acoustic set with just Tracy and her beautiful voice and all her stringed instruments. It was a total unique experience. Thank Tracy Chapman for sharing your music and personal view of the world in such a musically poetic way. for the homeless projects in 2012. Bucket list--to take them to a concert! 105 . percussion she played solo. I thought if Tracy Chapman can do it. so can I. This was the first song I learned to play on my guitar on my own. I can do 5mins. and solo for 5mins. while learning to play guitar and create my own songs. If she can do a whole tour un-supported. I was only about 12 rows back. I was inspired by Tracy Chapman 7 years before. Jennifer. United Kingdom Tracy Chapman is my all time favourite female singer song writers who I have been following since her first album was released in 1988.

Each and every song on her first album influenced the way I saw the world. as if I were listening to someone read me a story. As a 13 year old. 106 . I know I will never stop listening. all thanks to Tracy’s music. Fast Car was a parable warning me from getting swept away with a boy too young. Their Stories With The Debut Album Jeanette Smith. I was reading articles on international politics and looking at charts of world food sources. As my parents were getting divorced and I was being shuttled back and forth. foam covered headphones and all. but this encouraged me to be curious about what was happening around the globe. Through some rough years of my life she gave me lessons about the world around me that helped shape my worldview as a young teenager. I was never able to see her in concert. of how far we’ve come. Eventually I would fall asleep as the CD spun to a slow stop. I had to give it all of my attention. The complex layers of the music and the beautiful songs that resulted mesmerized me. with it’s delicate guitars. I would listen to stories like Behind The Wall and understand that my family troubles really weren’t that bad. 28 jeanette@jeanettethewriter. Why was a blunt lesson in rhetorical questions. I was born a year later. Thank you Tracy. but it also reminded me. Sadly. Songs like Across The Lines showed me that I was living in a world almost 15 years later that still struggled with the same issues. Mountains O’ Things– a message on materialism and what should really be important in my life. leaving me to dream my own stories. Because that’s what Tracy’s songs are–stories. USA Mountains O’ Things Tracy Chapman’s Debut Album was released in 1988. As I lay there listening. I remember lying in my bed listening to her CDs over and over again on my yellow Sony walkman. It wasn’t until 2002 that I was introduced to Tracy and her music. young and Dallas. and still does. the album would come to a close and For You would start. I encourage everyone to listen to Tracy’s music. but at least I will always have her voice singing stories and teaching me lessons. I could never pick up a book or be distracted when I played Tracy’s music.

Their Stories With The Debut Album

Jason Musick, 39 Fast Car
Richmond, Virginia, USA

Fast Car has always been one of my favorite songs. I had it on tape when I was
a kid and played it until it broke. Whenever I hear that song now I am taken
right back to my childhood and am instantly filled with the warm happiness
those memories bring. Fast Car has always reminded me that no matter the odds
we face we can always make it through as long as we have love. Thank you
Tracy for giving the world such beautiful music.

Danieli Guimarães, 41
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Baby Can I Hold You

Well my name is Danieli, I'm 41 years old, from Rio de Janeiro, Brazilian.
Every time I hear Baby Can Hold You I go back to my childhood. I remember
my mother making food in the kitchen, with the cassette playing Tracy and the
song Baby Can Hold You. At the time I did not understand the meaning of the
song, but I watched my mother doing things, wiping her body, and a happy little
face to hear the song. And over the years I've been learning to love more and
more. Learning the meaning of the song. And it touched my heart deeply. So
when I listen to Tracy's songs I go back to my childhood in that kitchen,
watching my mother preparing our lunch to the sound of Baby Can Hold You
and nowadays I hear this song next to my son who asks me: "What does she
sing, mother? What does it mean? Someone suffering for love?" Because every
time I hear I become visibly moved. Thank you Tracy for being part of my
mother's life story, mine and now my son's.

Damien Postell, 39 Facebook
NYC, USA @Alldamienpostellmovies
Fast Car

I remember the first time I heard Fast Car. I immediately had to see who this
person was who gave my ears this incredible life changing music. And although
there were videos streaming them to any device was not that simple as it is for
today's generation. The song was so vivid and well written you could imagine
the video in your head. I saw this girl in my head in love and willing to just risk
it all to get away with her lover. There have been remakes but to date none have
provided that same feeling as hearing Tracy Chapman rendition. Still one of my
top favorite songs of all time.


Their Stories With The Debut Album

Orna Kretchmer, 52 Facebook @orna.kretchmer
Fremont CA, SF Bay Area, USA Facebook @ornakretchmer.graphicdesign

I am super excited to celebrate the 30th Anniversary! I remember when I first
listened to the album back in 1988 - I was hooked!! For the longest time this
was the only audio cassette I was listening to :-)

About my art
I don't like to answer the question "which Tracy Chapman's songs is my
favorite" I love them all :-) Nonetheless, Across The Lines influenced me
immensely so it was a natural choice for me to dedicate my art to it.
I have created a collage from the musical notes of the song and added several
lyric lines. I used charcoal to draw the black and white art. The only color spot
is the girl's dress.


Their Stories With The Debut Album

Sophia, 31 For You
Linden, USA

I was barely two years old when Tracy Chapman’s Debut Album was released in
1988. Years later, the songs of this soulful artist, would give me an
understanding on the trajectory of life we must sometimes face.
I may never find words bold enough or sentimental, brilliant and sweet to
describe the artist Tracy Chapman. However, I will speak of her Debut Album
and how it has remained in my life through love, learning and loss.
As a child, Tracy Chapman the album traveled with our family from my birth
place, Flushing, Queens to the city of Calabar, Nigeria, where we settled.
Similar to the style of records in that era. It was a large round record and my
parents played it on an old school record player. Later as the times changed, the
record was converted to a cassette tape and we listened to it on boom box. In
essence, our household grew up to the songs of Tracy Chapman.
As children, we knew the rhythms, hummed along to the tempo and sang out of
sync to the most popular song of the album, Fast Car. But it wasn’t until I
entered teenage hood that I began to pay attention to each song. The lyrics had
meaning. The song, Across the Lines, stirred up images of riots, and civil
unrest. I realized the words, "While they are standing in the welfare lines…"
was a reference to the plight of inhumanity in the United States. And in a
broader sense the album resonated with the issue of social injustice in the word.
I gained an awareness.
As I entered adulthood the songs of this album followed me through college, the
workforce, my first apartment, my playlist on the road, as well as my latest
music gadget. The songs, For My Lover, If Not Now, and For You at times
mirrored the heartache of love, unrequited love and the sentiments of having
never loved.
When I think of society’s lust for instant gratification, as Tracy Chapman sings
in, Mountains o' Things, She's Got Her Ticket and Why? I’m filled with an
inclination of freedom, a yearning to acquire the simplest things. These songs
make me ponder: How does a soul set itself free in a very enticing materialistic
My parents are now deceased. But there’s not a single time I play Tracy
Chapman that I don’t think of them. Memories of my mother playing the big
round record on Saturday mornings so that Tracy Chapman echoed through our
house as we tidied up. I think of the moments I pressed repeat on the track Fast
Car as I rode with my mother on the passenger side. I think of sweet memories,
like dancing to the rhythms of Mountains O' Things and She's Got Her Ticket
while my sister and I had conversation about the artist, her lyrics and her writing
style. I think of that stark confession I made as we crossed the Holland tunnel
while Behind The Wall played. "It’s only now I’m realizing the victim in this
song was killed…" I say after hearing the lines. "Last night I heard the


Their Stories With The Debut Album

screaming, then a silence that chilled my soul. I prayed that I was dreaming
when I saw the ambulance in the road." I play the song all over, empathizing
with the victims of domestic violence as if they can hear me.
Thirty years later, I am thirty-one and Tracy Chapman’s words still speak to me
at my core. The album remains relevant to the times we live in. The words make
you question if and when change is going to come. The lyrics in Baby Can I
Hold You have made me learn to forgive and love.
And so, whether I’m listening to that album on a long ride home, or on a road
trip, or in the deepest night with a lover by my side or mid-air in flight, it just so
happens that "feelings become strong, and I’m no longer the master of my
emotions. " And so, I let go. Allowing the moment to fully seize me.

Franmartins06, 45
North Brunswick, USA Fast Car

I had just moved from Brasil to White Plains, NY.
I didn’t knew any English at that time, one day I was driving home and Fast
Car started playing on the radio, I remember going crazy trying to find out who
was singing, soon enough I was able to get your cd.
I used to listening to it over and over and reading the lyrics along. Your album
helped improve my English, and I thank you for that.
You have one of the most beautiful voice I ever heard in my life. Nowadays I
collect vinyl records and your Debut Album was one of the first I added into my
collection, it brings back so many great memories.
Thank you for the great music.
I love you

Véro F, 50 Fast Car
Paris, France

Tracy´s first album accompanied me in my first steps as a student. I was young,
I left my family for the first time and my roommate made me discover this
beautiful album that I listened thousands of times. I remember wondering if the
photo of the cover depicted a child, a girl, a boy, and then also said that I did not
care, because only the voice and the music of this exceptional artist counted.
Since that day, Tracy's music accompanies me in the best and the darkest days
of my life. Thanks Tracy, you are so important to us all in this special World!


United States If Not Now… In 1988.fordyce@gmail. and she talked me down from my panic of getting out of there. walked out of the phone booth (remember. and for opening my eyes to the world and the challenges we face in our society. and told me to go for a walk. and SOOO homesick I wanted to get on a plane and go right home. the more I liked her and appreciated that talent. It was my anthem. He was playing Baby Can I Hold You. on one of the hottest days the United Kingdom had experienced (98 fahrenheit was the high that day!). singing along in my head. when this album was released and played over and over by my older sister.and walked right into a crowd watching a guitar player in the middle of a public square. In that London. Sean Fordyce. as well as her music. To this day. I learned the songs and we'd sing along as a family. I wish her the greatest success with this project. Chapman sings about social justice and concerns that my adult self is all too familiar with. thank you thank you for making your music. Nevertheless. So many of the deeper themes and issues so heartbreakingly rendered in Ms. Our motivation was social justice and making information accessible to all people regardless of income. this was 1997. PA. 111 . I called my Mother. for helping me through that difficult time in London.) I found Chapman herself.not just because I associate it with home anymore. I also found the exposed raw music of Tracy Chapman was so refreshing. I wiped my tears. Their Stories With The Debut Album Jamie Grant. and specifically the song Talkin’Bout A Revolution deeply inspiring. and it was one of the cool red British ones) . Canada Talkin’ Bout A Revolution I began social issues publishing company in Canada in the late 1980s and our first book became very popular just at the time Tracy Chapman’s first album came out. I was home again. Chapman's songs would have been certainly over my head at the time. and so grateful for the serendipity that brought me to that moment and made missing home so much less Ottawa. Fast forward 8 years. listening to a song I knew by heart. I am on my very first independent trip abroad . I would have only been 11 years old. 41 jamiecgrant@gmail. but for the depth and richness. they still Philadelphia. (The book was priced at about 1/3 of what was then the going price for such books. Thank you. 53 sean. The more I learned about her own story and the more I heard of her music. the album is one of my favorites . the sheer elegance and rawness with which Ms.

My dad loved this so much so we started to share our thoughts to the songs.. 52 Talkin’ Bout A Revolution Athabasca. I could go on. to care. learning and singing for almost every day. to re-examine my preconceived prejudices and judgments. With the booklet inside of the CD I set down and listened to the music. Germany She’s Got Her Ticket My dad bought this album when I was 11 or 12 years old. Its story was so moving. We started so sing together all of the songs.. It remembered us of these good old times when our family wasn't broken. I went to the States for a year and didn't see him for a long Bremen. 112 . I sang and he played the guitar. Thank you forever. to always listen. I would say Tracy saved our relationship. It would bring me to tears each and every time I heard it.. From this point. but gave me hope that these truths were being told and people were hear them. with a thirst for music that says something and means something.. to move me and to share your voice with the world. I cannot say that it was only Tracy's music that moved me to pay attention. Fast Car grabbed me immediately. Their Stories With The Debut Album Romy. to act.. but that first album and those songs certainly reinforced my resolve to reserve judgment. headphones on. Tracy's Debut Album and the others that came after. so real. to make a difference.. to be compassionate. I was sitting on the floor. a listener to lyrics. I made the transition to digital and continue to surround myself with her truth. I am a lover of folk music. so true. But we got back together and one of the first things we did was to attend one of Tracy’s concerts in Berlin. listening. her beautiful voice and her message.. continue to remain central to my "playlist". Thank you Tracy for taking time to educate me. warm and cozy. At this time I started to learn english as a second language at school and I recognized some words. At the end of the booklet there was a translation into German so I learned and understood all the lyrics. When she was playing songs from her first album we both cried. It sounded nice. Talkin'Bout A Revolution was a similar experience to me. It broke my heart. We never lost contact again. 37 romy-s@gmx.. Canada I fell in love with Tracy Chapman and her poignant writing and unique voice the moment I heard her. But our bond broke as my parents got separated and I broke with my dad for several years. to care. We bonded so much in this time. I came home from school and there was loud music all over our apartment. Gail Leicht. Every one song resonated with truth and a raw reality.

and the realization that was not the case was overwhelming and very liberating. I was in love. Finland I was a 5 or 6 year old Finnish girl. and there was never a time. Their Stories With The Debut Album Katariina Saarikoski. what she can look like. To this day I think of that friend whenever I hear that song. old enough to know San Francisco. USA better Fast Car I was talking to a friend who was doing his show on a college radio station in California and he played Fast Car for me OVER THE PHONE. England As a child I would listen to music in the car with my mum. living in Moscow at that time. some of those songs would be by Tracy Chapman. what a woman can do or be. As a little girl listening to Tracy for the fist time. The album became a strong experience in many ways. when I would have to finish listening before reaching the end of it (this was before CD's at least in our home). Not only did I totally feel Tracy's voice and the music despite not understanding anything of the lyrics (I didn't speak or know English at that age). It brings me joy and a tear. That was all it took. It was in 1990 or -91 when I got to listen to Tracy Chapman's Debut Album for the first time. It wasn't until I heard Fast Car earlier this year that I realized how much I had really fallen in love with the music I was played as a child. 32 Across The Lines Helsinki. I guess my it was my parents'. how her voice can sound. The album and listening of it was this little girls first fulfilling (musical) experience of her own. first I thought the singer was a man (I'm sorry. Thank you! Linda Braz. we had it at home. 15 Fast Car London. it was also an experience of expanding thoughts of gender. even though I'm only 15 now! Which makes me love this album even more knowing it's almost double my age and that it's still a timeless piece of art to inspire generations to come! 113 . Ellen. children can be so conservative). Fast Car and Tracy Chapman have truly helped me fall back in love with music I loved as a small child.

Being a little black girl just learning to play guitar. 33 http://www. I remember finally hearing it on the radio and I instantly felt connected to the song. Today I am a professional New Orleans. Fast Car is my favorite song to play and sing. After my older sister bought Tracy's Debut CD for me I listened to it every single day. I eventually learned Fast Car (and all of the other profound tracks). Knowing that Tracy Chapman existed made a world of difference for me. Tracy Chapman's Fast Car and this entire album holds a special place in my heart because it brings me back to where it all began and is a constant reminder of what will be. People would see me with my guitar at the park or on my porch and say I remind them of Tracy Chapman. It was never a black girl. I've had so many beautiful musical https://youtu. Then they'd ask if I knew Fast Instagram @joyclarkmusic Fast Car Twitter @JoyNClark I was introduced to Fast Car after I began playing guitar in 96'.be/x201aAxD1kA https://youtu. I didn't always feel like I belonged. and to this day. and at the park with my guitar. Thank You. and I can say with all confidence that without Fast Car none of those experiences would have happened. Tracy A Good Thing Fast Car Fast Car https://youtu. The common perception of a guitarist was a white guy or a white girl with a cowboy 114 . I was only 11 at the time and I wasn't familiar with Tracy. singer/songwriter. I've traveled the world doing what I love to do. I'd listen in my room with my guitar.joyclarkmusic. Their Stories With The Debut Album Joy. USA Facebook @JoyClarkMusic JoyClarkMusic@gmail.

in charcoal. France Instagram @claire_bodiguel She’s Got Her Ticket My name is Claire Bodiguel. I sent you two portraits: the first. in dry pastels. In may. from today. I'm french and I'm 29 years old. 29 Facebook @ArtClaire Lens. Their Stories With The Debut Album Claire Bodiguel. 115 . from 10 years ago and the second. It has always followed me. I have the same age than the Debut Album. I drew them by listening to this album.

Dan Julian. Our relationship had been foundering somewhat. We were right. and from the open front door came the unmistakable voice of Tracy Chapman. 38 Fast Car Sherwood Park. I was a teacher of English as a Second Language in South Korea. So I told him. FL. Tracy Chapman is one of many artists who always. As we explored Italy. you see more of your friends than you do your kids. I remember one weekend he played my Tracy Chapman CD with Fast Car on repeat. Their Stories With The Debut Album Amanda. there was heat lightning in the sky. I've always wanted to thank Tracy for helping me to say what was in my heart that night. and we decided to celebrate the occasion with a trip to Italy. living in love with my Canadian grrrl... the lyrics of the of the songs and all her Mount Vernon. We sat on the stoop there beside the water and listened as they played the whole debut album. crossing dozens of little bridges. He played it on his guitar and sang the line. When I shut it off he woke up and sat straight up. I mustered the strength to say I was sorry for the hard times we had been having.. I think I'm a fan of her. I ♥ You. So he played it over and over. He loved to play it but couldn’t figure out one line.c. I came home from a back shift. It was just what he did. always brings me back to him. relieved lol. Tracy 116 . his guitar was just another appendage. USA Why? Release of the album Tracy Chapman in the year 1988. 49 jeriv6806@ bellsouth. we discovered each other anew. When Baby Can I Hold You came on. On the night we arrived in Venice. for being distant and preoccupied and inattentive and all of it.. he was asleep on my couch and Fast Car was Weston. and found ourselves outside a cafe which had just closed. Jeriv. telling me to turn it back on because he needed to know the line. I listened for the first time with my brother. IN. We went for a walk at dusk. USA Baby Can I Hold You As my 30th birthday approached. Canada My friend Tim played guitar like he breathed. The staff was cleaning up. back to that time. 44 dan. He passed away almost 8 years ago. placing chairs upside-down on tables. He died tree years later and since then I do not stop listening to Tracy's songs. It make me remember him a lot.julian@gmail. back to growing up and friendships and good times. and we knew that a grand adventure together was just what we needed.

.. I found my courage... Up to this day I know all of the words by heart and whenever I listen to this album I am brought back to that time. Standing in the hallway about to walk downstairs to sign the drop out slip. and I was listening. I had received a degree in nursing in 1986. violent. minus the angry. 56 Fast Car New Orleans. And then the day came that changed me forever.. I was living in a volatile relationship with 4 children. I had begun private nursing. it spoke to my soul. I am forever grateful. it takes me back to that day. controlling partner.... But did I have the courage to leave him? I had left so many times before and always went back. 36 nina_sievert@gmx. USA It was 1988. My feet stopped walking and I was completely enveloped and mesmerized with Tracy Chapman. My life and my children's lives would change from that day forward. I had also begun contemplating looking for my own apartment where I could find some peace and tranquility.. Despite having grown up in a violent environment with alcoholic parents and then marrying someone with my father's characteristics. I did not want to "live and die this way".Thank you Tracy.(why do we do that?) and despite my own Cologne. and hope to do what I needed so much to do. Although the story was a bit different than mine. by her voice and her lyrics. and there she was in an MTV video. Germany For You When I was about 14 years old I got an old cassette from my mom. sitting with patients in their homes. She had dropped out of college to have babies and then became stuck in a life she saw no way out of. I felt something shift inside of me and I knew that there was no turning back...anymore. It was rewarding but often very sad to see what illness can do to a family. To her and my mother. not wanting me to live a life that she chose to live. as much as I could get with 4 children.. So I kind of did things backwards and it was a struggle that I almost gave up on myself had it not been for a classmate who convinced me to stay. believing that I too had no other options. actually brought me to the school to register for class.. Their Stories With The Debut Album Mel. and here comes Sheila. singing Fast Car... I played it over and over again until it started to sound weird in some parts.. <3 Nina Sievert. my strength.. I was walking past a tv in a patient's home on my way in to her room to begin my shift. My mother. And every time I hear that beautiful song. 117 .

There's nothing I can't face as long as I have this album in my life. Their Stories With The Debut Album Odemru. or whenever things have got a little too rough for me. and your lyrics cautions my actions. I was so young and Tracy already filled my ears and heart with the greatness that is her voice. these songs bring me to place of peace and pure enlightenment. I was young Lad when it was released. I will forever be grateful for the creation of this album for it has helped me so much throughout my whole life. to this moment I might not really remember everything. the world would definitely have been a better place. It reminds me of my mother. My mom played it all the time. 30 She’s Got Her Ticket Birmingham. Their love for her music easily transferred on to me. Fast Car in particular holds a very special place in my heart. of home. Thank you Tracy! Matt. if everyone listens to you. your songs touches my Soul. Switzerand Ever since I can remember. but each I listen to the Album. I love you Tracy. 118 . then I ask myself so many Why's… and it helped me to be my own best friend this time of my life. 38 Odemrud@gmail. It was the first album my parents bought together as a couple. No matter the state of mind I'm in. This album was one of my first -actively listening to music- experience and I never stopped listening to that beautiful piece of art. of love. that I feel impacted on me. use to take us for holiday trips from city to city and he would play this song's most of the time in his Fast Car. It's certainly the first music that stuck with me. My Uncle who is late now. Christine Schuetz. 30 Baby Can I Hold You Bern. Nigeria Why? All the songs in this album I can sing word for Benin. the memories comes clearly. and to this day I can still hear her singing along to it. It's always been the album that I turn to whenever I have been in a bad place. this album has been played in our house. United Kingdom This album is the first music that I really remember hearing.

. 79 Kolkata. Such a beautiful voice. We have returned to her songs again and again through the many ups and downs that came our way. I have been a designer of exhibits and science museums but i was trained as a painter. India Fast Car I had brought the Debut Album from one of my official trips to the US. Their Stories With The Debut Album Amit Sarkar. so moving yet with so much inherent strength.the girl on fire. Best wishes to our inspiration. This was drawn the same year as the debut album released while listening to Fast Car. It has been displayed in a few major exhibitions. The cassette was for my two daughters Sebanti and Hemanti but we all listened to it. Amit Sarkar 119 .. Behind The Wall. West Bengal. We call it Tracy.

for me. it means that I didn't really know the title of the song (even less how to pronounce it) and. I am French (but grew up in Belgium). I feel like no matter what happen in my life. I never felt loved or secured. I was waiting a little bit then I would ask again "Can we put on song number fourteen again?" I just loved that song so much. Because of how it sounds. was that I had the opportunity to listen to that song. 120 . the fact that sometimes you are alone and it's hard to have people to pay attention to you. that song is even better than I knew it already was" and I felt proud of the little me who. It always makes me smile and feel secure. 25 Talkin’ Bout A Revolution Paris. can we put on song number fourteen?" Because it was the album Collection (I am born in 1992. what it means but most importantly because of how this song makes me feel. But one of the few things I remember is listening to Talkin'Bout A Revolution. This song is about change and hope. of course. like a blessing that is whispering me "It is all gonna be alright". Tracy Chapman have always been my favorite female singer and I am sure it will never change. it's about how hard it can be to change how everything works and break the circle. It is about how we can have victories. and I get motion sickness so it's never fun to go for a car ride (or plane. always and forever. like a virtual hug. The mention of whispers is. I wasn't around for the Debut Album). Their Stories With The Debut Album Mélanie Richard. And I feel like it also means that together we can do big things. so I didn't speak english as a child. Then I grew up and at some point I had enough english from my english teachers to understand the lyrics and I thought "Wow. I was asking "Hey dad. The CD was in the car.) but the only one thing I loved about a car ride when I was a kid. That made me smile a lot. train. etc. France I don't have a lot of good memories of my childhood. This is my favorite song. It cheers me up when I need it and it reminds me of one of the only good memories I have of my childhood. boat. already had the best taste I could have asked for. Every time I was stepping in the car. no matter who we are and how much money we have. without knowing it. I didn't know what the song was talking about. never really had a happy place or anything else. I will always have that song. If it was a long ride. One of my biggest dream is to see her live but I don't think it will ever happen because she doesn't really perform anymore but I can't thank her enough for that amazing song and what she brought me through her music. But I was just listening to it. Because of that song and all the others that I really love too. singing it the best I could.

.com Thornton. Chewed every song. loneliness was not an aspect. or simply step aside. 29 Hdwalker24@gmail. Chapman's art cleared the path to peace. Thank you Tracy. even symphonic metal. It is truly cherished. Tracy Chapman was there--the same way that books. theatre and even beautiful video games were there. and through such an arduous teenhood. Growing up was a very slow and educative experience.. I still cherish this album . I grew up as a young child in the 90's listening to Tracy on the radio. made essays about it in school. waiting to be heard. All music I choose is set to the same bar-the same level of vocal artistry and carefully chosen words as found in the lyrics of that album. poverty and violence renderered me unresponsive and despondent. It was as if Tracy was a voice from the inside. USA Fast Car A distant understanding of the adult world that had been filled with drugs. Amidst the yelling and inner torment I saw in those closest to me. tracked down and returned to that voice. I emersed myself into a world of creativity that did not pull all the bad and pain away. and thanks to all those that helped you down the path and career that poured peace and courage into the my world. You’re one of my companions when things start to go wrong Tracy. join the characters in my life to enter their world and adapt. 121 . but enriched the world and expanded it. As sad as it looked on the outside. it is an urge to remind one's self of that very place.. I know every word by heart. The urge to move ahead is as strong the pain to leave it all behind. Belgium Truthfully? This whole album shook my world. Henry Walker.. 46 For You Ghent. Their Stories With The Debut Album Ann Van Acker. Fast Car always seems to be the recanting of one's own troubles past but to me. thank you for that. A choice existed.

com Watsonville. I was so wrong. There was talk that Michael Jackson was in London to finish off the night. also out of the foster care system. we weren’t sure that this amazing little infant would be ours to keep. 2012 a judge declared her legally ours but she was "the master of my emotions" from day one. Having had previously adopted two sons. 41 Geckojoey@gmail. ages 5 and 4. The crowd were at one of the many restless points of this very long day and suddenly this young lady with a guitar appeared on a side stage. Without going into a lot of detail. The emotional turmoil I was suffering was often unbearable. I always believed and still do that this one performance was so special. The next twenty minutes will stay with me for the rest of my life. individual voice and quality of words still sends a chill through me today. It wasn’t until one day when I was listening to my go-to album (the very first CD I’ve ever owned) that I came to peace with this maddening feeling and it was thanks to the song For You. As I sang the lyrics it became clear that there are "no words to say. Britain I was at the Nelson Mandela concert at Wembley in 1988. Like many people there that day I was waiting for the next big supergroup. crowd silenced and the attention of the World was on that small stage. USA For You In December of 2011 we brought home a little girl with the understanding that her birth mother’s parental rights would soon be terminated. On August 24. 55 Fast Car Norwich. 122 . the crowd was buzzing. Dale Wiseman. I have seen and enjoyed many live performances but that day Tracy's rawness. The first few bars of Fast Car just eased themselves into the warm air and then like a spiritual happening Tracy's unique tones said "You got a fast car" and all heads turned. no words to convey" and that I simply had to be OK with it. I expected the process to be as smooth as their’s was. How in the world had I fallen so deeply in love with a little person who could not even tell me they loved me back? I‘ve always felt strong and capable but not this time and it drove me insane because I couldn’t make sense of it. Their Stories With The Debut Album Joey.

sitting on the front wall of a "Maquis" where every night they would play Tracy's first album and we would listen quietly. The lyrics that appear are taken from her song Fast Car. when I spent the evenings along with my good friend and great guitarist. Josué Bananjos. 34 Fast Car Montréal. 123 . Canada Back in summer 2013 in Ouagadougou. Burkina Faso. Their Stories With The Debut Album Loïc Robichon.

so I started to learn to play the guitar because I wanted to sing and play the whole album. The first song I learned was Baby Can I Hold You to sing with my sister (I still play it a lot now). I’ll never forget driving around the hills and dirt roads by the lake in my most formitive years listening to Tracy. when I grew up. Tracy and her music made my sister and I to be closer and now we are the best friends. so I repeated everything just like it sounded to me. I believe all people around the world share the same worries and we can all relate the emotions that Tracy has put into music. It has stayed one of my favourite albums to this day and as a producer myself.trashed. Thanks for everything! 124 .. Later. I remember the feeling of listening to the chords of Talkin’Bout A Revolution while my mother was cleaning the house on Saturday morning. I had the chance to buy the CD.travelling without moving. I moved to a small town called Falcon Lake. I always discover something new when I give it a critical listen. Canada Mountains O’ Things So Tracy Chapman’s self titled 1988 album became one of the most influential albums to my music and life. Their Stories With The Debut Album Core. lagwagon. Despite the cultural differences between the countries. Some of the best times and worst heartbreaks of my life were those years and that album was always on. or while we were traveling somewhere in our old car. I was little and I didn't know what the lyrics meant. my mother's friend gave her Tracy's first album on tape. Eli. Argentina When my sister and I were little girls. 31 Elimatas2@gmail. and I started to understand the things Tracy said. The cassettes were Jamiroquai.. We sketchy radio service if it was cloudy enough to get the stations from Winnipeg. the les miserable sound track and Tracy Chapman. very eclectic and all have stayed some of my favourite Falcon Lake. When I first left Home following high school. 30 Fast Car Rosario. but I had 4 cassettes in my car. And I knew everything was OK.

but my own biases and beliefs. Silvia Garcia/ Juana Brava. which I always Columbia. So everyday one of them would bring a KitKat bar for us all to split. These two ladies were beautiful souls. Their Stories With The Debut Album Nicole Verner. United States Fast Car I grew up in Pennsylvania in a rather priviledged setting. Going away to college was not something I ever prepared for even though most of my friends saw it as a given. SC to become a chef. up the stairs. Tracy Chapman’s music solidified a need in me to look more deeply at. It took living outside this utopian bubble to actually realize that there were many factors set in motion keeping me from fully living a life of purpose. not only my surroundings. it was an awkward awakening.rr. Everyday we listen to the cassette tape on our way to work. The layers of deceit that kept me "safe" from the unfamiliar were becoming more recognizable now. Tracy’s music was a call to action. They both supported large families. The fall of 1995 I started school at Johnson and Wales in Charleston. There were two older women that worked in the prep area. but never with such an out-and-proud politically active bunch. For me. I didn’t fully grasp what it meant until I left and came back. and into the closet I was renting. I had lived with women during my time in the Army four years prior. United States The first time I heard Tracy Chapman’s album was the day I moved into the Victorian on Rigg street. Both women made very little money at there job. The popular radio station at the was 96 wave. Growing up in this nationally recognized "Liberal" town. One of the gals living in the attic room was blasting it. 55 Across The Lines Santa Cruz. It was a local rock station that both women where not fond of. so I could hear it all the way from the front porch. 125 . They would share a cab to and from work everyday. Every time I hear one of the songs from this album I think of them and hope that they are doing well. I offered to start picking them up since it was on my way in. That summer I did an internship on Seabrook Island. The ladies would constantly try to pay me for the ride. The only music we could all agree on was Tracy Chapman's Debut Album. Joining the military was actually a step up from what I could see my life becoming if I stayed. Tracy’s voice resonated throughout the house which made the transition from living alone to an 8+ Lesbian habitat more welcoming. 41 nverner@sc.

get in my car and drive somewhere". me and my family were going to the sea along Italy's coast with the car windows down. Their Stories With The Debut Album A. They did leave me never alone. Italy For You I had to move with my parents far away from home. For You remains the pinnacle of my emotions when it comes to that period. what is the suffering. Behind the Wall. but she felt the song.. Pasqualino Brunico. But the song. It describes. sick love. Though she didn't know english. 32 Fast Car Warsaw. only trought her voice and a guitar. from my love. I always believed it's my song.. My first memory about this album and Tracy. Italy When Tracy Chapman's Debut Album came out I wasn't born. Little that I know it meant something more.Jaczewska. is when I was a child... the hot wind in my hair and Tracy's voice dominated the world. my story. bad times and happy one's. Fiorella. she believed that she can get somewhere. 26 Behind The Wall Milan. I found out that this song wasn't about me. During her illness I started understanding her more. This album helped me keeping me together. Last year my mom found out she had a cancer. Poland The song Fast Car is the first song I remember. When I was a kid my mom used to play it to me. violence. It was summer. 47 p. from friends.. But not only this. The last words she said were "I want to go somewhere. It was my mom's story. 126 .. It was the hardest year of our lives. even on the other side of the world. She took a chance on her life. in only 1 minute and 46 seconds. but it follow me from my early life. I hope to let my sons know who Tracy Chapman and her songs are. my favourite song.. she moved out of the home town and came to Warsaw (Poland) to build a better live. I know that inside every Tracy's song I can find my mood and I can be understood. Tracy's songs have accompanied all my life. is the real meaning of the music for me.imbemba@gmail. injustice. I guess you never know how deeply you can touch people's heart. I bought also the songbook and actually learned to play guitar with this record. like my father did with me. I believed in the meaning and I thought it's the most personal song of my life. How your story can build another one.

com flyzeppelinfly@gmail. UK www. 32 Fast Car Instagram @zeppelinmoon I am moved by Fast Car every time I hear it still 127 .zeppelinmoon. Their Stories With The Debut Album Amber (zeppelinmoon).

Tracy Chapman became a soundtrack to my life one magnificent song at a time. Both Richard and the male passenger would experience direct head trauma as their skulls smashed together on impact with a tree. though devastated with survivors guilt. as I tried to take in this message... your legs as sickness encircles your gut. where the world stops spinning though only you do is real. " The speed of the message seemed to slow. Their Stories With The Debut Album Mary. You are a liar Jeff Sanders! You found his phone and you heard my messages and you are a vile person manufacturing this malicious lie. your knowing. and bath time with my youngest who was almost 2 years of age. He was driving his neighbors home after a dinner date. Jeff answers the phone.. and Richards wife would be unharmed. like sorry" First instinct. 2002 and though we did everything we could he passed away 2 weeks ago. The passengers wife would die at the scene. 54 Baby Can I Hold You Burlington Ontario. is all that you can’t say Years gone by and still Words don’t come easily Like sorry.. I know that you have left a number of unanswered messages and I am sorry to tell you that Richard was in a car accident on May 25. My body trembles as I press the numbers that I know on the phone to reach Richard. To feel the blood drain from your head your arms. When he was settled. which would cause him to lose control on a soft shoulder and end up with the vehicle being wrapped around a tree. Canada I could hear the phone ring." The experience that people share about receiving traumatic news.. I’m Jeff Sanders and I was given the responsibility to return all calls that were left on Richard Donnelly’s cell phone. "Sorry. and his vehicle would try to avoid a deer. devastation and disbelief. 128 . How dare You! Shame on You! His message says to call him on Richard’s number to speak. though I was busy with bubbles. He tells me that Richard was in a tragic car accident in California where he was working and living with his wife and 2 children. A man with a southern drawl. I watched the blinking red light of a new message and tentatively hit "play. with a name I have never heard of before speaks words that layer in pain. "Hi.

129 . He was generous of heart. and a hockey player of such ability and potential that he was offered full scholarship to Ivy League Schools across the border and also the choice to play for the NHL. so often. talented young man who was a gifted student. I loved him in a capacity first and foremost as a friend. support. that I replaced it 3 times. Then when it came out on CD of course I bought. I would throw the football around in the backyard as my sister was getting ready for the date with him. so loud. The one that spoke to my heart. Never was it a challenge to have a new admirer of your work. I never allowed myself to see him in any other light than my sisters then boyfriend. Of course. I would work double shifts each and every day in the restaurant business 6 days a week and try to save as much money as I could as I was without any financial support from my family. How would someone like him be interested in a dorky tomboy who preferred spending time in nature and sport than with a bag of makeup and a curling iron? I moved to Bermuda and shlepped food and drink to earn enough money that I could return to Toronto and go back to school.. my little Suzuki Forsa aka a sewing machine with a lid and wheels was my escape from so much darkness. Many years before Richard passed. though I still have all copies. I would purchase it the first time after hearing Talkin’ Bout a Revolution and that cassette tape was played so long. long term friends. was Baby Can I Hold You. and would dedicate his life to be someone who shared his accomplishments with family. Canada. He was a brilliant. and all I needed to do was pop in the tape. Their Stories With The Debut Album To have the freedom of buying my second car as I returned home from living in Bermuda for a few years. He chose scholastic achievements and achieved his many goals of having multiple companies seeking him out and to allow him to be the person to choose for himself. and new ones that he made each and every day of his young life. and then purchased again on iTunes. Ontario. I cannot seem to part with any of them to this day. love. we were childhood friends growing up in a small suburban town of Streetsville. crank up Fast Car and share it with anyone in my passenger seat.

. Get in my car...that is where your true JOY lives!" We attempted a long distance relationship as my Mother wasn’t well and I needed to return back to the small town that we grew up in. toss away a few rough drafts. history made time and time again. though on this day I am reminded of the excitement that was felt when you received a written response. aka "The Bitch Came to Breakfast" He asked me to stop and spend some time in his new city. you should be prepared to hear things that you really don’t want to hear unless it was meant for you. in my car. Responsibility first. We gingerly stepped across the line of friends to awkward lovers. so you could share in a conversation that wasn’t yours to hear. I did this. Nashville. wait! Perhaps. I sang along with every song on this album though could never attempt publicly.. I grew up in a time of landlines.. Home of amazing music. if you want to sing. 130 . and it was a skilled timed art to be able to lift up the receiver in another room of the house and ever so gently release. until you were ready to sign your name.. it gave me the gift to have my days hurt a little less.. Their Stories With The Debut Album After Hurricane Emily. Letters sent through snail mail was a beautiful time that millenniums sadly will never experience.. I learned this from my Mom. though I could never see myself brave enough to stand on a stage and be judged by others. Sit down with pen and paper... seal the envelope of your wishes.. if you invade another’s privacy in this way. it was all we had.. Something she didn’t fully share was that. I still have all of them. and long distance charges to actually speak were cost prohibitive. and I still feel the repercussions of my actions. this is the place where magic happens!" I was drunk with the idea. "when you sing. the vision. though it wasn’t often heard other than in my car. this remarkable man has known me since I was 12 years of age and he saw my passion. dreams a distant second. to sing! He would say "Mary. place enough postage to ensure it would be delivered. weeks for a response! We didn’t have cell phones. and then. though in those moments we shared a level of honesty and truth that neither of us were prepared for. sing along with you. His encouragement and words finally landed within me and realized his words were true. formulate your thoughts without autocorrect. I remind you.

you can say Baby. I have allowed myself to sing in the last 5 years and this song is one that stops a room. "But. and counting. "I love you. 131 . knowing his truth. These words. Is all that you can’t say Years gone by and still Words don’t come easily Like I Love You.. Their Stories With The Debut Album Richard was speaking with the man of the house with whom I was residing. and I forced a smile through my voice to pretend that all was well. However.. it brings new life to the past 30 years. You see we had plans for me to meet up with him at weeks end in Nashville and I was hopeful that he would share this truth with me face to face. at the right time You’d be mine" I made love to him. though he wasn’t committed to the responsibility. as timing would have it. I would hear. John called out finally to say that the phone call was for me.. I shouldn’t have!" He would explain that he shared those words at a time when he believed that it was what I wanted to hear... and I said nothing. Is all that you can’t say Years gone by and still words don’t come easily Like I love you. I Love you" Each time I sing it.. "I Love You. due to the long distance relationship that we were only able to have due to extenuating circumstances. I Love You" When. when I snuck into their conversation.. Richard has been gone now for 16 years. baby can I hold you tonight.. I picked up pretending I knew nothing of what had been said. though it is through him and this song Baby Can I hold You that I have found such a deep truth that has set my longing free. for I can share it honestly. "I told her that I loved her and . what I was met with was... Maybe if I told you the right words.

"Forgive me Is all that you can’t say Years gone by and still words don’t come easily Like forgive me Forgive me" My wish is that he forgives me for not being able to say goodbye. most of all. who didn't understood any words. Their Stories With The Debut Album Though. He taught us everything he knew about living life to the fullest. Deep Bow Sister! Samantha. began the year by having us present on an artist or piece of art which resonated with us. and uncluttered delivery. 31 Behind The Wall Odense. but also our own personal struggles we were going through. I LOVED this album even though I was just a kid. Parker memorized everyone's individual topics. Mr. and I could not have gotten so much out of it if not for Tracy Chapman's talents. May your light forever shine. 16 Fast Car Chicago. United States In my sophomore year of high school. this album is still one of my absolute favorites! THANK YOU.. and would use them to motivate us in not only our work. Throughout the year. As I got older (and still stole it from my brother). for your beauty. Parker. and the passion she brings out in me. but also that her talent inspired me. Denmark I remember my big brother bought this album in the early 90's and I remember always "stealing" it from his room. I chose Tracy Chapman. when he wasn't home. loving and warm voice and I had absolutely no idea what the songs was about. Mr. At first I just got mesmerized by Tracy's amazing. I began to understand the meaning behind the songs.. at the age of 31. and encouraged us to create with the same passion we consumed with. my English teacher. Tracy <3 132 . Bettina Jensen. explaining that the songs weren't just catchy to me. Today. your truth. Parker's class is what I remember most about my sophomore year. Thank You.. Mr.

Newfoundland. John's. Their Stories With The Debut Album Kevin Douglas. Canada Instagram @wallpaperthis Don't You Know She's Talking About a Revolution : kdc xviii @wallpaperthis 133 . 49 Fast Car St.

In the big City I was in the hospitality industry so sometimes at weddings they used to play Fast Car. Sometimes my uncle will grab some of Tracy' CDs so its clear that I will forever support Tracy Chapman. I still remember the day where he played Talkin’Bout A Revolution. Their Stories With The Debut Album Bitten Weile. that music is storytelling. He put me into a universe with another sense of lyrics... He was different from my other teachers. He taught me. He said: "Listen to the text". I couldn't hear the text. Fast Car reminds me of wonderful memories of me as a young man. The song Fast Car gives me hope for a better day. My mother tells me that in the good old days. 40 She’s Got Her Ticket Vonsild. Amazed that music could touch me this way. I love the feeling. Zuko. I am a middle adult now and I still buy her His hair was to long. The next day I went to visit my grandparents. Tracy's character is awesome and the chemistry I get in her songs is wonderful. but the songs still lives deep in my heart today. Anyway about the subject at hand. He loved telling us about his favorite things. meant to be listened to. I still love lyrics East London. The mix between dreaming. So this track called Fast Car I dedicate it to my parents. Until this day I couldn't understand music. she is singing about something. I am Luzuko a Nguni language word for Glory. I only sensed the feeling in the music. It’s such a classic music and a music from generation to generation. The feeling I would get was extremely good. South Africa Fast Car This is my story with Tracy Chapman debut album. And from the bus to their place I visited a cassette shop and bought my first own cassette tape. I listened to Tracy's songs religiously and I could always get comfort from any of her songs. I bought the album when I was beginning my adult life round about 19 years of age. coming from a small poor City of East london and starting a new life in a rich big City of Cape Town in South Africa. This tape became the background of my pre-teenage and teenage age. serious topics and lovely moment touch me then and touch me today. Tracy's Debut Album was the best thing I ever had.I love when songs is about something. I went by bus. she once had Tracy Chapman painting. The cassette tape is gone. He loved to tell stories. God bless you Tracy Chapman Kind regards Luzuko Majavu 134 . 35 42054419@mylife. But he opened the words. She is not just singing. that the songs are a story. Denmark 5th grade and a new english teacher. He loved to play music for us. I was blowned away.

My 17 year old son was singing along and I was teasing him about knowing the words. USA Behind The Wall Surviving Heartbreak . I can hear their giggles. I listen and sing along like many people but it wasn't until my first son died when I really HEARD her lyrics. Tracy Chapman is my muse and inspires me in painting and her music has helped me survive heartbreak.. hoping. I wasn't sure how much more I could take.." This made my heart smile. I have been to concerts pregnant with both of my living children. I grab them and dance with them to her music and sing off key. I sat and listened for hours and hours. his response "Mama.. Thank you Tracy Chapman for giving yourself and allowing us to see into your soul. I journal-ed my pain. I look for tour dates each year. I had to pull over and just sobbed.. I drowned my sorrows in the lyrics. they are "cliff- notes" off to the side of my passage. but I heal. We would bellow out the entire album as we drove. 135 . We don't watch TV in our home. Can I pick one song from this album? For You probably stands out the most.. Lastly. I once again relied on her music when my second son died. I reached in my glove box for my Tracy Chapman CD. 42 annacass@pobox. They are now 17 and 13. we listen to music. I relieved all of those rides to school while listening to the album. slowly. I started listening to Tracy Chapman in the early 90's riding to school with my BFF.. She recently passed away from a massive seizure. But. I grew up with Tracy Chapman. I also have wonderful memories. Their Stories With The Debut Album Anna. then I need TLC.. However.. as I laughed and cried. I realized I was signing the wrong lyrics all along and I would concentrate on her words and her voice and write these lyrics down in my journal. My children know if Tracy Chapman is on when they get home from school. I created one CD with ALL of her music on it... but more so. When my daughter was 5 and diagnosed with Epilepsy.I have seen Tracy Chapman in concert about 7 times but I am more than just a fan. it was very healing. I appreciate the sacrifices you made for us to hear your DuBois. I cranked her album in the car on the way home. During this time. As much as her music has helped me through the most difficult times anyone can imagine. how can I NOT know the words.. her music goes to my soul and I heal. my husband of 17 years was just diagnosed last week with thyroid cancer and when I left the house the first time alone after his diagnosis. As I type this.... I feel their giggles from their chest to mine.

. I have Tracy and her music to thank for saving me. 41 tjaaktje@gmail. I decided to buy music and chose this album. poetic and incredible beautiful. I was a teenager going through difficult times. therefore Tracy makes me dream and travel back in time.. intelligent. I was stuck in an abusive relationship. at age 18 I actually did. 26 Fast Car Toronto. Still now. 39 Bettinadj@hotmail. thank you for this :) 136 . I felt comfort in the music by Tracy Chapman. That song inspired me to make the scariest (and best) decision of my life. The Netherlands She’s Got Her Ticket I started listening to Tracy Chapman in the ‘90. I bought a ticket and traveled a year through the USA. And of course all the other beautiful songs by Tracy. there isn’t a day going by without listening to some Tracy Chapman. Her songs are so pure. I put my headphones in and was listening to Fast Car on repeat as loud as it could go. I was bullied at school and at home I had emotional unavailable parents. Their Stories With The Debut Album Charlotte. but I had my life. Tjaaktje Botjes. One of my favorite on that first album is She’s Got Her Ticket It was my dream to fly away. My father past away almost eleven years ago from cancer. Bettina. When my partner walked in the house that night I finally stood up for myself and ended things with them and ran out. And a few years later. Best time of my life. with always She’s Got Her Ticket playing on my walkman. Spain Fast Car I was ten when I was at a mall with my father and found some money on the floor. Canada I can still vividly remember the exact moment the words "leave tonight or live and die this way" saved my life. just loved it and still do. One night I was home alone distraught and crying. and never thought I would get Groningen. I had nowhere to go and nothing to take with me.

Their Stories With The Debut Album

Linda, 55 Mountains O’ Things
Hartville, USA

Two songs from this LP... Talkin’Bout A Revolution... I just love the music and
lyrics of the song. This song always makes me think of all the families I've
worked with at head start from 1993 - 2009. And then with family services
helping families with food stamps and Medicaid, where I am today.
Tracy has a way of presenting a story in her lyrics, and hope this song makes
people think about society and those people not as blessed or fortunate as others
- like it does for me!

Mountains O’ Things... this song as well, has inspired me over the years. These
songs should be anthems for the less fortunate. And, have made me stronger
over these past years raising two children on my own, after divorcing the
children's father who had become an alcoholic/abuser. And later loosing the love
of my life when she passed away unecpectedIy.

I have had to come to grips on a regular basis that I will never have the "life of
ease", and "mountains o' things" - because of life circumstances. Like many of
my families, we are the "poor" and "underpriveledged". We have our families
and love to strengthen us instead of financial wealth.
Tracy's songs help me look at my life, be happy and grateful and look to the

Vica Gaswanda, 41
Jakarta, Indonesia Behind The Wall

When I was 14 (1990), among all those pop idols, Tracy Chapman's music
found me. My cousin played her album and Fast Car hit me to the heart. Why
so different. Who is this singing? It went on and Behind The Wall has become
my fave to sing again and again. The morals of the songs touched me a bit too
early. They have kept me thinking of how I care and want to take part to make
this Earth a decent place to love on. It sounds simple but actually for me it has
not. Thinking about it, that point in my life is a start. Now I've become
vegetarian, done as much I can to preserve this world a bit longer, tried as much
to do little good things everyday, kept on wishing on a world that I am sure it
will be.


Their Stories With The Debut Album

Solenn Deléon, 24 Fast Car
Rennes, France Tumblr @almostsupercool.


Their Stories With The Debut Album

It’s not quite yet a memory, but the song Fast Car always gives me hope. Last
year we moved to a new city with my boyfriend : for us, it really was the
beginning of adulthood, with its endless questioning and doubt. But we had each
other, the city, and a fast car.


Their Stories With The Debut Album

Daniela Echeverria, 21
Port St. Lucie, United States Mountains O’ Things

I still remember the first song I’ve ever heard from Tracy that was Fast Car
because my mom used to play it all the time, as much as she played Baby Can I
Hold You. I was 5 years old. The moment I heard her voice I got obsessed about
who she was and the beautiful songs she wrote. After a few years of hearing her
all the time I stopped for two years because I lost my grandma when I was 11,
by then I didn’t know how to handle that kind of loss so I just stopped listening
to the music I liked or anything that will remind me of her. At the age of 14 I
started listening to her again but I wanted to know more. I wanted to know all
her music. All her albums. So I did. I bought every album I could find. I’m from
Ecuador, I was born in Ecuador and lived there for about 20 years. I only could
find three albums of her, Tracy Chapman her first album, Our Bright Future and
Crossroads. I have this things were I love owning disks and listening them on a
stereo. So for about 6 years I listened to her all the time. Through bad times and
good times. Specially bad times. I didn’t have many friends at school, I did have
a few I could say they were friends but never had a real friend. Someone to talk
to whenever you feel like it. Of course I had my mom but that’s not what I
mean. I struggled at school a lot. Even though I never showed it. I always acted
tough because I didn’t want anyone to see my true feelings or anyone judge me.
I made bad decisions like all humans do. Most of them that I regret from the
bottom of my heart. In this right moment I’m listening to Be Careful Of My
Heart, this song saved me from myself so many times, also This Time.
Whenever I wanted to pull myself up again and be strong I’ll listen to this two
songs over and over again. Let it Rain it’s the perfect song I could dedicate to
Tracy. She gave me hope to keep going. When no one is there for me, I know
she will always be.
I moved to the United States when I was 20 to my dad’s house, he’s married
with another woman and have other kids. I never felt like I belonged there. But I
had Tracy’s music. By then I bought the albums I had left to buy. I listened to
every single album everyday nonstop, wherever I go I’ll take this albums with
me. I always needed at least one album with me to be ok with myself. Like I
said I never thought I belonged there in that house. I did stupid stuff to myself, I
got drunk until blacking out, I got drunk until I wanted to open my wrist up and
not love myself anymore. I wanted to end my life. I felt like life didn’t have
meaning anymore. I ended up in the hospital for a week and tried to room my
life again after that. But like I said, this music has kept my head sane for so long
that I can’t see myself not listening to it. Even if is just one song, I just need to
hear her voice that’s it. I still struggle. Every day. But I got better. 2017 wasn’t a
good year for me but I did gained something good from it. I got real friends now
that they love me and care about me as much as I love and care about them. I
found someone who reminds me every day how much he loves me and honestly


Their Stories With The Debut Album

I see a future with him. A future I thought I wouldn’t ever have. I’m living with
a friend now that I consider her as my sister. I actually introduce Tracy’s music
to her and now we listen to her every time we go on a car ride or just hanging
out at our place. It’s wonderful how music can unite people. I owe you my
whole life Tracy. You made my life have meaning and I’ll be forever grateful
for that. I love you Tracy Chapman. I hope one day you do an appearance or
concert because I’m going to be the first one to be there and meet you and say
thank you.

Grin Go, 56
Montreal, Canada Baby Can I Hold You

"Spin out of ones truth..."

Walking through the midnight streets, we be collecting recycling things.
Stopping my cart and only to see what it brings.
Out of this garbage, a CD player, with some things.
Sat down on the curb and the music falls out.
It has a picture of a lady, with out a doubt.
I be telling stories, or maybe just one of mine...
From the ""America Dream"" and into this place or time.
Now I am fixing, a fiddling, with this broken machine.
There is a place for the batteries, wiping it clean...
A glance to my friend "Let's give it a whorl..."
Soon come, to the truth and what it will unfurl...
With that spin and a whorl, which we all know.
Simply sounding out and it is time for the show.
Singing out, for my lover, with a skip or two.
With words like, baby can I hold on to you...
Like the waters of a river, tears start to flow.
With the weight of these words, we all really know.
Oh father, dear mother, words are needed for this life.
Never be hearing those words, only crying out the strife.
With a whisper from the lady and her emotions show.
Like, sorry, please forgive me and I love you so.
Out of the mouth of the streets, all is revealed.
Out of the mouth of the streets, souls are healed.


Back then. going out to envision and realize their dreams. 56 Debraeladd@gmail. Their Stories With The Debut Album Harald and Petra. charismatic sound. We were on our own. a simple. I remember my aunt playing the album all the time.Gudmundsson. 142 . positive vibrations. having a glass of wine. and with its songwriter.. and the next evening. Thank Frankfurt. Seeing Tracy in a life concert in Munich (Germany) several years later was a great experience. Evening dinner in a small bar near the sea. 50+ hrobok@aol. and in the background a stunning voice. with the album. This was the first colour woman I remember seeing anywhere and I knew I was in love. My hope is that all domestic violence victims have a safe place to lay their head down each night. Since then.. a simple. 35 Fast Car Reykjavík... Talkin´Bout A Revolution. a nice dinner. There were no women's shelters... three kids have made their way already. 1989. we are in the middle of our life. Nashville. I became a fan immediately and even though I was only 8 I know I was in love with this beautiful woman. charismatic sound:. travelling thousands of kilometer with a small car and a tent. feeling good. USA For My Lover I was touched personally by Behind The Wall. Debra. My sister was a victim of domestic violence and was murdered February 6. M. we fell in love with this song. It was played several times this evening. Iceland Growing up in Iceland.. and we still sit together. Germany Talkin’ Bout A Revolution My wife and I were at the beginning of our life together. 1986. young people around. there were no resources for victims of domestic violence. And in the background a stunnic voice. We didn't know then that the most dangerous time for domestic violence victims is after they've left their abusers. a first holiday trip to turkey.. We heart the first time Fast Car. And it was at the beginning of our dreams and hopes. it accompanied us on our life path... I'm thankful for the light Tracy helped shine on this issue.

Biggest dream ever would be to sing even if it’s one verse of one of the songs from her first album or just to be able to fill in once for her artist Tour manager. And we could all use more of that. we need each other and some things ain't right that we need to change. Much love E83. But one of the other songs that captured every piece of my being was the acapella version Behind The Wall. 46 She’s Got Her Ticket Phoenix. Their Stories With The Debut Album Evelyne. USA Fast Car. She is an inspiration with her lyrics and music and even though I am now 30 years old. so I related to her as a singer that doesn’t have the typical high pitch notes. Beautiful singer and amazing songwriter. it would just be amazing to see her perform. lyrics and music. Very powerful and still as impactful today as it was when I was a child. Netherlands The first time I heard of Tracy Chapman I was 14. since I was born in Aruba but live in the Netherlands. one of the best to ever do it :-) peace and love Dena Roberts. I could believe that there was this amazing person with that sound. so I could meet the person that influenced me a lot. we can all overcome our problems. I still hope she will come and perform in the Netherlands. Tracy taught me their was others struggling. England Mountains O’ Things This album was the most influential album of my childhood. I can’t even describe how amazing she is music wise since I have never met her in person. Then I listened to the words and the captured me because in my childhood I have had to deal with a lot of things she was singing about. it grounds me. At one of my first performances at my music college. She painted a very vivid image. 35 iangeorgelovell31583@gmail. I guess that's why. It gave me a peace of comfort and I started to listen to all the lyrics from that album and it gave me a sense of feeling how times were back in the days in America. And if not. So yes she had an major impact with her voice. every time I listen. Unlike any other song. 143 . 30 Fast Car Bristol. I sang Fast Car and All That You Have Is Your Soul. Always brings me back to where I started. One thing I know for sure is. I heard Fast Car and it had such in impact on me as a person and a singer.

Tracy’s rich vocals mixed with her expert guitar playing and solid lyrics. The Debut Album. I remember first hearing Talkin‘Bout A Revolution when a substitute music teacher brought a Tracy Chapman songbook to class and sang that song with an acoustic guitar. that same Nairobi. I am 40 now and the only thing I want in life is to see Tracy Chapman standing there singing to me. My personal mobile number is +254715830245 or +254773093830. singing for me. I mean.A. I’ll keep listening. I know you can. I melted. aren’t you? Until then my dear. I even called the online manager's numbers listed online. For My Lover. these are intricate songs that not only entertain. Ever since I first heard Fast Car. is not just an album of songs. you can call me anytime please Tracy. USA When I was in the fourth grade. Ironically. 31 Talkin’ Bout A Revolution Seattle. Fast Car. I even wrote to Oprah. I really am Tracy but I guess distance is a barrier as am in Kenya and you are over there in L. the true artist singer/songwriter that has not only captured my heart.manager. Never to get a response from her. I bought the CD with all the wordings to the songs. this is probably my last attempt to contact my star.. better still come to Kenya. Baby Can I Hold You. 40 terrynjeri77@gmail. I love you Tracy Chapman. 144 . I truly appreciate you and I believe one day I’ll meet you face to face Tracy so I can tell you personally just how much you mean to me. She was first introduced to me by mum back in 1995. my heroin. Now Tracy I know you'll read this because I’ve prayed that it be published and that my dear you can find it in your heart to call your biggest fan. I was 18 years. my friends know this. My mum knows this. to Elektra Records. a classmate brought a cassette tape of the Debut Album as well as New Beginning to school. The music was mesmerizing. I love all your songs. keep on playing every song you sing/sung all that I can find online for I love them all. I’m a single mum with a beautiful daughter we will be happy to share our humble life with you please Tracy make it happen. but my spirit and whole body my Tracy Chapman. No wonder when I was all grown up and and started earning a living. in my opinion. I wrote to her sister Anita. my 9 year old daughter knows this and I hope Tracy knows it too. as are all her albums. Kenya She’s Got Her Ticket My story truly is personal. Their Stories With The Debut Album Aaron Marshall. I’ve sent her countless mail through her legal representative. they tell the truth. so I could sing along. Talkin‘Bout A Revolution. I had just finished my high school when my mum bought her tape and it’s just something in her voice that captured my heart. it’s an album of stories. Terry Njeri.

145 . In between dismantling of an AK-47 assault rifle and training of the home Volgograd . I like to listen to music and when I peer into the cover of the album I find a place for myself there. Their Stories With The Debut Album Igor Lipchanskiy. Russian Federation Instagram @igor.lipchanskiy@gmail. 23 yen.lipchanskiy My name is Igor and I live in cold Russia. I have decided to make a small selection of interesting covers and show what might be off-screen if I were there.

and being the wonderful mother that mine never was. but also kept me afloat many times when I needed to be reminded that my life mattered and I just needed to hold on a little longer. As years went on. Having a family of my own. even as a young girl. and I am a wonderful mother to my only child. and be better. The song help me in my early stage in life that I can run and I can improve things and I think it’s because of the songs that move me to live in hope. and I also had a huge crush on Tracy. we have our own down side but also that we can turn it around and be proud of who we are. All your songs have a place in my life for it has help me to move forward and is like my reflects of what I want to Chicago. I knew it was wrong. I finally got my own fast car going when I was 32 years old. Telling you all my story. I came out of the Eugene. and that song. Fast Car was still a song that always reminded me that I could have better. I began noticing my attraction to other girls. I got my abusive mother out of my life completely. Fast Car meant so much to me. The song Talkin’ Bout A Revolution was my food. in a heteronormative society. I longed to live as my true self. do better. As a very feminine presenting woman. I knew what was expected of me and the role I was expected to portray. I would have my ticket to anywhere. USA Fast Car I was ten years old when I saw the video Fast Car for the first time. Their Stories With The Debut Album Ruth Acheinegeh. I did not stop trying. 146 . 38 ruthacheinegeh@Gmail. I dreamt of getting out of her home and finally being free. US Talkin’ Bout A Revolution My life start up with hope for the next day and living with a disability in a very poor country in West Africa called Southern Cameroon was a choice of you either live or you die. I was able to descend that from the song that no matter how we are. I suffered for 5 years through a loveless marriage with a man. But. but there. 39 qteapiechef@gmail. I had been abused by my mother and her first husband pretty much every day until I was about 5. and kept those attractions and thoughts hidden. Chef Shiane Wilcoxen. I became the first women with disability in my community to fight for the rights of children and women with disability and for them to have a forum of their own. The abuse continued though at the hands of my mother well into my teenage years. Just as simple as that. It is so telling and it move me to make the next step. Tracy. when they divorced. but I had to make sure my child was old enough to understand. I am proud of the songs dey say she is my Sister the Eugene-ans in the State of Oregon. Because one day. not only helped me survive an unimaginable childhood. At 12 years old.

a town of less than 7. and myself. I believe I survived the harm I endured because God blessed me with a group of friends who were so in unison that we ended up blowing out the speakers because our love was that strong. Needless to say. which is since then closed. "Y'all. At the last minute. I happened to be choosing what song I will be singing that night and there was Fast Car. Every one of us knew Fast Car. I saw Tracy Chapman as a beacon of light. So while chowing down on some beef stew I finally said. USA Fast Car It was in the late 90s in Lexington. Little did I know that after this joyride. 147 . I decided to put on some Tracy Chapman to honor this monumental moment in my own life. I remember when the song came out and I was only 10. Their Stories With The Debut Album Rebecca. United States Fast Car Fast Car is the song that made me become a Tracy Chapman fan. I am gay. I remember lights flashing past us as we all started to sing in unison. Alissa. decided to ditch Newbury. Blaring music and cruising down Interstate 81. Seth. run home to grab a boombox. Deb « D ».Hudson. Fast forward to 2005 and I was with a friend of mine named Suzy." I had just come out at the Cracker Barrel. and head to our first night club. As good Virginians. Fast Car is the song that changed my life. Everyone smiled and laughed and then we got back in the car to head the opposite direction. I would begin a long painful journey that would include conversion therapy as part of my coming out. A few of us had plans to attend Prom. As a Berkeley.000 people. Fast Car became an anthem for this Southern Queer. Va. It was nighttime by then when Fast Car came on the ol' boombox. I hadn't made an official announcement. and it was Friday night karaoke. we decided to grab some dinner at the Cracker Barrel before heading back the other way. 39 rkacsala@yahoo. I felt seen. jump in my Red Plymouth Horizon with Clove cigarettes and fake IDs in hand. we realized too late that we had driven in the wrong direction. It was beautiful. While my friends all figured I was gay. What makes this moment so special is that I felt belonging and community that night. There I was singing the song that seventeen years prior I heard for the first time. We stopped by a lesbian bar on the west side of Cleveland called Muggs. it was the best Prom Night ever. 37 restorativefaith@gmail. And every one of us could carry a tune. 4 of us -.

It was 10 years she died. her end was near? And why this song? Laura didn’t know. In the background there was music… All of a sudden Fast Car … everybody froze. but also very bizarre. changed drastically one day in October 2003. to commemorate her death. We had planted a tree for Kim. the day that caused us the worst pain anyone can imagine… the day that our daughter Kim was very suddenly taken from us in an unfortunate scooter accident… The day after this drama. She told us that Kim only 2 weeks before her fatal accident talked about how much she liked the song Fast Car and how she would like to have this song played at her own funeral!! Goosebumps… Did she unconsciously know. very specific moments.. came with an announcement that was in a way beautiful. Belgium 45 and 58 For You The Story of KIM’s Song My name is Inge and I have always been a huge fan of Tracy Chapman. and afterwards we all gathered for a coffee in a local restaurant. she gives me a sign. but this is a story written by my oldest sister Lieve. But her story doesn’t end here. Kim’s best friend. I hear Kim. so of course we did what she would have wanted… play Fast Car at her own funeral … Since that day Fast Car is Kim’s song. we were all sitting at the table with the "undertaker" and we had to plan a funeral for a 16 year old… it was all so unreal! We had to chose the music… texts… something you have never thought about before! Not even in your worst nightmare! Friends were coming and going. in October 2003… It was the day that turned our lives upside down. Here goes her story : Fast Car from Tracy Chapman… I didn’t even know the song that well… until that day.. but mostly her life. family and friends. Laura. Our lives. Then I know she’s there. and we will never find out. a lot of sadness and disbelief. but Kim thought the song was fantastic. because the most beautiful and fantastic thing is that the song has been following us and keeps popping up at the most amazing moments. That was the day that Tracy Chapman’s song Fast Car became our guiding light. Ghent. … The most memorable moment was the day that we all came together. It made me strongly believe there is more… that she lives on in another dimension … it gives me an incredible support to move on. Their Stories With The Debut Album Inge and Lieve Vermaercke. all in tears… We all looked at each other and we were all thinking the same thing: She was actually there with us! It was such a beautiful 148 . 17th October 2013. she asked me to translate. When I hear Fast Car. but also a lot of stories and beautiful memories. she heartens me.

my Dad Rabbi Aaron Gottesman. I changed the radio frequency in my car… Fast Car or when I had just brought flowers to the cemetery… Fast Car… As I am a home nurse. Lieve Vermaercke. and saw Tracy in concert in San Diego together. I turn on the radio and I hear the begin tune of Fast Car. Kim. like when I was on my way home from a reunion with other parents who have lost a child. mom of Kim Haerick Belgium/The Netherlands Ziva Gottesman. did a cruise where they hired him to do holiday services in trade for the cruise for about a week. 45 zgottesman@yahoo. But also in a lot of other San Diego. My Mom and sister couldn't make it. but all of a sudden I feel this urge to do so. Their Stories With The Debut Album moment! And the fact that it was not only for me but for all the friends and family as well. but my Dad who was also a volunteer Police Chaplain liked the song Behind The Wall because of the mention of the police. I had a late night shift. feeling a bit down. it brings me back to some special times with my Dad. The whole night I hadn’t turned on the radio in the car. In 1988. My Dad passed away in 2005 and when I hear Tracy's music. especially that cruise I got to take alone with him. Then I speak out loud… "Hey Kim. when my time has come…till then. makes it so unforgettable. a feeling hard to explain. and often moments that I really need it. all the time… Thanks to Fast Car I know that one day I will see her again. on new year’s eve. please keep on giving me these signs. 149 . My Dad was a big music lover and introduced me to all kinds of music and helped me become a big music lover too. because I need them sometimes. I brought some of my favorite tapes for us to listen in our cabin together on a tape player and of course I brought Tracy's first album Tracy Chapman. It happens very often. I can go on like this. I/we loved all of the songs. there you are… nice of you that you give me this sign" Of course she’s in my heart. USA Baby Can I Hold You I've loved Tracy's music since I first heard her music in the 80's. We listened to the whole tape a lot the week of the cruise. so it was just the two of us.

My mother had known poverty as a child and when we migrated to Canada. I have said many times that it is the song that I want sung or read aloud at my funeral. 150 . Their Stories With The Debut Album Tanya (Toni) De Mello. I was someone that as a young woman. As if every song is a chapter that is connected to a time that shaped me. in doing the work that I turned 40! Talkin’ Bout A Revolution Toronto. that their loss becomes personal. I stopped mid-conversation. that your album is the soundtrack of my life. I read a post online where someone was grappling with the sense of loss they were feeling. When I thought of the artist to whom I felt most closely connected. I am connected to a time and place where I heard that song. Canada Your Album Became the Soundtrack of My Life I remember when Prince died. And yet. I was constantly reminded that I had so much relative ease compared to many others. to evoke and to heal. The first time I heard Talkin’Bout A Revolution. It became an anthem to me. just tjdemello@gmail. The lyrics. how I felt. For a minute or two. I remember that time. The lyrics from that song rang with the deepest sense of injustice and frustration I felt so often and then called for a revolution but one that sounded like a whisper. I spent a lot of time working in shelters and in my community. seeped into me and rattled me – that I feel like I’ve dialogued with them over the years. those lyrics…see. shaken me. in fact. And I started to realize that there are one or two artists that have so moved me. even what people were wearing. and listen. Music has an incredible ability to provoke.there was a voice that could somehow soothe me for a few moments. we struggled once again. The smells. I often volunteered to try to reconcile my good fortune in the greater context of so much suffering. You have such gentleness in your unrelenting call for justice. Your music has played in the background of my most difficult moments. for an artist that had such a huge impact on their life but yet the artist was a person that they had never actually met. Your voice. We grieve the loss of certain artists the way we do a best friend precisely because of the we have become so connected to the artist in our lives. I realized. intimate. intolerable. and those darker nights where I grappled with pain and longing . and it was yours. It was playing in a friend’s father’s car and I asked if we could literally just stop talking. This resonated with me so much. At the first few notes of a song. I thought of Tracy Chapman. that album – held me through those times. your lyrics and the music.

she was special and it was really inexplicable I started to listen in a loop and my father was really pleasantly surprised because he is also a big fan. I was looking through the windows. I was working for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and you were playing at an outdoor concert with many open-air stages. at the end of a dinner party where those life-changing conversations keep you up for hours and in those quiet moments. France Fast Car It was when I was 9. Zaza. I worried I would blubber and fall all over myself and betray the sacredness of the connection I have to your music. 17 sherazadesayah@gmail. at different points in my life. for daring to hold a note and let us long for one in the long moments of silence you allow for in your songs and for writing the love song I share with the person that has been the love of my life. I was a guest in someone’s home. it was Tracy Chapman's song named Fast Car. to your words. by the vulnerable sharing of pain and by the honouring of complex and complicated stories that are so often. I remember the day I first heard the album. the audience inhaled and exhaled as you did. For the courage of your lyrics. I was in my father's car and we were on vacation road. on so many evenings. I thank you now. I was lit up by the rawness of your stories. I stood at the front of the stage the entire concert and sang every word. and to you. where I was on my own. Colombes. your presence on stage was so powerful. I was supposed to sleep and suddenly I heard a voice that hit my mind and woke me up. I played the cassette over and over again and just wrote every lyric down in my raggedy old journal. the time I wrote all of the album lyrics down. Tracy. I remember now. hundreds of times. Their Stories With The Debut Album The album opened up a lot for me as I grew to listen to it. travelling abroad - where I felt unwelcome and so alone. by the naming of abuse and violence. You had such incredible humility and yet. You rarely looked up at us. somehow and thank you for your music. a little over ten years later. I finally saw you in concert ten years ago in Geneva. as I write this. On so many road trips. for your words. In the back of a station wagon. there was a huge sun. I was wearing red. I couldn’t muster the courage then. left untold. And it has held me. It was so beautiful! I loved her voice so much. 151 . for being the soundtrack of my life. And I had this overwhelming feeling where I wanted to connect with you.

com Rapid City. I needed it to survive. As I aged each song that my mother lay claim to on that album became my own with each one serving its own unique purpose. an electric keyboard. fly. Drums. It was mine. 40 chelleschefcik@hotmail. She was rarely sober and rarely clean but what never came and left with her binging was her voice. Standing as tall as she was were her mic and mic stand that was hers and hers alone. United States Fast Car Her notes were my fast car and her lyrics were my ticket so that I could fly. love. trauma or pain without truly burdening their hearts with things about who I was and where I came from. outwardly bleeding and screaming for help with a silent and penetrating scream. The first CD that I purchased was a replacement of that tape. No matter what dive of a rental we were living in she always made a place for "the band". I was 11 years old when Tracy Chapman released her first album Tracy Chapman. My mother wrote songs full of pain. a tambourine. It’s crazy because this album. As soon as Fast Car hit the radio our mother bought the cassette tape and over night every song became our anthem. The cassette tape went with me and no matter how many times she accused me of stealing it I never broke. the CD and eventual digital version of this album became their anthem too but it for them has been an anthem of strength.Michelle on the drums. my mother holding down the mic and keyboard with Del Ray on the tambourine. Be it the car or the house the tape was played and flipped and played and flipped with every turn I prayed it wouldn’t ever get eaten. tears. I got out of my mothers home at the ripe ole age of 15. laughter. It hit on every injustice I felt and saw. For My Lover spoke to the loyalist in me… covering for everything that was happening behind closed doors in our home. 152 . The legal note pads collected dust and every night her and her girl friends would sing nearly every song at the top of their lungs. My father had left years earlier leaving us behind with our mother who was broken. Talkin’Bout A Revolution said everything I felt about my fall from the upper class and journey into poverty after my parents divorce. our families anthem. It was like being able to share with them every memory I had be it filled with happiness. and speakers were adorned with stacks of yellow legal pads… songs scribbled with coordinating chords on every page anchored down by overflowing ash trays. Their Stories With The Debut Album Chelle Schefcik. She’s Got A Ticket gave me strength after each beating she gave in her coked out rages because I too was going to fly away soon. fly away. fly. For my children. party tunes to add to the mix of strangers making themselves at home in every imaginable way and even lullabies that she would sing as she wept after a beating was gifted to one of us for reasons we could not see or understand. rang true and nurtured our spirits whether we were flying down the road laughing and smiling or hiding under our beds using the words to drowned out the screams of domestic violence that hid behind our front door. I became a Mother myself at the age of 20 and this album became the anthem for my children and I but in a very different way.

It became my refuge. France Fast Car The first time I've listened to Talkin’Bout A Revolution I was travelling in a carpooling on september 2016. She's my favorite singer ever. Thank you for that. I was going to my new city: Montpellier. I wrote to a girl that while I was listening to Fast Car I thought of her voice too. she rocks me in her arms like a mother." She's always there. I've wrote on my journal : "When I'm old. Their Stories With The Debut Album bonding and fortitude. she has the power to calm me down". truly live by moving in Monpellier. I sang this song all summer long. Since I met Tracy's voice. laughing. I moved to France to study Music therapy. like a lover. a place to laugh and a place to dream. Now we are together. this album… which became the anthem for 3 generations in my family saved my life. We said her voice is a miracle. When I feel bad. I'm in connection with her. It was a relief to experience vibrations on my body of this wonderful blues. My first love story ended last summer. A safe place to cry. just got her first guitar for Christmas. The last month. to remind me of this grateful period where I started to live. violence and addiction further and further back in the rear view mirror of our Fast Car. Her voice will be the most useful therapy for me. I sang with the driver. The first song she taught her self to play was Fast Car. I'd like to listen to Tracy Chapman. I've started listening her songs every day. 24 bizzottoangela93@gmail. I've found in this voice my paradise lost. I fell in love with Tracy Chapman’s voice. After this message. Tracy. That song explained perfectly my feelings. 153 . a safe place to scream. I listen to Tracy and I think "she's the only voice that makes me breath. I've learned Baby Can I Hold You with my folk guitar. I believe it. In this moment. An anthem of singing at the top of their lungs on the way to ice cream after tee-ball games instead of on the way to the nearest safe house as it had been for me. who is now 16 years old. she told me that we could hang out. My daughter. Angi. My children already talk about this album being the anthem for their children and with every generation the music and lyrics stay the same but we as a family change as we put poverty.

Then Fast Car came out. I work in a supermarket and the words came real to me. All of a sudden the news weren’t just something that your old folks watch. I was that girl. As I keep growing in this world. When I heard Talkin‘Bout a Revolution for the first time on the radio. Taffe from Crewe Cheshire England 154 . totally oblivious to what’s been going on in the world. there’s music that puts you off and then there’s Tracy Chapman. there’s music that calms you down. Yes it affected me the words most of all. On getting the album. In my life I relate and a lot of here and now. listening to her songs makes me so emotional that tears run down my cheeks. Their Stories With The Debut Album Paco VL. 43 Mountains O’ Things Bad Wurzach. Why and Mountain O‘ Things sum it all up nicely in my opinion! Her debut record is also one of only eight records on which I like every song. It opened my eyes and changed my perception of the world. Usually I like maybe four of five songs on any given record by any artist I like! Thank you Tracy from the bottom of my heart for your wonderful music and for changing my life! I wish you all the best! Alex Taffe. I learnt it of by heart. I know what I mean. and if I don’t watch it. I liked it. there’s music that makes you sing along. it actually made me sit down and think about the lyrics. I had heard Baby Can I Hold You. Hearing that song drastically changed that. Neil Diamond sang it on some track on the radio. 55 Crewe. Up until then I had been living in the bubble of adolescence. Germany There’s music that pumps you up. She’s the only artist that gives me goosebumps. And my years to come. Songs like Talkin‘Bout a Revolution. Thank you Tracy. Cheshire. I had the luck of meeting Tracy once which was also a wonderful experience. though I'm a boy. Funny Tracy Chapman is the most artist songs I have learnt to my self. England Behind The Wall To go forwards you have to go backwards. Yes the words mostly offered me comfort in my hours.

endlessly. but very few become part of the soundtrack of your life. then finally the album. 46 She’s Got Her Ticket Hamburg. I've never tired of it. my coworkers and I listened first to the loop. back in the days of cassettes. Germany She's Got Her Ticket 155 . USA Fast Car 30 years ago. Truly. or make you feel like you've been personally introduced to the intimate life behind the songs. coming out of her office on full blast. for days on end. I rarely play it through just once. MI. The debut album is still as fresh to me Ann Arbor. as it was back then. You hear a lot of songs in the music business. 54 knabbler@yahoo. Very few bombard your senses with true emotion. elicit goosebumps. Their Stories With The Debut Album J'ann. Synje Detlefsen. my boss in New York City looped Fast Car and played it for hours.

I longed to connect with some like-minded people. But her image left a deep impression on me. put the cassette player next to my bed and waited until everybody else had gone into their own rooms. One of them was moving from my smalltown middle school to our Danish high school in the city. so I mostly kept quiet and to myself. had read Winnie Mandela’s autobiography and other books by South African activists. there was no YouTube or Spotify or iTunes. I definitely couldn’t miss this event! Remember. Most of all it felt lonely. However. and I didn’t have much pocket money. we lived in the countryside back then. I saw her face and knew that she was special. That was in June. I also liked many of the musicians that were scheduled to play for Nelson Mandela that day. for graduation we went on a class trip to Yugoslavia which doesn’t even exist anymore now. The girls in my class were obsessing over male celebrities. upon my return. 1988 would become a year of changes. Then I lay down and listened in the dark. So. And buying books by my Black feminist heroines wasn’t something I could afford all the time. I carried the tapes to my room. At that time I wasn’t even aware of the most precious moment still waiting for me. there was no internet back then – so no chance to just watch it online after returning from my class trip. There was no internet back then. So. So. Which meant that I wasn’t home when the Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute concert was broadcast to 67 countries and an audience of 600 million on June 11. For a number of years. While I loved nature in the North Frisian countryside where I was growing up. fully focused on the beautiful event I had missed a week earlier. While so many other people have also mentioned how mesmerized they were by Tracy’s surprise performance at the Nelson Mandela concert that it may sound 156 . and middle school was no good place to be different. June 11 to 17. I held those cassettes in my hand like a treasure. I remember what being 16 in 1988 felt like. I had been passionate about the anti-apartheid struggle. excited about finally being able to listen to the concert. My parents didn’t even have a video recorder. I still remember how. Their Stories With The Debut Album I remember exactly how I felt the first time I saw an ad for Tracy Chapman in a free music magazine in the spring of 1988 when I was 16. the only option for me was to ask my father to record the concert on simple audio cassette tapes. But first. As much as I loved traveling with my school. that was a huge drawback. So beautiful and thoughtful. I couldn’t just go and buy a record of someone whose music I had never heard. I didn’t want to be disturbed.

I just felt deep inside we had a lot in common. and I have cherished that vinyl record for 30 years now even though I later bought the cd version for everyday use. not presenting in a stereotypical "girlie" way. Their Stories With The Debut Album corny. Tracy Chapman expresses many of the issues close to my heart – both a revelation and a revolution in 1988. When I moved to Flensburg to attend our Danish minority high school in the summer of 1988. and I remember that a little girl from an Eritrean family I had become friends with was very curious about it. and made me feel less alone. Tracy Chapman definitely also had a vital impact on Black girls everywhere. seeing and hearing Tracy empowered her. in 1988. Because of the pervasive sexist and racist “beauty” standards that she (like most other girls) was growing up with. to think right away "She’s like me".. With a voice beautifully defying stereotypes of what a woman is supposed to sound like. I was finally able to buy Tracy Chapman’s Debut Album. not talking a lot. a self-conscious white girl who couldn’t even sing. I was just a 16-year-old girl lying in the dark. I cannot even pinpoint what exactly caused me. when I had the chance to go to town with my mother a few days later. But even translating her lover as male in the German lyrics of For My Lover couldn’t keep me from understanding. but saying so much more.. hearing that voice and feeling an instant connection like I had never felt with anybody before. she insisted the person on the record must be a man – but I’m sure that deep down. 157 . Matched only by seeing her photo for the first time in that free music magazine. but still as relevant today. So. While I found both her voice and her face incredibly beautiful and instantly fell in love. I displayed the album cover prominently in my dorm room. Whether it was her so-called shyness. And that meant a lot for a 16-year-old lesbian from the countryside who thought she were the only one back then. The only part of Tracy Chapman I still can’t agree with is the odd German translation that came with the album in a small separate booklet: The German title Flitzer implies that the focus of Fast Car is really on the car. both through the lyrics of her songs as well as through non-verbal communication. that night I didn’t know anything about her impression on other people or the success she was going to have.

30x40cm) 158 . Based in Hamburg/Germany Facebook @AsterDelgado Tracy Chapman .my wife's 30 year-crush (2018. Their Stories With The Debut Album Aster V. 53 Talkin’Bout A Revolution originally from the Philippines. http://www. pen and ink on paper.

Tracy Chapman was like the only person that can understand me in this world. I loved it so much I finally discovered some one called Tracy Chapman. France Talkin’ Bout A Revolution I live in Paris's suburb.. it was repeating again and again "Give me one reason to stay here". but Tracy is the one that get connected with me through her music at this time.... Fast Paris. God bless u Tracy 159 . I have a lot of friends but still very alone in feelings. but the special connection I have to her is that my partner. I feel she gave the perfect answer to a lot of life-problem.but I did it in the style of my Women's Work and Activist series: I've used a technique called "stippling". but wear an old-fashioned hairstyle from the Philippines . it really makes me cry a few times. I was deeply moved.... During 20 minutes. Synje. One ** http://bit. Delgado: "Activists"* and Woman's Work (2010)** I do sell my artwork . heard a song outside my flat.. Thank you. has loved her very much for 30 years. lot of car. planning a better life for myself. Aster * David. I bought Tracy Chapman's Debut Album on cassette back in the Philippines.thank you. I appreciate her music. :) Regards. Their Stories With The Debut Album Many years ago. I know there are lot of people who suffer in these suburbs. I came to listen all Tracy Chapman's song. Each time I get back home. each times Tracy said "here in subcity.. I wanted to create a drawing of Synje as a 16-year-old girl in 1988 with her Tracy Chapman record . I'm walking next to the cities highway. I would really like to thank her for this and for her songs. while listening Subcity.. life is really hard for them. So. Her songs really support me at that time. I remind travelling in tram and open air metro. I was planning to move to South France. I fell this artist really get through what she sings. and drug dealers. and still now. it's so helpful and so authentic. can look at them here Aster V. life is hard". the women have no distinct faces. gazing the horizon of factories under the eternal grey sky of Paris.but am not sure whether Synje will let me sell this "Tracy Chapman" drawing. A lot of people dream of a better life.. 33 davives@laposte..

so I’d borrowed my dad’s older model SUV. particularly as my husband tried to quit. We assume many thought we were absolutely crazy. pregnant at two months. it did not have Bluetooth capabilities so all we had to listen to on the drive were some of my old CDs from when I was a teenager. "He live with the bottle that's the way it is". I had his wedding ring engraved on the inside to read. barely knowing one another. And Fast Car. "Finally see what it means to be living". the relapse that followed would result in ever-escalating and terrifying consequences. The line in Fast Car. We ended up playing it on repeat. With each attempt. naively wanting to believe that alcohol was not going to be a problem for us once our lives were settled with marriage and a baby. For the entire weekend. To surprise my husband. Fast Car came on. I have always been a fan of Tracy’s art because of her ability to comment so gracefully on the oft-ignored but difficult socio-economic realities of life that so many of us are challenged with. We walked down the aisle to a live acoustic guitarist playing Fast Car. we were excited by the thrill of a fast ride. With our fast courtship. merged into Tracy’s version of Stand By Me. Little did we know the song would have even greater meaning to us as time went on. I had noticed but conveniently ignored the signs of my husband’s disease. I put Tracy Chapman’s album in the CD drive. and it was. was the song we danced to at our wedding reception. his favourite line from the song. Weather conditions weren’t great. and maybe we were. I can only best describe it as a sense of being "home". But like the lyrics of Fast Car. It "fast" became our song. ended up having great significance for us. back in the 1990s. Their Stories With The Debut Album Sandy K. Canada FAST CAR After giving up on the idea of finding my soul mate. We were engaged after only one month. We knew our song had to be part of our celebration. 40 Fast Car Vancouver. After one week. of 160 . we decided to go on a weekend getaway. I fortuitously met the love of my life through mutual friends. I had never met someone with whom I felt an immediate connection as I did with him. at a quiet moment while we were driving along a logging road on our way back from a hike in the snow. and married at four months. But alcohol became a very significant concern. I was.

and that we would have to work very hard everyday to keep the disease. we were able to get him into treatment. in remission. and myself. after two further relapses.dioufe1@yahoo. during my second trimester. I am particularly grateful to the AA and Al-Anon programs that have allowed us to experience the gift of sobriety and serenity. And we've come to learn that the disease is progressive and fatal. He had to Skype in for our 20-week ultrasound. to be printed on paper and framed. The traditional gift for a first wedding anniversary is paper. in sickness and in health. 2018 is our first wedding anniversary. 19 i. and tears of hope for the future. and I will forever stand by your side. now almost five months old. however. There is no cure. I "finally see what it means to be living". my soul mate. Their Stories With The Debut Album course. Senegal Fast Car I wasn’t born yet but 20 years later it’s my brother who made me listen and I really appreciated this album and the others behind. After one particularly episode. a family Dakar. a moment where we both shed a flood of tears as we saw our beautiful daughter on the screen. Tears of joy. Ibrahima. My husband was away for a long eight weeks in residential treatment. to truly and "finally see what it means to be living". 161 . My heart is grateful to you. my best friend. for all that we’ve overcome together. This submission. and to our beautiful daughter. my husband lost his wedding ring. realizing we were both powerless and could not conquer this battle on our own. During the last. But treatment – sadly inaccessible to so many suffering from addiction – does give a solid foundation for remission. The symbolic nature of this event helped us both realize that we could very well lose our precious gift – to "finally see what it means to be living"– to this terrible disease. Happy 1st Wedding Anniversary. pregnant as all this was happening. I am so proud of my husband. working hard to be able to achieve sobriety. I love you more than words can say. tears of inevitable fear given our circumstances at the time. is not a cure for the disease of alcoholism. the hard way. and February 18. We learned this. Treatment. is my gift to my husband.

He had attended Woodstock after Vietnam and had dreams of his own to be a singer/songwriter. The song For You.whether my dad was playing his guitar singing to his old records. and ran a home daycare during the day. helped give me strength and the clarity I needed to pursue a divorce. there and back. I was instantly hooked. In August 1988. better malls in Portland Oregon to buy our school clothes. I was a 10 year old little girl with an old soul. and Across The Lines. Fast Car. I was a mom. I would spend the next 14 years. Every school year. and I were truly blessed to have been raised in a home that music. our parents drove us three hours over the Cascade Mountains to take us to the bigger. we had many of our own memorable car trips singing along together. I put on her CD and listened to it over and over just like I had as a child . Her name was Tracy Chapman. Behind The Wall. Growing up. 162 . We played our Tracy Chapman cassette over and over again. Why. my dad was instrumental in teaching us about the magnitude of storytelling in music and personal expression in art. USA My brother Elijah. with the sound of our voices as we sang along to Tracy. It felt like we were carving out the winding roads over the mountains. Birthday or Christmas. the lyrics to Talkin’ Bout A Revolution. facing my own conflict now. sat heavy on my heart and struck the chords of my life. singing in unison as a family. my parents introduced us to this incredible new artist. I kept up the tradition and shared Tracy’s CD with her. they moved heaven and earth to give us what was above their means. In the years before this album’s release. and a wife. Just like most parents. they made sure we never went without. long hours at a Lumber Mill and attended college at night. reminded me of my purpose as a mother. now as an adult. and If Not Now. 39 Baby Can I Hold You San Diego. at 26. music and art were the core of our family. In 1988. working hard to give the best of myself to my daughter and encouraging her to be the best version of herself. laughter. My mom had worked a Graveyard shift at a convenience store. I remember hearing her lyrics and the conviction behind every word she sang. In fact. as a single mom. our parents were always singing . reminds me of where I’ve been. and love built. Their Stories With The Debut Album Olivia Bucey. art. my dad had worked hard. or my mom singing around the house as she made it a home. and inspires promise in what was yet to come. In 2004. This album provided an anchor to my roots. Songs like She’s Got Her Ticket.singing every song with a deeper understanding of its place in my life. My decision to draw the album cover was a way to get through one of the most challenging times of my life.

He had always encouraged me to reach out to Tracy and share my portrait of her over the years. There was one man I felt the need to share that experience with. he chose to sing was Baby Can I Hold You. 163 . and at times unable to convey our emotions in constructive ways. Singing the words. damaged by our own personal demons. Recording a video would give me a beautiful gift of being able to sing along with my dad even after he has left this earth. "Sorry". Their Stories With The Debut Album In 2018. tears rolled down my face as I realized. When I played it back. I heard about the chance to possibly share my portrait of Tracy Chapman with other people that respected or were impacted by her album with the potential opportunity to be chosen for an eBook celebrating the 30th Anniversary of her debut. erased any of the burden or guilt we may have carried. the significance this song held for us. "forgive me" and "I love you". artistic souls. together. but this time I joined in off camera. the same age my dad was when we first sang to Tracy Chapman together. This was a full circle for us. my dad. This video. I recorded him alone first. I am now 39 years old. It couldn’t have been more perfect. for the first time. that began 30 years ago. The song. Then we decided to do a second video. replaced any of the pain or disappointments we may have thought we caused each other. Two free spirited. I asked him to let me film him singing a few songs from the album. I am incredibly grateful that it was Tracy’s song that was the catalyst to that realization.

wings to the mind. 15 years ago. in the suburbs of Dakar. my big brother. 27 Mathossbless@gmail. Without Internet connection. Their Stories With The Debut Album https://youtu.. and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. still in college and knowing no word of English could be so seduced and so easily by this album." I will forever cherish these pivotal moments in my life and the blessing behind Tracy Chapman being the soundtrack to each of them. I have contented myself with the CD of the big brother but for some years I have been in a frantic tail of Tracy Chapman's sounds. It gives soul to the universe. "Music is a moral law. She is one of the most important people of my life .be/Z8uLIONuh38 I’d like to wrap up my story with a quote that I love by Plato. although I do not know her personally… ❤❤❤ 164 . With deepest Dakar. I saw myself cradled by this sweet voice of Tracv every night. used to listen to this album at night.. flight to the imagination. with whom I shared the same room. Olivia Bucey Thomas Aquin. Senegal Fast Car I myself can not explain how a teenager in Senegal.

how we talked about music and the band's we've seen....... peace. Thanks Dave Grace Josee Dossou. For me Tracy Chapman shares love. my family. Wendy said her favorite singer was Tracy Chapman and how she almost got to see her but life got in the way. I will get her Ticket for our first Christmas. So what does all that have to do with Tracy Chapman first album. Still I Cry.. fraternity. like alot of long marriages two friends decide to part ways... 20 Baby Can I Hold You Dakar. I’m french and maybe my english is not good but I tried. I met a woman that not only changed my life but enhanced it. Stand By Me. I remembered on our first date. I was amazed by her and I talked to her to everybody like my friends (who didn’t know her). Subcity. Broken. but I think your first album might have changed my life too... 53 blue-man1234@hotmail. This was me. and score some major point. That why I’m one of her fans. I say not much! But what happened after I met this beautiful woman is that I decided I wanted to do something special for Wendy. Senegal I was 18 and I went to a pharmacy to buy some medecine and I saw one of her show on the Tv… Few days later I searched for her on Youtube and the first song I heard is All That You Have Is Your Soul. Still hoping you tour again. That was it. Sing For You. her voice and the peace you feel when you listen to her… The same day I downloaded Change. but after awhile you start to miss companionship but are afraid.. can't say for sure. 165 . justice and maybe more. Baby Can I Hold You and more.. Give Me One Reason. only to find out that she was not Kingston...With time I started to understand more the message she is sharing in her songs.. we will both be there. live in our new house and have just got a goldendoodle puppy. Thanks Tracy. Fast Car.. Let’s just say. The lyrics. I felt it would be easier to stick with a 5 year plan and just hang out with my buddies and play golf. But when Wendy found out what happened she was so taken from what I tried to do.. were still together. disaster I thought. She went through the songs of Tracy first album and said how seeing her would be a dream come true. But like most plans they change (sorry guys). And like every groupie I wanted to be like Tracy Chapman. Their Stories With The Debut Album Shaggy... I had to start a Facebook page to get to the fan page.. Canada Baby Can I Hold You My story begins approx 2 year's ago.

We had moved to Nashville a few years earlier for Gene & Paul. I immediately knew it was a hit. 53 JennifervanNelson@gmail. first released April 1988… The first time I heard Fast Car I was on Bell Road driving home in my blue Mazda pick-up. We had to do an offer. This song became our song and it made us closer. what was not a suprise since the vinyl was from 1988. to pursue their career in music. Instead. as he thought Eighteen Wheels was on the radio. and his brother. I was so excited! So we immediately took a bus and just went to a random house to buy the vinyl. a line from Fast Car. Thirty years later and Fast Car still moves me as it brings me back to the excitement and joy of that time in my life. Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses was released. Their Stories With The Debut Album Lauren Meire. aspiring songwriters. were following me in their VW Bug. Paul. hoping to hear their song. We looked at a second-handed website en there we found it. He understood right away what I meant. As we returned to Belgium I changed my profile picture on Facebook and wrote with it "maybe together we can get somewhere". The next day we had an e-mail that we could come and get it. I had to admit that I had feelings too. I was scanning stations when the first few notes of a guitar caught my attention. an equally amazing. I listened to the radio constantly. 18 Fast Car Ghent. The last day he told me he was in love with me and that he never had feelings like this before. We payed 7 euros but as we looked at it. In March 1988. We went to my house and tried it and the vinyl played perfectly! I was so happy with it and also the fact that I was able to share this with someone I love! Jennifer van Nelson. it looked like the vinyl was damaged. I was stopped at a light and put my fingers up to signal my husband to change his radio. Gene & Paul’s first hit single. 166 .com Nashville. he also heard Fast Car for the first time. My friend and I both love to buy vinyl and I told him that I wanted the album of Fast Car on vinyl but they didn’t sell it anymore. USA Fast Car Fast Car. That afternoon. I fell in love with it and I immediately told it to a friend of mine who is also very into old music. Belgium So one day I discovered the song Fast Car. well-written song. Gene Nelson. The next day we left for a school trip to Barcelona and while we were walking we listened to the song and sang along with it. My husband.

Vietnam. Traveling the country. Chapman's music playing along the beach in Nicaragua. her strength in raising us and the excitement of a new adventure in the morning light. skiing. whether it be to the ocean. USA Fast Car Tracy. The sound of Tracy Chapman's voice still reminds me of my mother. she would pack us into the car and we would fall asleep to the sound of Tracy Chapman's album. Sri Lanka. I have never lost that love of adventure. 30 Kzehne00@gmail. Malaysia. on a Friday night. camping. I have heard Ms. Thank you for that gift. I saw my mom survive through Tracy's music. and it always brings me home. I have now traveled to or lived in 25 countries. The tuning in. We didn't have a lot of money. Iraq. Korynn. That was our life. Chapman's music and get the same sense of childhood happiness and excitement I remember from those Laporte. Tracy (and Prince) were the constant mix tapes. and asking myself. the power behind the words. 167 . The quiet car rides as we listened to our mother belt these lyrics. the mountains. Chapman. My mother moved my sister and me to Seattle for her medical residency and I remember how hard she worked raising two girls alone. In the morning we would wake up somewhere new and wonderful on an adventure. and so many other places through the years. From Virginia to California. Their Stories With The Debut Album Fast Cars and Coming Home. Fast car. USA I was nine years old when Tracy Chapman's Debut Album came out. I remember growing up. and I still hear Ms. or just driving anywhere that we had never been before. looking through the windows at the stars as she drove. The irony of it all is that I was an army brat. "Girls can sing like this?" The richness of a voice. Fast car. but sometimes. 39 Fast Car Boston . before knowing who was singing these song that my mom listened to religiously.

I dream to create for them meaningful memories and moments through music. Tracy. Talkin’Bout A Revolution. is still." My mom always took care of people." or I create songs on my guitar for my children with a similar message. everything. for your music. Korynn (and her mom) 168 . We love you. I have found a love for music. A teacher. "It's Tracy again. My favorite to sing with my daughter is. and real. Thank you. raw. IL sometime soon? I've been looking for tour dates for years. Tracy Chapman will always be the staple playlist in my house. Her father. but in a different light. And. The memories you gave my family growing up. Relatable. The hope as a woman learning the ropes of life. Their Stories With The Debut Album My mom lost her mother when my mom was on 12 to alcohol. Having children of my own. I am constantly singing Tracy's songs. Starting with the ukulele. A mother. to be the singer song writer that I see Tracy Chapman is. Through these memories. He had dreams of getting my mom away "from it all. also an alcoholic. Whether that means playing Tracy's playlist and dancing while my husband smiles and rolls his eyes because. She was. And the legacy to pass on that vibe to my family. Your message. She saw you open for Sting years ago and still talks about her experience. by Tracy because I know I can sing her songs. Your music. Side note: Can you please come to Chicago. an alcoholic with a fast car. A wife. This is because I remember my mom singing Tracy to us. My children will remember her songs as I have. had big dreams. I would love nothing more than to buy my mom and I front row tickets. the banjo and just today starting on guitar playing. Sing for You. My father. it is my life's mission. I am a writer. A huge fan. She was our rock.

My female rich environment probably added to Ms. Tracy was there. Chapman was a pretty nice mystery. I could really visualize what the lyrics she created. Women my boyish charms/designs never faired well with. The Mountains O’ Things United States of America Tracy Chapman is an extrodinairy talent in this world and surely a rare find in 1988. one of 3 guys working with about a dozen fully bloomed young women. My radio girlfriend. Uhhh. Their Stories With The Debut Album Freeling Damon Guinn. so listening to her portraits of color lines and longing for Luv was fascinating. the totality did me a good turn. In my hand-me- down car with the detached muffler. Guys too. Howard University held a cadre (meaning check? Lol) of young students that I kinda thought might know her journey. Raised right. I was eighteen. 48 damonguinn5@gmail. Never a harsh word. So different and cool. but always rocking the deep brush waves in my hair! The regular security issues at that age. I don't remember how I first heard it. if her music was actually her life. Oh well. My curiosity always peeked as to what they were about. Motown. I guess if I summed up her influence. zoomin' back and forth to Northland Mall to work at a furniture store. Tracy Chapman’s album caught my eye. Sneak her into my back door and into my room with a bottle of Boons wine. Exotic and strong. I Detroit The Motorcity. I never had one bad thought about any of those girls. You'd be right there in her song with her the way she stirred you in with guitar. although one of my 'hoped for' instruments I had wished to play in my youth. Funny. The eighties for me. I don't know. Fast Car I think helped paint a picture to muse over. An afrodisiac for a young guy. Tracy Chapman's album had a small town feel. Maybe at a party. Significantly "pissed" I figured years later. Come to think about it they were too cool. All the stations in Detroit played a variety of music. Her voice so melodic. I guess? Ms. a self-absorbed hormone driven teen male-child. was crazzzzy! Then and now I was always spazzing out over girls/clothes/more girls. How relationships of boy + girl might 169 . The one my aunt kept at her house with my cousins and the one good string. because I always attended young teen parties wayyyy out in the boonies-boondocks. My extreme pizza acne. From the smallest little towns scattered throughout the country. I was the youngest. so now that I recall it had to be the radio. Bold and professional. Fast Car! of course. The guitar was new for me to hear singularly. Strange. Detroit churns cars off the assembly lines daily. Chapman's allure. In her music she proved herself a master of melodrama. Life was relatively ordinary for me.

The record changed my perspective on lyrics in general. Lyrics was of secondary importance in music. because I couldn’t understand or relate to lyrics either because of language problems or the lyrics couldn’t catch my Copenhagen. 170 . My focus on the lyrics was they describe people with social problems. because these lyrics was my first inspiration to learn English and they gave me a new perspective on lyrics. The lyrics can give an extra dimension to the whole musical experience. Mandeville. I couldn’t learn English in school. 44 Vikivixn@gmail. Without judgment I got an insight in people with social problems lives and could see them as human beings instead of seeing them as a group I felt angry or sorry for. She was right there in the groove of questions that bubbled up in those days. Good job! Synne Steinrud. Their Stories With The Debut Album look. because with this record I found some lyrics I could relate not by personal experience. 41 ssteinrud@gmail. Vixn. I have difficulties in learning foreign language. Denmark Talkin’ Bout A Revolution Language and lyrics The lyrics of Tracy Chapman’s first record means a lot to me. My first car was 1982 sentra and my first owned cassette was Fast Car single. The background of this perspective was partly that I grew up with classical music without lyrics and partly. I remember when I was 11-12 years old. I played over and over again and now that both parents are deceased that song still plays but now in my CD player whenever I need to get away. Bought future albums. because I thought the lyrics was so interesting. I was sitting in my parents living room with a dictionary to try to understand every word of the lyrics of Tracy Chapman’s first record. Before I heard Tracy Chapman’s first record I didn’t focus on the lyrics in music. I don't know. which I only knew from TV. but as a human being. USA Fast Car Every girl dreams of her first car. I had a good time listening. without being judgmental.

Their Stories With The Debut Album Kimberly Adamis.. This art was created with the debut Tracy Chapman album in mind.kimberlyadamis.. So many of our life's decisions. Making the choice is the first step. 171 . Denny Fongheiser is the drummer/percussionist on this record. My art represents what I consider the most poignant lyric in Fast Car which is "we gotta make a decision". 58 Facebook @musiclover4949 Santa Monica. I then drew the title and words by hand on a digital tablet and Twitter @kimberlyadamis I don't have a "story" about a relationship with Tracy Chapman other than her music touched me from the very beginning and continues do to so all these years later. big or small can dramatically change the course of our life.. USA Instagram @kimberlyadamis https://www. All the lyrics were handwritten within a similar silhouette used for the original album. Staying with the color scheme and basic concept was important to me. As well as my spouse.

looking through the windows at the stars as she drove. Vietnam. I have now traveled to or lived in 25 countries. Fast Car and Baby Can I Hold You bring me right back to those memories of the good room in our house where the record player was. Malaysia. My mother moved my sister and me to Seattle for her medical residency and I remember how hard she worked raising two girls alone. Sending love from a nice town in Ireland called Roscommon. I have heard Ms. USA. Love Laura McCrann xx 172 . as times changed that was put onto my ipod. Laura. don’t live in my hometown anymore but happen to be here today as I write this in the same house where I first heard Tracys cool music. she would pack us into the car and we would fall asleep to the sound of Tracy Chapman's album. The music is still so fresh. 35 laamacs@hotmail. skiing. and it always brings me home. When I was 17/18 i bought my own CD version of that album. Ireland If Not Now… This was definitely the first bit of music I can remember as a little kid growing up in a small town in Ireland. or just driving anywhere that we had never been before. on a Friday night. but sometimes. We used to stare at the picture of Tracy on the cover as she looked different to us and we found that fascinating. Sri Lanka. I got married last year. I have never lost that love of adventure. Chapman's music playing along the beach in Nicaragua. Their Stories With The Debut Album Fast Cars and Coming Home. I was 5/6 at the time. whether it be to the ocean. camping. Our mum was in her mid 20's and listened to the record over and over so this was what we listened to with her. We didn't have a lot of money. Iraq. 39 Fast Car Boston. Chapman's music and get the same sense of childhood happiness and excitement I remember from those adventures. the Roscommon. my sisters were 4 and 7. I dont really know any of my friends here that dont like her music. her strength in raising us and the excitement of a new adventure in the morning light. In the morning we would wake up somewhere new and wonderful on an adventure. and so many other places through the years. and I still hear Ms. Thank you for that gift. currently live in Iraq I was nine years old when Tracy Chapman's Debut Album came out. The sound of Tracy Chapman's voice still reminds me of my mother.

we worship things and those who garner the most resources. 173 . gender. because I witnessed my mother's flight to freedom. Growing up in Nairobi. Behind The Wall was the first time I felt and understood how music can articulate complicated emotions that a traumatized child could not put to words. Her impact is a reflection of just how connected we truly are. Their Stories With The Debut Album Vienna Nairobi. as the protagonist does in She's Got Her Ticket. amidst a capitalistic-driven society. Kenya. In her Debut Album. and even though I understood or spoke very little English. and how artistic expression can tap into our collective social consciousness. Tracy Chapman employed her platform and cultural competency to successfully speak truth to power. The album also shed light on class. Across the Lines. connectedness and compassion for others' suffering are secondary if not tertiary. DC. As I have gotten older. For this. I have known since I was a girl that I had the power to do anything I wished. the advocacy issues relevant in 1988 persist today. In my favorite hiding spot. and Why. "she found her place the sun". 34 Viennanairobi@gmail. and political disparities. I would tearfully watch as multiple men held my father back from further hurting my crying and bruised mother. I was thankful then and I am thankful now. In the meantime. racial. I memorized the entire album and to this Washington. Kiswahili was my first language. Burdened by status anxiety. I have the most appreciation for Mountains O' Things for its social commentary on materialism. When my mother divorced my father. I was unknowingly relating to my mother's suffering through Tracy Chapman's Debut Album Tracy Chapman. Unfortunately. through a critical lens with: Talkin' Bout A Revolution. and eventually to moved to America. US She’s Got Her Ticket As an 8-year old girl. The song Behind The Wall was a soundtrack to my mother's painful reality. My first memory as a 4 year old is that of my mother suffering at the hands of my father. can still recite the lyrics from beginning to end. In the song. violence towards a wife is shrugged off as a private matter that will not be intervened until it's too late.

it was already obvious to me the influence music has on our society. A generation.. and respect Finn. An awareness. the socially engaged lyrics. a consciousness was growing which slowly spread strong ideals amongst people around the Poortvliet. more convincing than they are by themselves. I cried because her songs represented my life and who I grew up to be. Their Stories With The Debut Album J. is to understand. But also. Live Aid and the fall of the Berlin wall. During these years singer/songwriter Tracy Chapman entered the international music charts. it reminds me of when I was a child and there was no care in the world.. I believe that ideals do not need to be painted more beautiful. filled with acoustic melodies. Each song represented a different emotion in my body and I loved every single minute of it. we grew up with stories of the '60 and '70. this feeling still lives in my heart. United States Fast Car This album spoke to me in so many ways.. born in 1971. At that time. As teenager. 18 finnpatrick@yahoo. 30 years later. Nederland Behind The Wall In the Eighties. while I was discovering various music. This is the gift.. but when i re-discovered Tracy Chapman later in my life. Nelson Mandela. I may not have been born when this album was released. responsibilities with the will and possibilities to make a Los Angeles. more powerful. a confirmation. that what you believe in. commitment. through her music and lyrics.. Some examples of this global awareness are in my opinion the fight for freedom of mr. With much love. It helps me de-stress through my first year of University but most importantly. J. can not be decreased or destroyed by anyone. empathic stories and warm voice gave me a feeling of recognition. Her Debut Album. 46 josca13.jj@gmail. aware of their social concerns. 174 .. but yourself. she gave to me. the Flower Power era. If I might say. even a sense of coming home. I felt that a lot of inequality was based on old- fashioned ideas. The only thing you need.. And on this day.

32 Baby Can I Hold You Cracow. Thank you. For My Lover 10. That is how she sang in Fast Car. Justyna. Unknown girl with a box starts playing at London Wembley. Their Stories With The Debut Album Tomasz Maleta. Maybe we can make a deal". now I understand that having CD in late 80's in Poland was unique. It will never change. "You got a fast car i want a ticket to anywhere. Listening to Tracy Chapman is one of my last memories of spending time with my Father. Why? 9. If Not Now 11. It is also our the most important and precious CD we have. Me. I remember distinctly the translations of her lyrics unveiled by unforgettable Tomasz Beksiński in polish Radio Trójka. Behind the Wall 5. in Poland. Baby Can I Hold You 6. I still miss my Dad. I have it recorded on an old reel-to- reel tape recorder. but also for new children born in our Family. seemed abstract at that time. not only for us. but always when I listen to Tracy Chapman. She sings the words that here by the Vistula river. She’s Got Her Ticket 8. Poland I was around five years old when I came to the room where my Dad was just opening the new Tracy Chapman album. Poland My adventure with Tracy Chapman began three decades ago. a record on top of all the records. Forever. Fast Car 3. 50 Across The Lines Bialystok. For You The order of the songs from this album is hard to forget because this first album is an absolute perfection to me. I feel that he is close to me. 1. 175 . I remember that it was a special moment to him. Across the Lines 4. Talkin’Bout A Revolution 2. Tracy. my Mom Ania and my Brother Bartek know that it was his favourite album at the age of 30 when he died. Mountains O’ Things 7.

Their Stories With The Debut Album Kim 36:11 – Deconstructing TRACY CHAPMAN 176 . Virginia.memeger memegerk@icloud. 51 Fast Car Falls Church. USA Facebook @kim.

love. The image above shows the side panels raised 90° to be visible from the front. Their Stories With The Debut Album About 36:11 – Deconstructing TRACY CHAPMAN With 11 songs in just 36 minutes and 11 seconds. and racial discrimination on the psyche. seeks to celebrate Ms. details about the piece. Chapman’s artistry made even the bleakest lyrics accessible. LIFE. Chapman’s achievement using collage as the medium of expression. hope. The following pages provide song-by-song. The songs were ruminations on impact of poverty. The mixed media collage includes: • pictures and words from Time. The 24” x 24” piece was created as a submission for inclusion in the Ebook commemorating the 30th anniversary of TRACY CHAPMAN. we are still listening. and Rolling Stone magazines • an original 1967 map of Virginia • a vintage "Virginia is for lovers.pain. Much like on the album." sticker from the early 1970s • sheet music from the TRACY CHAPMAN songbook • the 45-rpm single of Fast Car The panels along the sides are inscribed with selected lyrics from the album. My piece. greed. our world. And as she strummed her guitar and sang about a fast car being her ticket to better life. Yet somehow Ms. The images were sad but the words were beautiful. powerful words and contrasting images declare the state of the state of America. The collage was assembled on a Gessoboard with 2” deep side panels such that it displays as a box mount with no additional frame required. 30 years later. item-by-item. especially Black Americans. were living. in black and white. anger. domestic abuse. It was created from magazines and materials dated 1964 (the year of Tracy’s birth) through 1988 (the year the album was released). Interspersed throughout are images of Tracy from 1988 and the world’s reaction to her debut. 177 . still dreaming of a better world. They provided an unvarnished glimpse into a world that far too many people. The album juxtaposed hope for a better life against the stark reality of limited opportunities for the disenfranchised. She laid it bare . we all stopped to listen. 36:11 – Deconstructing TRACY CHAPMAN. A world. TRACY CHAPMAN brought to life the poetry and pain of America in 1988. still talking about a revolution.

Their Stories With The Debut Album A1 A2 A3 B1 B2 B3 C1 C2 C3 Top Panel Left Panel Right Panel Bottom Panel 178 .

1988. Pull quote from 1988 article on Tracy (B3) • Image: Human Rights NOW concert logo for September 2. 1988 issue of Rolling Stone magazine (A1 and B1) • Words: APRIL and 1988 from the 1988 Rolling Stone Yearbook. the album was ranked number 261 on Rolling Stone's list of "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time". In the September 22. (B2) • Image: TRACY CHAPMAN CD cover (B3) • Words: “The poetry of protest”. 1988 (A1) • Image: Tracy playing her guitar (A3) • Image: Rolling Stone list of Top Fifty Albums the week of September 22. 1988 Rolling Stone article Tracy was quoted to say. I think it was an Aries K car at first. 1988 concert at Wembley Stadium (C3) • Words: 36:11 – Length of album (C3) TALKING ‘BOUT A REVOLUTION • Lyric: They’re talking ‘bout a revolution o Words: “Revolution” (A1) • Lyric: Standing in the welfare lines o Image: Woman with child sitting in the welfare office (A2) o Words: 1987 welfare statistics. TRACY CHAPMAN was in the number 1 position and had been on the charts for 14 weeks. In 2003." (B1) o Image: Cartoon of car driving down winding road through the mountains (C3) • Lyric: I want a ticket to anywhere o SHE’S GOT HER TICKET TO ANYWHERE (bottom panel) • Lyric: Maybe together we can get somewhere o Words: “Together we’ll go far” from 1980s car ad (C3) • Lyric: Just ‘cross the border and into the city o Words: “BORDERLINES” (C3) • Lyric: He live with the bottle that’s the way it is o Image: Seagram’s 7 Crown bottle and shot glass (B1) 179 . And then it was a Toyota Corolla. Their Stories With The Debut Album TRACY CHAPMAN the Album • Image: Herb Ritts’ photograph of Tracy from September 22. The album was released April 5. There was an 800% increase in federal spending on public assistance including welfare between 1970 and 1987 (A2) • Lyric: Crying at the doorsteps of those armies of salvation o Image: People rummaging through clothes and shoes (A2) FAST CAR • Artifact: 45-rpm single of Fast Car (B1) • Image: Iconic opening bars and first lines of “FAST CAR” from TRACY CHAPMAN songbook (A3) • Lyric: You got a fast car o Image: 1981 Toyota Corolla. "Somebody asked me what kind of car it was in that song.

the American rich and middle class and most of the poor had higher incomes than their counterparts almost anywhere in the world.C2) • Lyric: Ain't no reason why o AIN’T NO REASON WHY IS A WOMAN STILL NOT SAFE (left panel) • Lyric: And racist tempers fly o RACIST TEMPERS FLY AWAY (top panel) • Lyric: Two black boys get killed o Image: Black boys caring the casket of a Black boy killed in Atlanta circa 1980 (A2) BEHIND THE WALL • Lyric: With domestic affairs between a man and his wife o Words: “WHY? Killed by their husbands or boyfriends” (A2) o Image: Man violently grabbing the wrist of a woman (A2) • Lyric: And the policeman said “I’m here to keep the peace…” o Image: Mother looks on as her son is yelling at her husband who is being arrested by the police (B2) o Words: “Abusers violate protective orders up to 81 percent of the time. Baby Burn”.” (B2) 180 . incomes for the middle class and poor in the United States were growing more slowly than elsewhere (C1. In 1980. which became associated with the 1965 Watts Riots (C1) • Lyric: They kill the dream of America o Words: “America” (C1) o Image: Margaret Bourke-White’s 1937 photograph of homeless Black men and women standing in line for food that was re-printed in LIFE magazine anniversary issue. But per data compiled by the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) a cross- national data center. (C1) o Words: “Burn.C2) o Words: WORLD’S HIGHEST STANDARD OF LIVING (see above). Slogan attributed to the 1960s R&B disc jockey Magnificent Montague. Their Stories With The Debut Album • Lyric: But is it fast enough so we can fly away o RACIST TEMPERS FLY AWAY (top panel) • Lyric: We leave tonight or live and die this way o INVARIABLY THEY LEAVE TONIGHT OR LIVE AND DIE THIS WAY (right panel) • Lyric: You still ain't got a job o Image: SORRY NO JOB APPLICATIONS WILL BE GIVEN OUT sign (A2) • Lyric: Buy a big house and live in the suburbs o Image: Maryland suburb circa 1970 (C3) ACROSS THE LINES • Lyric: That separates whites from blacks o Words: “the world in black and white” (B2) • Lyric: Tonight the riots begin o Image: Fires at LA Riots. the phrases “WORLD’S HIGHEST STANDARD OF LIVING” and “There’s no way like the American way” appear above the line of people (C1. In the actual photograph.

B3) • Lyric: To have a big expensive car o Image: Cadillac badge (A3) • Lyric: Champagne and caviar o Image: REMY MARTIN cognac champagne label (B3) • Lyric: Consume more than you need o Words: INSTANT GRATIFICATION (A3) SHE’S GOT HER TICKET • Lyric: She’s got her ticket o SHE’S GOT HER TICKET TO ANYWHERE (bottom panel) • Lyric: I think she going to fly away o RACIST TEMPERS FLY AWAY (top panel) • Lyric: And invariably they leave you with nothing o INVARIABLY THEY LEAVE TONIGHT OR LIVE AND DIE THIS WAY (right panel) WHY? • Lyric: Why do the babies starve when there’s enough food to feed the world? o Image: Mother and son trying to stay warm using an empty oven (B3) o Words: “Without heat on Thanksgiving the only warmth…. the couple at the center of the 1967 Supreme Court Case Loving v.” sticker from early 1970s (C3) • Lyric: Deep in this love no man can shake o Image: Interlaced fingers of a Black woman and White woman (C3) 181 . pearls. o Artifact: Vintage “Virginia is for lovers. Their Stories With The Debut Album MOUNTAINS O’ THINGS • Lyric: Oh mountains o’ things o Images: Diamonds. Virginia that invalidated laws prohibiting interracial marriage. sneaker. dollar bill. CITIBANK credit card. The last 3 were top selling items in the late 1980s (A3. Sparta was the hometown of Richard and Mildred Loving. gold coins. cabbage patch kid. SONY Walkman.” Quote about photo of mother and son (B3) • Lyric: Why is a woman still not safe when she’s in her home? o Words: “WHY? Killed by their husbands or boyfriends” (A2) o AIN’T NO REASON WHY IS A WOMAN STILL NOT SAFE (left panel) • Lyric: No is yes o Words: “NO” and “YES” (A3) o Words: “I SAID NO!” (B2) FOR MY LOVER • Lyric: Two weeks in a Virginia jail for my lover for my lover o Image: 1967 map of Virginia. and a Rubik’s cube. o Image: Cartoon of car driving down winding road through the mountains (C3) – Road in picture is just above Sparta. VA.

Their Stories With The Debut Album Karla Gutierrez. she and my new uncle gifted me a new Walkman. United States I was born two years after the release of Tracy Chapman’s Debut Album with a rare condition called Moebius Syndrome. My mother would still play that Tracy Chapman album in the car as we drove around town. one on each side of my face. Within a short time. I would undergo a life changing operation to give me the ability to smile. but I deeply missed my Walkman and my tape of Tracy Chapman. Before my second surgery. there was not much known about the condition. but her voice soothed me greatly. At the age of four. I missed biking around our big backyard. I was able to make a small half smile. 182 . As a young child. For the next week or so while I stayed in the hospital recovering from this pioneering surgery. This was the first of two surgeries. and I was healing from my first surgery quite well. allowing me to smile. something my parents had waited on for so many years. which I had on a tape. singing along as I rode. My family did not realize this until hours into our journey home. Upon discharge from the hospital. Tracy Chapman became a staple in my life from a young age. within a few years of my birth a pioneering surgery was developed that would take a nerve from my inner thigh and implant it into the corner of my cheek. I would listen to Tracy’s voice. which would ultimately lead me to smile for the first time. and my Walkman came along. I was devastated to lose my Walkman. However. and Tracy Chapman’s voice would again accompany me through another life altering surgery. during the reception. and especially devastated to no longer have my Tracy Chapman tape. with my Tracy Chapman tape inside. It was there that I left behind my Walkman. and there were few options for treatment. and a new tape of Tracy Chapman’s Debut Album. I was a flower girl in my aunt’s wedding. At the time I was born. Much to my surprise. Months passed. I was drawn to Talkin’ Bout A Revolution and She’s Got Her Ticket. which would eventually give me the ability to smile when I bit down. but my Tracy Chapman album. which results in craniofacial paralysis. Very few belongings made the trek from Northern New York to Toronto with us. my family stopped into the gift shop. I cherished the gift dearly. I was too young yet to understand the depth of the lyrics. I cried for a very long time. My mother would play the album in the family van as we ran errands. listening to Mountain O’ Things. 27 She’s Got Her Ticket Troy.

Tracy Chapman’s album has given me a regular reminder and connection to my mother. Even to this day. Listening to her music still brings me back to the joyful times I spent with my mother as a child. Terry. I believe that my early exposure to Tracy Chapman’s Debut Album. the door burst open. helped shape me into the activist I am today. her words are just as relevant. The album also helped me understand my sadness and that I wasn't alone in my feelings of isolation and despair. Tracy Chapman's Debut Album gave me a voice and the courage to believe in not only myself but also believe that I somehow could make some impact in the world. I was very depressed and lonely. Their Stories With The Debut Album More than twenty years later. By the time Tracy Chapman's album came out in 1988. 183 . USA I was a senior in high school in 1988 and although I didn't know it then. Listening to Dylan's early 60's music cracked the door to social justice and the possibility of making change in the world. As I have grown. I still listen to her Debut Album regularly. I went off to college and immersed myself in environmental issues as well as organizing protests against the war in Iraq. community building and providing peer support. The lyrics of many of her songs still speak true to this day. I cannot listen to Fast Car or Talkin' Bout A Revolution without getting choked up and also realizing that 30 years later. 48 Talkin’ Bout A Revolution Maryland. When I first listened to Talkin' Bout A Revolution. My parents had died when i was 8 years old and I had gone through the next 10 years "living" without really living. It still has the power to comfort me through difficult times. and the ones that followed. I began to understand the meaning behind the songs I had found both soothing and haunting as a child. and provide fuel for my work. My mother passed away in 2015. students in my English class had already turned me onto Bob Dylan. Her lyrics gave my parents a platform to discuss very adult like topics that deeply impacted people of all ages. I reflect often on the lyrics of her songs to inspire action and awareness within myself to continue on the path to true equality and social justice. This album gave me hope and purpose that I could contribute to the world in a meaningful way.

33 tracey@birthingcalmly. Mum told me I have to sing along with her to the next song. Their Stories With The Debut Album Hertford. 32 Baby Can I Hold You Christchurch. Kara Beattie Mrs Harper. Thank you for hearing my story. When I returned to New Zealand I made my own list. Tracy's music has honestly helped me through losing my mum and resonating with me. it was Baby Can I Hold You.we got married!! Fast Car is our wedding song but still so poignant for so many different reasons xxxx ❤ . mum was washing the dishes and I was drying them. My mum passed away in 2012 and it broke me.I only have one thing on my bucket list to date and that is to see Tracy Chapman live (I will travel across the world to see her and I hope she does more than one concert as I would need to go to more than one). When I hear Tracy's music my mum returns to me well. I booked tickets to celebrate our engagement at The Roundhouse. I had no control over my emotions and no words could have helped me through the pain of having her pass. however. When I was about 13. she was singing along to the Tracy songs and I of course knew all the words growing up surrounded by her music so I was humming along. a list of 40 things to do before I am 40 and my bucket list . London 2009 . I am not a singer at all but mum and I sung that song together with such passion. In 2015 I had completed my mum's bucket list by taking some of her ashes on a cruise and to Egypt (something she wanted to do but never could).Your music touches the soul Tracy Chapman! 184 . England Fast Car Fast Car means so much to my husband and I.I have been watching ever since for a return date! We had difficult times that year with my parents separation and amazing times . Regards. New Zealand My mum always loved Tracy Chapman and I remember her singing me songs when I was young and playing the 33-LP of Tracy's when I came home from school. it is so nice to write this down and have the album have interest in memories that have been created with Tracy's music. happy and full of it is one of the best and treasured memories of my mum and I. We played For You at my mum's funeral and the words in that song are so perfect as I lost my mum and my best friend.

Realizing that my life needed to be changed. Their Stories With The Debut Album Kapil. Seven years ago. and I was trying so hard to find a way out. and you made my dream come true. ❤❤❤ Gigi. CA. For You. Kenya The first time I heard Tracy was as a child. I finally become an American citizen! When I look back. stronger person. Time flies. India Fast Car Tracy. At that time. Having a similar life story like Tracy Chapman. Lots of love from India. a name with purity in it. 20 kapil.S. I could not drive and speak fluent Irvine. a livecast of her performance at Wembley stadium. I have just turned 18 and moved to the U. I would definitely say Tracy Chapman. you have shaped who I am today. Tracy I love you so so much. Last but not Pune. The reason because of which I know what emotion truly is. For My Lover. After seven years of hard work. Thank you and love you so very much! Wangari. as a new immigrant. The reason why I started singing and why I wanted a guitar in my hands. I am able to pay my own rent to support myself. Starting to play the guitar without humming Tracy Chapman is like best friend gifted me her Greatest Hits CD for my 36th bday(one of the things I would save if a fire broke out) 185 . All of them. even the ones i havent mentioned have a special place in my heart. United States Fast Car If you ask me who inspire me the most in my life. and been in love ever since . I had neither high education nor work experience. I listened to Fast Car to encourage myself. Her song Fast Car has touched my soul. now I am a full-time teacher who graduated with Bachelor of Science Child Development degree. Every time I faced struggles. her song Fast Car inspired me to become a better. Baby Can I Hold You. I feel so proud of myself that how much I have grown. I needed to rely on my aunt for transportation and my parents who live in Hong Kong to support my living and higher education. 39 Talkin’ Bout A Revolution Nairobi. 25 gigiwcyuen@hotmail. Tracy Chapman.gulwani7@gmail.

through a college graduation and time period of drifting apart combined with the fear of officially starting independent adulthood. towards Front Royal. that we could all be friends and stay connected. for writing songs that have helped to keep the memories written in my heart from fading away. our college freshman year. we memorized Fast Car as we belted it out along I-95.. we realized that we couldn’t act on our feelings because of the hurt it would cause his girlfriend and my boyfriend. IF NOT NOW: Fast forward five years. It was the fall of 1999 when things changed. Needless to say.. I choose a theme song to help me memorialize an event or a special time in my life.. I wished life could be like the CBS soap operas I watched with my grandmother in my childhood. Hearing it always brings back memories of those carefree days. Their Stories With The Debut Album Beth Medved Waller. I always hung out with "the guys" (that same boyfriend and his best friends) but something shocking happened and one of the guys and I thought we were falling in love. and it was as if this song was written just for me to capture my heartbreak on both accounts. VA. his best friend. FOR YOU: Adjust the timeline another 6 years or so. 41 beth@whatmattersw2. and this album contains more of my theme songs than any other. not in a way to betray my husband. Long story short. confessing those feelings broke up the guy’s friendship and our 5+ year relationship.. Tracy. USA She’s Got Her Ticket Lyrics I Lived By. but in a way a family member misses their kin. I played this song on my iPod when laying with my toddlers as they snuggled beside me and dozed off at 186 . To entertain ourselves along the highway in his old Plymouth Reliant (with his upgraded CD player). South Carolina (not knowing we would eventually transfer to College of Charleston because going to separate colleges was too difficult). Where to begin? For as long as I can remember. I’m married to another man but my heart still missed those two men who meant so much to me. FAST CAR: I'll never forget the first long road trip my high school sweetheart and I took in 1994.. With so many memories shared and a great deal of unconditional love in my hearts for them both (that my husband certainly couldn’t understand). Thank you.

We had a great reunion. we both realized it isn’t the 90’s anymore and we had changed dramatically from the teenagers we once were. was in that helpful article. as expected. several of them. 16 Talkin’ Bout A Revolution Chicago. Tracy Chapman is not only an extremely talented musician but an amazing person at giving life advice through her songs. and it felt freeing to be reconnected with the man I had felt "forbidden" to be friends with for so long. SHE’S GOT HER TICKET: Zoom to 2015 when I decided that I was finally going to get the divorce I knew was necessary for quite some time. As soon as I did. 187 . I then made a playlist with all the Tracy Chapman songs that would calm me down and that led me to listening to her albums and songs about life and fine advice. Sure enough. offered a way for me to stay secretly close to those men who had meant so much to me. I was able to take control over my anxiety and learn how to not let it affect me greatly and for that I thank Tracy from the bottom of my heart. I have planted firm roots in our hometown and have two amazing children to raise). At the same time I found this article and Tracy’s music I was coincidentally going through a really hard time in my young teen life. I did. I’d play She’s Got her Ticket to remind myself that I was one day going to get my ticket to be reunited with the man who knew me better than anyone and was my all-time favorite best friend (until that fateful day when cupid struck our friend and me). There is something so calming about the introductory guitar melody that easily takes all the fear and negative thoughts out of your body. I knew I was going to fly away to meet up with my high school/college sweetheart and catch up on the last decade and a half we’d missed. in fact. We have totally opposite lives now (he has moved to the other side of the world and never been married. United States I first heard about Tracy Chapman in December of 2016. and the other songs on the album. I stumbled upon an article called "5 Best Songs to Sing for Contraltos". But. Valeria Delgado. not surprisingly. So now I play a song from another Tracy Chapman album to best relate to my old flame. as we are now Less Than Strangers. Their Stories With The Debut Album night. Fast Car from Tracy’s Debut Album is the song that ended up being the anthem to calm my anxiety every single time it would get out of control. The first songs I heard from Tracy were Fast Car and Give Me One Reason. Thanks to Fast Car and other great songs in Tracy Chapman’s Debut Album. This song. and Tracy Chapman.

Their Stories With The Debut Album Derian Adikara. 188 . 23 Instagram @dermie123 Indonesia Twitter @danielderian Fast Car Tracy Chapman is one of my fav singer. I love her works so much.. And my fav song is Fast Car and that's why i made this sketching with some abstract line kind of style that i really like.

the TV remote control kept firmly in her hands. During the following years. I wish I could also learn Behind the Wall: such a strong melody! Lots of pop musicians were using "social" themes in their songs. She was so different from the rest of the cast! I enjoyed how this shy woman just used her guitar and her voice to entertain a playful crowd. a good way to slowly end the 1980s . not so far from Barcelona. the most famous Chapman definitely was Graham. is a valuable asset when you are an 8-year-old boy living close to the French Atlantic shore. Bored on holidays with my parents. the US national basket- ball team. Excited to see and hear Sting and Dire Straits. at both ends of the show. often in a simplistic way. I linger in a house in Southern France. she was the one in charge. of Monty Python fame. On that Saturday afternoon. I wish I had a Fast Car! Baby Can I Hold You officially becomes the first song I manage to know by heart in English. a young black American woman 189 . Belgium For You Milestones and Rosetta stone 1988 Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute was broadcast live all over the Brussels. while. An older sister. I am now 13 and quite interested in the «Dream Team». Jeez. Somehow. Too expensive. I discovered Tracy Chapman that day. especially when she is fascinated by the English-speaking culture. I would often hear that song again. I was still too young!). On stage. though. winning them (and us!) all with her song Talkin'Bout A Revolution. here to give a speech (one year only before his untimely death). And maybe to take a glimpse at Whoopi Goldberg whom I enjoyed watching in Jumpin' Jack Flash. Their Stories With The Debut Album Guillaume. 38 ganeshagm@yahoo. 1992 The 1992 Summer Olympic Games are celebrated in Barcelona. even though we were all shifting slowly from the LP format to CD (at least people who had a buying power. Like many other people. on tape mostly. but far from everything else. maybe for the first time. No cartoons for me and I had to endure all these pop musicians I didn't care about. Easy peasy! Only one word changing at every verse. but yet not close enough to just drive and attend a basket-ball game.

pop music had lost its flavour. translated into lots of european languages. sadly I could only play two songs. I was seeing a beautiful young woman. it became easier for me to understand how music was helping me to be the person I was growing into. However. Or if I did. beautiful tall girls. So beautiful. and For You seemed too difficult.. Entering a music shop and noticing the prices were low. 1988 seems a lifetime ago.. but she seemed to back up and kept me waiting. One day our teachers took us to former East Germany. pen friends. I couldn't see that. I could whisper Für Mein Gelibeter to her.. All the clichés that were fed to us in the 1980s about the other side of the Iron Curtain came back to my mind. Suddenly I get this song while the last one is killing me: For You. and just the guitar. North Germany: different smells and a language quite difficult to understand.. It changed my life forever. that far overseas! 190 . As a teenager. I felt the need to write to Tracy. I started behaving like a stupid tourist and bought something I could have bought anywhere: Tracy's album on CD. A nostalgic feeling sneaked in while I was listening to the album again… though I was only a few years older -but half a life if you count well! The lyrics were there.. Bob Dylan had just entered my life and suddenly... Isn’t there something more than mere acoustic pop music? 1993 First trip abroad with my school. You really can do so much with just an acoustic guitar and a voice! And he managed to maintain his amazing storytelling skills with a rock band backing him when he chose to! School exchange. I was also intrigued by Tracy’s beauty. as well as sweet words and promises were being traded. that some people around me called androgyne.. Luckily I used to carry my guitar everywhere with me. Their Stories With The Debut Album managed to describe her reality through her songs. In that foreign context. That girl. who told me sweet things. was not disturbed by it. In a way.. In a way that seemed disturbing for them. I made it my Rosetta stone and wanted to learn the words in all those tongues. I might sometimes have felt the urge to write to famous people (I don't remember clearly). CDs were so cool back then. If not now. I was only a small boy. Such a sensitive person would be moved if she only knew she could reach young people.

And I still liked the song so much. I listened to the album again while reading Charles Grant's The Pet. while listening to James Taylor and Bob Dylan. Sonny Rollins. I did not think much about of Tracy's album but I still enjoyed and promoted it. Their Stories With The Debut Album Of course I didn't know how to reach her. John Coltrane. . a song where only the main word changes at every verse. And I was happy. my dedication to his music somehow felt out of place. though. In the context of the early 1990s (and while I danced. Tim Buckley. to be able to play both songs -with my clumsy guitar skills. Somehow my attempt to dig into teenage litterature is linked to this album. Strange memories since I would soon become a (boring) reader of classic novels (I still am). I could now play For You.. 1994 A year had passed.. It spared her the trouble of reading a boring teenager’s letter! I must have been wiser then than I am now. I could play more songs and I was reading Woody Guthrie's Bound for Glory." Maybe that friend was right?! Maybe there was a boring "nice" side to this music?! Maybe my love for Tracy Chapman's Debut Album was a kid/young teenager thing?! Mind you. Discovering Pete Seeger. I was in my last year of Junior highschool. to entertain friends…and girls. That year I bought the Bob Dylan 30th Anniversary Celebration album.. and I was (still am!) too lazy to find out.. I became fascinated with Raggedy. Glad she was singing it! It felt natural for the author of Talkin'Bout A Revolution. and I heard Tracy singing The Times They Are A Changing. to 2 Unlimited with my friends!). laughing. though. Here is a trick to make people sing this song without knowing the lyrics: you just scream the word and people can sing the rest! Understand now where Baby Can I Hold You comes from! In high school I met new friends and discovered the Velvet Underground. There was something that bothered me a bit. One of my buddies once said to me: "Tracy Chapman? My mother likes her. Didn’t know what yet. in a purely acoustic version. One of the only performances I liked on this CD. and some Union Songs. 191 .on the beach. giving another meaning to the song. Bob Dylan's records from the 1960s were now all I was talking about. from now on.

traditional jazz. where nobody can see me. School kids had to be in bed right now. by the end of my high school years we more often listened to The Doors & The Stooges than to Tracy Chapman. Wow. speeding through the German countryside. that looks like a Jukebox. As I had just decided not to finish my PhD. Still a musician. still a bit of French chanson. As we were driving through Germany at night. and I. I was thinking of school children. as a young adult. as far as Elektra's artists were concerned. Not enough money though. early music. but sure would have loved to live the experience of hearing her live and solo. along with two fun & weird Carrots. School years seemed to have taken place ages ago. 1999 University years in Western France. music from everywhere (thanks to Elektra's Nonesuch label among others). Their Stories With The Debut Album However. playing and singing more and more… Learning more about folk & traditional music. experimental music. the name of the solo project that I was touring with.. so I stayed home listening to the records of Sun Ra. was in a Fast Car. baroque and Renaissance. except it looked and felt quite different as I thought it would! Tracy Chapman was on a solo Tour and that year she came to a big Brussels music institution. dressed up as huge carrots and making crazy music (Residents like approach) took me on a small tour in Berlin and Leipzig. 2008 Living in Brussels. free jazz. to be able to wake up for school the following day. not a wished one. I understand the luck and the privilege! In that car. I was slowly realizing that I was somehow living the life I had dreamt of when I was younger. we were talking about the Human Jukebox. my absolute new hero. It was an actual fast car. People insert a coin 192 . and the musical journey had been intense. The concept was (and still is) simple: I sit in a box.. like the ones I knew in Germany back then.. 2009 Two friends.. music and cinema were taking most of my time. rock music from all periods and countries. Tracy Chapman alone on stage! I was not listening that much to her music anymore.

They live far away so I can't listen to the record if I want to. The only support I had. literally the only thing in my world that was supportive during this crucial time. Maine. I still have the cassette.). 2018 A couple years ago.. Thank you. And how great it is that it can speak to so many people with different backgrounds. I was defending Tracy's flow "Can’t you hear what she does in Fast Car? The whole tradition and organic modernity she brings to it?". even stronger despite the other amazing musics I have discovered since. And I understood. Yes. 46 For My Lover Monroe. Luckily. and I can still see.. I really don't know if I would have survived high school without that album. Talkin'Bout Revolution is on the list! That night we had an argument over Suzanne Vega vs Tracy Chapman. except online. I realised my "East German" Tracy Chapman CD still was at my parents’. I didn't enjoy all the production choices on this first album. I have showed the Mandela Tribute videos to some younger friends. Their Stories With The Debut Album and choose a song (I have learnt 200 by heart!) which I then sing and play on my acoustic guitar. Can you imagine: all alone with an acoustic guitar. Happy to hear it again with a warmer sound. And yes. from the bottom of my heart. Tracy. 193 . was your album. how much this moment influenced me back then. But I was moved. where all the texts are also translated. US I had just realized I was queer. Of course. I had heard people mentioning this record and its songs in contexts I disliked. while showing this timeless performance to them. I felt so alone. in front of all these people!? Tamarleigh Grenfell. Discussion about female folk/pop in the late 1980s (Michelle Schokded and so on. I do know what the problem was with me back then. and it is one of my most cherished belongings. how it all makes sense. I have found a mint and cheap LP version. I would have prefered a totally acoustic album. I listened to it continually and knew I was not alone. and I had no one at all to talk to about it. Yes.

Their Stories With The Debut Album Orch Eratli. UK Instagram @Orchlondon orch-eratli@Hotmail. 29 Fast Car Website 194 .tumblr.

I am also 195 . First. I did not have any child education background. I would definitely say Tracy Chapman. It caused inconvenience to her. Even though each opportunity got turned down when I applied for jobs. Even though I quit the job. After leaving the child care job. Once I am ready. Their Stories With The Debut Album Gigi. I decided to resign after working for few months. I worked as a nanny for a private family. I chose Child Development as my major since my freshman year. I told myself that I should get more early childhood education to make me well-prepared. Tracy Chapman shapes who I am today because I have a similar life story like her. I am quite proud of myself to get this job. and I could not speak fluent English.S. United States Fast Car If you ask me who inspire me the most in my life. so it was very tough for me to find a job in the U. At that time. I have just moved to the U. There are some factors that made it challenging. Sometimes I handled situations in a way that were not what the other teachers expected. the job required applicants to travel to different schools to work. I believe opportunity is for well-prepared people. Started from being a check-out girl.. and I needed to rely on my aunt to pick me up and drop me off. "Providence does not let down a man who does his best". At that time. it was not only a precious year for me. It is about she came from a poor family. I also worked as a tutor to teach an older woman who has low literacy skills. 25 gigiwcyuen@hotmail.S. I had neither high education nor work experience.S. CA. and she worked really hard in order to get a better life for the future. It meant a lot to me because it was my first job in the U. and I finally got a job! It was a child care job. Also. Remember I did not have a driver license before? Now I have ability to drive the kids to schools without relying on anyone else because I acquired my driver license. my spirit did not get turned down by anybody else.S. training was not provided since I only worked as a substitute teacher. Instead. she finally made her career as a successful singer. Second. My duties were driving 5 and 7 years old kids to school and working on activities. even though it was not easy for me to get this job. I worked on some relevant jobs to enhance my experience. Because of all these reasons I decided to quit. Due to some challenges that I faced during my child care job. I tried to apply for jobs Irvine. When I turned 18 seven years ago. My first job in the U. Once there was a job fair in school. I would accept the challenges of child care jobs again. Her song Fast Car is based on her life experience. During that time I had not acquired my driver license. Other than this job. In fact. it did not mean that I had given up on working with children. before obtaining this job. was not easy. but a turning point in my life also.

Time flies. I listen to Fast Car to encourage myself. Their Stories With The Debut Album proud of myself to get this job. We both loved her music. It was then that I met someone who became my first love. 196 . 43 Fast Car Minneapolis. but Tracy’s music was a reminder to both of us of our love. Tracy Chapman. we had to part ways but always desperately wanted to reunite. Last but not least. the time. It reaches my goal—educating the others through my education. This past year after a series of devastations for both of us. We each struggled in our lives and found that both of our journeys were similar and resulted in heartbreak. and seven years already passed. In the past few years before graduation.. my English proficiency was not so well. When I look back. studying ESL. We were in separate countries. I was a 25 year old American traveling in South America seeking an opportunity to help an environmental and community based organization. studying in a community college and transferring to a college. I see how much I have grown. When I first came to the U. and it was not easy for them because of the exchange rate. lasting and true connection. On my first day with the project. For 18 years. Unfortunately. I felt a deep connection with this person from the beginning partly because Tracy’s album was playing when we met. but now I have ability to teach others English. I graduated college with Bachelor of Science Child Development degree. Thank you and love you so very much! Julie Trupke. both of us found a different love. I obtained a full- time teaching position right after graduating. I finally became an American citizen! Every time I face struggles. we were pulled back into each other’s lives.S. I needed to rely on my parents who live in Hong Kong to help me pay rent and higher education. but now I can pay my own rent to support myself. After several months of an intense relationship. I entered the office Tracy’s album was playing. After reaching a low point in my travels. Start from being a new immigrant. and it drew us together immediately. in 2016. Despite the language barriers. Over those years. We have only reunited over the Internet but have made plans to fulfill the promise that was made those many years back. It only seems fitting that this will happen exactly in the month of Tracy’s 30th anniversary of the album that drew us together and sparked this deep. distance and many other factors caused us to move on. USA Tracy’s album was a major factor in leading me to my first love and helping me reunite with that love 18 years later after much struggle and heartbreak. I was led to a project based in Ecuador. loss and a lot of pain. but it was not the same as the true love we had for each other. you have shaped who I am today. we followed different paths in life but always kept the other in our hearts.

. During the following years. even my husband was listening to you. Her depression. got married to a wonderful American man 25 years older than me in 1989. Scotland She’s Got Her Ticket So. I miss her more than anything in the Tucson... my memory of the Tracy Chapman debut album is very very special. I’m not telling this story for my sake. I’ve got the exact CD in which my Mother had. 50 jackielu@hotmail. I’ve recently lost my mother. Thank you for helping me during my sad 197 . made them played all the past songs until I heard the one I wanted. She’s Got Her Ticket. I went crazy. He got mad. And always my depression. Then losing her boy. United Sates Baby Can I Hold You I'm from Peru-South America. 21 bobimcknight@outlook.. He asked the guy at the shopping center "Who is she?" no one new at that Livingston. Tracy Chapman’s album helped my Mother through a lot of hard times. She wasn’t the healthiest of woman. It was my Mothers favourite track. We came to Florida for the first time together. and Talkin’Bout A Revolution. . first afternoon at the Mall. I’m telling this story on behalf of my mother’s memory. and then soon came to be mine.. I nicked it from her because as soon as I heard a song I fell in love instantly. And I’m blessed to have had her music in my life. Their Stories With The Debut Album Bobi. Jackie. I told my husband I wanted that CD. I was crying so many emotions. Losing her dad. Tracy Chapman is an amazing talented artist. At her funeral we played She’s Got Her Ticket as we said our final fairwells. Including Fast Car.. then other songs of you…Why... didn't understand the lyrics then. but your voice.. I got all your albums. So now..then ur song played Baby Can I Hold You somehow your voice. Arizona. always good music. she suffered from a lot of medical conditions (physical and mental) and the music took her away from it all. I can play that same CD and it brings me back wonderful memories of a wonderful woman. I got me a CD player and listened to your album 100 times a day. It was my mother’s favourite album. left my country very young to Brazil then went back to Peru for a visit. You made me a little bit more secure in this country. feeling overwhelmed with so much noise and so many new things and my English was so poor. There wasn’t one day in the house where that CD wasn’t playing. calm me down..

"Who is that? That voice. and I still struggle to verbally articulate what her music means to me.. and that Tracy is a great healer in this respect. Lov. Until the past 2 years that I really stumble in life.. And her light has been with me ever since. But when I wanted to remember my past. I've listened to Fast Car and so many other Tracy songs hundreds if not thousands of times. And with that.C. I vividly recall the first time I saw the music video playing on MTV and thinking. honest. I was mesmerized. As she told a story of hardship and her soul sang out. the lyrics. you came along. but I have to say Fast Car.. With my deepest gratitude to you.. the voice. and I know it always will be.. a few good friends. and Tracy herself - grabbed the attention of my soul. I didn't know anyone in my life that felt that real. and song. I don't know you but I can see you are such a great person. are so. my depression came back hard.. but decades later I see why that moment .com SF. "I had a feeling that I belonged / I had a feeling I could be someone. Jackie C. I realized that Tracy was just a fellow human being. her voice became a graceful.... It's almost too big to try to explain.. Many of Tracy's songs have changed my life and I could surely write a book about each album. pure. steady candle in my world of darkness. my husband and father passing away. Thank you for help me through. different… What is this???" Time stopped.the song..that even at 12. Back then I was too young to grasp why I was so entranced. She was so real. my good days. Tracy. What I can say is this ." I felt that this stranger had somehow been inside my soul. 198 . 40 midnightradiospace@gmail. Their Stories With The Debut Album days. I happen to believe that music is the single most powerful source of love that humans can create. for sharing your gifts and being that candle for so many of us. and straightforward. the art. being in this country with no close family but my 2 kids. Somehow that transmitted through the television and through the air waves. but Fast Car was definitely the first song that opened the world of music to me at the tender age of 12.... always listening to music. That made her the bravest person I had ever seen. USA Baby Can I Hold You It feels cliche. our struggles underneath are connected. How did she know what it felt like to be me??? She taught me that even though our stories are different on the surface.

36 Aphropik@gmail. but I told him that I had the pleasure to eat with him. I smiled like her so I wanted to write like her because I couldn't sing even though I still tried. but I accepted his regal pleasure.. he was tired and thirsty and hungry. I bought a necklace from him and told him he could come and eat with us. Italia Across The Lines Hello. Antonio ( Sorry for my english) 199 . one in each state. and not for their skin Minneapolis. Their Stories With The Debut Album Aphropik.. I always remember your song Across The Lines for this meeting with this Senegalese boy in 1988. my beautiful region where I live. Congratulations on the 30 years of your first album. Hi Ozieri. Kiss to you. because it talks about the issue / racial problem in America. Also in Italy there is this problem. especially today for the problems of immigration from Africa. If people were to judge other people just for their behavior and education. The precision and brevity of Fast Car is pretty amazing but Telling Stories? She completed her sentiment in the first 2 bars of the song and was polite enough to give us time to catch up. my favorite song is Across The Lines.' He said it meant 'to get raised up higher. Your songs are good for the heart and soul. He was sitting near our tent. then she can do perform 50 shows remotely from her zen garden via satellite. I played with Hotwheels but had asked one of my 5 older brothers what it meant to get 'promoted. Antonio /Leo. We remained friends and met him in Sardinia.. Where is she anyway? Are we really just going to let her hang out on the planet unbothered with the Sades and Maxwells of the world? I say we start a artist recognizance mission and call it ARM 4 Justice! First goal: Tracy Chapman has to perform 50 shows a year.' I fell in love with how you could use one word to say something powerful or a whole lotta words to say nothing at all. Now he lives in France. I offered him a plate of pasta and water. until she's 80. Tracy Chapman is a songwriting Goddess / Genie / Wizard / Witch and that's just the end of it. when I was on holidays at the beach with my friends on the campsite. I met a Senegalese boy in 1988. I was 7. America Baby Can I Hold You I fell in love with poetry through Tracy and mainly because I felt I looked like her. unfortunately still current. Tracy's songwriting ability is stronger than ever since I earned a degree in English Lit with a concentration in African Diasporic Literature. To top it off. He was selling various necklaces. even repeated it for us. 53 aturis@tiscali. the world would be better. he was very happy and wanted to give me a belt.. bracelets and gadgets. Tracy.

Imagine a German American playing Fast Car on a the way to the Kingdom Hall or to breakfast in the weekends which was our special time together. At that time focused on when I would be sitting in front of a big plate of oversized strawberry pancakes.. My father came back into my mind. It was Tracy. I wouldn’t even know what to say to her if we met. but I just consider myself a woman. He sunk into books and music. We were Jehovah’s Witnesses. I became an actor. I am what’s considered a mixed race woman. As an adult I would have a special affinity for Tracy. I grew up in a very strict home. I wouldn’t know how to tell her the words in her songs bring me such pain yet such happiness. but not right away. I passed her and turned around once I realized who she was. He loved Tracy Chapman. We had some good times. And being a child of that time made me appreciate I got a window to a time people started to wake up to the reality of privilege and how we are affected by it. claiming to be perfect because we went to meetings three times a week and didn’t celebrate birthdays amongst chaos and dysfunction on the home front. He’d play that cassette tape in our Volvo sedan over and over. Their Stories With The Debut Album Alaina. and a woman in her car stopped so I could walk by. in the Mission. but we mostly had fear and anger. I had walked that street many times and this one time was different because the woman who stopped her car was a woman I recognized. I eventually grew up. Not the words Tracy sang as my parents still appeared halfway decent up my young eyes. This story is about my how my father taught me music is a way to see yourself. I was maybe nine years old. 37 Fast Car Oakland. My mother yelled and screamed and my father retreated. but she was already looking the other way and ready to drive off. and those songs came back into my ears as I continued along. My mother was mentally ill and my father was a barely functioning alcoholic.. I was on my way to work one morning in the city. USA This story is about my father. For embellishing the few memories I have with my father before being old enough to understand how sad both my parents were and that they wouldn’t last together considering they both had a full plate of crazy to deal with. 200 .

Tracy’s lyrical poetry with her own struggles was such a comfort to me during my trials. Three months later the blisters finally went away but the pain didn't. The virus ate away at my immune system until in May of 2013 I was told I wouldn't make it. I saw you in Seattle about twenty years ago. It ate away at me and at age 45 on the 19 day of February my life would be changed forever. You have stirred my heart in so many ways. I have spent the past five years in rehab. US Wow her first album takes me way back. Thank you for listening. My upper left torso was hit with a horrific case of shingles that these western WA doctors had never witnessed. meditation. The law suit was personal from an abusive narcissist ex husband trying to still control my life. and human being Tracy. 53 aprilmorrowlife@gmail. Thank you for being such an amazing artist. I kept praying for god to take me out of my misery. bio feedback. This past year has been a real turning point for me and although I was struck with a lifetime disability I made it and I am finally getting my life back. acupuncture. Please come back to Seattle. So much more to it. I was heavily medicated and hospitalized three times. I use yoga. I had been under much stress going through a long drawn out million dollar law suit that I lost to. Then a miraculous stem cell was gifted to me and I was on a plane five days later to New Hope Hospital in Mexico for a gifted $42. These western doctors could not help me. 201 . I teach dance and play your music regularly. This man stalked me for years and could not give up control but yet now he would control me forever. I spent many nights on my knees just losing Sagittarius Milton Small Town She’s Got Her Ticket Girl. I’m writing a book to tell my story. I feel honoured. The pain was unbearable. My immune system was shot. massage. For seven years I lived in massive pain despite taking many heavy pharmaceuticals. Why would god not take me? I had been abandoned by my biological father at conception being conceived of rape and my alcoholic step father at age 19 and now my heavenly father.000 stem cell that rebuilt my immune system and saved my life. and marijuana and Tracy Chapman to get me through it. Their Stories With The Debut Album April. I went from having Shingles to Post Herpetic Neuralgia to Fibromyalgia. woman. I know and sing every word to every song on the album still today. Its called post herpetic neuralgia PHN. My new favorite karaoke songs are Change and Rape of the world. Although it had a huge influence on me back in 1989 I would say the impact it had in my later life was far greater.aprilmorrow.

to get a chance to see my star Tracy Chapman's live performance. I connected surprisingly well with most songs..Mozambique . but all the good things Tracy Chapman's songs teach us! And I wish above all. Long years before I even get to know her Santos Beitrande Abudula... They aren't only music that helped myself developing a better way to see and understand the real world we live. all the radios used to play Tracy Chapmans's songs. I wish this few words inspire all the folks not only to share what's the most important things in life. I felt love. When I was a young boy. There's a lot of songs that when I hear. Growing up in rural ultra conservative eastern Washington State. I live in Mozambique (Africa). Those songs of escaping and bettering myself/making a change resonated deeply within and still do.. USA Talkin’ Bout A Revolution Tracy’s Debut Album really changed my life as a kid. Sing For You. I started to understand better the bone between me and Tracy Chapman's song. But I felt love for the first time and I still feel in love by the song Baby Can I Hold You So as I was getting old. I can't stop repeating over and over again. Thanks for the music and the inspiration Tracy! Here’s my cover of “Revolution”https://youtu.. Fast Car & Revolution were my faves. My hope was that the song and video touched at least one person as much as it did me. Talkin’Bout A Revolution.Africa Baby Can I Hold You My story with Tracy Chapman has began since I was a child. 43 Maputo . 25 santosbeitrande@gmail. they helped me also to dream living in a better world. Their Stories With The Debut Album Brooklyn. so that I can find my dream becoming true! 202 . and I found peace in her songs. Fast Car. So much so that I recently recorded a cover of Talkin’Bout A Revolution and released a protest video earlier this year.

the song which helped me process my commitment to be content with simplicity and renounce materialism and the principal tenets of the 'dream' of the American way was Mountains of Things. my father Chris. Minnesota. all fused together .com Johannesburg. Tracy Chapman’s music always puts a smile on my face and helps me remember the good times I had road tripping with my father and my brother. 53 Mountains O’ Things Philadelphia. When she sings. Bluegrass. Chapman's visage epitomizes the essence of DELICIOUS. She moves people with her voice. and I would be singing every word as we would drive up and down the coast camping and spending time with each other. Chapman is as a one of a kind artist and human being. Hearing Ms. I was in 7th grade around this time and I will always think fondly of that time with my father who has passed from brain cancer when I was 16. She spoke of the true realities of what was really going on. She's a blessing. 203 . 33 She’s Got Her Ticket Rochester. and Ms. UNADULTERATED. USA I always used to go on road trips with my dad up the coast of California. USA Soul. She moved me. Charutsiel. The first time I heard it was in my dad's car. and he would keep his Tracy Chapman CD (the only CD he ever went out and actually bought) in the glove box and play it on repeat with all of the windows rolled down and my brother Ryan. Chapman's songs Fast Car. South Africa Talkin’ Bout A Revolution The song that changed my views on life has to be Talkin’Bout A Revolution. Not many people have the power to move people like Tracy did. Blessing Ndlovu. Mountains of Things. and Baby Can I Hold You are PRINCIPAL songs in the HYMN BOOK OF MY LIFE. Funk. things change. Blues. Their Stories With The Debut Album Megan Rystad.SPEECHLESS! While it is unquestionable that Fast Car was the first song to draw my attention to who Ms. The power and emotion in Tracy's voice is amazing. 16 blessingndlovu100@gmail. RAW AMERICAN WOMAN in all of its brilliance and beauty. She opened my eyes.

Your last whisper was the same as you heard in Somorrostro: ‘they’re talking about revolution’… They’re talking about Dolores”. naked voice. and broadcasted by the BBC with great scandal in the United Kingdom and South Africa. a capella. translations and credits! A CD is more than just the sounds tracks. Their Stories With The Debut Album Jesús Montero. and he defeated to the dictator Augusto Pinochet. when the Spanish War in 1936. but also of hope because the people disobey. this revolutionary woman isn't known “Pasionaria”. the boss of pioneer squads of the * http://bit. but its “No pasarán” is universal since before. Years of conservative hegemony. aren’t longer among us. Perhaps. with Ronald Reagan still in the White House and Margaret Thatcher in Downing Street. and I dare say. The truth is that it was in the fall of 1989 when I heard the songs of Tracy Chapman and read the lyrics translated from the eleven songs of the album. As the long-suffering Chilean people voted not in the 1988 fall plebiscite. but I don’t remember it as a moment of discovery. of the song against sexist violence. Maybe the first time I heard some songs it was with occasion of concert tribute to Nelson Mandela by his 70th birthday*. and my memory remembers today that I had used the refrain of the song. Spain Talkin’ Bout A Revolution TALKIN’ BOUT … “TRACY CHAPMAN”.es Madrid. because then as now. FROM SPAIN I didn’t know of the album until the year after it became public and since then it’s coming with me. … “they’re talkin’ about a revolution”. but they are referents for their integrity and commitment to the side of people exploited by their racial or class condition. I am sure. still prisoner. that it was a year after the release when I enjoyed the chords of the guitar and the tones of the voice. now. as a farewell whisper to Pasionaria**. What good. and this song was a one cross-stitch. It works of art made with a craftsman’s heart. because he shouts “No”. those discs with lyrics. The “short twentieth century” was then about to end. while “They’re talkin’ about a revolution” sounds of the background at home. the final years of the eighties. How to forget it! How to forget the deep. when Dolores Ibárruri died in November 1989: “…. 55 montero@ucm. Mandiba y Pasionaria. full of history. between the homage to the revolutionary past and the new hope of social change. And a debut album. Years of change. that like Tracy Chapman sings. it’s a very personal 204 . when I write these lines thirty years later. ‘Don’t you know/ They’re talking’ about a revolution/ It sounds like a whisper’. I’m certain ** http://bit. Nelson Mandela and Dolores Ibárruri. Today.

That was the scent of 1988 when Tracy Chapman was published thirty years ago. on December 14. At the end of 1988. After that summer of 1989. it was when I heard for the first time the debut album Tracy Chapman. also of the generational and gender relay in folk music. I have a strange memory of that trip. I remember. as in Spain. but I was not aware of what was happening until I arrived a Vienna and I read the newspaper EL PAÍS. “any place is better”. in the biggest general strike in the history of our country. Some days after. to the revolution. the teacher Ludolfo Paramio is lecturing us over the working class. after the Zapatista insurgency of the indigene peoples from the Mexican southwest. until we arrived in Vienna. then. when I had not yet enjoyed of the debut album. in the class of political sociology. a “ticket to anywhere”. “just’ cross the border and into the city…”. was that we made the same route. Among the notes of the class. and something continued. Francis Fukuyama had not yet been proclaimed “the end of history”. and lyrics made stitches of thread on the long emancipating weave. already with the new century I would return to Prague for participate on demonstration against the World Bank and FMI. I had decided to return to Complutense University to focus on my university studies after years of militancy and professional dedication to politics. I went to buy the 205 . “the fables were changing”. Neither Prague nor Vienna I had visited. “across the lines” of the cold war. at times of the globalization. Years later. to social change. That happened when its musicals notes. anti-racial struggles and cultural movements in the United States. When the new millennium. but I had been. Budapest and Vienna from Spain. we made a car trip to Prague. With the academic year new. now. that first half of August 1989. in Budapest. “behind the wall” of the steel. The disorder that I observed in Prague was exciting to me. And what that itinerant tourism was? but a “fast car” towards a better life. the velvet had been torn. Something was left behind. A few months later the Iron Curtain would fall. the summer of 1989 when with my gang of friends. Also. but the twentieth century was leaking between the pages of the personal and collective almanac. “we won’t have to drive too far”. and of the Socialism there was not even the memory of “The Spring of Prague”. after the general strike of 14D in Spain. and something was born. Something was dying. that thousands of men and women Germans from the defunct GDR were doing with their holidays in Czechoslovakia and from there “jumping” to Austria. “they’re talkin’ about a revolution”. and in the same days. That was the perfume of 1989 when it sounded like a whisper of hope. What we didn’t know. and several times. when the unions raised their disobedient voice against industrial dismantling and youth unemployment. Also. That was the moment of the debut. that same year. Their Stories With The Debut Album Chicago’ boys. told us about a young singer-songwriter who she was a world revelation. I wrote down her name.

somewhat. and so can understand them better. papers and computer lasted beyond two hours without pause. they’re taking’ about a revolution. to put the album in the music reader. And to that effort we don’t disappoint. I remember to listen the album two times. it’s those happy moments of the music in the solitude at home. At that time of my new life. Their Stories With The Debut Album album (then there were not Youtube). and you could give us those songs from the first album. now. my heart wil dance when the chords some songs play. and how Talkin’ Bout A Revolution caught me. finally I didn’t progress. LLuis Llach. and their songs are communication bridges. Tracy has been “companion” of university studies. The Debut Album has been the soundtrack of my delayed university graduation and. on one side and other north of the Atlantic Ocean. as with Viatje a Itaca of Lluis Llach. of Leonard Cohen. Leonard Cohen. How many nights and how many days. Tracy Chapman has been with me. I still put the record when I face blank paper. I didn’t discipline myself. Pete Seeger and my “personal teacher” of English. to open the booklet for to read the songs in Spanish. to give me the Spanish guitar. and the guitar was forgotten. every night veiled to prepare the exams. Paco Ibañez. like a “Chinese vase”. and although I went to some lessons. We were born at the same time. it sounds like a 206 . while African-American female voice impregnated the walls. while searching for news horizons. while the songs sounded. I was surprised by the serious face on the cover and the smiling on the back cover. over and over. Thankfully you yes. …). a common archipelago. again and again (almost scratching it). if the journey between books. And I believe that in another thirty years when the winter of my live arrives. Even today. I acquired Tracy Chapman. and I imagine humming “don’t know. We’re fortunate because the effort of our working families allowed us to study. Bob Dylan. emulated by singer-songwriters of my older brother’s albums (Joan Baez. this song reminded me of the dream that it emerged during my childhood at a worker neighborhood from northern Spain: “Poor people will rise up/ And take what’s theirs…” Since then Tracy Chapman accompanied me the years of university education. Crossroads. as Songs From A Room. But I didn’t correspond to the family effort. decorating with the posters my room. at least in achieving university education. I will smile while I play and I open the script of Tracy Chapman. I remember. because I also found a new album at the counter. accompanied me the four years of high school. again forging a continuous and inspiring musical thread. Although I hesitated. To touch the album with your hands. as Virginia Woolf had written in A Room of One’s Own. to break the plastic. Serrat. even in a loop. As with Songs From A Room. like Leonard in high school. An atmosphere was established that helped me to concentrate on thought and writing. how heavy I became in adolescence to buy a guitar. except for the tobacco combustion. with a small salary.

There are still innocent deaths in schools. but also increasingly conquer spaces of freedom as Madrid. Why?. 207 . We have aged. as in the song of the Debut Album. Sexist violence persists. or community justice that is experience on New York. that it reminded me of the poster with the soldier falling od my room during the adolescence. Spanish. and a supremacist man is the president of the United States. “we can”. world capital of pride. but women are already unstoppable movement. while the songs of love we can always sing them because they’re part of life. English. but unfortunately these ballads of criticism and alternative are still necessary. We have seen an African-American president in the White House. blind our societies. then”. and old ghosts return.… “If not now. women. …. Arabic. Their Stories With The Debut Album whisper…”. From those final years of the eighties of the last century to these gays of second decade of the 21st century many things have changed. New “springs” follow each other. The wars and famines continue to occupy the headlines of the mass media and bleeding peoples. but the new generation rises to the cry of yes you can prevent the sale of arms. poor people. Happy 30th Anniversary. Or not. but the debut album has not. Thank you. Hate against the different because of sexual orientation or race. because the poor people will have already taken what belongs to them. Tracy four your songs. I hope so. and in different idioms. all we scream. They are part of sentimental education and my memory. when/ If not today. There are songs of Tracy Chapman that I wish we didn’t need to sing today.

Their Stories With The Debut Album To be continued… 208 .

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