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She began as a story of Kiirstin’s grandmother, Linda Liholm, who fled Soviet oppression and the occupation of Estonia in 1945, after Germany lost World War II. Boarding trains and boats that were beyond capacity, Linda, with her 6-month-old child, Ulo Kuhi, narrowly escaped a future in a Siberian concentration camp or death. Through the process of writing this song, Kiirstin discovered a profound empathy for her grandmother and a deep connection to her that she had never felt before. She explains, “I always knew my grandmother came here as a refugee of World War II, but her story was always more of an abstract idea without any real history or understanding behind it.” Kiirstin further explains, ”My grandmother and I did not speak the same language. I was a very American kid, and growing up I just couldn’t connect with my immigrant grandmother. I wished she was ‘normal.’ I wished she spoke English. I wished she was everything other than who she was, and only as I’ve gotten older and educated myself beyond the American education system, have I realized how short-sighted that mentality was. My grandmother endured so much hardship and heartache to allow for me to have what has been a fairly easy life here in the United States. I’ve never known war. I’ve never known hunger. I’ve never known true fear.” She then morphed from a song just about Linda to a song for all women empowered by the generations before them who fought for equal rights. In our current political climate, just after electing a misogynistic “leader” to the highest office in the land, Kiirstin felt she needed to raise her voice for women and to use her music to encourage others to demand their voices also be heard.
Lyrics written by Kiirstin Marilyn
Song co-written by Kiirstin Marilyn and Justin Ardolino
Song co-produced by Kiirstin Marilyn and Justin Ardolino
Drums performed by Carlos Ferreira
Additional instrumentation by Benny Reiner
Mixing and Mastering by Benny Reiner