Story Previews / More True Stories Behind the Songs

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Unit 1 Song: “You’re Beautiful”

1. Story Behind the Song: Who was the “angel” on the subway who inspired this song?

2. Companion Story: Four days after her wedding, a bride disappears when Stalin exiles her family. When is she reunited with her husband?

Unit 2 Song: “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”

3. Story Behind the Song: How did the tradition of singing this song at baseball games begin?

4. Companion Story: What happens when a young female pitcher with major-league aspirations strikes out two famous players in an exhibition game?

Unit 3 Song: “Lean on Me”

5. Story Behind the Song: What were the boyhood memories that inspired Bill Withers to write this song?

6. Companion Story: How does a barista in a coffee shop react when she learns that a customer needs a kidney transplant?

Unit 4 Song: “Simple Gifts”

7. Story Behind the Song: What is it like to live the simple life of a Shaker?

8. Companion Story: What is life like for nine children whose parents believe in surfing, not schooling?

Unit 5 Song: “Peace Train”

9. Story Behind the Song: What accomplishment earned Muhammad Yunus the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize?

10. Companion Story: How does a mountain climber repay a village chief in Pakistan for saving his life?

Unit 6 Song: “I Dreamed a Dream”

11. Story Behind the Song: Was Susan Boyle singing about her own life when she sang the song that made her a star overnight?

12. Companion Story: What is the true identity of a man working as an aide in a nursing home?

Unit 7 Song: “Follow the Drinking Gourd”

13. Story Behind the Song: Could this song have guided escaped slaves to the North?

14. Companion Story: In what daring way do two East German families escape to the West during the Cold War?

Unit 8 Song: “My Heart Will Go On”

15. Story Behind the Song: How do the stars of the movie Titanic help the last survivor of the Titanic disaster?

16. Companion Story: When a plane carrying 150 passengers flies into a flock of geese, where does it make an emergency landing?