Unit 1 Song: “Here Comes the Sun”
1. Story Behind the Song: What events prompted George Harrison to write the most downloaded of all the Beatles songs?
2. Companion Story: Why is an immigrant from Guatemala sleeping 12 hours a day and bingeing on candy bars? What is wrong, and what is the remedy?
Unit 2 Song: “Ring of Fire”
3. Story Behind the Song: This song is not by Johnny Cash, but about Johnny Cash. Who wrote it–and why?
4. Companion Story: How does a young man react when his parents threaten to disown him if he marries the woman he loves?
Unit 3 Song: “Melancholy Baby”
5. Story Behind the Song: This song’s composer had total amnesia after a head injury in World War I. How did the song restore his memory?
6. Companion Story: A Czech motorbike racer inexplicably begins speaking only English after a crash. How long does this phenomenon last?
Unit 4 Song: “Breakaway”
7. Story Behind the Song: How does Kelly Clarkson’s hit song mirror her own life?
8. Companion Story: What happens when a woman takes a dare and kisses the next man who gets on the bus she’s riding?
Unit 5 Song: “I Will Always Love You”
9. Story Behind the Song: Will the love between two men and their pet lion endure even after the lion is returned to the wild?
10. Companion Story: How does a stray cat change the life of the librarian who discovers it in the book bin of a small-town library?
Unit 6 Song: “Pay Me My Money Down”
11. Story Behind the Song: What prompted dockworkers and sailors in South Carolina to sing this song in the early 1900s?
12. Companion Story: When a factory is sold, the owners give each employee an envelope. What is in the envelope?
Unit 7 Song: “Happy Days Are Here Again”
13. Story Behind the Song: What was the Great Depression? How and when did it begin, and how did this tune help people keep their spirits up?
14. Companion Story: What surprise awaits a man who returns 25 years later to thank a stranger who helped his family during the Great Depression?
Unit 8 Song: “Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?”
15. Story Behind the Song: How does this Louis Armstrong song comfort a homesick reporter caught in a sandstorm in Sudan?
16. Companion Story: Minutes after their arrival in New York, French tourists find themselves in the middle of a terrifying high-speed car chase. How does the city make amends?