8 the AMERICAN DREAM – podcast episode 8 – transcript

We posted this episode some time ago, it’s about the American Dream and it’s perfect to revise words and expressions about DREAMS and AMBITIONS.  For example: “The sky is the limit!”.

Here’s the transcript.

Enjoy!!  Marta

Listen to the episode on iTunes or here:



M – So, this time we’re talking about … the AMERICAN DREAM !

C – Marta, since you are not American, I’m curious to know your perception of the American dream.

M – I’ve always thought of it as the right to aspire and to pursue what makes you feel happy in life, the freedom to build up your future brick by brick through hard work and determination. Having the opportunity to somehow feel successful in your life. But why don’t you give us some hints about the American dream?

C – Well, since the very beginning, when the first settlers came to the New World the USA was founded on values and ideals, like democracy, equality, justice and liberty. Of course sometimes there is a great distance from the ideals and the actual reality, I mean, everyday life is still harder for the poorest part of the population even in a country based on the right of equality.

M – Those values still have deep roots in the American culture. There is this general feeling that you should be given a chance to pave your way, that your future could depend on your individual choices and not only on your social class, race or family.

C – And this is what the Declaration of Independence stated in fact, that all men are created equal and that they have inalienable rights, including Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

M – The ideal was to create a country where everyone could express their talents, where everyone could get the merit for their work and perseverance.

C – Yes, and again, let me point out that it’s just a promise of the possibility of prosperity and success, that doesn’t mean that every single person achieves it, not to mention nowadays with this difficult economic crisis we’re facing worldwide.

M – Yeah, now those that believed the American Dream to be only about getting money, goods, fame and fortune, must be thinking that the dream has turned into a nightmare!

C – Yeah, while the idea of the so called American Dream is far from being only materialistic, it’s about improving your life and the society you live in. This is what James Adams wrote in 1931: “The American Dream is the dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. (…) A dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.”

M – And let me add that you can call it American Dream or not, but it was the main reason for millions of people to move to the USA along the centuries. They came in search of a free, happy and richer life.

C – All those immigrants leaving their families and taking the risk to cross the ocean, came to the New World to seek justice, religious freedom and economic opportunity. It’s certainly a part of my family’s history.

M – And all those immigrants were welcomed by The Statue of Liberty!

C – The Statue of Liberty is a real landmark. Marta, I know you wrote a song about her.

M – Yes, the title is ‘Miss Liberty’.

C – May we listen to it?

M – Sure, at the end of this episode! Now, there is something else really worth mentioning about the Statue, the sonnet entitled “The new colossus”

C – You’re right, it was written by Emma Lazarus in 1883 and when visiting the Statue you can read this sonnet engraved on a bronze plaque. The most famous sentence is “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free..”

M – Hey listeners, you can read the whole sonnet in the transcript of this episode, don’t miss it !


C – Marta, how about giving our listeners some vocabulary about dreams and ambitions?

M – Ok, how do you define the desired, sought-after object?

C – It’s your aim, your goal, your target.

M – And what about the verbs we use in this kind of context ?

C – To pursue your dream, to make your dreams come true, to achieve your goal, to fulfill your ambitions, to accomplish…

M – Any idioms about ambitions and dreams?

C – Oh, yeah. “The sky’s the limit!” meaning there is no limit to your possibility of success, so dream big! For example, Marta, how many downloads do you think that our podcast will get next month?

M – Who knows? The sky’s the limit!

C – You got it! An idiom about effort and hard work in order to reach your target is : “blood, sweat and tears”. So, Marta, when we hit #5 on The Podomatic language courses chart….

M – it was not due to luck, it was blood, sweat and tears !

C – Well… I don’t think either one of us actually shed blood during the making of this podcast… Maybe some sweat though….and a few tears of joy when we hit #5!….

M – ….And let us not forget the over 10,000 listener downloads from around the world! Thank you everyone! It’s been a lot of work, but we’ve had a lot of fun too.


C – Is this episode almost over?

M – Yes, almost. I’d love to quote a movie before we go because I think it’s a good example of what the American Dream is like in the 21st century.

C – Which one?

M – “The Pursuit of Happyness” by Gabriele Muccino.

C – Is that the film starring Will Smith and his son?

M – Yes, and this is the quote I chose. The scene is a father (Will Smith) talking to his child : “You got a dream… You gotta protect it. People can’t do somethin’ themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it. If you want somethin’, go get it. Period.”

C – Go get it, listeners! And good luck!

M – Thanks for listening, we await your comments, questions and suggestions.

C – Come visit us on facebook, podomatic.com, martainnocenti.com and iTunes- and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter. And remember to always read the transcripts!

M – And now…

C – …your beautiful song about The Statue of Liberty, right?

M – Yes, enjoy! See you guys very soon!

C – Bye bye!


‘THE NEW COLOSSUS’ (sonnet by Emma Lazarus, 1883)
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, *
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name *
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand *
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, *
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” *


Song: “MISS LIBERTY”, written and performed by Marta Innocenti.  (song available on iTunes).
For any additional information visit  the acoustic duo website www.12n.biz

The lyrics:


Here I am *
Walking down the streets *
Leaving my footprints *
On the sidewalks *
In New York *
I’m part of a multiethnic place *
In the dawn of century 2K *
the land of opportunities… it must be, it must be! *
I crossed the ocean and now I look inside *
Miss Liberty’s eyes *
She holds up the torch and she lights up the fear that I’m *
Trying to hide *
Got my dreams in my pocket, Miss Liberty knows it *
I take my chance *
from Miss Liberty’s hands *
Here I am *
Blinded by the lights *
USA skyline *
On the top floor *
Of New York *
I’m part of the army of the brave *
And I know that I am here to stay *
the land of opportunities…. believe me, believe me! *
I crossed the ocean and now I look inside *
Miss Liberty’s eyes *
She holds up the torch and she lights up the fear that I’m *
Trying to hide *
Got my dreams in my pocket, Miss Liberty knows it *
I take my chance *
from Miss Liberty’s hands *
Here I am, here I am, October 12th…
Welcome in New York ! *

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