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The Gulf Between Us

by Craig Cummings

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1.
The Gulf Between Us V1 You say flat and I say round you stick to white and I welcome brown What you think is truth I call lies things you find funny just make me cry Chorus The gulf between us is wide and dark and deep the gulf between us wakes me from my sleep the gulf between us is hard to navigate the gulf between us is filled with hurt and hate the ferry captain's tied his boat tightly to the pier The gulf between us is strewn with suspicion and fear V2 You doubt the science that I believe You think you’re in tune but you’re so off key You take Jesus’ words and turn ‘erm around Use ‘em to keep your fellow man down Chorus Bridge Scared and hungry children fighting to survive Scores of angry women that will not be denied Bullets fly and bodies fall when there's no compromise Everyone's unhappy No one's satisfied Chorus
2.
The Southern Wall V1 I drove down to the southern wall slats of steel thirty feet tall I stuck my arm through an open space and felt the warmth of Mexico's face No migrantes were around at all Just an hour before night falls At the southern wall V2 Twenty miles north of the southern wall brown-skinned boys playing baseball mama calls out "Esta la hora de cenar. Fresh tamales for little boys starved.” All the dreamers short and tall Have heard the stories of those who were caught At the southern wall Bridge The border patrol, los federales they steal your money, your sanity and your soul Narco teens, and lying coyotes It’s hard to stay safe when the desert nights turn cold V3 Ten miles south of the southern wall a little girl plays with a raggedy doll Mama tells her, “You gotta be strong, we’re going to live with abuela on the west side of Tucson” Innocents running from the law hopeful for the chance to leave it all… At the southern wall The southern wall…
3.
Momma And Me 04:00
Momma And Me Chorus When Momma and me crossed the Rio Grande Valley looking for mercy in the land of the free they rounded us up and put us in prison for no good reason just to be mean V1 The cartels took over and poisoned our town and those who resisted have yet to be found the markets are empty my school is shut down fields that were green are now dry and brown ...they poisoned our town Chorus V2 Poppa left home when they threatened our family scared and alone without any money he's not comin' back, that's what he told me as he slithered away like a snake from a coyote ...they threatened our family Bridge All we need is a room to call our own toothpaste and soap, clean clothes and a pillow It's so cold in this cage, and this aluminum cape can't help me fly away V3 If we could just get to Corpus Christi we could find work rather quickly Momma can cook and clean to make ends meet I'd work three jobs to keep myself busy ...in Corpus Christi Chorus
4.
Like Thieves 05:26
Like Thieves V1 I work every day I've got a strong back it isn't strength or a purpose I lack Ten hours as day six days a week covers the rent and something to eat Chorus And we live our lives like thieves in the shadows on dead end streets dreaming that one day we’ll find a place to call our own They think of us like weeds Growing stubbornly out of the concrete Hoping that ignoring us might make us go away we live...our lives… like thieves V2 Four kids and a wife in a three-room shack on the poor side of town next to the train tracks Mattresses lined-up on the floor you can barely open up the door Chorus Bridge I got laid off and the rent is due I’m standing in line for boxes of free food Every little bit helps when you're close to the line Truth is we struggle all the time V3 My oldest girl loves going to school even though the rednecks can be cruel her hair isn't blonde and her eyes aren’t blue what's a girl from Monterrey to do? Chorus
5.
Sleeping Alone V1 Your tires kicked out dust and gravel you told me you just needed to travel and I couldn't ride shotgun this time That old Ford needs oil and water the radiator tends to boil right over every time it runs for more than an hour or two I stood on the steps of that house we said we'd buy watching you drive off I couldn't even cry the sky was turning pink it was such a beautiful light and I guess I'll be sleeping alone tonight V2 The first few days I expected to see you driving up the lane watching that car spew black smoke from the tailpipe into the air But after the first week I knew it was over Pretty soon it'll be October and I'll be planning a trip down south for one I sat in the chair where you used to sit and draw pictures of yourself that you'd tack up on the wall I looked at those drawings and never saw a smile and I guess I'll be sleeping alone awhile Bridge You must have sold that Ford and bought another ride there's no way that old thing could get that far or maybe you just hopped aboard a train that headed west and never stopped until you reached El Mar continuing to search for who you are Coda I laid across the bed and stared off into space closed my eyes and tried to see your face when I finally did it looked like you’d been crying and I guess we'll be sleeping alone tonight
6.
Living Without You V1 I woke up early Sunday morning Threw on a t-shirt and some jeans On the beach the sun was rising over rough and churning seas I don't know why the sea is angry But I'm feeling angry too All alone and living without you Chorus Ten years from now I'll still hear you calling my name I'll remember Paris walking by the Seine Thinking of all the good times mostly brings me pain I know I’ll never lay with you again V2 I poured a second cup of coffee Flopped into my favorite chair I thought I heard you in the hallway But when I looked you were not there Sometimes the silence fills my brain and I don't know what to do All alone and living without you Chorus V3 The afternoon was hot and sunny When friends and family said goodbye The preacher talked about your goodness But all I could think of was your eyes The way you looked into me The love behind the blue All alone and living All alone and living All alone and hardly living without you
7.
Safe 03:56
Safe V1 They said that what don't kill you makes you stronger than before But these days that don't seem to be so true anymore The threat’s out in the open while we hide behind our doors Who knows what comes next for us, what troubles lie in store Chorus How do I keep you safe? How do I keep you close? How do I keep you safe? The ones I love the most. How do I keep you safe? Safe, How do I keep you safe? I miss the closeness and the touch of family and friends I wonder when our lives will be normal once again We spend too many waking hours trying to defend ourselves from what we cannot see, it's hard to comprehend Chorus BR Everything's temporary So out of the ordinary living like this is scary and tomorrow brings more of the same V3 Everybody's looking for someone they can blame instead of trying to find the truth, it really is a shame The lies and false assurances are really quite insane they make it seem like this disaster's nothing but a game Chorus

about

The songs on The Gulf Between Us explore some of what keeps us apart...divergent social and political beliefs; our inability to love more generously and selflessly; the passing of someone we love and depend upon; the recent pandemic that forces us to keep family and friends at a distance. I offer these songs with the hope that they provide an opportunity to ponder how we might evolve in ways that bring us closer together.

credits

released April 2, 2021

Craig Cummings - Acoustic Guitar and Vocals
Gantt Kushner - Electric and Acoustic Guitars and Bass
Andy Hamburger - Drums and Percussion
Brian Simms - Keyboards and Accordion
Tiffany Shanta - Violin
Wall Matthews - Djembe

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about

Craig Cummings Columbia, Maryland

Craig Cummings is a celebrated singer/songwriter who performs throughout the mid-Atlantic region. His country-tinged, Americana portraits are infused with a pop sensibility, born of many years listening to chart topping stalwarts such as Jason Isbell and Chris Stapleton. His 2019 release, Absolute Surprise, was a finalist for Best Americana/Country Album by the Washington Area Music Assoc. ... more

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