Joe Jencks

Crossing Over  3:26

I was invited by my friends Janie and Martin to sing for a peace rally in Salina, Kansas. A number of the assembled engaged in peaceful civil disobedience and were arrested for doing so. I was moved by their determination, courage, and organizing as they practiced non-violent resistance to military spending. In advance of their action they called the sheriff and the judge in Salina and negotiated the entire affair. The event was crafted after the School of The Americas protest in Columbus, GA.  There, dozens of people annually engage in peaceful civil disobedience, crossing the line onto the property of Ft. Benning. The second verse is derived entirely from President Eisenhower's final oval office speech, in which he coined the now ubiquitous phrase, "the military industrial complex." Martin & Janie are beautiful links in yet another chain. With this song I honor them, Fr. Roy Bourgeois, and the countless numbers who have in Anne Feeney's words "…Been to jail for justice."

Crossing over crossing over
For our children and their children
May the wars forever cease
Crossing over crossing over
We will give ourselves to justice
We will cross this line for peace

We follow in the footsteps
Of Martin Luther King
Nelson Mandela and Gandhi
In the words of Eugene Debbs
Spoken from a prison cell
While there's a soul that's captive
We shall not be free

What defines a prison
Is it only walls and bars
Or is it hunger and poverty that bind us
When we waste our wealth
On the machinery of war
We are stealing from our future
And we say No Mas! No More!

Cruzando Cruzando
Pa'los ninos y sus hijos
Que las guerras cesen ya
Cruzando Cruzando
Nos entregamos pa' la justicia
Cruzaremos por la paz

Some endure the shackles of injustice every day
For their gender or their race
Or the way they choose to pray
For the millions who are crying
For the innocent and dying
For the hope of every nation
We must find a better way
© 2008, Joe Jencks Turtle Bear Music ASCAP