Hope Where It Lies

by Justin Cross

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Cory Simon
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Cory Simon Beautiful. Justin illustrates the struggle of pursuing our holy, loving, and merciful God while seeking to overcome our own imperfections and temptations. Many of his songs, and "May I Struggle" in particular, show the difficulties and joys of this lifelong pursuit with an earnestness and complexity that I find is missing from much of today's music. Grateful for your gift, Justin! Favorite track: May I Struggle.
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credits

released June 30, 2015

Produced by Corey Scogin & Justin Cross

Engineered by Corey Scogin except:
Tracks 3, 4, 9 engineered by Bud Brown at Higher Ground Studios; track 8 engineered by Jordan Holsombeck at Little Man Studio.

Mixed by Corey Scogin

Mastered by Jason Hamric

All songs © 2015 Justin Cross Music


The Players:

Justin Cross- Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Piano, Programming

Brent Kendrick- Drums, Percussion

Luke Sides- Piano, Organ

Adam Pruitt- Bass Guitar

Jacob Johnsey- Bass Guitar

Joel Madison Blount- Electric Guitar

Wilder Adkins- Dulcimer, Percussion

Jillian Bridges- Violin

Amy Cross- Harmonies

Nicole McLean- Harmonies

Sarah Holsombeck- Harmonies


Art Design: Perry Brown and Justin Cross

Artist Photograph: Amy Cross


This album would not have been possible without the invaluable support of these contributing producers:
Ethan Craig, Gary Jones, Brett Livesay, John and Vikki Borella, Dottie Farrar, Juanita Farrar, Peggy Lindsay, Tina Craig, Jeff Tenner, Joel Cross, Magdalena Gomulska, Micah Hymer, Joy Johnsey


Thank you in no particular order to everyone who made this album possible, from the friends and fans who supported it financially, to the musicians who lent their irreplaceable talents to these songs. To my amazing wife, Amy, thank you for choosing to love me and live your life with me. I love you more than forever. To my son, you may not know this now, but you were an inspiration to me even before you were born. I love you buddy. To my family, I couldn't ask for a more supportive and loving group of people with whom to share my life and my blood. To Andy Byers and Joel Busby, your words helped me find my words and shape the thoughts behind these songs. Thanks guys. Finally and most importantly, thank you God for another breath to breathe and another song to sing. You give me hope in a world where hope seems lost.

www.justincross.org

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Track Name: Light In The Lowlands
Light In The Lowlands

On the day that my joy was born
Sorrow arrived like some long lost kin
And he whispered to me of the places he'd been
And I wanted to see them as well
So I left my joy to itself

I know of the stain set
In each beating heart
And the strong taste for blood
On each tongue
Well the choices we make
Are what set us apart
If I can live when I'm dead
Then I'll die while I'm young

Ay do ay di ay do dai do di ay do

And the high country, it called me home
And this ghost of a pilgrim all beaten and tossed
Saw light in the lowlands while I was still lost
Now there's no more running away
I'll get to my country someday

Yes and I won't stand
To leave hope where it lies
Like some unworn shoes by the door
So when hope becomes walking
And faith becomes sight
I may wear those shoes out
But I'll never need more

Ay do ay di ay do dai do di ay do

Oh joy, still far away
Like sorrow, her whispers are leading me home
Through her I have learned that my life is on loan
I'm only borrowing time
And joy is all that is mine

I know there's a death marked
For every man's birth
Always closer than it was before
But I'll gladly be freed
From the chains of this earth
If there's dancing in Heaven
I'll be first to the floor

Ay do ay di ay do dai do di ay do
Track Name: Blood & Water
Blood & Water

Been squandering my family heirlooms
Living in a cheap motel room
Breathing in the dusty air
And wondering what brought me here

Bruised my wrist on a splintered cross
Tried my hand at casting lots
Took the spear, everyone watched
Blood and water's what I got

I've been living a lie,
I've been living a lie, been living a lie
I wanna make it alright, wanna make it alright
Wanna make it alright

Taking up a choke-chain gospel
Hoping that the yoke won't cost you
Buying sips up from the well
I've learned grace is not for sale

I've been living a lie,
I've been living a lie, been living a lie
I wanna make it alright, wanna make it alright
Wanna make it alright

I won't give it up, give it up
Give it up, give it up now (x4)

I've been living a lie,
I've been living a lie, been living a lie
I wanna make it alright, wanna make it alright
Wanna make it alright

I've been living a lie,
I've been living a lie, been living a lie
I wanna make it alright, wanna sleep at night
Wanna make it alright

I won't give it up, give it up
Give it up, give it up now
Track Name: What It Is (What It Ain't)
What It Is (What It Ain't)

Drop a bomb
Kill some people
Make them fear us
Win the war
Launch a new star in the heavens
Shows us who we're searching for
Once we find them
Drop a new bomb
Rinse, repeat, and start again
Toss the regime
Raise a new one
And it's never gonna end

Yet with all our wars and fighting
All that I can say is this
There is no "what it could have been"
There's only what it is

Build a tower
Build it stronger
Make it reach up to the sky
'Till God or car-bomb brings it fallin'
And then makes you figure why
Sabotage the streetside cameras
They will steal away your soul
Don't be last one in the bread line
Or you'll only get a roll

Of the tragic and controlled
All that I can say is this
There is no "what it should have been"
There's only what it is

Build yourself a new religion
But don't build it to make sense
Brings you comfort when you're dying
Leaves you trapped up in the fence
Build yourself a new religion
But don't build it to stand strong
Treat your duty like a vermin
That the holy live among

Seeing all your haughty showmanship
All I can say is this
There is no "what it looks like"
Love, there's only what it is

It's the next financial crisis
Or the next life changing song
There will always be a new next
When the next has come and gone
Yeah, the your future's in the sandbox
And the rain is gonna run
What you build, so sure to tumble,
Someone else will build up on

But before you cite your copyright
All I will say is this
There is no "what it's gonna be"
There's only what it is
Track Name: Amelia
Amelia

Late night, driving on the interstate honey
And the hotel's coming into view
I've been thinking 'bout you all night
Girl, I've been thinking 'bout you all night

Closed up, listening to the cars as they're
Rolling down the road and we're running through your yard
It's only in my mind and I can't sleep
Busy reaching for the things that I can't keep
I can only pray that you can hear me say

Amelia, Amelia
You are my only way home
Why you gotta leave me on my own
'Cause I don't feel as close to heaven when you're gone
When you're gone

Late night, smoke-ring from a cigarette
That's stuck inside the mouth of a woman at the bar
She likes it but its killing her inside
The both of us are only trying to hide
What has control

Tossed up, listening to the band sing
A number of their own, but I don't think I relate
'Casue I would give up anything in sight
If I could only be with you tonight
I can only pray that you will hear me say

Amelia, Amelia
You are my only way home
Why you gotta leave me on my own
'Cause I don't feel as close to heaven
When you're gone

Oh, let me come home to you one day
If only for a while, I need to see you smile when you see my face
Oh, baby, your ghost is growing old
And I really need someone to hold

Amelia, Amelia
You are my only home
Why you gotta leave me on my own
'Cause I don't feel as close to heaven
When you're gone
Track Name: May I Struggle
May I Struggle

There's a spirit o'er the deep
And it wants my soul to keep
With a whisper in my ear
Beckoning me ever near
Beckoning me ever near

I have struggled with that voice
Now for most of my grown life
But I never entered in
Because I bought into the lie
"Surely you'll not die."

I have wrestled with the snake
I have struggled with the fruit
I have fumbled with my fig leaves
As you call me through the dew
Lord, may I struggle after you

I have lusted far too long
For other lovers in the dark
I have bound myself in full
I have given them my heart
I have given them my heart

You're that candle in the window
Like the lighthouse on the shore
Like the shepherd leaves the flock
To usher one back through the door
One back through the door

You have turned ear to my prayers
Though I break your heart in two
Bearing all my selfish begging
What else would I have you do?
Lord, may I struggle after you

I have taken of the wine
I have taken of the bread
I have taken of your flesh and blood
With the Devil in my bed
The Devil In my bed

I'm the son too far from home
You're the father fair and true
And you love although I fail
As good fathers always do
Lord, may I struggle after you
Track Name: The Wine & Jubilee
The Wine & Jubilee

O, now I have walked down this road before
And I know that I'm looking, but not what I'm looking for
If my mother calls, please tell her that I'm doing fine
And that I won't be coming home 'till I've seen what's down the line

O, I've been walking
I've been walking
I've found nothing here or there that's right for me
But I'll keep searching
I'll keep searching
'Till I find it and it finally sets me free

Now many a friend have I come to know
But I've never met a soul that can save my own
O, I drank from the well and I sang that Jubilee
And when that water turned to wine, Lord, it caught a hold of me

O, I've been drinking
I've been drinking
I've been drinking all my problems away
I've been drinking
And I've been thinking
Don't know which of them will send me to my grave

I have talked all these words before
But I keep on talking, I don't know what for
O, and when ol' death finally holds me in his keep
May my mouth keep up it's moving so to keep him from his sleep

O, I'll keep talking
I'll keep talking
Even when it's time for me to settle down
I'll keep talking
Keep on talking
Though I'm talking you may never hear a sound

I have heard the preachers speaking all about the precious Lord
How the bride that he desired, he will soon be coming for
Preacher, when you pray at night, would you pray he waits for me
I've been known to miss my train 'cause I had somewhere else to be

O, I've been praying
I've been praying
But I don't know that it's reaching way up there
But I'll keep praying
I'll keep praying
'Till the savior comes to meet me in the air
Track Name: Simple Hands
Simple Hands

I am drifting, I was listening
Now I'm tired
The weight of a heart
Gets heavier with time
I'm a good son
Though the work seems uninspired
Simple hands break even most their lives

Hold the horses, stow the guns
Put up those knives
No one here is showing out tonight
We were young once
Stubborn fools
We took our stands
Now we're old and left to simple hands

Heaven knows I'm trying to hold on to
All the things I should throw to the wind
But there is no point in trying to outlast
And curse this broken state I'm in
It's so hard not to hate these simple hands

From the road, a humble home
In winter cold
Looks just like it's one with all the snow
Bridal white in fading light
And sunset sky
Someone else will live here when I die

You fight with all you have and find
The credits roll before the story ends
You play that song the best you can
But you are still two beats behind the band
It's so hard trying to build with simple hands

All the things built up in dreams
We've made ourselves
Survive in pictures placed upon the shelves
Hopeful smiles, frozen in time
And clothed in dust
When all our lives were still ahead of us

Heaven knows I'm trying to hold on to
All the things I should throw to the wind
But there is no point in trying to outlast
And curse this broken state I'm in
It's so hard trying to live with simple hands
Track Name: Spring
Spring

I am going to see my mother soon
On the banks of Jordan
I face the promised land
With flowers in my hand

I was born from summer into fall
Through the winter cold
I wait for spring to come
To bloom my frozen soul

I believe in resurrection from this grave
I’m believing that the stone can roll away

I am just a child at mind and heart
But by now this child
Has touched the fire enough
To know that it can hurt

I am but a broken messed up thing
Full of hate and pride
Yet possibility
And to this hope I cling

I believe in resurrection from this grave
I’m believing that the stone can roll away

I am going to see my mother soon
I'll give her those flowers
And a kiss thats overdue
And spring will come to bloom

But one day we all return to dust
And when that winter comes
And bury her I must
In this I will trust

I believe in resurrection from this grave
I’m believing that the stone can roll away
Track Name: Born of Woman & Man
Born of Woman & Man

I am drifting to sleep as the air burns in my lungs
Born of woman and man, I am bold, I am young
I've sharpened my teeth on the bones of my enemies
Seeing their death as our only remedy
Mother forgive me
For all that I have ignored
Please hold me still in this deepening sleep
As I wait for my Lord

I am youngest of three and the only living son
Born of flesh and of earth into trials no man has won
And I honed my ways to obtain my every desire
I trained my tongue to deceive and run like a fire
Sisters forgive me
For tearing this three strung chord
Please hold me close as I'm drifting to sleep
While I wait for my Lord

Warm sun, her hand in mine and those eyes no tear should know
Cold lies and colder my dreams for she left me long ago
And I like the waves have run this ship to the deep
Not to be found with all it's secrets in keep
Lover forgive me
For you were the one left at shore
Hold no more anger, just sing me to sleep
As I wait for my Lord

I am drifting to sleep and that time is soon to come
I fear memory will keep all the things that I have done
Fully aware I have failed more than I have achieved
Here now am I placed before the heart I have grieved
Father forgive me
And should I be restored
I pray my soul you will take and will keep as I come to join you Lord
I pray my soul you will take and will keep
As I come to join you Lord
Track Name: Going Home
Going Home

When I was a young boy
I'd drive out to the city and
Lose my way until the dawn
Oh, how free I felt
There was room left on my belt
Oh how good it felt to be young

Walking, talking, drinking
Living, lying, and never thinking
Always led me to only feeling low
When low is all you have
It just serves to make you mad
So I wound up my living and let it go

Young men are always getting older
Old men are always inching closer
And time is the last friend
That we see before we go home

Lately all this living's taking all that I can give it
Leaving little for my broken hands to hold
Just the devil and his deals
And they're nipping at my heels
Oh how strange it feels getting old

Young men are always getting older
Old men are always inching closer
And time is the last friend
That we see before we go home

Life will let out quickly
For the well and for the sickly
'Cause the best of us are
Merely skin and bone
But when moth and rust destroy
We look forward to coming joys
When death in his long reign
Is overthrown

Young men are always getting older
Old men are always inching closer
And love is the first friend
That we'll see when we get home
Track Name: Everything Goes Away
Everything Goes Away

If I am just a mockingbird
What song could I sing that You have not heard
And if I am just a blowing wind
Where could I go that You have not been

There's nothing new under the sun
And no man good, not even one

If I am made of dust and earth
I've been a dead man since my birth
I've felts the pangs for Spring to come
To rise up with the warming sun

But even if it came today
It just as soon would pass away

All the good there is in me
Please hide it in your memory
Beautiful wild and true
That's how I'll remember you

Nothing found in time can stay
Everything just goes away

What hope is there for me to cling
So closely creeping is death's sting
As surely as the morning dew
Please tell me I can trust in you

Nothing found in time can stay
Everything just goes away
War and death, tears and pain
All these things will go away
Track Name: But Not Yet
But Not Yet

Oh my God
You won't let this lost son be
You've been aiming down the crosshairs
And fixing them on me
And I can only hope the shot rings true
I've been harboring a hardened heart
Who's only hope is you

Now what then is there left to hold
Between the payoff and the debt
He is here and He shall come
Already, but not yet

Love and peace
It seems have all but gone
Like justice in the system
Or meaning to the song
And I confess, most times they aren't in me
But truth lives on despite it all
The word and the decree

So now, unsure, I hope in truth
Just a gambler and his bet
He is here and He shall come
Already, but not yet

I still feel the moment
That death and I first met
I took the fruit down from the tree
And ate of my regret
But a man bore all my burden
He took up all the blame
Yeah, I strung up my atonement
Left Him naked and ashamed

No more let sin and sorrow grow
Nor pain and time beset
Just let these words be what I sing
Already, but not yet

Now these presidents and rulers
All these once-and-then-gone kings
Well, they speak in golden tongues
And spit out empty offerings
But lately I've heard rumors going around
That there's a King returning soon
Who's head deserves the crown

One day that trumpet blast will sound
To sing of His descent
He is here, and He shall reign
Already, but not yet

He is here, and He shall reign
Already, but not yet

This my hope and this my claim
Already, but not yet