DIFFERENT SHIPS, SAME BOAT

​DIFFERENT SHIPS, SAME BOAT ~ Songs for the Soul of America........(The Hurt | The Hope | The Healing) 

Book of lyric poems for our challenging times, by Terah (Terry) Cox. First of proposed 3-phase project: (1) Book, (2) CD/Streaming Media of 10-15 songs, (3) public performance and speaking events. 10% of your support after the first $8,000 will go to one or more of four social action causes.  See sample lyrics from the book below the description. For details and more lyrics, see www.terahcox.com/different-ships.html
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The name of this project was inspired by a visionary who was at the forefront of social justice action in our country during one of its hardest passages. As we continue to navigate the turbulent waters of social and economic diversity of all kinds, including how to reconcile different value systems and the long-term effects of marginalization and special interests, Martin Luther King Jr.’s paradoxical words: “We may have come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now,” are as timely and urgent today as when he first spoke them.

The mission of the “Same Boat” project is to help inspire more heart-based values in the bottom lines of our practices, protocols and policies at every level of public life and in our individual aspirations and endeavors. By listening and learning about each other’s lives, taking interest in our differences as well as comfort in our sameness, we can each do our part to contribute to the “rehumanizing” of people, communities, organizations and governments.

Truth matters, but that's not what will save us. We are at a time in our world when every voice matters, words matter and truth matters. And while the pursuit and recognition of truth is vital to the integrity of our civilization, truth has more and more become a pawn for power, barter and bias. If we are ever going to heal the great divide in our country, we will have to look beyond our stubborn truth-sparring to the one language we all understand – the language of the heart. For only the heart can conjure the willingness to listen, and the kindness, compassion and understanding that reveal a more loving, universal and truer truth: that beneath our different perspectives, circumstances, creeds and cultures, there is a sameness of heart. We all want to love, be loved, and give something worthwhile to the world from the love and truth of who we are, even if we've become unconscious to these innermost desires. And if we want to 'save the soul' of our America, we will all—individuals, local communities, organizations, corporations and governments—need to bring more heart into more and more of our personal, professional, political and socio-economic bottom lines.

And so the lyric poems in the book, and ultimately songs, of the Same Boat project, are inspired by stories of both plight and potential—people who are hurting and people who are helping. Because at the beginning and end of the day, it is people who matter—to ourselves, each other, and the Earth itself. The heart knows, and eventually the pocket shows, that there is no true victory or lasting power that can be won on the backs of those who are deprived or suffering. For as philosophers and forward-thinkers have asked us to consider through the ages, as well as the more savvy heads of corporations and governments have learned, no one truly thrives unless all thrive.

These themes permeate the DIFFERENT SHIPS project. As I often like to say, every individual is a seed of our collective humanity—as we each are, so the world becomes. And so this project is my seed planting of love—with the inner and outer inspirations that conjure the words, the love that fuels the process, the diverse talents of some amazing musical collaborators, and your support--we hope to take it all the way "into the light!"

The Project
This is an ambitious project, but one that my long time work as an author, songwriter and speaker has equipped me for. This GoFundMe campaign addresses the first phase of a three-phase project: (1) the writing, design and publication of the book, (2) collaboration with music writers, guest musicians, artists, producers and studios to co-write and record a CD of 10-15 songs drawn from lyrics in the book, and finally, (3) live events with a combination of music and speakers on the topics of the book and CD. 10% of receipts after the first $8,000 of your donation will be contributed to three social action groups, with a charitable component in every phase of the project.

Book Description & Logistics
The DIFFERENT SHIPS book will contain 30-40 lyric-poems and commentaries, which will explore the different kinds of hurt that are shredding the collective soul of America, and the hope so many of us have in our hearts to bring about the healing that we must believe is possible. The funding received for Phase 1 will help to provide time for writing and the hiring of a cover illustrator, as well as book design, layout and publication. I plan to publish the book initially through my own publishing company, with a new release target in the Summer of 2020. This period will also include the pursuit of corporate sponsorships to fund Phase 2 collaborations with some great music writers and artists to co-write and record the CD, as well as event planning for Phase 3.

You may view below new lyrics for the book, "The Trouble with Bootstraps," "Every Bottom Line," "The Truest Truth," "Pebbles on the Road to Peace," #MeToo, #WhatAboutYou," "and "Into the Light," the latter inspired by a "Watch Night" speech given by interfaith leader-activist-filmmaker Valarie Kauer. For more details about some of my inspirations for this project, the social action causes the project proposes to benefit, and several additional lyrics from the book-in-progress, please also visit my DIFFERENT SHIPS website page. I also suggest to listen to "A New American Dream," a shortened version of which was performed in an NBC pre-Olympics show.

For a short bio of Terah and more details about the project, view here:
www.terahcox.com/different-ships.html 
www.TerahCox.com  |  www.FisherQueenSongs.com

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Sample lyrics for the SAME BOAT project:

THE TROUBLE WITH BOOTSTRAPS
© 2017 Lyrics by Terry Cox, inspired by Joshua Wilkey article,
“My Mother Wasn’t Trash,” May 10, 2017: www. thisappalachialife.com/single-post/2017/05/10/My-Mother-Wasnt-Trash

A flower can push through
a crack in the concrete 
as long as it’s got somewhere to root
But you can’t ask a man
to pull up by his bootstraps 
if he doesn’t have any boots
 
Every now and then
They throw him a bone
Just when he’s about to go under
But sooner or later
What they give him with one hand
They’re takin’ back with the other
 
The trouble with bootstraps
is you gotta have boots
But the bankers and bootmakers
are all in cahoots
Keepin’ all your half-a-chances
just out of reach
Like pie in the sky
and carrots on strings – 
There’s no use for bootstraps
if you’re cut off at the knees
 
He worked in a steel mill
Slaved in a coal mine
Worked till the work used him up 
His cup might be half-full
Instead'a half-empty --
‘Cept now he doesn’t even have a cup
 
The trouble with bootstraps
is you gotta have boots
But the bankers and bootmakers
are all in cahoots
Keepin’ all your half-a-chances
just out of reach
Like pie in the sky
and carrots on strings – 
There’s no use for bootstraps
if you’re cut off at the knees
 
He used to be a proud man
with a dream in his eye
But there’s no use for dreams
under a low-hangin' sky
 
The trouble with bootstraps
is you gotta have boots
But the bankers and bootmakers
are all in cahoots
Keepin’ all your half-a-chances
just out of reach
Like pie in the sky
and carrots on strings – 
There’s no use for bootstraps
if you’re cut off at the knees
There’s no use for bootstraps
if you’re all outa' dreams…

but...hang on, hold up a minute--what if...
[ending fades into the beginning of next song:]

***
EVERY BOTTOM LINE
© 2019 Lyrics by Terry Cox

What if every bottom line
was more than dollars and cents?
What if Wall Street went to Main Street
to make a difference?
What if every ladder's top rung
launched someone else’s dream?
What if every bottom line
put someone’s moon on a string?
 
What if every bottom line
would send a needy kid to school?
What if every bottom line
had a built-in golden rule?
What if everytime time runs out
for somebody in lack
Someone's big fat bottom line
would pick up the slack?
 
What it’s gonna take
is a change to somethin' better
Somethin’ to remind us
that we’re all in this together
 
Then every bottom line
and quarterly report
could line some family's pockets
that keep comin’ up short
And every corporate coup
might fund a mom-and-pop new start
If every bottom line
might have a little more heart
If every bottom line
had just a little more heart

But this song is not to say
that there aren’t good folks out there
Puttin’ their money and their time
into helpin’ out somewhere
We can’t ask more of any
than the will to do their best
And we hope that you can be
an inspiration to the rest
 
‘Cause what if every bottom line
would do what can’t be done
And every bottom line
had room for everyone?
Like if every bottom line 
valued everybody's worth
And every bottom line
cared about the Earth?
And what if your own bottom line
found a way to start?
'Cause little by little your bottom line
found a little more heart?
Like someday every bottom line
will have a little more heart
Yeah someday may all our bottom lines
have a little more heart

***

THE TRUEST TRUTH
  © 2017-19 Lyrics by Terry Cox, inspired by the crisis of truth in our time

​We’re living in times when truth has become 
a pawn of money and power
And whether we swing to the left or right
This is not our finest hour   
We spar over different truths
as if there were only one
But while we argue every “only one truth”
our world is coming undone! 

The truest truth 
is not in the facts 
The truest truth
is not in the news  
But the truest truth
just might be had
by walkin’ in another man’s shoes
And for every truth in all the Earth
And all the Heavens above
The only truth
that can save our world
is a truth shaped by love

Every truth has its shining moment
Every truth has its glory day
But the truest truth, as time will tell
is the one that’s willing to change  / only hearts can change / is one that can show us the way
We can wave our patriotic pride
And draw our lines in the sand
But the only truth that can heal a divide
Is the kindness of a helping hand

The truest truth 
is not in a book 
The truest truth
is not in a place 
But the truest truth
just might be found
in the smile of a small child’s face
And for every truth in all the Earth
And all the Heavens above
The only truth
that can change our hearts
The only truth 
that can save who we are
is a truth shaped by love

*****

PEBBLES ON THE ROAD TO PEACE
  © 2018 Lyrics by Terry Cox

Every stillness of night
Every helping hand
Every kindness that dares
to understand
Every wish, every dream
that strives for good
Every mountain of faith
That knows we could
Every heart that opens
to let love increase
Every trial and trouble
finally released
is a pebble on the road
a pebble on the road
to peace
 
Every chance taken
to heal a divide
Every bridge built
to the other side
Everytime nobody
has to back down
‘Cause we’re willin’ to meet
on some middle ground
Every wind of change
and hope unleashed
Every extra mile
of elbow grease…
is a pebble on the road
a shiny pebble on the road
to peace
 
Every top dog reachin’
back for his brother
Every stranger or neighbor
doin’ for another
Every hope and prayer
‘stead of push and shove
‘Cause there’s nothing or no one
we’re not a part of
Every difference with the same
desire to be free
Every soul on Earth
with the heart to believe
is a pebble on the road
a shiny pebble on the road
to peace
 
Every song of love
Every note of harmony
Every word that creates
A sky of possibility
Every voice joining in
for a better world to be --
the world our hearts see…
is a pebble on the road
a pebble on the road
a shiny pebble on the road
to peace


*****

INTO THE LIGHT
© Lyrics: Terry Cox, Inspired by Valarie Kaur (see more below)

A fearless Sikh woman
stood up one New Year’s night
with her story and her passion
and her heart’s second sight
Like a beacon at the pulpit
of love’s holy might
She dared us to look
at the dark of our world
in a whole different light

She said all our labor
Our history of hurt
All our worldly battles
Over heaven and earth
Are more than we know
More than they ever seem
Maybe this nightmare
is really the birth of
our heart’s greatest dream

She said…
Maybe this darkness
is not the dark of our tomb
but the hard hurting labor
of a new humanity’s womb
Maybe this darkness
is just the long hard night
That will finally bring us all the way
into the light

If you and I are willing
we can cross our great divide
And use our hearts to see
what’s on each other’s inside
But if we keep looking through the lens
of everything we fear
We’ll miss our chance
to let go of the past
and be reborn together right here

Maybe this darkness
is not the dark of our tomb
but the hard hurting labor
of a new humanity’s womb
And so let’s push with our hearts
through this long dark night
Until we come all the way
into the light

In the meantime, she said,
tonight let us breathe
While we share heart to heart
the things we each believe
Come morning we will labor
with the softer breath of love
to birth the better world
our hearts are dreaming of

‘Cause I believe this darkness
is not the dark of our tomb
but the long and winding labor
of a new humanity’s womb
And so let’s pull together
through this hard dark night
Until we come all the way,
all the way into the light
____________________________________________________________
Inspired by Sikh interfaith leader, filmmaker and activist Valarie Kaur’s riveting speech at National Moral Revival Poor People’s Campaign Watch Night Service 12/31/16 with spiritual leaders from various traditions: “What if this darkness is not the darkness of the tomb, but the darkness of the womb…what if our America is not dead, but waiting to be born. …Tonight we will breathe, tomorrow we will labor the labor of love.”
​(www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCenwgheIBs)

See more info & lyrics for the SAME BOAT project here:  www.terahcox.com/different-ships.html

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Organizer

Terah Cox 
Organizer
Staunton, VA
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