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​Borderline

This song is by Slaid Cleaves and appears on the album Wishbones (2004).

In the still of the desert, in the light of the moon
Armando walks all alone
And the river ahead holds promise and dread
And he's 900 miles from his home.
He pays the coyotes,
Dodges La Migra
Walks for 400 days.
When he finally hits Austin
The boomtown is busting
But he takes what the contractor pays.
When the love for family is stronger than fear
When the desperation sets in,
A man will cross any line that is drawn
And who's to say it's a sin.
And he crossed himself at the borderline.
He wired the dollars to Elena back home
As he roomed with 10 desperate men.
When the builders had enough, the INS cuffed him
And its back to the border again.
A tearful reunion with family and friends,
But soon the reality sets in.
There's no work to be found in the dry desert ground,
He must head for Estados again.
From Guadalajara come a man with no name,
He said you can have all that you need,
There's no contract to sign but the terms are your life,
If you take my money and seed.
When the love for family is stronger than fear,
When the desperation sets in.
A man will cross any line that is drawn
And who's to say it's a sin,
And he crossed himself at the borderline.
Payments were made, the seed it was sown
Armondo watched the crop grow,
Even his brother-in-law in the army
Was in on the plan from the go.
Seven months gone, and the crop gathered in
But the brother has a plan of his own
He orders a raid, the army invades
He takes what the village has grown.
In from the west came the man with no name,
He said someone must pay with their life
We know your brothers, your father, your mother,
Your children, your sister, your wife
Now we cannot touch your sister's young husband
Tu Cunao is a military man
But you can decide who lives and who dies
And he placed the gun in his hand.
When the love for family is stronger than fear
When the desperation sets in
A man will cross any line that is drawn
And who's to say it's a sin,
And he crossed himself at the borderline.
In the still of the desert in the light of the moon,
Armando walks all alone.
And the river ahead
Holds promise and dread
And he's 900 miles from his home.

Written by:

Slaid Cleaves