• OnTopic Canada

Above the Ground: An Alternate to What is Below

Above the Ground

A Song Written and Performed by Burton Cummings


Above the Ground is the title song of Cummings' 2008 solo album and is included as his final track of 19 original songs.

Burton Cummings was born in 1947 and is currently 74 years old, making him an elite member of the 47/74 Club. He is also a Canadian performer, singer, songwriter and recording artist who has written and recorded countless tunes. He has graced the stage and performed to audiences for over 4 decades, receiving a plethora of awards and recognition for his contributions to Canadian culture. Burton is also an actor and starred in the 1982 film Melanie.

The song Above the Ground is just over 4 minutes long and is created using lush chord progressions and thought-provoking lyrics. The album cover shows Burton sitting in a chair that hovers several feet above the ground, suggesting a transcendence of earthly values. Indeed, the song captures the concept through its bridge:

“Shoot for the ground and you know what you'll find You'll get the ground every time

Shoot for the moon while your thoughts stay sublime You'll get something in between"

A live performance of the song on YouTube includes an introduction by Burton, where he explains how the phrase Above the Ground is commonly “heard in old folks homes.” The artist goes on to explain that many variations of the term, such as “Above the Grass,” are used to reference people living among us who are approaching the precipice of death.

As people advance in age, their awareness of mortality increases, along with their appreciation for life. Thus, they understand that the alternative to living above the ground is to be resting below it, dead and 6 feet under.

Pushing Up Daisies is another popular term used to describe those that are buried beneath the ground. It acknowledges Mother Nature and her process of using the decomposition of the dead to fertilize the creation of the living.

We can't get enough of this tune and invite you to give it a listen.

Heads Up - Burton Cummings is touring this year! Be sure to visit his official web site to learn more about him and to purchase tickets to one of his shows.

8 views0 comments

Thanks for submitting!