An Ocean Between Us

by Ian Kamau

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more. Paying supporters also get unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app.
    Purchasable with gift card

      name your price



I lost my sister on March 3, 2016. She passed away abruptly in Trinidad. I wrote this song for her and her two sons Emmanuel and Kyle. It contains a conversation with my father Roger McTair that I recorded on my phone in his apartment in downtown Toronto. As much as this song is about a lost life, it is about health, and migration, and the distance (physical and emotional) that immigration creates. Rest in peace Roxanne.


This song contains a sample from Brazilian guitarist Bola Sete's track Bettina from the Album Workin' on a Groovy Thing (1970)



An Ocean Between Us
by Ian Kamau (for my sister Roxanne)

Left for the island in a rush just to say goodbye
Sometimes we find resolution on the day we die
And sometimes never
I’m sometimes better and I’m sometimes worse
Gazed at your face as you lay in the church
Never had your faith in the church
But I still ask why… why?
We held you to the hearse,
Embraced by your grave, placed you in the earth
The seed of your birth, for what it is worth
I know that you love me, I loved you the same
Like the blood in our veins I’m calling your name
I’ll see you again
Still no one to blame, nothing to blame
Cried as I wrote this
Losing my focus both tired and hopeless
I hope that you notice, I hope that you notice
Though we rarely called, I knew you were there
An ocean between us, and nothing compares
And nothing compares
‘Cause life’s never fare, Life isn’t fair
I wish it was clear, I wish you were here
I’ve been shedding tears we’ve been shedding tears
Defeating your fears
You know I don’t pray
But I’ll pray for your sons
While breaths in my lungs, ‘til my day is done
‘Til the kingdom it comes, ‘til the kingdom it comes
If I am his son, then you were his daughter
Stay with our father wade in the water
Wade in the water
We swam in the ocean and stayed for the day
With Gabre and Renee
Thousands of words I was waiting to say
But now it’s too late, now it’s too late
And this for your boys, remember her voice
Remember her smile remember her choice
To raise you in love
Her life was for you, she knew who she was
So live like you know
You’re mother my sister her brother I miss her
When she called me “bro”
I hope that you know


released May 15, 2016
Written, Produced, Recorded, Mixed & Mastered by Ian Kamau for Creation Company. 2016. (Made in Toronto)


all rights reserved



Ian Kamau Toronto, Ontario

My name is Ian Kamau; I am an artist. My ability to create is tied to my purpose. I was raised in Toronto to filmmaker parents who came from Trinidad in 1970. I believe in community. My creative life actively involves my community work. I make music.

contact / help

Contact Ian Kamau

Streaming and
Download help

Report this track or account

If you like Ian Kamau, you may also like: