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Songs of Justice Project

The Songs of Justice Project features 10 original songs and lyric videos that inform historical relations between Canada and its Indigenous peoples. The songs represent a spectrum of expression. Some songs challenge the apologetics of colonialism, exposing discrimination and genocide. Others celebrate the perseverance and goodness of Indigenous pathways and teachings. Five songs draw attention to the historical and current significance, both spiritual and political, of Louis Riel and the Métis people.  

Songs of Justice, a full-length album, started off as a single song back in 2019. Let Justice Roll was written as a response to the colonialist apologetic that continues to not only defend the legacy of Sir John A. Macdonald but venerate him. I had recently watched an archived CBC Sunday Panel from 2017, during which host Susan Ormiston invited two historians and an Indigenous rights activist, to discuss the legacy of Sir John A. Macdonald. Ormiston asked questions of the panel, “Do you agree with removing Sir John A. Macdonald’s name from schools? From buildings? Removing statues?” 1

When asked if they agreed with the removal of Sir John A. Macdonald’s name from schools, two of the panelists outlined valid reasons for why Canadians, if they are committed to truth and reconciliation, should no longer uncritically celebrate Canada’s first prime minister. One historian, however, said, “I strongly disagree.”  He went on to say, “I would use the phrase ‘time-out,’ let’s take a ‘time-out,’ that’s my advice – ‘timeout.’”  Hearing a history professor pleading for more time struck me as ironic and, in the context, disturbing. There was a phrase that took hold in my mind, “Hear the case of history plead for more time.” The phrase stuck with me, eventually becoming the opening line of the song.  The title of the song was inspired by words from the prophet Amos, “Let justice roll on like a river, righteousness flow like a never-ending stream.”  

In the debate over the public display of monuments and buildings that commemorate Macdonald’s achievements, it is not uncommon to hear a litany of accolades marshalled to supersede his record of injustices against Indigenous peoples. As of January, 2021 the website In Defense of Sir John A Macdonald and His Legacy boasted over 200 signatures of scholars, politicians, historians, educators, business leaders, and public figures in solidarity to defend his memory. They write,

“Macdonald’s undoubted errors must be weighed, however, against an impressive record of constitution and nation building, his reconciliation of contending cultures, languages and religions, his progressivism and his documented concern for and friendship with the Indigenous peoples of Canada.”2

Even if Macdonald was the most influential political figure in Canadian history, is it not a serious error in judgment to sanitize Macdonald’s atrocities as mere “errors” and uphold him for his friendship with the Indigenous peoples of Canada? Friendship by what possible definition? He referred to Indigenous peoples as “savages” and initiated strategies to take children away from their families, eradicating Indigenous teachings and traditions. Is he not also the architect of the genocidal system of residential schools, as historians Robert Alexander Innes and Sean Carleton have pointed out? 3 Do the signatories consider residential schools acts of kindness motivated by friendship? And the Macdonald defenders  go on to celebrate his land gains, “Sir John acquired territory that made Canada the second largest country in the world.” 4 For the signatories, does the end justify the means? Do they support his starvation policies and ordering the Canadian army to lead unprovoked attacks against Indigenous peoples to acquire territories? And now there is concern and worry that Macdonald is a victim of “cancel culture.”5 An astonishing apologetic given that he invented one of its most evil manifestations.

Long after Macdonald, Indigenous peoples are still discriminated against, mistreated and marginalized. Hercules, one of the songs in this collection, recounts the forced relocation of the Sayisi Dene from Little Duck Lake to Churchill. In 1956 federal and provincial governments wrongly charged the Sayisi Dene with overhunting Caribou in their home territory of Duck Lake. Without their consultation or consent the entire Dene population was airlifted and taken from their forested hunting grounds to the barren shores of the Hudson Bay. There they lived in dire poverty without heat, electricity, or running water. 6 The Winnipeg Free Press reported that “Within a decade or so, 130 of the original 300 were dead. A semi-nomadic people, who depended on the caribou as much as Plains peoples did on buffalo, was stripped of their way of life inside a single generation.”7 Meanwhile Fort Churchill, a settler community mere minutes down the road, enjoyed a full range of amenities. The Rocket Range boasted state of the art facilities and infrastructure built by the Canadian Army and consigned from 1959-1970 by the United States Air Force for air defence missile testing.  The cost of a single Nike-Hercules rocket would have been equal to the cost of food for the 300 dislocated Dene for several months.8

But racism and discrimination against Indigenous people carries through to the present government. There for the Money recounts the mistreatment of an activist who confronted Justin Trudeau at a Laurier Club fundraising dinner hosted at the Omni King Edward Hotel, March 27, 2019. The activist interrupted Trudeau to advocate for the people of Grassy Narrows, victims of mercury poisoning.  The activist was forcibly removed by Trudeau’s security while he mocked her, thanking her for making a donation to the Liberal Party of Canada.9 Trudeau’s admiring audience laughed along with him, showering him with rousing applause.  Later Trudeau apologized for his lack of respect and promised to refund her entrance fee.  For the chief of Grassy Narrows, the apology was hollow while his people were still suffering. At the time of writing 44% of water systems affecting First Nations communities do not have clean drinking water, with 54 new long-term drinking water advisories occurring in the last five years.10

Historically, many traditions of Inuit, First Nations, and Métis peoples were systematically denounced and demonized. Voice of Tradition serves as a call to affirm the goodness of traditional knowledge and ceremonies and as a vow to end the silencing of traditional ways of knowing and being.  The lyrics were influenced by the University of Calgary Indigenization Strategy, the Walk for Truth and Reconciliation, the Think Indigenous International Education Conference, and the General Assembly of the Métis Nation of Alberta.

Five of the songs draw attention to the historical and current significance, both spiritual and political, of Louis Riel and the Métis people.

Lead My People is adapted from Louis Riel’s poetry.11 The lyrics situate Riel as a leader in the making; his sense of calling gained confidence over the course of his life. Riel came to embrace the Métis as “my people.” “My people will sleep for one hundred years, but when they awake, it will be the artists who give them their spirit back,” is one of the most popular quotes attributed to him.

Call this Land celebrates the naming of Manitoba recalling the voice of Manitou heard in the waves crashing at the narrows of the Great Spirit. The song references Riel: “I had requested the name be Manitoba as it speaks of the voice of the great Manitou or the Great Spirit, which is already written in all hearts, and this suggestion was agreed upon in Ottawa.” 12

In the Blood is based on the poem Marie-Joseph’s Recitation of Names introduced with the statement by Riel,  “Indian blood throbs in me.” 13 The stanzas reflect Riel’s genealogy, affirming the blood and love that flows in his veins, traced back to his Chipewyan Great Grandmother Marie Joseph leBlanc.

I Cannot Escape is an attempt to condense select thoughts and statements by Louis Riel around the time of his arrest and sentencing. He thinks back to a vision he received at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Washington where he was overwhelmed with emotion, intense joy and then intense sadness, by the spirit of God.  He was left with the conviction of his vision and release from the fear of his enemies.  This mystical experience later equips him to surrender and face trial.14 The polemic in the song is Riel vs. Macdonald.

Riel’s Song is inspired by The Dress and The Gardener’s Breath written by Riel from the Regina jail.15 As Riel faced execution, his expression, poetic and prophetic, is calm in the face of death. The chorus “Huron Carol” recalls the honour to his ancestors, “And I praise my ancestors Who in the sweetest tone Taught me the Huron Carol.”16

Walk With Me is based on the pilgrimage to Lac Ste Anne.  The lake is considered sacred by both First Nations and Métis peoples. The pilgrimage week demonstrates a cooperative spirit toward spirituality between Indigenous and Roman Catholic traditions. The Indigenous Christ hanging in the main shrine is compelling. When I attended the pilgrimage in 2019 I distanced myself as an observer.  I viewed the healing that pilgrims experience there from an academic perspective, allowing only that I believe that you believe what you believe. That changed for me when a pilgrim, a stranger to me, asked me if I could make a phone call on his behalf.  I didn’t ask him why, but he offered an explanation. He said he wasn’t allowed to use a phone right now or own any form of technology because he was working through an addiction episode in his life and he wanted to call his mom. That was not an  academic inquiry for me, but a very personal moment. When I offered him my phone he said, “Actually can you dial the number and get my mom on the phone and tell her it’s me?” He was vulnerable, there for healing and hope. I saw the real journey and came to realize the impact of the Pilgrimage through his eyes.

I don’t know if these songs will nurture respect, but I hope they will contribute toward understanding, truth, and reconciliation by informing select historical relations between Canada and its Indigenous peoples.

1 John Ivison, “Another Liberal Broken Promise,” National Post, March 11, 2021.
2 In Defense of Sir John A Macdonald and His Legacy. Macdonald-Laurier Institute. January 12, 2021. https://www.macdonaldlaurier.ca/defence-sir-john-macdonald-legacy/
3 See Robert Alexander Innes, “John A. Macdonald should not be forgotten, not celebrated,” The Conversation¸
13 August 2018:
https://theconversation.com/john-a-macdonald-should-not-be-forgotten-nor-celebrated-101503; Sean Carleton,
“John A. Macdonald was the real architect of residential schools,” Toronto Star, July 9, 2017.
4 In Defense of Sir John A Macdonald and His Legacy.
5 Barnes writes, “Our first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, tops the charts in Canada for falling victim to this trend [cancel culture].”See Sally Barnes, “The Problem with Cancel Culture,” Huntsville Doppler, October 28, 2020.
6 Jim Bell, “Ottawa finally apologizes to Nunavut’s Dene neighbours for forced relocation,” Nunatsiaq News, August 19, 2016, https://nunatsiaq.com/stories/article/65674ottawa_finally_apologizes_to_nunavuts_dene_neighbours_for_forced_reloc/
7 Alexander Paul. “Addressing the fatal ordeal of the Dene,” Winnipeg Free Press, August 13, 2016. https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/relocation-and-reconciliation-390041061.html
8 The Nike-Hercules missile cost $55,200 USD in the mid-1950s. See John Knute Smoley, “Seizing victory from the jaws of deterrence: Preservation and public memory of America’s Nike air defense missile system” (PhD diss., University of California, 2008), 53, ProQuest (3342049).
9 Pam Palmater, “Thank you for your donation,” Maclean’s, March 29, 2019. https://www.macleans.ca/opinion/thank-you-for-your-donation/
10 Jesse Snyder, “Trudeau’s apology rings hollow,” National Post, March 30, 2019.
11 Louis Riel: The Heretic Poems, trans. Gregory Scofield. (Gibsons, BC: Nightwood Editions in collaboration with Gabriel Dumont Institute, 2011), 25-26; 36-38; 61-62; 65-68; 82-83; 86-87. The lyrics include concepts and partial phrases from poems The Infinity of Maybe, The Orange Poems: The Expatriate, Dear Sir to You I Say (The Petition), The Sewing Circle, The Dress, and The Request.
12 David Doyle, Louis Riel: Let Justice Be Done. (Vancouver, BC: Ronsdale Press, 2017), 100.
13 Louis Riel: The Heretic Poems, 13.
14 Doyle, 135-136.
15 Louis Riel: The Heretic Poems, 80-81; 82-83.
16 Louis Riel: The Heretic Poems, 13.

Music

Kalum Teke Dan painting
Cups Calgary Logo

Donate

Songs of Justice Project (SOJP) has partnered with CUPS Calgary Society to help raise funds for CUPS services. CUPS is a community-based charity that builds resilience and improves quality of life by providing integrated care including health services, housing and economic supports, parenting and childcare, and social/emotional supports. 

 

There is no cost for the download or CD.  Instead of paying for the album, please consider donating to CUPS.  For those requesting a CD, please consider additional costs related to packaging and postage.

If you would like to order a CD, please send a request to cwcginn(at)ucalgary.ca providing your name and mailing address. Please use “SOJ CD order” in the subject line. 

Videos

Walk With Me

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Call This Land

Louis Riel

I Cannot Escape

I Cannot Escape

Lead My People

Lead My People

Voice of Tradition

Voice of Tradition

Hercules

Hercules

Let Justice Roll

Craig Ginn

Walk With Me

Craig Ginn

Celebrating the Lac Ste Anne Pilgrimage  - Here is a Link to the Virtual Lac Ste Anne Pilgrimage 2021 https://lacsteannepilgrimage.ca/ 

Lyrics

Lead My People

I am a voice, in the wilderness
I set my eyes to see, beyo
nd the darkness
In the west I have been taken, caught up by a vision
My soul is filled beside the rivers, Red and the Assiniboine
I will lead this people


Am I worthy of affliction, will I suffer for my Lord?   
If I am wounded in the battle, will you heal me at the centurion’s word?
I will count the beads of Mary, thread of hope, rope of life
Tie them to my spirit, fix my eyes upon the endless sky   

Why do you call me Moses, do I have a prophet’s call?
I am lamb with a gun, destined to die a criminal   
But these hands were not made to fight, I was born to map out the land
Do not pose me bent and twisted, raise my head above the ground
And I will lead this people, I will lead this people       

I will leave this final treasure, when I am shallow of breath
in the hands of my jailor, on the gallows step
When you read my contemplations, sonnets from the plains
in one hundred years my people will awake and rise again

And I will lead my people   
I will lead my people         
I will lead my people
And I will lead my people   
I will lead my people
I will lead my people, lead my people, home

Credits:
Music: Craig Ginn

Lyrics: Craig Ginn Lead vocal: Craig Ginn
Keyboards/Programming: Doug Romanow
Electric guitar: Jonathan Lagore, Neil Gunhold
Acoustic guitar: Jonathan Lagore
Bass guitar: Chris Byrne
Drums: Kent Macrae
Trumpet: Craig Ginn
Producer: Craig Ginn

Co-producer: Derek Pulliam
Recording engineer: Derek Pulliam at Dog in the Windows Records, Calgary
and Steve Dierkens at StudioD, Calgary
Mixing engineer: Douglas Romanow at dR Music, Toronto
Mastering engineer: Dave Horrocks at Infinite Wave, Calgary


 

 

Call This Land

Great lone land of destiny
From the southern lakes to the northern shores that touch the sea
Open sky, above the valley beckons me
To sacred ground where the two rivers meet

Bestow the name that is written on our hearts

Call this land, call this land, call this land, voice of Manitou
Call this land, call this land, call this land, voice of Manitou,
voice of Manitou

Feel the earth tremble now beneath your feet
Great herd of bison run, a wonder to be seen
Like a raging wind they storm for days across the plain
Where sacred skulls of their sacrifice remain

Bestow the name that is written on our hearts

Call this land, call this land, call this land, voice of Manitou
Call this land, call this land, call this land, voice of Manitou,
voice of Manitou

Call this land, call this land, call this land,
voice of Manitou (Great Spirit)
Call this land, call this land, call this land,
voice of Manitou (Great Spirit)

Call this land, call this land, call this land,
voice of Manitou (Great Spirit)
Call this land, call this land, call this land,
voice of Manitou (Great Spirit)
Voice of Manitou (Great Spirit) voice of Manitou

Credits:
Music: Craig Ginn
Lyrics: Craig Ginn
Lead vocal: Craig Ginn
Background vocals: Craig Learmont, Sarah Christiansen,

Aron Ginn, Silas Ginn, Craig Ginn, Derek Pulliam
Keyboards/Programming: Doug Romanow
Electric guitar: Jonathan Lagore
Acoustic guitar: Jonathan Lagore
Bass guitar: Derek Pulliam
Drums: Phil Robertson
Producer: Craig Ginn
Co-producer: Doug Romanow
Recording engineer: Derek Pulliam at Dog in the Windows Records, Calgary
Mixing engineer: Douglas Romanow at dR Music, Toronto
Mastering engineer: Dave Horrocks at Infinite Wave, Calgary


 

In The Blood

Little child, follow what you hear
Listen to me now, I will whisper who you are
Above your trials, you will hear my voice
one day your words will rise to take my place  

You are born in the blood, you are born in the blood
You are born out of love, you are born out of love

Trust me now, take me by the hand
Lay down and know, your body on the land
Our grandmother’s life, feel her in your veins
You are a child of the valley and the plains

You are born in the blood, you are born in the blood
You are born out of love, you are born out of love

She owed a debt, she could not buy
offered herself, payment as a bride
Her life was spent, but it was never owned
She was loved more than silver or gold

I am born in the blood, I am born in the blood
I am born out of love, I am born out of love

I am born in the blood, I am born in the blood
I am born out of love, I am born out of love

Credits:
Music: Craig Ginn, Craig Learmont
Lyrics: Craig Ginn, Carla Ginn, Derek Pulliam
Lead vocal: Craig Ginn
Background vocals: Craig Ginn, Carla Ginn, Derek Pulliam
Keyboards: Craig Learmont
Electric guitar: Jonathan Lagore, Neil Gunhold
Acoustic guitar: Jonathan Lagore
Bass guitar: Chris Byrne
Drums: Kent Macrae
Producer: Craig Ginn
Co-producer: Derek Pulliam
Recording engineer: Derek Pulliamat Dog in the Windows Records, Calgary

and Steve Dierkens at StudioD, Calgary
Mixing engineer: Steve Dierkens at StudioD, Calgary
Mastering engineer: Dave Horrocks at Infinite Wave, Calgary

 

I Cannot Escape

I have been slandered as a traitor of her majesty,         
broke allegiance to the Sovereign of these lands
From the darkness of my cell, held back by your chains       
I came to see my destiny was never in your hands
my destiny was never in your hands

I have stood in the slave of saints’ cathedral
Divine affection, took possession over me
I could not suppress the joy, sadness I could not contain
I lost all fear of my enemies, I lost all fear of my enemies   

I could have run, bolted through this gate
To see the rising sun, live another day
I could have run, left behind a waiting grave
But the vision I have seen, I cannot escape

You see in me the seduction of evil
Condemn my faith, speak your curse against my name
Did I sell lands I did not own? Miscarry justice for the crown?
Was I the one who starved the children for my gain?
Was I the one who starved the children for my gain?

I could have run, bolted through this gate
To see the rising sun, live another day
I could have run, left behind a waiting grave
But the vision I have seen, I cannot escape

You overturned the petition of my jury
They called for mercy, a grace that you denied
I faced your anger, your hatred, in good conscience
My last confession now, let my soul be justified

I could have run, bolted through this gate
To see the rising sun, live another day
I could have run, left behind an empty grave           
But the vision I have seen, I cannot escape

I could have run, bolted through this gate
To see the rising sun, live another day
I could have run, left behind a waiting grave
But the vision I have seen, I cannot escape
The vision I have seen, I cannot escape

Credits:
Music: Craig Ginn
Lyrics: Craig Ginn, Derek Pulliam, Carla Ginn
Lead vocal: Craig Ginn
Background vocals: Craig Learmont, Kim Beal
Keyboards/Programming: Doug Romanow
Electric Guitars: Jonathan Lagore
Acoustic Guitar: Jonathan Lagore
Bass Guitar: Silas Ginn
Drums: Phil Robertson
Violin: Jarred Albright
Producer: Craig Ginn
Co-producer: Derek Pulliam, Doug Romanow
Recording engineer: Derek Pulliam at Dog in the Window Records, Calgary
Mixing engineer: Douglas Romanow at dR Music, Toronto
Mastering engineer: Dave Horrocks at Infinite Wave, Calgary

 

Riél’s Song

Ancestors taught me to sing, in the sweetest tones
their voices dwell in me, sacred in my bones
They speak above their pain, do not scorn the cross
Give their Jesus your praise, devotion in your song 

Huron carol, Huron carol, Huron carol

There is calm and there is wind, the manger and the tomb
Cast upon this hour, I see a distant home   
There is comfort with the saints, in the parchment of the psalms
Hold on to precious pearls, words that might live on

Huron carol, Huron carol, Huron carol

Garden of my breath, bloom as on that day
From this stage of truth, I will sing your name
Open the window for me, from there I will cast my gaze
My eyes unexpected of hope, fell upon your perfect face

Huron carol, Huron carol, Huron carol
In excelsis, in excelsis, Gloria

Credits:
Music: Craig Ginn
Lyrics: Craig Ginn
Lead vocal: Craig Ginn
Background vocals: Craig Ginn, Carla Ginn, Aron Ginn
Keyboards: Steve Dierkens
Electric guitar: Neil Gunhold
Classical guitar: Jonathan Lagore
Bass guitar: Chris Byrne
Drums: Kent Macrae
Producer: Craig Ginn
Co-producer: Derek Pulliam, Steve Dierkens
Recording engineers: Derek Pulliamat Dog in the Windows Records, Calgary

and Steve Dierkens at StudioD, Calgary
Mixing engineer: Steve Dierkens at StudioD, Calgary
Mastering engineer: Dave Horrocks at Infinite Wave, Calgary

Let Justice Roll

Hear the case of history plead for more time
To show the trophies of a venerated man outweigh his crime
They will not judge his past sin by the virtue of today
They promise truth and reconciliation in the same breath
that they sing his praise
 
He is dignified in monuments that divide this land
Schools and statues celebrate colonial man
You cannot buy, sell, or trade without the image of his face
He is above the law, Confederation pardons him from all disgrace  
 
Let justice roll like a mighty river
righteousness flow like a healing stream
Wear down the glory of foreign altars
part the waters for a people to be free
 
Every tribe every people every sacred ground
Every language every nation subject to his crown
Sons and daughters, they were exiled from their villages and homes
He cut their hair, burned their clothes, stripped their dignity
to turn their hearts from the pathways they had known 

Let justice roll like a mighty river
righteousness flow like a healing stream
Wear down the glory of foreign altars
part the waters for a people to be free
 
The weapon of their pen still survives their sword
When the legend of their conquest has the final word
But let the prophecy of treason see the writing on the wall
What has been weighed and found wanting in time

What has been weighed and found wanting in time
it will fall

Let justice roll like a mighty river
righteousness flow like a healing stream
Wear down the glory of foreign altars
part the waters for a people to be free

Let justice roll like a mighty river
righteousness flow like a healing stream
Wear down the glory of foreign altars
part the waters for a people to be free
part the waters for a people to be free
to be free, to be free

Credits:
Music: Craig Ginn
Lyrics: Craig Ginn, Carla Ginn, Sarah Christiansen
Background vocals: Sarah Christiansen, Rachael Ginn, Aron Ginn,

Carla Ginn, Silas Ginn, John Heals, Craig Learmont, Derek Pulliam
Keyboards: Roy Salmond
Electric guitar: Jonathan Lagore, Roy Salmond
Acoustic guitar: Jonathan Lagore, Roy Salmond
Bass guitar: Silas Ginn
Drums: Phil Robertson
Steel guitar: Tim Leacock
Violin: Scott Duncan
Producer: Craig Ginn
Co-producer: Roy Salmond, Derek Pulliam
Recording engineer: Roy Salmond at Whitewater Productions, Surrey

and Derek Pulliam at Dog in the Window Records, Calgary
Mixing engineer: Steve Dierkens at StudioD, Calgary
Mastering engineer: Dave Horrocks at Infinite Wave, Calgary


 

 

There for the Money

She came to your banquet hall, she paid her way
To sit among your black-tie crowd, who soak up your sunny ways
But I will tell you now, she had a much greater cause
She wasn’t there to shower you, shower you, shower you, with applause

She was there for justice, and she was not afraid
To call you out to make good on the promises you made
To help the people of the Narrows where the water’s bringing death
how dare she break you out of character while you entertain your guests

You were there for the money, you were there for the money
This is your stage no one gets in your way,
you were there for the money       

Your 2015 feminism was on full display
You silenced her cries, had her dragged her away

You mocked her, said her money was just another donation
While you drank up the attention of a standing ovation

It was in your court, a moment of truth
Lady justice or your jester, the choice is up to you
There is a time to conceal and a time to expose
In the presence of virtue, vanity has no clothes

She was there for justice, she was there for justice     

But you were there you for the money
You were there for the money
You were there for the money
You were there for the money
This is your stage, no one gets in your way
You were there for the money
You were there for the money
You were there for the money

Credits:
Music: Craig Ginn
Lyrics: Craig Ginn
Background vocals: Yvonne Cavanaugh, Aron Ginn, Carla Ginn, Silas Ginn,
Naomi Pulliam, Derek Pulliam
Keyboards: Craig Learmont, Steve Dierkens
Organ: Mike Little
Electric guitar: Neil Gunhold, Jonathan Lagore
Bass guitar: Chris Byrne
Drums: Kent Macrae
Producer: Craig Ginn
Co-producer: Steve Dierkens, Doug Romanow
Recording engineer: Derek Pulliam at Dog in the Window Records, Calgary
and Steve Dierkens at StudioD, Calgary
Mixing engineer: Steve Dierkens at StudioD, Calgary
Mastering engineer: Dave Horrocks at Infinite Wave, Calgary

 

 

Hercules

Hercules has landed on the runway
Bringing rockets to shoot in the northern sky
Invade the glory of Aurora Borealis
Like those before you, set two worlds on course
two worlds on course to collide

They built walls for their prince to guard the waters they sail with cannons
iron rails on the ground claimed dominion from sea to sea
Once a conquest for land now a war for space in the heavens
From the sky you can see all the lands you call manifest destiny

Who will answer? Who will answer? Who is to answer?

Government planes flew above the tree line
Cargo of souls, young and old, destined to a barren land
They were convicted by supermarket laws of conservation
They were hunting for survival of their village
A way of life, a way of life, you did not care to understand

Smoke was rising from their camp, a place of dying
You could look at the stars, blind to human suffering and pain
But the arctic winds of winter have no mercy
To keep their children warm they burned the very doorposts
of their homes, in vain

Who will answer? Who will answer? Who is to answer? Who is to answer?
Who will answer? Who will answer? Who is to answer?
Hercules has landed on the runway
Bringing rockets to shoot, in the northern , northern, sky

Credits:
Music: Craig Ginn
Lyrics: Craig Ginn
Keyboards: Douglas Romanow, Craig Learmont
Organ: Douglas Romanow
Electric guitar: Neil Gunhold, Jonathan Lagore
Acoustic guitar: Jonathan Lagore
Bass guitar: Chris Byrne
Drums: Kent Macrae
Trumpet: Craig Ginn
Producer: Craig Ginn
Co-producer: Steve Dierkens, Derek Pulliam
Recording engineer: Derek Pulliam at Dog in the Window Records, Calgary
and Steve Dierkens at StudioD, Calgary
Mixing engineer: Douglas Romanow at dR Music, Toronto
Mastering engineer: Dave Horrocks at Infinite Wave, Calgary


 

 

Voice of Tradition

Listen to the voices, let them speak
knowledge long entrusted to their keep
Elders tell our stories, we will hear
on our journey, we will keep your wisdom near
 
Voice of tradition, we will silence you no more
Voice of tradition, we will silence you no more
Let the honour of your pathways be restored
Voice of tradition, we will silence you no more
 
Listen to the voices, let them sing
call our spirits we will join the sacred ring
around the drum above see eagles in the sky
Carry our song to Creator, let it rise

Voice of tradition, we will silence you no more
Voice of tradition, we will silence you no more
Let the honour of your pathways be restored
Voice of tradition, we will silence you no more
 
Listen to the voices, let them pray
I will humble myself before this flame
Let the smoke renew my spirit lift my eyes
Behold the goodness of the earth and the mystery of the skies
The goodness of the earth and the mystery of the skies
 
Voice of tradition, we will silence you no more
Voice of tradition, we will silence you no more
Let the honour of your pathways be restored
Voice of tradition, we will silence you no more
Voice of tradition, we will silence you no more

Credits:
Music: Craig Ginn
Lyrics: Craig Ginn, Michael Hart
Background vocals: Kim Beal, Craig Learmont, Sarah Christiansen
Keyboards and Programming: Douglas Romanow
Acoustic guitar: Jonathan Lagore
Bass guitar: Jonathan Lagore
Drums: Kent Macrae
Percussion: Craig Bignell
Violin: Jarred Albright
Mandolin: Jarred Albright
Cello: Andrea Case
Producer: Craig Ginn
Co-producer: Douglas Romanow, Derek Pulliam
Recording engineer: Derek Pulliam at Dog in the Window Records, Calgary
Mixing engineer: Steve Dierkens at StudioD, Calgary
Mastering engineer: Dave Horrocks at Infinite Wave, Calgary


 

 

Walk With Me

You can see them on the backroads and highways
Pilgrims coming here, coming here
Half ton caravans, and horseback, some walk many miles
To mark another year, another year

Overnight they’ll make a village, families and friends
kinship strong, kinship strong
grandmother’s love, sacred melody
They’ve come to learn her song, learn her song

Some carry scars that will not go away

Walk with me to this lake there is healing here,
Journey of mercy and hope
Walk with me to this lake it will hold your tears,
The water is a mirror for the soul  
The water is a mirror for the soul  

Ceremony of the pipe, stations of the cross
Offering of peace, offering of peace
Hear the Ancestors’ tongues, a day of Pentecost
Elder and priest, elder and priest

Creator, Spirit, Christ; Creator, Spirit, Christ
 
Walk with me to this lake there is healing here,
Journey of mercy and hope
Walk with me to this lake it will hold your tears,
The water is a mirror for the soul
The water is a mirror for the soul  

Walk with me to this lake there is healing here,
Journey of mercy and hope
Walk with me to this la
ke it will hold your tears,
The water is a mirror for the soul  
The water is a mirror for the soul  

Walk with me to this lake, there’s healing here.

Credits:
Music: Craig Ginn
Lyrics: Craig Ginn, Carla Ginn, Derek Pulliam
Background vocals: Aron Ginn, Carla Ginn
Keyboards: Craig Learmont
Electric guitar: Jonathan Lagore, Neil Gunhold
Bass guitar: Chris Byrne
Drums: Kent Macrae
Producer: Craig Ginn
Co-producer: Derek Pulliam
Recording engineer: Derek Pulliam at Dog in the Window Records, Calgary

and Steve Dierkens at StudioD, Calgary
Mixing engineer: Douglas Romanow at dR Music, Toronto
Mastering engineer: Dave Horrocks at Infinite Wave, Calgary


 

 

©2021 All songs written by Craig Ginn

 





 

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Acknowledgements

I have received a tremendous amount of support at the University of Calgary. In the Faculty of Arts Dean’s Office I would like to acknowledge Richard Sigurdson, George Colpitts, Pascale Sicotte, and Virginia Tumasz. In the Office of Indigenous Engagement I would like to thank Shawna Cunningham and Michael Hart. I am thankful to my home department Classics and Religion for administrative support.  Special thanks to Marica Cassis and Michael Hart, without your extraordinary level of encouragement I would have not pursued this project. Project costs were subsidized by allocating research funding through the Department of Classics and Religion and funding provided by the Faculty of Arts, including an Energizing the Arts Grant.

In the creative process, each of the songs on this album went through various stages of production.  This was a team effort, and I am in debt to the engineer-producers who contributed ideas along the way.  I want to thank Roy Salmond for helping me rediscover the studio; Doug Romanow for adding your magic and taking “fix it in the mix” to a new level; Steve Dierkens for being patient, remarkably generous, a first-string bed track quarterback, and seeing the potential of the message for lyric videos; Derek Pulliam, for providing the hub studio, enduring my penchant for experimenting, your relational approach, lyrical insights, and sharing your toys with Connor.

Many others deserve recognition: Randy Schroeder, Scott Bartlett, Famira Racy, Naomi Pulliam, Sean Carleton, Phil Robertson, Craig Learmont, Kent McCrae, Chris Byrne, Neil Gunhold, Jonathan Lagore, Kim Beale, Dave McCann, Dave Horrocks, Kalum Teke Dan, and Doreen Bergum.

I am grateful to my family.  Sarah for background vocals and helping edit lyrics; Aron for background vocals; Silas for recording bass tracks and background vocals; Rachael for background vocals; Carla for helping write lyrics, providing feedback during song writing, mapping out arrangements, and background vocals.


Land acknowledgement

I would like to acknowledge that these songs were recorded on the traditional territories of the people of the Treaty 7 region, also home to Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3. Additional production and mixing were completed on the traditional lands of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and the Mississaugas of the Credit River. Further recording and CD manufacturing were completed on the shared, unceded traditional territory of the Katzie, Semiahmoo, Kwantlen and other Coast Salish Peoples. I have written songs derived from select historical narratives and would like to acknowledge the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation, the Sayisi Dene First Nation, the Grassy Narrows First Nation, the traditional territories of Treaty 1, and the Métis homeland of the Red River.

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