Lyrics and Notes


Lyrics

Table of Contents

Ode to Gerry Barber
The Circus Parade
Dans un mille carré
Murray Street Christmas
The Great Fire (of 1870)
Heron Road Bridge Song
Livin' in a Roomin' House
Three Years on the Rideau Canal
Ottawa Lament
The Christmas Train
Mansplainer



Ode to Gerry Barber

There once was a bar they called the Chaudière
With the best other bands and the big quart beers
And the bouncer at the door was a giant of a man
With a grin on his face and a bat in his hand

Hey there Gerry Barber won't you let me in
I’ve been drinking here since I was a sixteen
I’m here tonight with my new girlfriend
So come on Gerry Barber please let us in

I hear there was a biker who wouldn’t shut his trap
And he broke a whisky bottle onta Gerry’s back
Gerry he just chuckled and then he let outta roar
“Shut the heck up buddy” and he threw him out the door

Hey there Gerry Barber won't you let me in
I’ve been drinking here since I was a sixteen
I’m here tonight with my new girlfriend
So come on Gerry Barber please let us in

Well I hear that the Choice rumbled up one night
There were 20 angry bikers spoiling for a fight
They cornered Gerry, got his back to the wall
But Gerry he just smiled and he ran at ‘em all
Fists started flying, someone crashed through a door
Gerry swung a broom like it was a claymore
He took a swing at the leader and knocked him down cold
Then he kicked their biker asses back down the Aylmer Road!

So I was feelin’ nervous with my fake
Stumbling up the stairs trying to look 18
But Gerry he just nodded and he turned to me and said
“get your ass in there punk or you’ll miss the second set”

Hey there Gerry Barber won't you let me in
I’ve been drinking here since I was a sixteen
I’m here tonight with my new girlfriend
So come on Gerry Barber please let us in

Hey there Gerry Barber won't you let me in
I’ve been drinking here since I was a sixteen
I’m here tonight with my new girlfriend
So thank you Mister Barber for lettin’ us in
And we’ll never see the likes of you again


The Circus Parade

Standing on the corner
Of Bank Street and Queen
Waiting for the circus parade

Holding my mother's hand
Straining to hear the band
Waiting for the circus parade

Well it was Barnum and Bailey
With their bigtop menagerie
So I’m waiting for the circus parade

100 floats long
Each with its own song
I’m waiting for the circus parade

Off in the distance
What's that I hear
The sound of the calliope drawing near!

First came the General
The General Tom Thumb
Waving his hands
At all who had come
A marching band followed
They were banging out four
And you know and I know that there's gonna be more...

There were side saddle experts
Lady Cavaliers
Chariot riders
All carrying spears
There were lions on Lyon Street
Hyenas and bears
So come down to Lansdowne
See the gladiators

Last came the Elephants
12 in a row
Trunk holding tail
Till the mighty Jumbo
As BIG as the buildings
Tall as the trapeze
And the king of the jungle
At Bank Street and Queen

Now it's all passed us by
In the blink of an eye
No more waiting for the circus parade
My mother and me

We got nothing to see
No more waiting for the circus parade
Well it went by so fast
How I wish it would last
last my whole life long
I'll be right here
the same time next year
anticipating
You know I'll be waiting
Waiting for the circus parade


Dans un mille carré

Son père il avait
Le dépanneur du coin

Chaque jour après l'école
Il faisait des livraisons

Il est né ( Il est né)
Dans un mille carré (Dans un mille carré)
Dans la ville d'Eastview
Qui maintenant s’appelle Vanier

Jamais loin (jamais loin)
De son p'tit coin (De son p'tit coin)
Et il le porte avec lui
Chaque jour de sa vie

A l'église Note Dame
Il était baptisé

Quand ils l'ont mis dans l'eau
il a ben crié …

Je suis né ( Je suis né)
Dans un mille carré (Dans un mille carré)
Dans la ville d'Eastview
Qui maintenant s’appelle Vanier

Jamais loin (jamais loin)
De mon p'tit coin (De mon p'tit coin)
Et je le porte avec moé
Chaque jour de ma vie

Tam tam, Didleelee tam tam
Didleelee tam tam tam

On a survécu
contre vents et marées
Sous le chemin Montréal
nos histoires sont cachées

L'Ordre de Jacque Cartier
La Patente c'est notre secret
La bataille pour Montfort
Oui, ensemble on est fort

Parce que…
On est né (On est né)
Dans un mile carre (Dans un mile carré)
Dans la ville d'Eastview
Qui maintenant s’appelle Vanier
Jamais loin (jamais loin)
De notre p'tit coin (De notre p'tit coin)
Et on le porte avec nous,
Chaque jours de nos vies

Tam tam, Didleelee tam tam
Didleelee tam tam tam


Murray Street Christmas

When I was a child, on Christmas day
I dreamed that Jesus’d come take me away
Far from this family, who never cared for me
We’d leave in the night

And go walking down Murray Street on Christmas Eve
This alley’s a manger where a baby might sleep
We’d see the Shepherds, angels would appear
Singing in voices so clear….

Ha, ha la la la

In school I was angry and I could not sit still
So they loaded my body with little blue pills
They took the pain away but at the end of day
I was hungry for more

So I went down to Murray Street on Christmas Eve
To find what I needed in this dirty alley
I saw the Shepherds but there’s no angels there
And Jesus has yet to appear

Ha, ha la la la

Now I’m living out on the street
Panning for food to eat
Living my life fix to fix
High on fentanyl
I heard the angels call
Distant voices grow clear

Now I’m flying down Murray Street on Christmas Eve
This alley’s my manger where I’ll OD
I see the Shepherds but there’s no angels here
And Jesus has yet to appear

Ha, ha la la la


The Great Fire (of 1870)

I was playing in the gully, with my little sister Mary
When we heard church bells ringin’ on the summer breeze
Then my daddy came a runnin’, he said, “son there s a big fire comin’”
Then he put his hands on my shoulders ‘n said to me…

Ya take yourselves, down to the river
And in its water you hide
and I pray it will deliver you
from the Great Fire

So take your sister to the landing, let there be an understanding
No time for explanations or goodbyes
I'm goin back to the house now, I'll get some food and I'll grab the old sow
And as he turned to run, he said one last time…

Ya take yourselves, down to the river
And in its water you hide, and I pray it will deliver you
From the Great Fire

I heard it was, 10 miles wide
Was nothing gonna stop it?
Winds blow high
Could no one could outrun it?
With my father's words ringing in my ears
As we ran down to the river with the fire on our heels

The Great Fire took my father,
he never made it to the water
I still seem him running through the haze
And every Sunday morning,
near the place where he was born
We kneel down in the burnt lands,
and hear him say….

Ya take yourselves, down to the river
And in its water you hide, and I pray it will deliver you
From the Great Fire

Ya take yourselves, down to the river
And in its water you hide, and I pray it will deliver you
From the Great Fire


Heron Road Bridge Song

I was just a young man
in 1966
When I quit my job pumping gas
To work on a the Heron Road bridge

All that summer I worked so hard
Giving all I could give
Working on the Heron Road Bridge

Hauling rebar and pouring concrete
Sweating through the summer of an Ottawa heat
Working for the whistle when the day was done
When no one knew what was to come

All that summer I worked so hard
Giving all I could give
Working on the Heron Road Bridge

Then one cloudy day in August
Well that bridge began to shake
And it all fell down with a jet plane sound
People thought it was an earthquake
Seventy men fell five stories
With no time to scream their pain
Me I was buried up to my neck
And swimming in a cement rain
Many men fought to set me free
As the ground dried round my head
When they finally cut me out
I felt like I had risen from the dead

All that summer we worked so hard
And we gave all we could give
But I never thought we’d give our lives
Working on the Heron Road Bridge
Working on the Heron Road Bridge

Well nine men died on that day
Working on the Heron Road Bridge
And sometimes it feels like I never got away
From working on that damn bridge

Now I've been a lot of places in the world
And sometimes I've lived on the edge
But when I go driving in my car
I won't drive on the Heron Road Bridge


Livin’ in a Roomin' House

I’m livin’ in a place down on Cooper Street
In a room that measures 6 by 9 feet
That’s smaller than a cell in the regional jail
But not many places takes you out on bail
It’s better than a bunk at the Sally Ann
And it sure beats sleeping in a garbage bin

I’m livin’ in a rooming house

The rent’s way more than I can afford
But at least I know I'm helping out my landlord
With the payments on his black limousine
While we live here like a bunch of sardines
He come around when cheque day is near
But otherwise he don’t come round here

I’m livin’ in a rooming house
At the end of month when the money’s all spent
I go out on the street and I pan a bit
The food bank says they ain’t got food
Tell me, what’s a poor fella like me to do?

Yesterday I came home and they’d changed the locks
All my stuff was on the curb in a cardboard box
Yeah fellas like me, we don’t put up a fight
So I'm out here on the street for a long cold night
Sleeping on the sidewalk in a deep freeze
But you know I’d much rather be….

Livin’ in a rooming house
Livin’ in a rooming house


Three Years on the Rideau Canal

I set sail for Canada in 1826
I left my Bonnie Scottish homeland
And crossed the Atlantic
From Quebec to Ontario
Then up the Outaouais I go
To survey for Colonel John By
And build the Rideau Canal

Yeah we set out with a native guide
A party of ten men
We were English, Irish, French and Scot
And American

Well we climbed our way from Entrance Bay
Crawling through mud and clay
And we fought every inch of the way
To build the Rideau Canal

Another mile another mile
With 125 to go
Another mile another mile
Till we see to lake Ontario

For days we struggled onwards
Through endless cold dark swamps
Through mosquito plains and driving rains
We worked until we dropped

At night we huddled back to back
Our hair frozen in our tracks
The next day we reached the Hogs Back
And onward we did go

Another mile another mile
With 125 to go
Another mile another mile
Till we see to lake Ontario

Well a 1000 men would die here
Yeah, a 1000 men would fall
And their bodies lie in abandoned graves
All along the canal
All along the canal

So when you're passing by us know
The tears and toil that lie below
Remember those that went before
To build the Rideau Canal

Another mile another mile
With 125 to go
Another mile another mile
Till we see to lake Ontario

Another mile another mile
With 125 to go
Another mile another mile
Till we see to lake Ontario


Ottawa Lament

I heard a woman on the radio
She was sayin’ Ottawa was like a real gong show
But ya know, she ain’t talkin’ but my town

Yeah, she’s talkin’ ‘bout the government
I wish she’d come out and say
Just what she meant
‘Cause she’s makin’
Guilt my association……

Cause we got…
Dows Lake, Mud Lake,
Mississippi, Kitchissippi, Mer bleu
We got China Town, Bytowne, Hogs Back rapids too

W got a canal - where you can skate
A greenhouse – where you can meditate
Rideau River will deliver
Mooney's Bay along the way

And we got…
Slo Tom, Lucky Ron, gotta get to Babylon real soon
We got the Mayfair, Market square, and
clean green air too

We got Beechwood cemetery
A great place to lie
Westboro beach - with its endless sky
Prescott, Rideau locks,
boat rising in the box

And we got…
An ex-perimental farm,
with a big, red cow barn
Chateau Lafayette, you ain’t seen nothing yet my friends
Du cote Franco y’en a beaucoup
Comme la Grotte Notre-Dame-de-Loudres
Arboreteum, Tree museum, Astolabe and Aberdeen too

Boushy's, Nates Deli Zaphod Beeblebox
These are places that won’t be forgot
Like I try to remember and understand
The whole thing’s built on native land


The Christmas Train

I remember that Christmas Day
When the first train to Bytown
came rolling this way
On a dark, cold winter’s morn
In the year 1854

Carry me back to McTaggart Station
Let me hear that whistle again
Put me up on my father's shoulders
I will never forget that Christmas train

Well my father woke me that morning
And we walked hand in hand
through the fresh fallen snow
Then he lifted me up on his back
For the first clickety-clack

Carry me back to McTaggart Station
Let me hear that whistle again
Put me up on my father's shoulders
I will never forget that Christmas train

Well the train came ‘round the bend moving fast
And we waved at the engineer and he tipped his cap
Bright lights, spinning wheels and a bell
A real iron horse carousel

Carry me back to McTaggart Station
Let me hear that whistle again
Put me up on my father's shoulders
I will never forget that Christmas train

Well I will never forget, that Christmas train


Mansplainer

He speak loud with authority
Explainin’ the world to you and me
No chance to speak or interrupt
‘Cause once he get goin’ well he don’t shut up

Well don't let the facts get in the way,
‘cause when you're man ya gotta lot to say

He's a mansplainer
You hear him on radio
He's a mansplainer
From Ottawa to Tokyo
He's a mansplainer
Everywhere that we go
there's a mansplainer
So full of himself that it's spilling outta his mouth, yeah

There's no room for conversation
It’s a one-way rant with no cessation
He's a yappy little dog in a man disguise
And you won't get a word in edgewise

But don't let the facts get in the way,
Cause when you're man ya gotta lot to explain

He's a mansplainer
You see him on your evening news
He's a mansplainer
From Washington to Timbuktu
He's a mansplainer
Tellin’ you what to think and do
He’s a mansplainer
So full of himself that its spilling out his mouth

Wind bag, gasbag, blow hard, fool
He’s a big man so he just gotta spew
All of his wisdom and opinion
Don’t ever take the time to listen

He's a mansplainer
You hear him on radio
He's a mansplainer
From Ottawa to Tokyo
He's a mansplainer
Every where that we go
There's a mansplainer
So full of himself that it's spilling outta his mouth

A mansplainer
He’s a mansplainer
He’s a mansplainer
Yeah, he’s gonna set you right
There's a mansplainer
Up on the stage tonight