1​,​000 Red Dresses (Live, March 2017)

by Red Heaven

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I love this country and I love being Canadian. And today I want the fireworks to fly, the music to blare, and the barbecues to fire up. Celebrate, celebrate, celebrate! We're one of the most respected countries in the world and, according to some polls, the most respected.

We're also a diverse family with unresolved problems and a lot of hard work to do. The Indigenous people of Canada were displaced and subjugated through violence and deceit, and that is how Canada transformed from their homeland into their prison and crucible. To celebrate Canada demands a recognition of the many miles left in our journey to create a united and peaceful nation... and the enormity of suffering that takes place until we make that journey.

In Canada, suicide rates among Native youth between 15 and 24 is six times higher than that of non-Native youth.

Canada's last residential school closed in 1996... just one year before my daughter was born.

Native women are five times as likely to be murdered or go missing than non-Native women.

I'm sharing a song I wrote called "1,000 Red Dresses" today because I believe the only way to mark this historic Canada Day is to be grateful for the good and to open our eyes to the remaining, persistent challenges of helping this country reach its potential greatness.

Photo (c) 2011 Jaime Black

lyrics

Grandmother told her
In the long grey winter
Everything sleeps
Under the cold

And that’s when the warmth
Of a dying summer
Fades from the earth
And the hearts grow old

And the wheel keeps turning
And the wheel keeps turning
Hey hey
Hey hey

And all the treasures
Of an old, strong nation
Are lost in a blizzard
Lost in the snow

Then we search the land
For all our wives and daughters
Calling out their names
Calling them home

And the wheel keeps turning
And the wheel keeps turning
Hey hey
Hey hey

And the wheel keeps turning
And the wheel keeps turning

My love
I only see your shadow
My love
I only hear your echo

I’ll wait for you in the winter here
Calling out “Come home, come home, come home”

Grandmother told her
Nothing lasts forever
Creator brings the sun
To every child of man

There in the daylight
We will be brought together
Warmed in the springtime
Healed by the great hand

And the wheel keeps turning
And the wheel keeps turning
Hey hey
Hey hey

And the wheel keeps turning
And the wheel keeps turning
Hey hey
Hey hey

Hey hey
Hey hey

credits

released July 1, 2017
Joel Tamas

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Red Heaven Mississippi Mills, Ontario

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