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Columbus to Vancouver
(Polly Edwards)

This took a long time to write. It barely touches on the onslaught of thoughts I’ve been struggling with about patriotism, peace, justice and native rights lately, especially concerning the controversy over the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. In the interest of being clear, these are my (Polly’s) thoughts, and may not accurately represent Heather’s views on the issue.

Polly
Clever Girls Music

Also, a few words and notes in the first verse are a nod to a song called "Spring" that was on a cassette tape I had of songs written for some games in the Yukon in the 1990's. I've lost the tape, so I can't tell you the author! I'll let you know when I find it...

From the south, the snowbirds come
Winging slickly across the earth
Against the backdrop of money and sun
They’ve forgotten what winter’s worth

Flying into BC, it looks so neat and clean
Under five sparkling rings in the sky
‘Cause the ugly and homeless have been shut away
It’s illegal to be alive

And the maple leaf flies high
But the cheering chokes me and I shut my eyes
‘Cause I’m not sure anymore what I’m standing on guard for
But I used to be so proud
Oh, I used to shout it out loud
Yes, I used to be so proud of my home

And the Native dancers strut their stuff
VANOC says great, thanks, but now that’s enough
You got your attention, back to the reserve
We’ll call you the next time we need you to serve

Well, there is a true north, and it’s strong but not free
It won’t be ‘til there’s Inuit equality
Restorative justice should not be a fight
But it’s unpatriotic to call for what’s right

Tell me how much should a maple leaf mean
To a Pond Inlet boy who’s never seen a tree
And does that make him less Canadian than me?
Well, we used all the land as our own
Hope you don’t mind, it’s on permanent loan
‘Cause we built up our cities and now it’s our home

This maple leaf is supposedly mine
I ought to wear it and shine
But I can’t help wondering if there’s better uses for my time
Like trying to raise my too quiet voice
On behalf of those who weren’t given a choice
Who got handed a red and white flag and told to rejoice

Yes, the maple leaf flies high
But history chokes me since I opened my eyes
And I’m not sure anymore what I’m standing on guard for
The maple sugar coat burns my tongue
The anthem tastes bitter like smoke from a gun
And I wonder will peace in my country ever come?

Oh, I used to be so proud
I used to shout it out loud
And it’s confusing
Because I still want to be proud of my home

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