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#718945 06/03/22 08:44 AM
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My son`s G8 class watched Gord Downie`s Secret Path video a couple of years ago and he shared the link with me. I was moved as much by the fine animation as the music and went back to it for the writing of this song about a boy who runs away from a Canadian Residential School.
The true stories behind such places are often more gut wrenching than my tale of someone getting away; my wishful thinking a way to deal with the awful news that`s still coming out about these places.

Leaving St. Seraphina`s

Style is _SEED.STY (Seed Finger Picking Baritone)

RealTracks in style: 3121:Bass, Acoustic, PopHalfNotesPush Ev 085
RealTracks in style: 3715:Guitar, Baritone Acoustic, Fingerpicking AmericanaRootsy Ev16 085
RealTracks in song: 3771:Tin Whistle, Low, Background Folky16thsGeoff Ev
3656 Gtr acoustic


Leaving St. Seraphina`s

today I ate pine bark and fiddleheads
got a full belly of fight
Brother Remnant Sister Makepeace
did you miss me turning out the lights
I`m five miles down the northern pike

lay me down in trembling alder
my finger boat crosses the moon
grandmother grey I found your bear star
lost my language in a locked room
scrubbed with lye lies and brooms

I`m leaving St Seraphina`s
took my name you can`t keep me
from a house over Malaspina
scars never show on the sea
no scars on the sea

tracks I dawdle down scared of wild eyes
travel nights like the spirit fox
Brother Remnant Sister Makepeace
I am like this black beetle in a box
your sermons sound like rattling rocks

I`m leaving St Seraphina`s
took my name you can`t keep me
from a house over Malaspina
scars never show on the sea
no scars on the sea

leaving St Seraphina`s
barefoot again kick off your hard boots
I`m the grass on the winter prairie
only died down to my roots
only died to my roots

© Robert Cordrey July 2021

here`s a link to one of the songs from Gord Downie`s video album:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=za2VzjkwtFc

Comments are welcome; thanks for listening.

Robert

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Robert,

Much passion in the write.
Much passion in the vocal.

Good choice of RTs - a perfect BAND for the telling.
Good mix.

Well done.

"your sermons sound like rattling rocks"
Nice!!

fj

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Fantastic work Robert! What a lyricist you are! You really painted a picture with your words in this one! The light gentle background is perfect for subject matter! Love that tin whistle! Enjoyed it! Thanks, T




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Robert,
"scars never show on the sea
no scars on the sea"

Wow, so cool. Your poetry is your sword. Sad and beautiful tune. Thank you for sharing.
Misha.

P.S. I've read horror stories of forceful relocation of children from Ukraine to russia. I can't even try to imagine what these poor kids go through.

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Such a good write about such a tragic situation, Robert. Your lyrics are really really good always, and these are full of passion AND compassion. Right about the time Chanie Wenjack was leaving his imprisonment I was probably watching the first Star Trek series. One of the best things about it for me was the Federations rule of non-interference. It can a sense that in the future we might finally get it. Don't get me started on what happened to the indigenous humans in this country.

Ok. Back to the song. Great choice of minimal instrumentation. The tin whistle seemed so appropriate, and a baritone guitar can illustrate sadness like no other. I love that "no scars on the sea" line.


Enjoy whatever happens!
marty

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@babumusic51
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Robert, what a fantastic song

You have the perfect band for this song

Outstanding poetic lyrics and a super vocal

Great mix

Lots of emotion in this one

Two thumbs up


Me, it's not about how many times you fail, it's about how many times you get back up.
Cop, that's not how field sobriety tests work.

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Originally Posted By: floyd jane
Robert,

Much passion in the write.
Much passion in the vocal.

Good choice of RTs - a perfect BAND for the telling.
Good mix.

Well done.

"your sermons sound like rattling rocks"
Nice!!

fj


Thank you for those positive comments, Floyd.

Originally Posted By: Torrey Bliss
Fantastic work Robert! What a lyricist you are! You really painted a picture with your words in this one! The light gentle background is perfect for subject matter! Love that tin whistle! Enjoyed it! Thanks, T


Torrey,
I`ve wanted to use the tin whistle tracks since they appeared; I`m glad you liked the use here.
Thanks for your listen and likes.



Originally Posted By: Rustyspoon#
Robert,
"scars never show on the sea
no scars on the sea"

Wow, so cool. Your poetry is your sword. Sad and beautiful tune. Thank you for sharing.
Misha.

P.S. I've read horror stories of forceful relocation of children from Ukraine to russia. I can't even try to imagine what these poor kids go through.


Misha,
Thank you for listening and commenting.
As remarkable as the true stories from survivors of the Residential Schools are, the willingness to forgive I`ve often heard really amazes me.




Originally Posted By: BabuMusic
Such a good write about such a tragic situation, Robert. Your lyrics are really really good always, and these are full of passion AND compassion. Right about the time Chanie Wenjack was leaving his imprisonment I was probably watching the first Star Trek series. One of the best things about it for me was the Federations rule of non-interference. It can a sense that in the future we might finally get it. Don't get me started on what happened to the indigenous humans in this country.

Ok. Back to the song. Great choice of minimal instrumentation. The tin whistle seemed so appropriate, and a baritone guitar can illustrate sadness like no other. I love that "no scars on the sea" line.


Marty,
I like your reference to the Star Trek directive...sobering to think that while we were agreeing with it in our youth, those schools were doing the opposite (last one here closed in 1996).
Your comments are appreciated!

Robert

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Fine poetry creates strong imagery. The folky instrumentation is perfectly simple for this type of song, the tin whistle highlights the mood of the escape. Nice to hear your voice again.

Janne


Hear My Music:

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Welcome back. Your lyrics, as always, are brilliant.

The melody fits the mood and content of the lyrics. Good work there.

I also like choice of sparse instrumentation.

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Excellent songwriting Robert. You are creating a very strong atmosphere in this song.

Rob


We are Rob Meulman and Anne-Marie Bovenkamp from The Netherlands.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1gsdNLE7_Gy8qavoOplQow/videos
http://rnam.net/


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Robert

Sad and delicate. Nicely chosen band and an excellent vocal showing of your wonderful lyric.

Excellent work.

Peter

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Hi Robert,

First of all, great to see you back, you have been missed!

Wonderful, descriptive writing as per usual, and a strong, passionate vocal.

"I am like this black beetle in a box
your sermons sound like rattling rocks"

One of my favorites of many.

The tin whistle really works well here, perfect choice I think.

And man, the story itself! Hard to believe such a terrible thing could happen, especially when it wasn't that long ago.

Really well done!

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Hello Robert,

You have so cleverly described this terrible true story in these sensitive lyrics.
And the instruments you used for the song were just well chosen. That flute with its (occasionally) -close to false- tones, did very well.
It cut's throught the hearth so to say.
And of course your singing was top. I'm glad you're back!

Hans


Hans Berkhout
(Birchwood)
https://soundcloud.com/user-296497130
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Originally Posted By: MarioD
Robert, what a fantastic song

You have the perfect band for this song

Outstanding poetic lyrics and a super vocal

Great mix

Lots of emotion in this one

Two thumbs up


Thank you, Mario!

Originally Posted By: jannesan
Fine poetry creates strong imagery. The folky instrumentation is perfectly simple for this type of song, the tin whistle highlights the mood of the escape. Nice to hear your voice again.

Janne


I appreciate those positive comments- thanks Janne!

Originally Posted By: Ezekiel's Storm
Welcome back. Your lyrics, as always, are brilliant.

The melody fits the mood and content of the lyrics. Good work there.

I also like choice of sparse instrumentation.



Thank you for listening and commenting.


Originally Posted By: RnAM
Excellent songwriting Robert. You are creating a very strong atmosphere in this song.

Rob


Rob,
I`m glad you liked this- thank you!


Originally Posted By: PeterF
Robert

Sad and delicate. Nicely chosen band and an excellent vocal showing of your wonderful lyric.

Excellent work.

Peter


Peter,
You guys know to expect alot of sad songs from me- thank you for listening and commenting!

Originally Posted By: BlueAttitude
Hi Robert,

First of all, great to see you back, you have been missed!

Wonderful, descriptive writing as per usual, and a strong, passionate vocal.

"I am like this black beetle in a box
your sermons sound like rattling rocks"

One of my favorites of many.

The tin whistle really works well here, perfect choice I think.

And man, the story itself! Hard to believe such a terrible thing could happen, especially when it wasn't that long ago.

Really well done!


Dave,
I spent many years in Canada oblivious to the more shameful sides of the history of my adopted country; "Oh Canada" doesn`t sound quite the same now.
I really appreciate your warm welcome and thoughtful comments on this- thank you!

Robert

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Hi, Robert !

What a marvelous tune so delicately
interpreted ! Loved the mystic
ambience I felt when listening to it !

Cheers
Dani

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Well done Robert. We had a residential school in my home town. Some of the kids in the school were allocated to the elementary schools during day. As kids we played together and were totally oblivious to why they were staying at the school and what its purpose was.

The school was active from 1895 to 1972. It sat empty for years and was eventually demolished in 2000. Sad to say it has a graveyard a well.

Touching lyric and incredible vocal. Backtrack and production was perfect.


Scott Collingwood
https://soundcloud.com/scottt709
https://soundcloud.com/spiritlevel-ca
https://www.youtube.com/@SpiritLevel-ge3hm/
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Originally Posted By: Birchwood
Hello Robert,

You have so cleverly described this terrible true story in these sensitive lyrics.
And the instruments you used for the song were just well chosen. That flute with its (occasionally) -close to false- tones, did very well.
It cut's throught the hearth so to say.
And of course your singing was top. I'm glad you're back!

Hans


Thank you Hans!

Originally Posted By: dani48
Hi, Robert !

What a marvelous tune so delicately
interpreted ! Loved the mystic
ambience I felt when listening to it !

Cheers
Dani


Dani,
I appreciate your listen and comments.

Originally Posted By: Scott C
Well done Robert. We had a residential school in my home town. Some of the kids in the school were allocated to the elementary schools during day. As kids we played together and were totally oblivious to why they were staying at the school and what its purpose was.

The school was active from 1895 to 1972. It sat empty for years and was eventually demolished in 2000. Sad to say it has a graveyard a well.

Touching lyric and incredible vocal. Backtrack and production was perfect.


Scott,
Thank you for that; I didn`t grow up in Canada and as a middle class white immigrant I did think twice about my qualifications writing this. In the end it just came in a rush of emotion after watching The Secret Path.
I was careful not to use the name of an actual school, though Malaspina is the site of a Coast Salish settlement.

Robert

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Robert,

Boy, it seems like a long time since I’ve heard on from you. It was welcome to hear your voice again and that distinctive style your bring so well. Poetic, atmospheric write—great production. I’m not sure I love the tin whistle (seems a little harsh to me on certain notes—but I’m just listening over a lap top)—perhaps flute might be an alternative? See what others think—but a compelling tune regardless.

Hope all is well with you,

Deej

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“lay me down in trembling alder
my finger boat crosses the moon
grandmother grey I found your bear star
lost my language in a locked room
scrubbed with lye lies and brooms”

This is just one example of how rich your imagery is.

We recently watched a 60 Minutes segment about this topic and your song tugged on our hearts just as the story did.

Your poignant melody and vocal and the tin whistle fit perfectly. And a nice mix.

Excellent,

J&B

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Originally Posted By: Deej56

Robert,

Boy, it seems like a long time since I’ve heard on from you. It was welcome to hear your voice again and that distinctive style your bring so well. Poetic, atmospheric write—great production. I’m not sure I love the tin whistle (seems a little harsh to me on certain notes—but I’m just listening over a lap top)—perhaps flute might be an alternative? See what others think—but a compelling tune regardless.

Hope all is well with you,

Deej


Thanks for the welcome and positive comments, Deej!
The tin-whistle has a more rootsy feel than flute, so I think it was a better choice; maybe I could have softened it a bit more with reverb.

Originally Posted By: Janice & Bud
“lay me down in trembling alder
my finger boat crosses the moon
grandmother grey I found your bear star
lost my language in a locked room
scrubbed with lye lies and brooms”

This is just one example of how rich your imagery is.

We recently watched a 60 Minutes segment about this topic and your song tugged on our hearts just as the story did.

Your poignant melody and vocal and the tin whistle fit perfectly. And a nice mix.

Excellent,

J&B


J&B,
Thank you for those very kind comments-I`m glad the emotion came through.
I hadn`t heard of the 60 Minutes feature and will look for it.

Robert

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