Oh My Goodness! Perhaps you have seen today's news. In June I wrote about our neighbour, Tony Turner, and his protest song, Harperman. Well last night while I was sitting on our front verandah Tony walked by and stopped for a chat.
I had no idea that Environment Canada had forced him to take a paid leave because of the song. He's been at home while they investigate and decide whether or not he will be allowed to return to his position. The media got wind of the whole situation and Tony told me there would be an article in today's Ottawa Citizen. By tonight it was all over radio, tv, newspapers, Facebook, Twitter etc.
How will today's media coverage influence Environment Canada's decision? Tony is in the middle of a project that he would really like to complete. This is not how he wanted his career to end.
In today's Ottawa Citizen, Kathryn May writes,"Turner has been a public servant for 19 years and is nearing retirement. He most recently was assigned to co-ordinate a project to map priority areas for migratory birds.But he has also been a stalwart of the local folk music scene since 1994 when he joined Writers’ Bloc, Ottawa’s songwriters collective. He has several CDs, plays regularly across the province and is best known for the song Circle of Song, which will be included in a new anthology of Canadian folk songs."
I really like Harperman. It's got a catchy tune and the lyrics are right on. Thanks to today's coverage it's well on its way to becoming a powerful protest song , reminiscent of the 60's protest songs. Funny thing about the media coverage of this whole situation. Until today I had not heard about the September 17th Harperman singalong event, on Parliament Hill and in many other cities across the country. You can bet those singalongs will be far better attended as a result of today.
However, Tony's not just about protest. Have a listen to the song May mentioned, Circle of Song, to get a better picture of this excellent musician and truly fine person.