In The Shadow Of The Rockies / As I Walk Through Canada

Maria Dunn
Lingua: Inglese

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Testo di Maria Dunn
Musica tradizionale ucraina
Lyrics by Maria Dunn
Traditional Ukrainian music
Album: "We Were Good People"

"Growing up in Alberta with the Rockies as a favourite holiday destination, I only learned about the WWI internment of Ukrainian Canadians in the national parks on a trip to Jasper in Spring 2000. There, I came across Bill Waiser's book, Park Prisoners. Shortly afterwards, I read In the Shadow of the Rockies: Diary of the Castle Mountain Internment Camp, 1915-1917 by Bodhan Kordan & Peter Melnycky. When war broke out in 1914, Galicia was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and Ukrainian immigrants (often referred to as "Galicians" in the early 1900s) became "enemy aliens" in Canada, the very place that had actively encouraged their immigration. Ironically, most of them viewed their former Austro-Hungarian rulers not with loyalty, but as occupiers and exploiters of their Ukrainian homeland."
(Maria Dunn)

For more information, see the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association website:
Young stranger, as you walk these trails of beauty
And you feel the mountain air caress your face
As you play in the shadow of the rockies
Remember who toiled in this place
Please remember who toiled in this place

They courted our labour and called us to settle
The great Canadian plains
But how fickle the love of a fair young Alberta
For her enemy aliens

Oh pity the young man in 1914
Who hadn't a job or a trade
And doubly so the man from Galicia
For he was soon detained

Our invisible hands worked in nature's cathedral
For the pleasure of tourist and town
Six days a week at slavery's wages
Still we were not wanted around

In a camp that lay beneath Castle Mountain
Rotten food and sodden tents
The most glorious place in the world is ugly
When seen through a barbed wire fence

Our footsteps and voices have long since faded
From these pristine forest paths
Yet many's the mile and the hour we trudged here
To our place of labour and back

If you listen, young stranger, the wind in the pines
Or the water over the stones
You may hear the songs we sang to each other
To remind us of our homes

inviata da daniela -k.d.- - 6/4/2009 - 15:39

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