Commemorating Sir John A Macdonald: OF ONE ALMIGHTY NATION

Of One Almight Nation graphicAs a contribution to the events and festivities commemorating the upcoming 200th birthday of Canada’s first Prime Minister, The Gertrudes have a new single, OF ONE ALMIGHTY NATION. Download it for free, or stream it below!

The song is written to a traditional Irish tune, in a lyrical collaboration with Kingston-based poet Sadiqa Khan. Like a steam locomotive gathering speed, the song builds momentum as it tells some unpleasant tales of Canadian policy-making  in the 19th and 20th centuries, policies for which Sir John A was a key figure: important back stories to our “Canadian identity” which we ought to keep in mind.

We’re very happy that Amanda Balsys found time to rejoin us for this recording, on one of her days off from touring with The Wilderness of Manitoba! On fiddle, gourd banjo and jaw harp is the multi-talented Teilhard Frost (also known as Sheesham Crow, as part of the old-time trio Sheesham, Lotus and ‘Son).

Of One Almighty Nation

Of one almighty nation Sir John A was a-dreaming
From ocean to blue ocean, the railway tracks a-gleaming
A land of milk and honey, of farms that went forever
And he did wake up smiling, for he felt so bold and clever

With a ring dum a doodle dah
Whack for the daddy o
Whack for the daddy o
There’s history in the jar

But making a new country would take a vision steady
For one thing there were people living on the land already
He sighed and he swore that he would achieve it
If people were on Sir John’s land, then they would have to leave it

Now you cannot be squeamish if you wish to build a nation
Sir John A and his colleagues tried the method of starvation
And the Native children that he would soon be ruling
He sent them off to learn his ways in the residential schooling

And then the gleaming railroad, through bogs and woods and briar
the labourers from China were affordable to hire
But with the work completed they still did keep arriving
So Sir John had to charge them all to keep the nation thriving

Of one almighty nation Sir John A was a-dreaming
Of woods of endless lumber, and locomotives steaming
Sir John A, oh Sir John A, his name will live forever
The founder of our country, for he was so bold and clever

With a ring dum a doodle dah
Whack for the daddy o
Whack for the daddy o
There’s history in the jar


New video for Water On Your Body

Water On Your Body :: The Gertrudes from josh lyon on Vimeo.

CD released on Zunior.com

Neighbourhood cover art


We’re now very pleased to be working with Outside Music and Zunior on distribution. The new album is up on iTunes music store now too.

Click here to buy the album on Zunior!

All the Dollar Bills Sing Hallelujah Music Video!


Gertrudes debut at #1 on CBC Charts


All The Dollar Bills Video pic

Shooting the All The Dollar Bills Sing Hallelujah music video (to be released Summer 2013)

Live @ Casa Del Popolo

Live @ Casa Del Popolo

Gertrudes Mass Swim

The Gertrudes lead the Kingston Mass Swim II parade

Hosting by GoSaBe