Nova Scotia Shooting 2020

A situation is in unfolding in Nova Scotia, where I live and as I write: the heartbreaking mass murder that started in the rural mainland community of Portapique. 22 victims have been identified so far, although they are expecting to find more in the days to come. Watching the news one night, I heard a CBC news personality talk about Nova Scotia’s identity as a musical province and how the musical tributes were pouring out. I had already been monitoring the “Ultimate Online Nova Scotia Kitchen Party (Covid19 Edition)” Facebook page as I have been fascinated by the way that music is being used during the coronavirus pandemic (which I plan to write about in a future blog post). The Online Kitchen Party page encourages people to post musical posts as a way to buoy people’s spirits during the challenges of coronavirus restrictions, and now it’s become a place where people can write messages of anguish and love and to post musical tributes in honour of the victims.

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At first, people reposted videos of songs that they found comforting. They also began posting videos of themselves singing songs of comfort and inspiration. Many people spoke of having no words: the songs speak their pain. It is so moving to listen to the heartfelt musical expressions of grief and sorrow from so many people.

And now some of the first newly composed songs are emerging. I will update this post on an ongoing basis as I learn of new songs. I welcome you to let me know if I’ve missed any: heather_sparling <at> cbu.ca.

[Note: Since first posting this, this page and my research have been cited in a CBC article and I wrote an article for The Conversation.]

Michael Brown, “Nova Scotia Moon.”

Daniel Cadigan, “Heidi: New Shade of Blue.”

Brett Kissel, unnamed song.

Jody Tedford, “Your Light.”

Nathan Bishop MacDonald, “Lighthouse in the Mist.”

Tamara Lyn McKinstry, “The Shots Rang Out.”

Johnny Reid, “People like You”: initial Facebook post and official YouTube video.

David Fitz, unnamed song.

Scott Nolan, unnamed song.

Ron Flarity(?), “Nova Scotia, We Love You.”

Lewis MacKinnon, “Ó chòin, a Rìgh, gura mi tha muladach” (Gaelic lyrics and translation below)

Wendy Anne, unnamed song.

Mary Dunlop, Terry Dalton and Larry Dunlop, “Don’t Cry, Nova Scotia.”

Jennifer MacDonald, “I Will Sing.”

Gearárd O’Foghlú, “Brighter Day.”

Brian Landry, unnamed song.

Eric Mattei, “19 Down.”

George Canyon, unnamed song (at 15:28).

Caedda Enright, “Look at Us.”

Ryan Cook, “Thin Blue Line.”

Terra Spencer, “Love Shines Through.”


6 Responses to “Nova Scotia Shooting 2020”

  1. Lewis MacKinnon says:

    https://soundcloud.com/lodaidh_macfhionghain/o-choin-a-righ-gura-mi-tha-muladach

    Ó-chóin, a Rìgh! Gura Mi Tha Muladach

    Ó-chóin, a Rìgh! Gura mi tha muladach,
    O, is trom tha m’inntinn, cha till na chunnaic mi
    Tha fòid dha’n chuibhreadh ’na chlaoidh do iomadh aon;
    ’S e as còir dhuinn suim ’chur ’s an roinn nach diombuan dhuinn.

    O, ’s miste an t-àite seo, ’n tràth-s’ na dhealaich rith’
    Is easbhuidh làthail, nach d’fhàgadh Heidi dhuinn;
    Ùr a’ bhan-mhaor àghmhor, is gràdh gach duine oirr’
    Is teist ro àrd oirr’, is a tàlainn barraichte.

    Tha sinn fo smuairean, o nach eil i maireann ann,
    O’n a shiubhail i gu tàmh ’s a’ fhlaitheas thall ud
    Is i dhuinn mar bhan-bhuachaill’, cur blàths ’s gach anam leath’
    Is nach cluinn sinn fuaim bho ’guth àghmhor amasach

    A pearsa mhòdhar, gur còmhnard cuimir i,
    Ge deas, a foghlum, gun phròis, gun iongantas,
    Cruth maiseach ro ghlan, a ròs-bhil binn-fhaclach
    Ri seirbheas poblach, bu treas’ ’na h-ionad i.

    Mo dhùrachd làidir, do chuimhn’ bhi còmhla rinn,
    Is Rìgh nan gràsan a ghnàth bhi maille riut;
    Is E bhi math dhut, is sinn ’gad ionndrainn-sa
    Is tu ’nar cridheachan ’nad bhòidhchead eireachdail

    Ó-chóin, a Rìgh! Gura mi tha muladach,
    O, is trom tha m’inntinn, cha till na chunnaic mi
    Tha fòid dha’n chuibhreadh ’na chlaoidh do iomadh aon;
    ’S e as còir dhuinn suim ’chur ’s an roinn nach diombuan dhuinn

    Oh God, Woe is Me!

    Oh God, Woe is me! I am the one who is struck by sorrow;
    Oh, my mind is heavy, as that which I have seen will never return;
    The weight of the world afflicts many people;
    We should place interest in that which is imperishable.

    Oh, this place has suffered since she has been separated from us,
    It is a daily loss, that Heidi has not been left to us;
    The wonderful, favored Officer that everyone loved,
    She had an excellent reputation, and her talents were superb.

    We are dejected since she is no longer,
    As she has traveled to the yonder Realm,
    She was like a shepherd to us, warming every heart,
    We will never hear another sound from her favoured and eloquent voice.

    Her gentle appearance was smooth and tidy;
    Though learned, she had no arrogance or presumption,
    Her beautiful form was pure, her rosy lips rang,
    In the service of others, firm in her place.

    It my sincere wish that your memory be always with us,
    And the manner of the King of graces be with you,
    That He be good to you as we miss you,
    While you are in our hearts in your excellent beauty.

    Oh God, Woe is me! I am the one who is struck by sorrow;
    Oh, my mind is heavy, as that which I have seen will never return;
    The weight of the world afflicts many people;
    We should place interest in that which is imperishable.

    • Heather Sparling says:

      Mòran taing, a Lodaidh. Thank you so much, Lewis. Thank you for your beautiful words, and I am so sorry for your loss. I know you went to school with Constable Heidi Stevenson.

  2. Ellen says:

    Do you know the song: *I Will Sing you Home*? It’s by the Ennis Sisters from NL. Does it fit with what you are looking for.? I also found and played *MacPhersons Lament* during these times by Rollins Cross. Stay well. Be safe.

    • Heather Sparling says:

      Thank you for your suggestions! I am specifically interested in newly-composed songs that are directly about or inspired by specific events such as the Nova Scotia shooting.

  3. Sarah Jones says:

    I couldn’t copy the link but if you go to Natalie MacMaster’s Facebook page she shared a video playing Amazing Grace that she dedicated to all the victims of the shooting. I also have a friend who sang Amazing Grace on the Ultimate Online Nova Scotia Kitchen Party in dedication to one of the victims who was a friend. I’ll email the link if I come across it again.

    • Heather Sparling says:

      Thank you! I have seen that video although I am focusing specifically on newly-composed songs for this project.

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