Ipperwash – song by Kyp Harness

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IPPERWASH
“Dudley George was assassinated by the Ontario Provincial Police in 1995 at Ipperwash Provincial Park. We used to go swimming at Ipperwash when I was a kid. We never knew that it was a Native burial ground that had been borrowed by the government to train the forces for World War Two. A shameful tragedy occurred there twenty years ago, carried out by our government in the name of us all. My cousin was working the night shift at the hospital when he was brought in. I took some of the dialogue in the song – like the words of the Deputy Commissioner – from actual transcripts of communications used as evidence in the Ipperwash Inquiry held in Forest, Ontario. The stain of this shame will never go away,” Kyp Harness
https://soundcloud.com/kyp-harness/ipperwash

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/armageddon-blues/id838352407

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IPPERWASH (Lyrics)

 

It was a burial ground on the shores of Lake Huron

The government borrowed from the Natives during World War Two

Sayin’ “We need this land to train our forces on

When the war is over we’ll give it back to you”

 

Fifty years after the war had ended

The Natives wondered when the government would honour its vow

When they realized the answer was never

They decided that the time was now

 

Dudley George lived with his cousin in a trailer

In the park they’d made the burial ground into

They occupied the land in peaceful protest

In hopes the government would do what it said it was gonna do

 

Ipperwash, forever your name tells the tale

Of how they kill who they cannot push around

Ipperwash, forever your name tells the tale

Of how they shot Dudley George down

 

Everywhere Dudley George walked there was laughter

He was a man who loved his freedom and his fun

Even took his name from the cartoon Dudley Do-Right

The Canadian Mountie character he loved when he was young

 

His cousin Clifford George lived in that trailer

He was a veteran of the Korean War

He came back expecting the fulfillment

Of the promise made by the country he’d fought for

 

As summer ended and the cool breezes blew

Thirty unarmed men, women and children joined them on the land

Comin’ in the fall so as not to disturb vacationers

They made their peaceful stand

 

Ipperwash, forever your name tells the tale

Of how they kill who they cannot push around

Ipperwash, forever your name tells the tale

Of how they shot Dudley George down

 

All the children of the area loved Dudley George

Every day he could be seen with quite a few

They’d fight among themselves to go on runs to the variety store

To get him the Bazooka bubble gum he loved to chew

 

But in the Premier’s office they did exclaim

“We’ve been pandering to these Indians for too long

We gotta make an example of them, by any means necessary –

I don’t care how you do it, I want’em gone”

 

The Deputy Commissioner said “We got a redneck government here –

About the Indians they could not care less

These guys are barrel suckers, man, they’re in love with guns

They just want us to go in and kick some ass.”

 

Ipperwash, forever your name tells the tale

Of how they kill who they cannot push around

Ipperwash, forever your name tells the tale

Of how they shot Dudley George down

 

So it was that thirty unarmed men, women and children

Were greeted by the sight

Of a riot squad and a sniper unit armed with submachine guns

Comin’ to them through the night

 

There were shots, there was shouting in the chaos

People running and getting beaten all around

As the bullets tore through the darkness

And the body of Dudley George fell to the ground

 

His sister, Cully George, drove him past the cops to the hospital

In a beaten-up car that kept on breakin’ down

They never told her that he died till after they arrested her

They thought she was the one who shot him down

 

Ipperwash, forever your name tells the tale

Of how they kill who they cannot push around

Ipperwash, forever your name tells the tale

Of how they shot Dudley George down

 

The man who pulled the trigger got his wrist slapped

The man who gave the command, he still walks free

And don’t it make any decent person want to hang their head in shame

To know he acted in the pay of you and me?

 

Dudley George was lowered into his grave

With his peace pipe and a pack of Bazooka bubble gum

He left a memory of laughter in the heart of everyone who knew him

And a question beating louder like a drum

 

Sometimes you fool yourself the war is over

Sometimes war is all you see

Sometimes you gotta turn around and wonder

If your county’s anything it ever claimed to be

 

Ipperwash, forever your name tells the tale

Of how they kill who they cannot push around

Ipperwash, forever your name tells the tale

Of how they shot Dudley George down

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Copyright © 2014 Kyp Harness

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One response to “Ipperwash – song by Kyp Harness

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