From the recording The Emergent Sea
As a child we were one of the first families that moved into a newly developing suburb west of Montreal. There were forests and swamps to play in, and we could gather berries, chase rabbits and catch salamanders. Within a few years there were no woods for miles. Every last inch was built up. One place we never thought could be built up was a swamp and a hill, but it only took the bulldozers one day to push the hill into the swamp and start putting up houses. Only 7 or 8 years old, we took up rocks and pelted the bulldozer and other large machinery. That was the start of my environmentalism. Of course we were part of the problem, we were the very families moving in, but it was not our fault that there was zero planning; they could green belt these areas, and leave some corridors for life. It is not impossible. I started an environmental group then in my elementary school, and later another in high school. But I always felt I had no voice and turned to music to find it. So this song goes back to that very swamp and log and it is obviously a lament for all that is lost. And okay yes it is a depressing song, but such is life in the 21st century; the bulldozing has increased exponentially. And it seems we've become largely inoculated. Is a lament lame? Well all change starts in ideas and the power of ideas comes from emotion. The rare time people actually listen to the lyrics while playing in a bar, this song got me my highest praise: "Extremely Moving! I've haven't been moved by someone's words in a long time," which to me is the aim of my music: stirring the spirit to action. I just love Christopher Fryman's trumpet on this, I wanted to do a whole album of this kind of stuff, but it doesn't match for all my songs. Another year. Tim's lead is as perfect as ever and Moray shows incredible restraint and taste on this.
E I E I Oh! Lyrics© Roman Rhodes, 2006
:E I E I oh, where did the animals go?: Well when I was a kid, I went darting through the woods There were rabbits in the logs and a hundred kind of frogs, Salamanders in the mud and snakes wove through the grass We chased bugs and butterflies as a thousand birds passed by. Oh me, oh me, oh my, where did they fly?
We could run down by the stream and catch minnows with our hands. We could drink the water clean and watch the beavers build their dams. And if we walked down to the lake, we could dig in the sand,And find clams to bake, in fires we would make on free land. E I E I oh where do the waters now flow? Oh me, oh me, oh my, where can I find such life?
There were berries to be picked for which to make a pie.There were mushrooms to avoid, lest you touch and die. This sense of life and death put magic in your heart, and a twinkle in your eye;Made you thankful for breath and for all things live! E I E I oh, Where did the magic go? Oh me oh me oh my, how could we let it die?
No one seems to remember. No, no one does recall, That the trees in the east, once were twice as tall. And their girth was ten men round and took two days to make one fall. But if you tell them that now, they say, no the cold here has always made them small. :E I E I oh. Where did our memories go?:
Well the forests are now gone. In their place, asphalt or lawn. And the food that once was free, you now pay to drink and breathe.For the waters are now brown and where they fall there's a foam. They run deep underground, under pavements without sound. E I E I oh, how did we let them go?
No more learning as you should, darting through the wood. No more sense of life, just death and a shortness of the breath.And the frogs are all long gone, just plastic turtles by the pond.And the ornaments on the lawn remind us of all that we once did know.E I E I oh, How could we let it go? Oh me, oh me, oh my, how could we let it die?