Tuesday, September 5, 2006

There is a tradition on the GulfIslands that the last ferries to leave on Labour Day are accompanied by a terrifically robust send off by Islanders. It is the time when the mainlanders and summer people ae sent home with a cheerful wave,and a sigh of relief.

Summer is such a busy time on these islands that the Labour Day weekend is a relief to everyone. And to capture the spirit of the fact that we have our island backm, but only the winter to look forward to, I penned a song which we have been singing around Bowen for a couple of years. Every year, some of us sing it to the ferries as they leave, and this year, a small and hardy band of three of us met to sing off the 3:00 ferry. You can hear an mp3 of this particular performance here.

And here are the lyrics for "Our Island's OUrs Again" aka "Farewell to all you Mainlanders", for your amusement:

Our island’s ours again
(Tune of “Rolling Down to Old Maui”)

On the first of May of every year
They come by boat and plane
The ferry starts to overload
And the traffic is a pain
All summer long down in the Cove
The shop doors open wide
The rest of us head for the hills
And find some place to hide

Chorus: Farewell to all you mainlanders
And welcome to the rain
So raise a cheer, the autumn’s here
Our island’s ours again!

Their money spent, the continent
Will accept them in its fold
The beaches are available
Though the water’s freezing cold
Once more we can find our favourite seats
On a barstool down at Docs
And the women who run VONIGO
Can replenish all their stock


Now the nights are cool, the air is brisk
Mount Gardner wears a shroud
The wind has swung southeast again
And the Sound is full of cloud
For the next eight months we’ll hide away
And slowly go insane
But what care we, we’re finally free
Our island’s ours again!


The Squamish winds will blow for days
And the breeze will chill our bones
But the firewood’s stacked and the pantry’s packed
And we’ve battened down our homes
We’re done with yard work, cleaned the eaves
And there’s nothing left to stain
Let winter send its best at us
Our island’s ours again!