To All Our Nations

by Why The Caged Bird Sings Project

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about

Why the Caged Bird Sings is a participatory and community-engaged, five-day singing, songwriting & recording workshop that involves small groups of incarcerated women, men or detained your along with their literacy educators and/or cultural programmers in federal prisons, provincial correctional centres and youth detention facilities in the land now known as canada.
The song lyrics created by the participants are strung together to create a narrative, using consensus as a way to create equity so that everyone's voice is heard and validated. The songs are uplifting and positive in theme and are meant to become a repeatable mantra that belongs to all the participants who co-wrote the song--extending out to the greater community--so that everyone can join in. At the root of every song lyric is the use of metaphor. This helps to poetically focus the lyrics both thematically and in how the song is constructed.
The resulting uplifting song is one that does not ignore the struggles or hardships that any of the participants have individually or collectively endured, but instead looks forward to be a useful way of affirming one's future and potential.
The songs are meant to be 'freedom songs--not to be confused with those from the civil rights movement. In Cree language, 'freedom' is akin to having self-control and self-determination, so from a creative point-of-view, it is self-expression, or 'freedom' that these songs lyrically and melodically declare.
Once recorded, mixed and mastered, the songs are released as singles and shared with the co-writers, programs staff and all project partners. Proceeds from sales are shared with all co-writers.
THE PRICE POINT OF THIS SINGLE REFLECTS THE MINIMUM WAGE AN INMATE RECEIVES PER DAY - PLEASE ENJOY & SING ALONG!

lyrics

To All Our Nations
Verse 1:
Every moment, I'm trying to find my way
The sky is the limit, I live for today
The world will be mine, everything can be ours
Just go with the wind and use mother nature's powers,
just go with the wind and use mother nature's powers.

Chorus:
To our nations
ëłtth’í daghída
kwayask kapimâtisiyak
have pride in who we are
To our nations
ëłtth’í daghída
kwayask kapimâtisiyak
have pride in who we are

Verse 2:
The beat of the drums will free all our fears
Remain beautiful and strong for blue skies are near
The world will be mine, everything can be ours
Just go with the wind and use mother nature’s powers,
just go with the wind and use mother nature’s powers

Chorus:
To our nations
ëłtth’í daghída
kwayask kapimâtisiyak
have pride in who we are.
To ALL our nations
ëłtth’í daghída
kwayask kapimâtisiyak
have pride in who we are

Outro:
I have pride in who we are
I have pride in who I am!

credits

released October 8, 2016
Collaboratively composed and men's voices recorded live, October 2015 at Prince Albert Correctional Centre (PACC).
Lyrics by: Trevor Alexander, Trevor S. Ballantyne, John Craig, Jayden Laprise, George Lathlin, Donovan Misponas, Fabian Shalthanee, Jake Toutsaint, Robert Young, Alfred Sanderson
Music by: Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Joseph Naytowhow, Gregory Hoskins
• lead vocals: Jake Toutsaint
• group vocals: all lyricists
• chanting & drumming: Joseph Naytowhow
• backing vocals: Cheryl L’Hirondelle
• acoustic & electric “vibey” guitars: Gregory Hoskins
• bass, drums & percussion: Mark Schmidt.

Co-produced and arranged by Cheryl L’Hirondelle (Miyoh Music) &
Mark Schmidt (Northern Town Music Productions) • Live onsite voices recorded by Cheryl L’Hirondelle • GH guitar tracks recorded by Gregory
Hoskins (Midnight Works) • Additional recording + ALL mixing & programming by Mark Schmidt • Mastered by Ron Skinner (Heading North Mastering Studio).

Project partners:
Judy McNaughton, Northern Artistic Director, Common Weal Community Arts, Alfred Sanderson, Cultural Coordinator, Prince Albert Correctional Centre & kiy collective

Project funders:
Canada Council for the Arts, SaskCulture & Sask Lotteries

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