Even in the Cold* 6:380:00 / 6:38
Even in the Cold is an epic Canadian Tribute song written to celebrate the legacy of Pierre Elliot Trudeau, arguably Canada’s most famous and certainly Canada’s most flamboyant prime minister. Yup! "Trudeau-mania". I wrote it following his funeral in Montreal, October 2000. I drove from Ottawa to attend this historic funeral along with my daughter Kelly and a friend and his son. We were going along with thousands, all of us very moved by his legacy.
On a human scale, the loss of Trudeau's son Michel in 1998 affected me the most. It showed us all that public heroes and icons are still fragile and vulnerable people like the rest of us. I saw/we saw the depth of his pain, and Margaret's, Justin's and Sacha's and many of us cried for/with them in this horrible loss. This was a moment of national grief, non-partisan for a brief moment. It was powerful and beautiful and it provided the fabric for the song that came. In the first verse I refer to my own father an ideological conservative with a sensitive passionate heart.
Many believe that the loss of Michel was Pierre's undoing, and that he lost his will to fight for life. Little did I know that I would experience the same crushing anguish when I lost Kelly seven years later. Was this experience and others preparing me for what was to come in my life? That is a difficult question...all I know is that I continue to fight for what I believe, just as Pierre did, and I hope I honour Kelly by doing that.
Tears: The tears that flowed in writing this song and then playing it for my family shortly after the funeral in 2000 are powerful...My brother-in-law wept when I played it and that showed me his power and without words we are forever bonded through that. I say that tears are needed...many, many tears...and particularly for men, many of whom have been bombarded with abuse and hyper-masculine messages all their lives, and there are many that cannot cry and open up as a result. Let's help them, teach them, learn from them, hold their hands and allow them and all of us to do that. I think that will make Canada stronger, not weaker.
The Musicians: Fred Guignion's soaring lead guitar towards the end and his over-the-top Woodstock/Hendrix moment is worth listening to over and over, as is the subtle string section provided by Edmund Eagan and Ross Murray's drums, further arrangement and production is wonderful. These are Canadian musicians and their art and contributions should be celebrated. Thank you all. Thank you Pierre. Thank you Canada. Perhaps a good song for Canada Day?