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The Highway of Tears Single

by Ben Rogers

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    ALL PROCEEDS GO TOWARD BATTERED WOMEN'S SUPPORT SERVICES' INDIGENOUS WOMEN'S PROGRAM IN VANCOUVER, BC. VISIT BWSS.ORG FOR MORE INFORMATION.

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1.

about

I am releasing 'The Highway of Tears' single in hopes of raising awareness about the ongoing issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women throughout Turtle Island. 

My hope is that the song will inspire listeners and fans to take action. Through sales of the song we hope to provide financial support to  Battered Women's Support Services (www.bwss.org) in Vancouver and specifically to Indigenous Women's Programs.  

 "The Indigenous Women’s support workers use traditional healing practices while working with women survivors of trauma and colonization.

"Indigenous Women’s Program offers direct services through drum groups, counselling, Elder’s and support groups and different ceremonies such as full moon and sweat lodge ceremonies. We are healing from the trauma of colonization, the effects and inter-generational effects of residential school, the loss of our children, and living life in a patriarchal society. By using holistic practices through traditional medicines and ceremonies, we are reclaiming our rightful roles as strong Indigenous women in our community, finding our voices and standing strong in our power."

The apartheid, ethnocide, and subjugation perpetrated by the federal government must end. The assault on native life continues and we settlers must not assert ourselves as saviours but as allies to native communities. Administering outside solutions in indigenous communities is only a continuation of colonialism and its destructive power. 

We must listen to what indigenous communities affected by these crimes need in order to heal from them and prevent them from happening again. 

I have been fortunate enough to witness the beauty and strength of native culture through my wife's Swampy Cree family. They are survivors, all of them. They are the bravest people I know and I admire their courage greatly. 

The time for autonomy, sovereignty, acknowledgement of ancestral land claims, treaty rights, human rights, and equality for Indigenous people must be attained. The lives of the women affected by these acts of violence must not be forgotten. Their families and friends must have answers. We must stand with them. I plan to do just that with my life and my music so long as I have breath in me and a song to sing. Or as some have said: "As long as the sun shines, the river flows and the grass grows."

The Highway of Tears single will be released online on Valentine's Day 2017, the day of the Annual Downtown Eastside Women’s Memorial March. I hope you will all be there at the march. There is strength in numbers, especially when we are unified as one. 

“Like the grasses showing tender faces to each other, thus we should do, for this was the wish of the Grandfathers of the World.” - Black Elk (from Black Elk Speaks)

In Solidarity,
Ben Rogers

credits

released February 14, 2017

Ben Rogers - Vocals, Guitar
Matt Kelly - Pedal Steel, Tenor Guitar, Background Vocals
Erik Nielsen - Bass, Background Vocals

Written by Ben Rogers
Produced and Recorded by Ben Rogers, Erik Nielsen, and Matt Kelly at Neighbourhood Studios in Vancouver, BC.

Mixed by Erik Nielsen at Afterlife Studios in Vancouver, BC.

Mastered by Ryan Morey at Ryan Morey Mastering in Montreal, QC.

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Ben Rogers Vancouver, British Columbia

Murder stories, love stories, salvation stories, tragic stories, rich man stories, poor man stories, drug stories, blonde stories, blue stories, red stories, lost stories.

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Track Name: The Highway of Tears
The gallop of rain
the smell of petrichor
she curses where she came from
and wherever she's bound for
by the pricking of her thumb
and something wicked this way comes
a car pulls over
the window rolls down
he says, ‘You look like you could use a ride right about now.’
she says, ‘Take me to some better place.’
he replies, ‘Oh I most certainly will.’
and she climbs inside

Nobody crying for the Highway of Tears
no one of consequence
it’s been that way for years
broken lives only matter
if the pieces can be seen
and it's a long way from that highway
to that Hill in Ottawa

sun crowns Hudson Bay Mountain
bloodies her picture on the wall
next to the grandfather clock It's been
13 months, time falters on
My mind arm wrestles the hands of the clock
trying to turn back time to when hope was not lost
I place my hand on the pendulum
make the ticking stop
but somehow it continues
or was that a knock?
I open the door
and the air grows chill
all I see is his badge
and then time stands still

Nobody crying for the Highway of Tears
no one of consequence
it’s been that way for years
broken lives only matter
if the pieces can be seen
and it's a long way from that highway
to that Hill in Ottawa

20 years later on the 16
the ads on the billboard signs
become pleas for the missing
there are new faces every time
the highway stretches out before me
like a twisting tombstone without end
the clouds weep, the wind moans
the hemlocks hang their heads
500 miles of graveyard
then on to Parliament Hill
I'm not just searching for her killer, or the will to live,
I'm looking for a shred of justice if it even exists

Nobody crying for the Highway of Tears
no one of consequence
it’s been that way for years
broken lives only matter
if the pieces can be seen
and it's a long way from that highway
to that Hill in Ottawa