Years ago, I was married to a Canadian singer-songwriter of some note both here and in the States. At that time, being a timid wife, I apparently was also tone deaf, had no rhythm and couldn’t carry a tune. We divorced. But, I did have a child I adored (and still do!), to whom I sang and sang. That practice (an “Immanential Devotion” for sure) seemed to have helped me find a melodic voice and a rhythmic beat. I was always a poet, but, finding those things I became a singer-song writer in my own right.
It started with a song for Earth Day 2013. My daughter and I had seen a show on “Dominion Theology” – but at the end of the show, we were still puzzled – even if you believed that “God” gave you dominion over the Earth, why on Earth would that mean you could just trash the place and believe that “God” would clean up the mess? We looked at each other and said almost the same thing at the same time – Don’t Trash God’s Gifts – and that became the song we wrote and sang at the church that, at that time, we both attended. We ended up singing it for a “Stop Line 9” protest and have now done it for several other protests too.
My wonderful daughter helped with the next step – getting me up on stage – at the FreeTimes, in Toronto. But, we needed a name for our duo – and being inspired by Emma’s Revolution (check them out ! ), we called ourselves “Helen’s Comrades” after Helen Keller, who, as most will know, had an amazing career although both deaf and blind. What most don’t know is that she was a labour organizer, feminist and socialist, who signed some of her letters, “Comrade Helen” – so, in her honour we became Helen’s Comrades.
Over the next 15 months, I wrote 11 other songs, and she has written 6 or 7 in a different genre, performing solo in her own act which eventually became PhantomFemme (symphonic metal). Whenever I am in Toronto, Helen’s Comrades has a brief reunion but, in the summer of 2015, I moved to Ottawa to attend the University of Ottawa (a long story) so I have gone solo, performing locally under the name SisterComrade, giving a nod to my musical start, to my calling as a Gessenican Order Religieuse and to my very socialist/anarchist leanings.
On this page, you will be able to find my performing schedule. And, just for old time’s sake and until I get some new material recorded and up, here are two Helen’s Comrades songs that are still up for viewing:
1. Wall Street Rodeo <http//youtube/sxv8R2SiQns/> (this, alas, isn’t a link – just cut and paste into address bar – ditto below)
2. Redeemer (To save the world you must become a redeemer) <youtube.be/RV82kivoJrA>