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Canadians are many things, but we are not generally known for our patriotism. So when I was asked to write a song centered on the notion of patriotism tying into themes of obsessive and at times devastating allegiance (along the lines of the IRA), I needed to take a few weeks to muse deeply upon what it truly means to be patriotic. In some ways, we are all foreigners, perhaps not in body, but in blood, for who can trace their entire bloodline to a single place of being? To what do we owe our allegiance? To the tangled lines our blood traces as it threads through the years? To the land that cradles our houses, feeds our children, and elevates our inspiration? What does our love of country truly mean? These are the questions that rattled through my head as I tried to find my way into the song. There is a feeling of ownership, to me, within patriotism, as if we can copyright our culture, our way of life, the shape of the land around us, and jealously guard against those who would `steal` it from us. Perhaps that is cynical, but it begs the question of how much we can possess when speaking of land, for perhaps it is the land that possesses us. Stricken as we are, at times, with homesickness for a place that ripples beyond simply a specific rock or tree, rather a gestalt filled with notions of nostalgia and belonging. As always it starts with a line, which often appear fully formed as if given to me from the wind. This time it was `Wings of the featherless cry, brought to the brink and asked to fly`. And so it begins.

Lyrics

Wings of the featherless cry
Brought to the brink and asked to fly
Fly on the razor-sharp oath
Words that taste something like blood
Like blood
Iron and blood.

Bound by the dictates on high
Torches held high to burn the sky
Sky falling, cinders rain down
Ashen tears, the colour of pride
Of pride
Fire and pride
What giants were born have long since gone
And laid down their bones on the causeway of freedom
I will not fade
I will not let go of this land that weeps in me.

Raised to the wavering flag
Foreigners all on fields of glass
Glass is the heart as it lays
Open in streams, spears of the path
The path
Pathways called home
What giants were born have long since gone
And laid down their bondes on the causeway of freedom
I will not fade
I will not let go of this land that weeps in me

I will not let fear
On it's splintering shield
Call the shadowed ease in me
Rouse to the battering wave
Hold to the truth of verdant days
Days ere the sun ever rise
Covenant stand
Give breath to hope, to hope
Honour and hope

What giants were born have long since gone
And laid down their bones on the causeway of freedom
I will not fade
I will not let go of this land that weeps in me.