Bridging Borders

by Christophe Elie

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02:06

about

Bridging Borders explores the beauty and challenges of the intersections of culture, geography, religion and language that surround us. The songs consider Canadian Indigenous relations, immigration, the history of this land, the Charter of Quebec values and free speech.

credits

released June 5, 2016

Co-produced by Dave Draves
Recorded at Little Bullhorn Studios in Ottawa
Mastered at Grey Market Studios
Artwork and Design Jacqueline Levesque

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about

Christophe Elie Ottawa, Ontario

Plugging in an electric guitar as a 16-year-old kid growing up, the visceral, compelling storytelling of folk-rock has reverberated through his music ever since.
Noted for his passionate performances and rugged vocal style, Elie’s music is writerly, invigorating and, perhaps most important of all, utterly compelling whilst challenging the listener with its message.
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Track Name: Two Feathers
Each day I walk the CN Railway line
Between your world and mine
That day I came upon two feathers
Each different from the other

In my mind I saw an eagle glide
Over streams and borderlines
Two cultures side by side
One future to decide

On the wing of an eagle
Sits this land and its people
Alone one culture can survive
But one feather with another flies

And as I walked I thought
About your world and mine
The struggles, the pain
Since the bison filled the plains

From the hill to the crown
A message spoken clear and loud
Honour the treaties, the history
Is the truth so hard to see

The space between our rivers is just sand
If I reach across will you take my hand
Thousands of tears for those lost years
The eighth fire is lit
The time is near

Perhaps that day it was a sign
Two feathers on the borderline
A birds gift of hope and peace
Respect for us to reach

And with each step I realize
It's time I cross the railway line
And now I see
It starts with me

On the wing of an eagle
Sits this land and its people
Alone our cultures can survive
But one feather with another flies
Track Name: Seize the Moment
Seize the Moment

The earth shakes
I’m wide-awake
The walls are coming down
I can’t take a breath
In the face of death
I lay here on the ground

My home is in ruins
Can I rise to my knees

Seize the moment
Let go of the fear
The time is now
The place is here

Stone by stone
I re-build my home
My feet back on the floor
With my own two hands
I’ll work the land
Change the life that I know

Break from this shadow
In to the light

Seize the moment
Let go of the fear
The time is now
The place is here

Seize the moment
Don’t shed another tear
The time is now
The place is here

Every step that I take
Each stumble each stride
Reminds me every day

Seize the moment
Let go of the fear
The time is now
The place is here

Seize the moment
Don’t shed another tear
The time is now
The place is here
Track Name: Borealis Expedition
Seize the Moment

The earth shakes
I’m wide-awake
The walls are coming down
I can’t take a breath
In the face of death
I lay here on the ground

My home is in ruins
Can I rise to my knees

Seize the moment
Let go of the fear
The time is now
The place is here

Stone by stone
I re-build my home
My feet back on the floor
With my own two hands
I’ll work the land
Change the life that I know

Break from this shadow
In to the light

Seize the moment
Let go of the fear
The time is now
The place is here

Seize the moment
Don’t shed another tear
The time is now
The place is here

Every step that I take
Each stumble each stride
Reminds me every day

Seize the moment
Let go of the fear
The time is now
The place is here

Seize the moment
Don’t shed another tear
The time is now
The place is here
Track Name: La Belle Province
La Belle Province

Mon nom est Suzanne
Je suis née à Montréal
Ma famille a émigrée au Canada
Quand j’ai complété mes études en médecine
J’ai pris un poste à la ville de Québec

La Belle Province je me souviens
La liberté est ce qu’on l’a oubliée
Comment ça se fait qu’on ne se souvient pas
Notre histoire, le voyage, notre Québec

Chaque matin je sors ma tête couverte avec un voile d’or
Sa me rappelle ma famille, mon histoire, mon identité
Et je suis Québécoise, ma tête, mes pieds à mes doigts
Ma culture, mon futur, mon Québec

La Belle Province je me souviens
La liberté est-ce qu’on l’a oubliée
Comment ça se fait qu’on ne se souvient pas
Notre histoire, le voyage, notre Québec

Aujourd’hui on a le choix,
La charte ou nos droits
Respect pour nos différences
C'est une province uni
Parce que on est Québécois et
Canadien toi et moi
Un drapeau, un voyage, Une planète
Track Name: Firekeeper
Firekeeper

I left my home in Whitby
For a tour in Kandahar
I’ll serve my country
My country serves us all

I’ll survive I know I will
I’m guided by my heart
Light a candle it will guide my way
Don’t let the flame go out

Keepers of the fire, the wind is blowing hard
Guard the candle from the night
Don’t let the flame go out

Now we walk this ancient land
We look down from above
Try to extend a helping hand down the barrel of a gun
Children smile as we pass by from the elders a suspicious eye
I serve my country and myself
My brothers do your part

Keepers of the fire
The wind is blowing hard
Guard the candle from the night

Protect the flame
If a country takes its youth to war
A soldier’s trust to hold is yours
Lives entrusted in our hands
Don’t leave their fate to chance

Then came that fateful day, we rode out at dawn
Charlie at my right hand drove east towards the sun
That day no children lined the drive
I never got to say goodbye
Today I die please wonder why
My brothers follow your heart

Keepers of the fire, the wind is blowing hard
Guard the candle from the night, Hold it high let it shine it’s light
Guide the candle through the night
Don’t let the flame go out
Track Name: Cobblestone Road
Cobblestone Road

As I look back to my tender years
My life it lay before me, no obstacles, no fear
As it all unfolded, the months became years
I learned to embrace uncertain skies, the laughter with the tears

Cobblestone road
I laid each one of these cobblestones

Friends and family, my comfort in the night
Offering guidance, a lantern’s light
And when the darkness became too much to bear
You always saw me through, I always felt you there

In every life there’s uncertainty
Is this where I ought to be
But you clench your fist and steer your pride
Believe in yourself, let your spirit be your guide

And now the shadows of life are growing long
And I reflect on the journey so far
A sense of comfort, a sense of pride
The colours now are cast
The canvas defined

Cobblestone road
This cobblestone road
This life is what I made it
It’s the story I wove

Cobblestone road, this cobblestone road
I weighed each one of these..
I carried each one of these..
I laid each one of these cobblestones, cobblestones, cobblestones..
Track Name: A Soldiers Face
A Soldier's Face

The soldier is a shell
A shell of metal medals
The soldier is the messenger
Of a country's deadly message

The soldier is a trained killer
The soldier's eye is trained
On an enemy pre-defined
Our blackest fears framed

The soldier carries out
The orders of a few
The soldier's hands are tied
By a flag's blood white and blue

The soldier's flesh and blood
Is spent on the battlefield
War's currency
The years of our youth we steal

A soldier has a face
A soldier's heart is not unknown
It's their heart we all must face
Can we bear to face our own?
Track Name: Can you see me
Can you see me?

I fled my village
As the flames began to rise
Looking back
Tears filled my eyes
Just the clothes on my back
Father's ring to remind me
Of the life left behind

In to this world I disappear
I disappear just like the stars
Like stars that fade in the morning light
Can you see me?
I'm still here

On an overcrowded boat
Desperate and weary
Adrift
At the mercy of the sea
No food, No water
Struggling for my life
Somehow
I survived

In to this world I disappear
I disappear just like the stars
Like stars that fade in the morning light
Can you see me?
I'm still here

Are you out there..
Can you hear me?

Now I
I'm a refugee
My family, my village
Far behind me
I walk alone
I search for home
By the light
Of the stars in the sky

In to this world I disappear
I disappear just like the stars
Like stars that fade in the morning light
Can you see me?
Track Name: Barack Hussein Obama
Barack Hussein Obama

August 4 1961
A day like any other
On an island, a child was born
His name Barack Obama
His father left home
His elders opened the door to a diversity of culture
He wrote that one day the highest oath he’d take
A boy’s dream for tomorrow

Barack Hussein Obama
We see the best of us in you
Barak Hussein Obama
We pass this torch
Light the path
We’ll help see you through

October 3 1992
A day to remember
What once was one, now is two
A partner for forever
From the Ivy League to the windy streets
In Roseland Parish you rose to your feet
Sharing in the lives of those on the street
Bold steps towards a dream

You asked: Are we ready to stand?
We said: Yes we can
Ready to sacrifice?
We said: yes we can
You said: Can you believe?
We said: yes we can
Hold on to the dream

November 4, 2008
A day unlike no other
A day of mourning, a day of faith
The long road to tomorrow
The winds of change rose up from the streets
The streets of a nation
A new foundation under our feet
Hope for tomorrow

President Obama
We see the best of us in you
Barack Hussein Obama
We pass this torch, light the path
We pass this torch, free at last
We pass the torch, light the path
We’ll help see you through
Track Name: Punk Prayer
Punk Prayer

Virgin Mary Mother of God
Put Putin away, Put Putin away

Black robe, epaulettes, all parishioners crawl to bow
Phantom of liberty is heaven, Gay pride banished to Siberia
KGB head’s your saint, leads protesters to jail
To please his holiness, Women must give birth and love

Virgin Mary Mother of God
Become an activist, Become a feminist
Virgin Mary Mother of God
Put Putin away, Put Putin away

Church’s kiss the dictator, Cross-bearers in black cars
Preacher teachers in the schools
Children must pay to play
Gundyaev believes in Putin, bitch you better believe in god
A chastity belt won’t stop the meetings this is a protest from the mother of God

Virgin Mary Mother of God
Become an activist, Become a feminist
Virgin Mary Mother of God
Put Harper away, Put Putin away

Adapted from,
Lyrics by Pussy Riot