Queen City Believes You

from by Ketch Harbour Wolves

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The song explores Toronto’s history as a city of refuge, telling the story of James Earl Ray, the infamous assassin of Martin Luther King Jr., as he flees Memphis, making his way for the Queen City and hiding out for a month in its then seedy west end.

“From a quiet room on Ossington
I watch for one of my names to appear in the headlines
I’ve got so many now I don’t know which one
I should be looking out for.”

The track’s chorus is a raucous and repeating “Queen City Believes You”, a nod to the unofficial motto of 1960s Canadian Customs: “Canada Believes You.”

When asked about the song’s lyrical content, vocalist/composer Jonathan Tyrrell remarks that “Toronto—-Canada at large—-is to some a paradise, others a refuge, a new beginning, perhaps an escape, or a clean slate: a new home. Cities have always been places where identities can be remade, new masks can be worn and secrets concealed—-for better or for worse. To James Earl Ray this city was distant and anonymous, an elaborate camouflage where he could plan his escape to Rhodesia.”

lyrics

Early on that April night
Some kinda hell broke loose in Memphis and I
Bolted for Atlanta caught a bus to Detroit
Trying to make it through the northern borderline

Well I ain't no saint
But I ain't no assassin just a man with no lie
But in the decade of the patsy we're just innocent bullets
Trigger fingered by invisible hands and I know that

Queen City believes you
Queen City believes you no more

From a quiet room on Ossington
I watch for one of my names to appear in the headlines
I've got so many now I don't know which one
I should be looking out for

But I feel a fierce heat coming up from the south
I feel the cold fist of judgement coming down
I'll be a hero in Rhodesia or I'll see you in hell
But I ain't gonna waste away between the walls of a prison cell

Queen City believes you
Queen City believes you no more

Look at you with my disinterested eyes
Queen City be my mask tonight

Queen City believes you
Queen City believes you no more

credits

from Queen City: Volume Two, released July 21, 2015

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