The Battle of Billings Bridge

Dedicated with love to Zexi Li, Sam Hersh, Shawn Menard, Catherine McKenney, Jeff Leiper, Noelle Narwhal, the Ram Ranch Resistance and so many others who have been fighting to make Ottawa safe; as well as the Algonquin-Anishinaabe peoples of Ottawa and the First Nations, Indigenous, Inuit, and Metis people across Canada who have been mourning their finally-found children among this chaos.

Anybody is free to record this as long as you tell me about it; just email me a link to whatever you did with it so I’m in the loop, and give credit to Elliott Dunstan. Tablature and proper recording to follow. (Er, hopefully, anyway.)

The events retold in this song really occurred. In fact, I left out a lot.

Image
Art by @DylanPenner

Verse 1

G
The Freedom Convoy started with

D
A lot of griping men

D7
With too much spite in their blood

Am G
And too much time on their hands

Em
They were sick of COVID—

Am Em Am
Like the rest of us ain’t too

Em G D
They decided they would protest it

C D G
Just like the commies do

2.

So they got in their big big trucks
And belched out petrol fumes
They painted signs of ‘Fuck Trudeau’
And ‘We’re fighting for you too!’
They claimed cultists along the way
Who hated the vaccines
And claimed to all the media —
We’re the biggest that you’ve seen!

3.

The cowardly lions laid red carpet
Wolves in sheepcoat brought ‘em in
The birds in cages sang their warnings
But no-one did anything —
And they stayed, and stayed, and stayed
Where everybody lived
And the birds all shrieked out, baby, baby,
something’s gotta give!

4.

Just hold your hats, said the cops to the rest
We’ll get this cleared up in a jiff
Then they shot the breeze with their buddy Steve
and traded off hot tips
We’ll be right along, said the OPP
We’re giving invitations out
They might get lost in their giant trucks
And we’ll have to fish them out!

5.

The grannies cluck and the soccer moms tut
and the queers all look around —
this ain’t our land, but we find it grand
and we’d rather stand our ground
For the coffee shops and the mom and pops
And our sleepy big small town
We’re a quiet lot but it’s what we’ve got
And y’all won’t burn it down

6.

Of course they laughed in their great big cars
with their great big caps and their flags
Oh the poor elite has to breathe in tar,
We had to get vaxxed!
They laughed at one and they laughed at two
And they mocked and jeered and cried
Until they honked their horrible horns –
– and we wouldn’t stand aside.

7.

This is getting big, said a pig to a pig
should we tell them to go home?
Sure, said his bud, we should break em up
But leave the white old boys alone!
I’m tired of this crowd that’s getting loud
and telling us to do our jobs
It’s a tough occupation in the heart of the nation
Telling Natives to fuck off!

8.

Cause the thin blue line don’t seem that thin
When you’re standing in its way
But they messed up bad when they picked their lads
And it’s time they rued the day
The war ain’t won but we fired no guns
This wasn’t Vimy Ridge
But there’s honour and glory in telling the story
of the Battle of Billings Bridge!

9.

Cause it starts with one and it starts with two
A lawsuit, a sign or a shout
And by week three, running on no sleep
A group all coming out —
They walked their dogs and they crossed the road
And they stopped and stayed and stood
Before too long the word caught on
And Lord, the word was good.  

10.

And three came along and four came too
And five just stopped on by
And six and eight said this seems great
With the truckers screaming why?
Cause ten turns into hundreds, boy
And a hundred multiplies
And the battle of Billings Bridge was born
At Bank and Riverside!

11.

If hell has a sound it’s horns
And the idling of a Ford
It’s been three weeks, with junk knee-deep
And Sloly grows the horde
Not on my watch, said the Ram Ranch crew
Thousands turning out
And just you wait, Jim, duck your head-
We’ll be round to throw you out!

12.

The grannies scowl and the moms cry foul
and the queers all block the way —
this ain’t our land, time to give it back
to the Anishinaabe–
For the children lost, and the pain you’ve caused
And our sleepy big small town
We’re a quiet lot but it’s what we’ve got
And y’all won’t burn it down

13.

Well how does this end? Said a pig to his friend
And said again to the crowd
You should have kept quiet, but we won’t riot
We’re just gonna get real loud!
You abandoned us to the fumes and rust
To the fires and the raves and the smell
We won’t hurt you but when we’re through
You’ll be in bureaucratic Hell

14.

The bravest soldiers don’t bear arms
But Timbits, tuques and gloves
Protest signs and linked-arm lines
And anger born of love
The war ain’t won but we fired no guns
This wasn’t Vimy Ridge
But there’s honour and glory in telling the story
of the Battle of Billings Bridge!

15.

And it ended quiet and ended good
And I suppose we didn’t know
That in the night before the light
Our exploits reached Trudeau
He called his Cabinet to him
Called the premiers in the morn
And the very next day, he came to say —
It’s time to kill the horns!

16.

So honkies out and turn about
Fascists will not win
The Ivermectin Insurrection
Won’t be movin’ in
If you’re young or old or shy or bold
There’s something you can give
Always remember we’re stronger together
–The Battle of Billings Bridge!!

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