Adrian Glynn and Brendan McLeod aren’t known for writing music with a political slant. When he’s not writing gorgeous western-tinged melodic songs, Adrian joins Brendan in the Vancouver band, The Fugitives, a four-piece composed of musicians who double as slam poets, writers, actors and hilarious accordion players (ok, there’s only one of those). But Bill C-31 was just the right issue to ruffle their feathers and inspire a divergence.
“Brendan and I often lament how difficult it is to write songs about political issues,” Adrian told me when I started asking questions about this particular song. “If it was easy to write good songs that aren’t overly preachy or cheesy and still somewhat musically satisfying then I think we’d do one every week. But it’s hard. In this case the issue at hand is just so infuriating and so outlandishly un-Canadian that it was immediately inspiring.”
The song was part of a series of dare’s that Brendan and Adrian have been partaking in that they call “Dare Your Face.”
“Brendan and I dare eachother to do different things and then film it,” explained Adrian. “It quickly became a way to make different types of videos where we might just be daring ourselves in different ways. Case in point, the Bill C-31 song, which was a challenge to ourselves to create something about an issue that was really important to us.”
Add to that that the boys do the video in their underwear, and you are witnessing a sincere pouring of empathy mixed with the feeling of exposure – a metaphor for the exposure refugees must feel coming to a country that will now be unable to help them if they are ill – even if they are prenatal women or heart attack victims – unless they are contagious.
The information that runs along the bottom of the screen was written by Brendan, as was the first draft of the song.
Adrian said it’s hard to know where to start when talking about his concerns about how C-31 affects refugees.
“The idea of a targeting a marginalized demographic and denying them a basic human right to medical care? The thought of turning them away from Canadian hospitals and having their ailments only get worse? The heartlessness, ruthlessness, and gross misunderstanding of the Canadian populace that the government is showing by introducing a bill this cynical?”
“What makes the case of refugees especially troubling is that they are among the most vulnerable people in our population,” he continues. “To strip them of health care, on what appears to be mostly ideological ground, is immensely troubling. It’s a play – or a ploy – by the Conservatives to appeal to people’s basest sentiments: a fear they may have ‘the other’, the sense that they are being ‘taken for a ride’ by people trying to cheat the system, or get off without paying their fair share. It is an insult to the intelligence and empathy of Canadian people, a completely cynical move, and I think what we’ve seen from the revolt against it is that people aren’t buying the argument. They see it for the fallacy that it is.”
For people looking for more information, Adrian and Brendan recommend visiting www.doctorsforrefugeecare.ca.