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Marty Lowman: Music

My Neighbours

(Marty Lowman)
Marty Lowman

My Neighbours is a song about the difference between human relationships and government policy.  I live near a border city - I work in a border city and from my office window I look out an see the Ambassador Bridge, the Detroit River and the city of Detroit on the other side of the river.  Those of us who live close to the border cross back and forth frequently.  Many of us have friends and family who live on the other side of the river.  We have a lot in common with our American neighbours, although the way we spell neighbours is different.

Canada and the US are strong trading partners and since the war of 1812 have been allies in most major conflicts around the globe.  The population of Canada is roughly ten percent of the US poplulation.  Our economy is tied to the American economy and much of our foreign policy is strongly influenced by US forgeign policy.  Canada is a resource rich county and one of the greatest resources we have is water.  There are rumblings from our neighbours to the south about ways to access Canadian water resources.  As global warming continues and water sources diminish, our neighbours will naturally be looking north.  While our neighbours are our friends, government policy may overlook friendship in the cause of self-preservation.  It will be interesting to see how this will all play out. 

When I wrote this the Bush administration was humming along imposing it's agenda.  This was an administration that acted in strongly in its own best interest with little regard for the consequences.  Those of us living next door watch events unfold knowing they will impact us and the rest of the world.  While we are friends and neighbours and our relationships with the people who live next door are strong - we're cautious.  When the water shortage beings to hit home, what kind of administration will be in power?  What kind of policy will be established?  Being a small nation living next to the world superpower, we think about this stuff.

My Neighbours - (c) Marty Lowman, 2009

There's a bridge outside my window, reaching to another world

Where decisions are all made and the future is unfurled

And they look much like I do and the language is the same

Most times they are friendly if I just play their games

They say the bridge leads to a land where all men are free

But the whole world is enslaved to their economy And they plunder world resources and they don't even care

If they get what they need you know they need their share

Chorus They are my neighbours, they are my friends They are my allies, in the war that never ends

They are my brothers, but they’re bigger and want more What happens to friendship when the wolf is at the door

They want my softwood but they don't want to pay They want the border tight, don't care about delays

They want my North West Passage, they want my oil They want to take my water down south to quench their soil

We’re not a third world country, they’re not likely to invade But money talks and with self-interest friendship is betrayed

And the water battle’s looming and the bubble has been burst How can we leave them thirsty, but will they just take it first

I am not a wise man, I’m really just a fool Who wants to live in harmony, live by the golden rule

And I live next to a giant who takes without remorse My options seem limited by choice or by force