Dozens of Nelson residents convened on the steps of Nelson City Hall on Thursday at noon to perform a rousing singalong version of the anti-Conservative ballad “Harperman”—a song that has been performed in 50 cities country-wide, including Ottawa, Calgary and Montreal. The ditty, written by civil servant Tony Turner, has been the source of controversy since it was revealed that he’s been put on leave from his job as a federal environmental scientist and is under investigation.
Those gathered chanted rhetorical questions along to the musical stylings of local musicians Earl Hamilton, Fred Richer, Doug Pyper and others. Two-year-old Henry Mackay enjoyed the music enough to sway his hips and swirl in circles while his proud grandmother watched nearby. She then made sure to stick a Wayne Stetski pin on his sweater.
Before launching into “Harperman”, a few of the musicians offered their own anti-Harper ballads. Richer’s was to the tune of “Hard Rain” by Bob Dylan. Then they all joined together, handing around photo-copied sheets with the lyrics, and broke into song.
“Who’s the king of secrecy? Who has slashed the CBC?” the crowd sang. “Won’t buy into climate change until it’s sold on the stock exchange.”
The catchy chorus goes like this: “Harperman, Harperman, it’s time for you to go.”
Local filmmaker Jonathan Robinson, also known as DJ Who, was recording the spectacle, and plans to broadcast the resulting video on social media.
Literature circulated at the event gave the URLS for the “Harperman” music videos, included a contact email of firstname.lastname@example.org and the website harperman.ca.