By Lynda Shadbolt
May your love be pure like an eagle
Wisdom be under every stone you turn
Let truth be your key to freedom and bind you
To the path that holds the light.
7, a song sung by singer songwriter William Prince is playing in the background as I contemplate writing this article on a quiet, magical snow-covered Sunday morning.
The song is cranked, and I am dancing in my kitchen to it as I make coffee and toast. 7 refers to the Seven Grandfather Teachings that are the principles of character that each Anishinaabe should live by love, respect, bravery, truth, honesty, humility, and wisdom. Prince performed this song last Saturday night at his sold out concert at the Northern Lights Performing Arts Pavilion.
Prince comes from Manitoba where he lives on the Peguis First Nation on the western shores of Lake Winnipeg. He wrote 7 for the Peguis graduating class with input from the students.
When he performed this song last night he said, “If you remember o ne thing I have to say tonight, remember this.” I also read that he said if he could leave one message for his son, it would be this song.
Surrender your heart to the seven
Keep to the path that holds the light
Let respect be the law by which you’re driven
‘Cause respect it gets earned it ain’t given.
Prince has a deep baritone voice that filled the theatre. He sings his songs, and he talks about what is important to him. He thanks the creator for life. For music. For the audience. For our time together. He says thank you again and again.
He sings about taking action and being a force for goodness in the world. Do good things for goodness sake. He sings and talks about his love for family, his parents, his partner and his son. Prince is Indigenous, and his father was a preacher.
Prince has produced several albums, and in 2020 he produced Gospel First Nation to explore the relationship between Indigenous people and Christianity.
I was mesmerized by him for the entire show. He has this beautiful baritone voice that fills the theatre, and to be honest fills my heart.
His stories and songs let us know that he has had his challenges in life and is learning like all of us. He lives his life in a relationship with something greater than himself. He is guided by love. Light. By a desire for all people to have clean drinking water, good food and a home. And the Haliburton audience loved him: two standing ovations. Cheering. And I know I wasn’t the only one in tears.
It is so beautiful to witness a human so full of love, gratitude, hope, honesty, humour and have the ability to express it. I think everyone left the theatre inspired to be who they are and contribute.
To give in the way that they can. My heart is so full. Now that is the way to go into a day.