The Ballad of Johnny Sansregret
|Title:||The Ballad of Johnny Sansregret|
Come and listen to this story, come and listen to this rhyme
And if you pay attention you will not regret the time
If you’ve a mind for liberty then you never will forget
I ask you know to hear the tale of Johnny Sansregret.
Not too much is known about him but he merits your regard
His forefather crossed the ocean with the name of Pontbriard
And it was his strength of character that accounts for how it came
To be that his future family would have a nickname for a name.
Johnny was a buffalo hunter, among the greatest it was said
He’d look those “shaggies” in the eyes and they’d topple over dead
From the valley of old St. Laurent to the coolies of Lebret
People all revered the name of Johnny Sansregret.
In the year of 1885 with Dumont and Riel
Johnny stayed and stood his ground and it didn’t go so well
He was taken to Regina town and in shackles he was placed
But no look of contrition ever came across his face.
He had to stand his trial with his comrades all
They were led into a courtroom and into a prisoners’ stall
When the guilty verdict was read out many an eye was wet
But there were no tears up the face of Johnny Sansregret!
Now it may give you cause to wonder just how it would come to be
That a man be placed in irons and yet stand defiantly
In the lone and God-forsaken place where the self is rent apart
Be a prisoner in a prison, or an outcast of your heart.
He has faded into history, things are better now-a-days
Malcolm Norris and Jim Brady* both deserve a lot of praise
For their vision in the time they lived and determined work they’ve done
When a people is uplifted it is good for everyone.
So now as I’m concluding and I’ll thank you for your time
Just one more thing in passing, may it hold well in your mind
From the valley’s of Saskatchewan to the temples of Tibet
Where people work for liberty there is no room for regret!
* From the 1930s to the 1960s, Malcolm Norris and Jim Brady helped revive Métis awareness and built Métis’ political structures in both Alberta and Saskatchewan