The Qu'Appelle Valley

by B.D. Willoughby

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The new roots album from B.D. Willoughby explores the lives and deaths of historic figures who shaped Saskatchewan, including Louis Riel, Big Bear, and E.A. Partridge.

Here's what the reviewers are saying:

“This is not your granddaddy’s folk music”
The Bicycle Gang (

“The songs’ lyrics tell stories of another time, another place…Listen and learn and enjoy.”
Bill Waiser, Historian
Author of Saskatchewan: A New History

“This type of CD fits in well with what is called for by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada - individual efforts to do something to acknowledge the past and contribute towards healing.”
Professor Blair Stonechild, First Nations University
Author of Loyal ‘til Death: Indians and the North-West Rebellion.

“Shades of Gordon Lightfoot”
Darren Patrick (QUE)


released April 29, 2016

Recorded at: SoulSound Studios, Regina SK
Engineer: Orion Paradis
Mastering: Harris Newman, Greymarket Mastering, Montreal PQ

Cover design: Avril Biggin, Bigg In Design,
Cover photo credit: Oliver Buell, 1885, SaskArchives R-B427

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Track Name: B.D. Willoughby (with Black Drink Crier) - The Qu'Appelle Valley
The Qu’Appelle Valley (with Black Drink Crier)

Two Young Lovers by the Edge of the Water,
Pledged a Love That Would Never Die.
She Waves to Him as He Paddles Down the River,
Not Knowing This Would Be Their Last Goodbye.

Remember When He Called to You?
Remember When He Answered You?
Now It’s Just Echoes Out Over the Water

And Every Song’s Another Heart Broken,
Another Love Gone Up In Flame.
And Every Song’s Got a Heart of It’s Own,
Calling Out a Long-Lost Lover’s Name.

Remember When He Sang to You?
Remember When the Words Were True?
Now They’re Just Marks On the Page

A Man Stands Waiting In the Valley,
He’s Been Waiting For All His Life.
Waiting For the Call, To Come Across the Water,
Waiting For a Good Woman To Make His Wife.

Can You Hear Her Calling You?
Could This Be a Love True?
A Man Stands Waiting in the Qu’Appelle Valley.
Track Name: Ipperwill Farm
The Ipperwill Farm

I took a job with my cousin, I was working on his farm.
Last I seen him he was working in the barn.
Now there ain’t nobody.
Ain’t no body on the Ipperwill Farm.

That Sunday morning went to church as we always done.
Stanley went a callin’, came back when the supper bell rung.
After dusk we were working out in the barn,
Heard tires in the yard, Stanley went out to talk.
When I got out there, the whole yard was dark.
Ain’t nobody on the Ipperwill Farm.

Police sent their men, searching far and wide.
But they could find no sight.
It was as if Stanley had just disappeared.
Nobody knows, what happened to him.

Ain’t Nobody on the Ipperwill Farm.
Ain’t no body.

It was a cold February night the police came back again,
Wondering if Gert and I had noticed anything.
She got to talking ‘bout what a hard year we’d had at the farm,
Had a horse die last spring, buried it in the manure pile out behind the barn.
Police raised their eyebrows and went out back,
Turned over the pile, til his body fell out,
Stanley’s body fell out.

Ain’t Nobody on the Ipperwill Farm,
Ain’t no body.

Oh he was a hard, hard man,
Owed me more than he was willing to pay.
So one night I called him out to the barn,
Hit him in the head this way.

Ain’t Nobody on the Ipperwill Farm,
Ain’t no body.
Track Name: Play That Music
Play That Music

Play That Music, Lover Won’t You Please?
Play That Song And Drift Me Off To Sleep.
Oh Lover, Lover, Lover Please,
Sing That Song And Drift Me Off To Sleep.

Play That Music, Lover Won’t You Please?
Play That Song And Drift Me Off To Sleep.
Oh What A Thrill, Lying In Your Arms,
Drift Me Away With Your Singing Charms.

Play That Music, Lover Won’t You Please?
Play That Song And Drift Me Off to Sleep.
Oh Lover, Lover, Lover Dear,
Sing Your Love Song, So Softly In My Ear.
Track Name: The Ballad of E.A. Partridge
The Ballad of E.A. Partridge

With a booming voice, you could hear across the land,
He said the rich don’t give a damn for the common man,
Says it’s up to us, to take what we can,
They’ll not stop until they’ve broken everyone

The railways, they took their share,
And the grain companies took their share,
And in Winnipeg, when the cars arrived, they took all the market could bear,
So what was left for the ploughman’s share?

With a booming voice you could hear across the land,
He said, we’ll take our grain and ship it ourselves to them,
We’ll buy all the cars we need, we’ll own the elevators, we’ll own the seed,
We’ll take our rightful share.

In Winnipeg, they tried to condemn him,
They refused to sell the farmer’s grain when it came in,
So the booming voice that echoed across the land,
Said, we’ll elect ourselves to office, and run this whole commission.

The booming voice you could hear across the land,
Said the rich don’t give a damn for the common man,
They’ll take all they can buy, they’ll take all they can steal,
And leave nothing for the families who work the fields.

They won their seat at the parliament,
The farmers united are a force to be reckoned with,
And that booming voice said I believe we can,
Put an end to poverty within this generation.

Well that booming voice you could hear across the land,
Said the rich don’t give a damn for the common man,
And that ain’t gonna change until we all lend a hand,
And build a Co-operative Commonwealth Federation.

Yeah the booming voice that rang across the land,
People heard it booming, but they didn’t quite understand,
He promised a better future, for the, common man,
But history it repeats when it’s forgotten.

Well his children died in war, and his wife died young,
And this booming voice packed his bags and left Saskatchewan.
He moved to the coast, and lived for a short time there,
And to his own hand, he gave his life, and the voice was no longer heard.
Track Name: Help Me
Help Me

I don’t want to die in an automobile,
I don’t want to die like that.
I don’t want to die riding my bike in the city,
With the automobiles chasing me around.

I don’t want to die, falling from the sky,
In a great big aeroplane on high,
When it’s time to die I will walk down to the river,
Feel the water one last time.

So Help Me, Help Me,
Live and Die
In This Valley

I don’t want to live with fear of radiation,
The cells in my bones turned against me.
I don’t want to live with anger in my heart,
At all those who see the world differently from me.

I just want to live, day by day, living each moment.
Oh won’t you help me live that way,
Find a little peace in the valley.

Help Me, Help Me,
Live and Die,
In This Valley
Track Name: 1885 Part I - The Dream of Big Bear
1885 Part I – The Dream of Big Bear

A train was promised from Canada,
They wanted a treaty to sign,
They gathered to hear the queen’s promises,
And lies..
Big Bear, would not sign.

They were the last tribe, hunting the buffalo,
Followed them south past the Medicine line,
The herds fell to the guns of the Americans,
Bones piled ten feet high.
Big Bear, how will your people survive?

The wolf traders and the whisky bars,
The US Cavalry,
They went north with a hard winter coming
What choice could they make?
Big Bear signed the treaty, and accepted his fate.

Big Bear dreamed of a people strong and free,
A united homeland for the Cree,
A Commons for the bison to roam,
A place to call home.

It was the morning of April 2nd,
the year was 1885,
Shots fired out, from a miserable man
The dream of Big Bear had died.
Big Bear, wasting away, in Stony Mountain penitentiary.
Track Name: 1885 Part II - Resistance
1885 Part II – Resistance

There’s a church on the hill, and the water’s lying still,
You can hear the church bells sleeping,
If we ride all night, we can make a day of time,
Before the Canadian troops arrive.

We’ve got to ride through the valley,
Ride through the valley,
There’s a full moon over the valley,
We’ve got to ride through the valley.

Sage grouse clucking in the coulee,
Whitetail hiding in the trees,
Gun in my hand, and horse by my side,
Going to join Riel on his ride.

The train’s coming soon,
It’s going to bring a thousand troops,
But I can’t fear that night,
Nothing left but to ride.
Track Name: 1885 Part III - Rebellion
1885 Part III – Riel’s Rebellion

They sent the men, marching north to rebellion,
They sent the men to put it down.
They left from Fort Qu’Appelle, one spring morning,
And went to face Louis Riel.

Of the troops, some were seasoned, some were only boys,
You could see their hands shaking.
For Louis Riel, was already legend,
And it was the homeland of his people they were invading.

Well stand your ground boys, Stand your ground,
When the rebel, comes around,
You’ve got to stand your ground
Though your heart may be racing, you want to run,
Stand your ground son.

They were marching through fish creek, when they heard the guns a-firing,
And the redcoat men, stood their ground.
Six men dead, fifty more lay bleeding,
Blood runs red, to the Saskatchewan.

But onwards they marched, onwards to Batoche,
Where Riel had ordered his men.
And these Metis farmers, defenders of their land,
Dug their rifle pits and waited.

Stand your ground, Stand your ground,
When the redcoat, comes around,
You’ve got to stand your ground.
They’ve refused your petitions, and led you to the gun,
Stand your ground son.

Well the Metis were outnumbered 4 to 1,
They fought until their bullets were exhausted.
Middleton’s troops ran through their defenses,
And Batoche had fallen.

He was three days on the run, before Riel surrendered,
In return for the freedom of his people.
They took him to the capital of the North-west,
And charged him with high treason.

Stand your ground Riel, Stand your ground,
Your cause is just, your conscience clear,
Stand your ground without fear
You took up arms to protect the Métis’ claims,
Stand your ground without shame.

The judge issued his sentence, ignoring pleas for mercy,
He blamed Riel for the bloodshed.
Louis Riel, hero of the Métis, you will,
“hang by the neck ‘til you are dead.”
Track Name: Sleeping Dogs
Sleeping Dogs

In the dawning of the morning light,
The dogs are sleeping in,
And all I see in the east,
Is the dawning of the morning light,
The dogs are sleepin’ in,
The dogs are sleepin’ in.