Pipeline an original song by Linda Allen, 2000
To listen to a WAV file of the original song “Pipeline” click here.
When the event happened, I was in the back yard with my young son when I saw the billowing smoke. I thought there must be a fire somewhere. Suddenly I became very afraid, because I didn’t know what might be in that smoke. I went in the house and closed all the windows and tuned in to the radio to learn what was happening. It was a very frightening experience Later I visited the park — one of my favorite parks — and was deeply saddened by the destruction I saw there.
The mother of one of the boys who died was someone I came to know, and I saw first hand the incredible suffering she experienced as she grieved her son — a son who was my own son’s age when he died.
I wrote the song as a healing for myself and my community — because I believe there were issues there of safety that were not adequately addressed. I deeply appreciate the pipeline safety advocacy work that is being done after the fact. Hopefully, no other family or community will go through such an event.
We remember how it started
Plumes of smoke and fire that grew and grew
We knew a dreadful thing had happened
We grabbed our kids and waited for the news
A pipeline can demand an awful price
For whose convenience did we sacrifice?
We remember three young boys who died
With the sweet lands and the waters where they played
We will not sacrifice our children,
Will not sacrifice our lands
We’ll remember that sad day
And we will hold each other’s hands
We will shout it to the sky until
They’re weary of the sound
Only we will choose what’s buried
Underneath our town
We believed our homes were sacred
Never noticed where the pipes were laid
We believed all that they told us
We believed until that summer day
Now we believe that it is up to us
There are those we know we cannot trust
We believe we put our children first
And the sweet lands and the waters where they play