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VIDEO: The Johnnys – “Motorcycle Mama”

The Johnnys just put out a new single called Motorcycle Mama, a tribute for a dear friend of Veronica and Jay Bears’ whose story is now captured in the lyrics of the song.

The Johnnys have been busy lately; offering free workshops during Pride weekend in Somba K’e, Denendeh last week as well as headlining Somba K’e’s Pride celebrations at the Folk on the Rocks site. They also just released this new single about a friend of theirs who happened to have survived a motorcycle accident.

Watch: The Johnnys – “Motorcycle Mama”


This is the story of the song’s origin, as told by Veronica Johnny

“In August 2010, I was visiting my friend, Nadine St. Louis, in Toronto. While I was waiting at Nadine’s house with her son, Fred, he received a call telling him that his mother had been in an accident and she was in hospital. The driver of a car had t-boned her in an intersection while Nadine was riding her motorcycle home.

We rushed to the emergency room and when I was allowed to see her, she told me that she could not feel her legs. She was in a lot of pain and very afraid that she would be paralyzed.

I had my hand drum and traditional medicines with me. I told her that I had already laid down tobacco and prayed for her. The hospital staff would not let me light sage so I could smudge her (because of the oxygen), so we stuffed some in her bra.

I held her hand and I told her that she would get through this, that she would walk again, that I would write a song about how invincible she is, and that I would call it Motorcycle Mama.

It turned out that her body was in shock because of her injuries, and that was the reason she could not feel her legs. She recovered over the course of a year and had to walk with a cane for a while. She is fully recovered now and rides her Harley every chance she gets.”

Nadine epitomizes the strength and resiliency of Aboriginal people and this story/song is a tribute to all our stories.