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Things have devolved into such a state of ridiculous zaniness on Canada’s energy scape that perhaps it’s time to express our travails through that time-proven panacea for all forms of hurt: the country and western song.

Such songs can timelessly and eloquently express a range of sentiments and emotions. They’re anthems to spirit, grittiness and determination conveyed in plain-spoken and heartfelt terms.

How about a cross-country singalong? Maybe this anthem will get some radio time. With tongue only somewhere near my cheek, I call this little ditty:

We May Be Hurtin’ … But We Ain’t Dyin’

(Sing along if you will. Twangs and drawls at your discretion.)

Our wheels ain’t turnin’ on the trucks,
Our drill bits ain’t grindin’ through the rocks,
Our oil is worth not much more than dirt.
Yes, indeed we’re in times of hurt.

Chorus: We may be hurtin’ … but we ain’t dyin’.

Even when times ain’t flyin’,
We’re never gonna give up tryin’.
Our fellow Canucks don’t give a crap
But we won’t turn off the tap
That fills their cars and flies their planes,
That schools their kids and cures their pains

Chorus: We may be hurtin’ … but we ain’t dyin’.

Even when times ain’t flyin’,
We’re never gonna give up tryin’.
It’s hard to figure what they don’t get
About how petroleum fuels the jets
That take our name across the globe
And gets Canadian petro a name of gold.

Chorus: We may be hurtin’ … but we ain’t dyin’.

Even when times ain’t flyin’,
We’re never gonna give up tryin’.
Ole Rach is out buyin’  trains
To haul our crude across the plains.
But all we want is to lay some pipe
And not listen to those easterners gripe.

Chorus: We may be hurtin’ … but we ain’t dyin’.

Even when times ain’t flyin’,
We’re never gonna give up tryin’.
We all get the climate’s changin’ true,
Just know oil folks love this earth as much as you.
But killin’ petroleum ain’t the solution say
Cuz our barrels get cleaner ’n’ greener every day.

Chorus: We may be hurtin’ … but we ain’t dyin’.

Even when times ain’t flyin’,
We’re never gonna give up tryin’.
Ole Jay and Rach are snipin’ at each other
’N’  Johnny Horgan wants to smother
A sector that backbones our fine land.
You might just say life’s a bitumen.

Chorus: We may be hurtin’ … but we ain’t dyin’.

Even when times ain’t flyin’,
We’re never gonna give up tryin’.
Those politicians just want to squabble
While the economy turns to rubble.
We need to tell ’em to quit the snipe
And let’s just get on with layin’ that pipe.

Chorus: We may be hurtin’ … but we ain’t dyin’

Even when times ain’t flyin’,
We’re never gonna give up tryin’.
These times are crazy that’s for sure,
We’re left wondering what’s the cure.
For when resort town mayors send us a climate bill
And our teachers would rather listen to Suzuki and Berman shill.

Chorus: We may be hurtin’ … but we ain’t dyin’.

Even when times ain’t flyin’,
We’re never gonna give up tryin’.
We’re pickin’ up picket signs instead of pickin’ up paycheques.
But Justin just pats our heads just like his pa did, heck,
And tells us like children things will be okay
If only we follow the Liberal way.

Chorus: We may be hurtin’ … but we ain’t dyin’.

Even when times ain’t flyin’,
We’re never gonna give up tryin’.
From Drayton east out to Lloyd and G.P. south down to the Hat,
Shops are closin’ and businesses are flat.
Downtown Cowtown looks ’n’ feels like a ghost town
And some days the Plus-15’s so empty you could host a showdown.

Chorus: We may be hurtin’ … but we ain’t dyin’.

Even when times ain’t flyin’,
We’re never gonna give up tryin’.
We’ve got the bumper sticker for these tough days
But our spirit’s strong and our backbone straight.
Our towns are hurtin’, our families cryin’,
We may be hurtin’ but we ain’t dyin’.

George Canyon, Terri Clark, Paul Brandt and Corb Lund: my agent is ready for your calls should you want to put this to music.

If the rest of Canada won’t listen to other forms of conversation about the importance of the energy sector to the country’s economic and social well-being, maybe a heartfelt three-chord ballad will do the trick.

Bill Whitelaw is president and CEO at JuneWarren-Nickle’s Energy Group.


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