_ These are two songs written in Canada in recent years inspired by Lady Macdonald.
Agnes on the Cowcatcher
Released by Borealis Records in 2002;
Roll On Jamaica
written by Al Parrish
The words of John Macdonald were eloquent and plain
To bind this land and people, our country needs a train
First time I saw Agnes, she was waiting for a train
Standing on the platform in the warm Jamaican rain
She said "All my life it's been my dream to sit where I can see
Everything that lies ahead and what's in store for me
So why should I sit back and let the world's beauty pass?
One day I will sit in front, look ahead at last"
Roll on Jamaica, roll 'cross this land
Carrying Agnes and John
Roll on Jamaica, while she looks ahead
The Old Man behind her dreams on
The next time I saw Agnes, she was riding with John A.
Through the forest, 'cross the shield, on that Jamaica train
While lying in his coach in back, he dreamed twin silver threads
To hold this land together. And then young Agnes said,
"Why do you sit back so all you see is where we've been?
Out before the engine is where I will see my dream"
Next day on the cowcatcher I saw Agnes take her seat
Survey the golden prairies and the foothills where they meet
The blue Canadian Rockies and then the western sea
She asks if John will join her, he says "Come and sit with me"
With his eyes closed he paints for her the promise of his land
One Dominion bonded by a pair of silver bands
Last time I saw Agnes, she was riding with Sir John
She was dressed in black for mourning, the tired Old Man was gone
Past the factories, farms and towns, made that last slow ride
Saw the people, young and old, who watched with grief and pride
She sees more than scenery, as he had always known
She sees his land united as Jamaica rolls them home.
_LADY MACDONALD’S RIDE
By: Jack Godwin
A train went by the other day, the weirdest thing I’ve seen,
A lady rode on the cowcatcher, as regal as a queen.
Oh, she was havin’ fun, now that was plain to see
Later I heard, she rode up there from the Rockies to the sea!
When your big chance comes...TAKE IT, don’t you run away and hide
Nothin’s gonna happen ‘less you...MAKE IT, you can't win unless you try. ('cause...)
Just once around--then we’re gone--to life’s other side.
There’s a lesson for the learnin’, in Lady Macdonald’s ride.
“I’m perfectly aware of the danger, she said. But the spell of the moment is strong.
Just once to court excitement, that surely can’t be wrong.”
Past wildfires an' rock slides, riding there alone,
Lady Macdonald saw it all, on her cowcatcher throne.
Swayin’ ‘round the mountain curves, and down the steepest grade
I heard she laughed with pleasure, completely unafraid.
Skirts tucked underneath her, hat down ‘round her eyes
She rode into the history books on those C.P. railway ties.
Sometimes in life we get a chance at a dream that we hold dear
The things that make us hesitate are worry, doubt and fear.
So when your moment comes, just brush those thoughts aside
And keep in mind the story, of Lady Macdonald’s ride.
You just remember well the story of Lady Madonald's ride.