Popular protest song "Harperman'' performed at Charlottetown rally

Jim Day jday@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on September 17, 2015

Another 40 cities across Canada expected to take part in national Harperman Sing-Along

Dorothy Jackson certainly did not show up to sing Stephen Harper's praises.

The 85-year-old Jackson donned her Raging Granny attire of apron, shawl and wide-brimmed hat to voice her displeasure in the prime minister and his Conservative government.

She joined a small group - she had hoped for a larger crowd, but Islanders tend to keep to themselves, she observed - to sing Harperman, the famous protest song by Ottawa's Tony Turner that saw the scientist and songwriter suspended from his job for performing the song in a YouTube video.

The video now has more than 1.6-million views.

Only a dozen or so showed up to watch a small group gather outside a coffee shop in Charlottetown to belt out Harperman into a microphone.

Another 40 cities across Canada were expected to take part in what has been dubbed a national Harperman Sing-Along.

Jackson, AKA Raging Granny, was not going to miss the opportunity to sing in discontent towards Harper.

After belting out Harperman, she took several strong verbal shots at the man who has been prime minister of Canada now for nearly a decade.

Asked to ring off her top three beefs with Harper, Jackson told The Guardian:

"Well, first of all he lies - and (secondly) when you write him a letter about it he doesn't answer you. And three there is no reason on earth to keep the man there. When he first hove into sight, I said 'that man is going to divide us into two bunches of people. He's going to have all the rich people, the rest of us is going to be poor and do all his dirty work for him. And that's what he's done.''

Jackson says the Harperman song addresses "just about every concern'' Canadians are voicing about Harper and his government.

"I don't see how he can get elected again,'' she said, never getting out of character.

"I don't see it. He's had his foot in the manure pile for ages, you know.''

Jackson, a native of P.E.I. who now lives in Halifax but summers on the Island in Lower Bedeque, has long been a member of the Raging Grannies - social justice activists, all women old enough to be grandmothers, who dress up in clothes that mock stereotypes of older women, and sing songs at protests.

Dorothy Jackson, 85, appears in her Raging Granny attire of apron, shawl and wide-brimmed hat to voice her displeasure in the prime minister and his Conservative government.

©THE GUARDIAN/JIM DAY