Order of Canada musician Phil Dwyer wrote ‘The Ballad of Bonnie Henry’ for B.C.’s Chief Provincial Health Officer, as well as other people working on in the health care sector during COVID-19. (Photo submitted by Phil Dwyer)

Phil Dwyer, award-winning jazz musician from Qualicum Beach, earns mention in ‘New York Times’

His song for Dr. Bonnie Henry now has approximately 50,000 plays

It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks for Phil Dwyer, a Juno Award-winning jazz musician from Qualicum Beach, who has now been mentioned in the New York Times.

It’s all thanks to a folk song he wrote titled ‘The Ballad of Bonnie Henry’ – a song dedicated to B.C.’s provincial health officer.

“You know, it’s something you can tell the grandkids — I was in the New York Times,” he said.

READ MORE: Order of Canada musician Phil Dwyer pens ‘The Ballad of Bonnie Henry’

READ MORE: COVID-19: ‘The Ballad of Bonnie Henry’ recorded and released

But most of all, he said it’s been interesting to see something he’s written have so much widespread appeal — he can’t really think of anything comparable, other than maybe playing on studio tracks for boybands in the 1990s.

“It managed to touch a large group of people,” he said.

He’s seen the track go from a post on his Facebook, to now having almost 50,000 plays on SoundCloud.

“I thought, I’m just going to pop this on the interweb because it’s gotta be better than looking at some clip of a Donald Trump press conference,” he said, the morning after posting the lyrics. “And a couple of friends of mine got back to me right away.”

The song description on SoundCloud says the song is written for Henry, along with “all the other hard-working people in the health care sector.” It asks listeners to consider making a donation to the CanadaHelps Community Fund, which is raising money for COVID-19 relief efforts. Donations are currently being matched by Gore Mutual. The song can also be purchased on Bandcamp, with contributions going towards the musicians.

The lyrics to Dwyer’s song:

She comes on the radio, just around 3

with the public health news for the folks of BC

and to talk of a crisis, of a scope yet unseen

with an ungainly moniker, Covid-19

From the start, at the top of her list of demands,

was we lather with soap and please wash off our hands,

and as things took a turn for the worse day by day,

that we keep friends and neighbours a good six feet away

She’s had lots of help in her search for a fix,

not the least of whom is Mr. Adrian Dix,

in the eyes of the public though, she’s been the one

that has been with us since this whole thing has begun,

As nurses and doctors proceed with their tasks,

and pray for enough ventilators and masks,

she asks us to all help and flatten the curve,

and that from her health policy we do not swerve,

If we all stick together and see this thing through

we can show what a civil society can do

when it’s faced with a threat that first seemed unreal

but that now, it is obvious, is the real deal

So please follow the guidelines that she has laid out

it is going to be worth it, of that there’s no doubt

and if you turn on your radio, just around 3

the voice that you hear is of Bonnie Henry


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