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Louis Sam

from Rant On, Children by The Ranters

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about

In 1884, an innocent 15 year old native boy from Sumas was lynched by 50 vigilantes.

lyrics

Late in the winter of '84 - a border town on the Whatcom trail
Tragedy of the highest score - as I recount my woefull tail
Gunshots at the strike of noon - coming from his general store
John Bell's flailing body - bleeds life upon the floor

The Dutchman named Bill Osterman - claimed he saw the fleeing man
Heading north on the Whatcom trail - a musket in the young man's hand
He claimed to recollect his face - and the name of Louis Sam
A Salish son from across the line - he's bound for the Kilgard Band

Now Louis was from the Stolo line - just raised his 15th summer
God fearing folks called him a thief - others called him a runner
The prods vowed to clear the land of the heathen sons and mothers
But the fait that awaited young Louis - would make their saints a shudder

Apprehended the very next day - at Thomas York's he's held at bay
Constable of the county - now the scene begins to play
At sunrise they'll be westward - with hooves upon the ground
Trial by fire in the royal city - they'll be Westminster bound

Meanwhile in the Nooksack street - tensions rise to a vengeful heat
Dutch Bill shouts a lynching spree - you can't believe such irony
You see the Dutchman hated John Bell - he wanted his general store
He's the last man to talk to Bell - before his blood spilled on the floor

Vigilante justice runs afoul tonight
Hang him high in the pale moonlight
Hang him high tonight

Vigilante justice cowers from the light
Hang him high in the pale moonlight
Hang him high tonight

In painted face and blackened eyes - they headed north in their disguise
50 riders in the night they lurk - off to do the Dutchman's s work
Thomas York beds down for the night - gets the itch that something
ain't right
Ten men pushing through the door - in the night hid forty more

York agreed to the mobs demands - he bartered the life of this young
man
They dragged Louis from his megshift cell - south to the border his
road to hell
A torched procession lit up the night - high on a horse with his hands
bound tight
Louis began to loose all hope - a tightened noose around his throat

His last act upon this plane - one of the cowards he called by name
Said he'd fix him eye to eye - then Louis' light soared to the sky

Tom York cut his body down - took him back to his Kilgard town
His mother kissed his cold cold hand - his father gave him back to the
land
The government spat an apology - the vigilantes all road free
The Dutchman took John Bell's store - the Queen's justice slammed
the door

Now here's a lesson for all to heed - beware the bullies and bribers
that be
And hold close this verse I cite - beware the cowards under cover
of night

Vigilante justice runs afoul tonight
They'll hang him high by the devil's pike
Hang him high tonight

Vigilante justice cowers from the light
They'll hang him high by the devil's pike
Hang him high tonight

credits

from Rant On, Children, released October 1, 2020
Written by Rockland Moran and Tony Di Gregorio.
Rockland Moran- Guitars and Vocals
Gillian Wale- Autoharp and Vocals
Tony Di Gregorio- Bass and Drum Program

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tags

about

The Ranters Shawnigan Lake, British Columbia

Rant on, Children
In these recordings, The Ranters review subject matter of
localized racism, destruction of environment, and increasing homelessness. Throughout these songs, there lies a thread of
healthy contempt for religious authority, as well as a touch of humor and optimism.
“The Ranters” hope that you enjoy this musical offering of
contemporary roots/blues titled “Rant on, Children”.
... more

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