Sunday, May 3, 2015

Irvin Freese & Daughter Jacqueline - "Shell Lake Disaster"

"Shell Lake Disaster" b/w "Fate of Old Strawberry Roan"
(Eagle Records ER-128)

This song was written and recorded by Manitoba's Irvin Freese immediately following a horrific mass murder in Shell Lake. Stark lyrics detail the incident and are coupled with the cries of Irvin's young daughter Jacqueline (echoing the one child spared), turning the song into something deeply unsettling. Not surprisingly, Eagle Records was threatened with a lawsuit and the record was recalled almost immediately. Side 2 features a fine version of Wilf Carter's "Fate of Old Strawberry Roan," but I'm here for the Saskatchewan connection.

There's plenty written (online and off) about the Shell Lake disaster/massacre/murders, if you're at all interested.