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Songs for Raymond

The vigil last night for Raymond Taavel was an extraordinary event. I had the opportunity to write about it for Xtra, but I felt there was one element that I wanted to bring to the table that I was unable to in the original story.


The event started with an impromptu crowd version of “Amazing Grace” and was punctuated by performances by local musicians and performers. One of the songs was “Down to the River to Pray,” a song known to many due to the rousing version by Alison Krauss on the Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack. You can listen to the version peformed at last night’s vigil here.

This song has been stuck in my head all day. I’ve been singing it to keep my spirits up.


The night of the incident, Taavel and his drinking companions had been listening to the jukebox in the bar. Someone made note of the songs that were played that night.

In honour of that list, I’d like to post a couple videos from it.

Peter Gabriel’s “Solsbury Hill.”

Cheryl Lynn’s “Got To Be Real.”

(This song was mentioned at the vigil by Councillor Dawn Sloane, who said Taavel taught her how to dance to it.)

Keep on dancin’, Raymond.

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