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Monday, March 09, 2009

Songwriters write ode to Taser victim Robert Dziekanski

March 9, 2009
By Adrian Chamberlain, Victoria Times Colonist

A Victoria musician and a legendary U.S. songsmith have co-written a protest song about Taser victim Robert Dziekanski.

Fiddler/singer Kendel Carson, 24, says she co-wrote Don’t Want to Live on a Street — now posted as a video on YouTube — with songwriter Chip Taylor.

Taylor, the brother of actor Jon Voight, is most famous for having written such 1960s hits as Wild Thing and Angel of the Morning.

In I Don’t Want to Live on a Street, Carson describes seeing footage of a Polish immigrant being Tasered by police in Vancouver.

“It made me sick to my stomach,” she sings while a clip of Dziekanski encountering police is shown.

News footage about Dziekanski’s death is also included in the YouTube video.

“I think [the incident] is incredibly sad, it makes me thankful there’s outlets like YouTube,” Carson said in an interview yesterday. “I feel so much for this guy who was just basically confused and lost and I guess a little agitated. I think the police overreacted.”

Dziekanski died 10 hours after arriving at Vancouver International Airport on Oct. 13, 2007.

A public inquiry into his death is ongoing.

Carson, who relocated to Vancouver several months ago, said she and Taylor collaborated last May on writing songs for her soon-to-be-released album, Alright Dynamite.

I Don’t Want to Live on a Street was written at this time after Taylor asked whether she was interested in collaborating on a more “serious” composition.

“This story, I think it affected a lot of Canadians, especially Vancouverites and Victorians and West Coasters,” she said.

She met Taylor in 2004 when the pair performed for a workshop at the Edmonton Folk Festival. She recorded her first album, Rear View Mirror Tears, with him in New York.

Carson has played with such bands as the Paperboys and Outlaw Social.

As a teen, Carson was a member of a fiddle duo, the Carson Kids, with her brother Tyler.

The music video on YouTube is at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvrlIDkxLLc.

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