454 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 78 PART 3 MAY 2020
the province all the while encouraging us to wash hands, practise social distancing
and stay at home as much as possible to curb the onslaught of infections.
It is fascinating that such weighty daily action would inspire someone
to pen a poem about it.
To these ears, beyond the simple composition is a gentle and inviting
coda in the last few bars of the song, which I am going to imagine were
written out for the musicians to play. I would have liked more of this, to be
honest—perhaps an opening phrase or an instrumental break in the middle.
Still, this is nitpicking, and the fact is, a busy lawyer wrote this, harnessed
the talents of his colleagues and recorded and released it in a matter
of a couple of days. Ballads are more about the lyrics than the music, anyway.
Dwyer, it should be noted, is no slouch when it comes to music. “For his
contributions to jazz as a performer, composer and producer and for
increasing access to music education in his community”, Dwyer was
invested in the Order of Canada in 2013. He came to law late in life and got
his law degree in 2017. Having articled with Beckingham & Co. in Port
Alberni, he is now an associate at Merrill, Long & Co. where he practises
family law, estate and civil litigation and environmental law.
Really, the law is Phil Dwyer’s side gig, for he remains a remarkable jazz
saxophonist and pianist. Audiences in his hometown of Qualicum Beach are
regularly treated to his trio performances, and he still shows up for gigs in
Victoria and Vancouver as his practice allows. While we look forward to
Phil’s inevitable return to the stage, we thank him (as do all British
Columbians) for his unique method of recognizing and recording the stellar
work of the province’s chief medical officer.
“The Ballad of Bonnie Henry”
By Phil Dwyer
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,