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The Song

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French Lyrics

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Petit Coquelicot Rouge
by Rob Kennedy

On doit se rappeler
On doit retenir
Tous les souvenirs
De ceux qui sont partis
On n'oubliera jamais
Leurs médailles d'honneur
Et tous leurs sacrifices pour nous

Souviens-toi de cette fleur
Petit coquelicot rouge
Qui ne meurt jamais sur un champ de bataille
Nous portons la mémoire de nos copains
Comme cette petite fleur... sur notre coeur

On doit se rappeler
On doit retenir
C'est un salut à la liberté
Un grand souvenir
On n'oubliera jamais
Un moment de silence
Et n'oublions pas le passé

Souviens-toi de cette fleur
Petit coquelicot rouge
Qui ne meurt jamais sur un champ de bataille
Nous portons la mémoire de nos copains
Comme cette petite fleur... sur notre coeur
Comme cette petite fleur... sur notre coeur

On doit se rappeler
On doit retenir


The Origin of Little Red Poppy

During a suppertime conversation with my wife Renée and her mother Margaret back in 2003, I was asked about my school's activities at our Remembrance Day observance. Not long after my response, they both suggested that perhaps creating a song for children would be a great idea. At the time, I wasn't familiar with any prominent Remembrance Day songs for children and I was only a casual guitar player with a few songs of my own. But I knew they were onto something. Giving children a voice to honour our fallen comrades and veterans and bring awareness to their cause would be a challenge and I think looking back was my calling.

I had no idea how difficult this song would be to write and produce, but it did however help me understand why there wasn't a lot of songs out there touching upon this event. It had to capture a certain reverence and respect, but at the same time be uplifting enough in spirit to encourage children to perform it... not an easy task. After several changes both lyrical and musically and many times in the studio, Little Red Poppy was born in 2005, two years after that inspiring suppertime chat.

It seemed only appropriate to dedicate "Little Red Poppy" to my mother Kathryn, who was always about doing the right thing and my grandfather Clarence, who served with the Canadian Engineers in WWI and later as a staff sergeant in WWII. Mom worked at the Ajax munitions plant which opened in 1941, where she said there were three shifts a day and more than 9000 employees. Apparently, this was one of the largest Allied munitions manufacturers during WWII and when this township needed a post office to handle the large volumes of mail for employees and their families, the factory workers took the name Ajax in honor of the HMS Ajax, a Royal Navy cruiser, which served in the first naval battle of WWII.

Rob Kennedy

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