Black Sheep Inn song a tough gig

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by Trevor Greenway on February 11, 2010

Lindsay Ferguson. David Irvine Photo

Lindsay Ferguson. David Irvine Photo

Click here to read the lyrics to “The Black Sheep Inn” By Lindsay Ferguson

How do you work the word “raft” into a beautiful song? How do you write about a cute little pug in a serious voice? How do you please all of Wakefield, Quebec in three minutes or so? These are the struggles that Wakefield songstress Lindsay Ferguson faced when she was asked to write a song about the Black Sheep Inn.

Although the song is a rebuttal to Martha Wainwright’s CBC Songquest song “Four Black Sheep in the Night,” which got negative reviews from Wakefielders, Ferguson cleared the air, saying she wrote the song because she was asked to, not because she didn’t like Wainwright’s interpretation of the village juke joint.

“I was simply asked to write a song about a place that I love and I said yes,” said Ferguson, sipping coffee at Café Molo.

“Not because I thought I could do a better job than an amazingly talented musician like Martha Wainwright.”

That aside, Ferguson hopes that her song will make Wakefielders smile, although she is aware that pleasing everyone is near impossible.

“It has to entice people who have never been,” said Ferguson. “And satisfy people that have.”

When she sat down to write the song about three weeks ago, Ferguson thought it would be the easiest song-writing challenge to date. How wrong she was. The song took daily work for the full three weeks, the longest it has ever taken her to write any song.

“When writing a song about my life, I can write without borders because technically it is my song that becomes your song,” she said.

“With this, it’s basically our song right from the start, so that’s why it took me so long.”

She kept several things in mind while writing lyrics to the song. Things like location, the Sheep’s interior look and its famous characters, like Lucy, the owner’s little music-loving pug that Ferguson feels is a major part of the bar. Ferguson also tried to incorporate Wakefield into the song, with references to the Canada Day raft and the large front window that overlooks the Gatineau River.

In terms of melody, the song is a soulful, catchy pop tune, said Ferguson, the kind that she hopes will get Wakefielders off their feet when she unveils it to the public at her concert on Feb. 11 at the Black Sheep Inn.

“I hope I sing it the way I have been singing it in my kitchen, because that has been going really well,” she said.

The one thing Ferguson really wanted to get across in the song is how the Sheep is a huge part of her life and how at the end of the day, there is always the Black Sheep Inn. Her love for the bar is apparent in the line: “It isn’t always easy booking gigs or touring all alone, but when in Wakefield you bet I will be going to The Black Sheep Inn.”

The Feb. 11 concert starts at 8:30 p.m. and features Ann Vriend and Coco Love Alcorn who will be sharing the stage with Ferguson in a songwriter’s circle style concert. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. For more information visit www.theblacksheepinn.com.