© Maria Dunn, 2011; Flora’s fiddle tune © Maria Dunn & Shannon Johnson, 2015

Written for the One Room project, songs inspired by Sharon Nolan's photos of and conversations with seniors living in Edmonton's downtown core in the 1980s.


In the tangle of the city
At the top of the hill
Up a flight and down a hallway
Where the quiet laughter spills
Flora's door is always open
Come on in, say hello
Gentle teasing, sense of humour
With a prayer she'll let you go

Grandson, granddaughter go
She’ll be waiting
Til you’re safely home

Carpet’s frayed around the edges
Like so many in these walls
Some would bar their door against it
Flora answers every call
Grounding the rough and tumble
Nurturing these tender shoots
Fearing they'll be trampled under
Concrete and steel-toed boots

The deck's already stacked against these
Young ones in a hostile world
Flora mirrors back their goodness
With each calm and caring word
She remembers prairie grasses
Rolling far as she could see
Knows a tiny room won’t hold
A spirit longing to be free

Grandson, granddaughter go
She’ll be waiting
She’ll be praying
Til you’re safely home


Maria Dunn vocal, accordion
Eric Breton bones
Shannon Johnson violin
Jeremiah McDade guitar, whistle, feet
Solon McDade upright bass, jaw harp