The Poem

This is the poem where Our Lady Peace got their name. It was written in 1943 by a poet from Hope (double meaning?),  Illinois by the name of Mark Van Doren. Mark is the father of Charles Van Doren - the man who cheated on the '50s game show "The Sixty-Four Thousand Dollar Question" and resulted in the movie "Quiz Show". His message "espouses the philosophy that life is about the pursuit of ultimate goals, and not the goal itself".  Raine explains that the poem is "about a fiddler who talks to an angel who watches over a little town." There is an audio clip of Sol Fox reciting this poem on my sounds page.

Why did they choose it?

"The poem titled "Our Lady Peace" is very interpretive, the more you read it, the more you start seeing things in it. That philosophy transcends into what we want our music to sound like. We just thought the name would suit it." -Raine Maida

"We all read it and took something different from it, and that's the
sense we want from the music." -Mike Turner

"It's a pretty dark poem -- about a mother figure watching over this town. There's some sort of desperation happening in the town, but this pied piper shows up and, in my mind, is the voice of optimism." -Raine Maida

"The name of the band is open to all levels of interpretation but only if you want them to be there. The
same goes for our music, the deeper levels of meaning are there but only if you want them to be. We
aren't going to beat people over the head and tell them what our music means," -Mike Turner

Because of the religious seeming name of the band, they have a few humourous incidents to share. Raine once received some mail for "Our Lady of Peace Memorial Gardens" cemetery. They also had some border trouble which you can read about here or here.

by Mark Van Doren

How far is it to peace, the piper sighed,
The solitary, sweating as he paused.
Asphalt the noon; the ravens, terrified,
Fled carrion thunder that percussion caused.
The envelope of Earth was powder loud;
The taut wings shivered, driven at the sun.
The piper put his pipe away and bowed.
Not here, he said. I hunt the love-cool one,
The dancer with the clipped hair. Where is she?
We shook our heads, parting for him to pass.
Our lady was of no such trim degree,
And none of us had seen her face alas.
She was the very ridges that we must scale,
Securing the rough top. And how she smiled
Was how our strength would issue. Not to fail
Was having her, gigantis, undefiled,
For homely goddess, big as the world that burned,
Grandmother and taskmistress, frild and town.
We let the stranger go; but when we turned
Our lady lived, fierce in each other's frown.

There was also a poem, written by Raine, that was published in the fall '98 PPU newsletter.

by Raine Maida
Excited by the distance
Purple dreams terrorize open space
extremely ambitious
Gasping and sucking in air
a different air
We feel the struggle as it cools
Dawn reveals...
Their rooted charm makes for a
beautiful battle
We revel in their existence
We are patient and we listen
Or maybe we're simply the devil
with fabulous insistence

The X-mas '98 newsletter also had one...It is actually a song, but is not included on Happiness...

Sleeping In
by Raine Maida
Souls, although where we meet. This
Hose a lazy morphine.
But I, I'm stretching to see over
Your shoulders and over your priest
And paper cups and paper shoes
Give backs to me, but I see right through
And I know why you over slept
So gray, gray, slow rain.
I'm happier than you.
And I'm too high to follow through
Home, like the bed pan he needs.
And the hose that's not supposed to be
But I, I'm stretching to see over your
Flowers and Time magazines
Now I believe in what you do
The pain will cease
Well I know why you overslept
To be home, to be.

Mike wrote this poem for the Spring '99 issue

Been Thinking Lately
by Mike Turner
Been thinking lately, a lot about death
and how the one that matters the least is your own,
Not that it's inconsequential, just not that relevant.
The death of circumstance is the one that counts.
Death will change everything
From your pet bird to the person that gave you life.
At some point it will take them from you,
where once was a letter
will be blank
Not that this comes as any surprise,
you remember when you figured out that this whole mortality
meant you as well.
Then, childlike, even death became about you.
You became singular, alone in this confrontation.
Truth is, it's not death that confounded you but life.
Your life isn't about you, it's about the things you go through, including death.
But not yours.
Your life will flow and ebb, with death the tide.
And some branches will not survive,
but the tree lives on.
People will come into your life and
change you.
And your life.
People will leave your life and
change you.
in your life.
And when you leave this life,
that will not
change you.

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