CBC Radio Recording

September 11th Remembered in Song


Lyrics for The Grim Cathedral, by David Francey, Burning in the Streets by Don Bray and Señor, yo no soy digna by Charlotte Hebert below

On August 31st and September 1st, CBC producer Claude Saindon and technician Karl Vincent came to our home in Ayer's Cliff Quebec and set up a mobile recording studio. We were joined by pianist and composer Charlotte Hebert of Gatineau Quebec and Barrie Ontario singer/songwriter Don Bray along with Dave Clarke- guitar, Jenn Cianca - harmony vocals and Luke Dawson - bass.

David and I were honoured to have such a fine collection of people in our home to express their reflections on the events of September 11/01 and to share with us the music that arose from, or spoke to them of those events.

I remember David was listening to CBC that morning and he called to me with the news that a plane had hit the World Trade Centre. He turned on the TV and we sat watching - as the world turned upside down - until about 1am the next day. David captured the images that are etched in my mind in his song The Grim Cathedral.

David and longtime musical friend Dave Clarke record The Grim Cathedral. Dave also provided lovely instrumental guitar music for the special and Jenn added beautiful harmony to both this song and to Don's Burning in the Streets


Words and music: David Francey Nov.8/2001

The grim cathedral arch alone,
Towers over dust and stone,
Monument to flesh and bone,
Twisted, stark and bare.

And the floodlights sharp relief,
Magnifies the weight of grief,
In the ruins that lie beneath,
That emptiness of air.

The papers from the building flew,
Hung in the air, in a sky of blue,
Souls of the newly dead and gone,
Shone so bright, on a Tuesday morn,

In the canyon streets, the towering cloud,
Tumbles on the running crowd,
Falling like a funeral shroud,
Darkening the sun.

Staggered statues, concrete grey,
Man as ashes, dust and clay,
Desolation of the day,
Falls on everyone,

The papers from the building flew,
Hung in the air, in a sky of blue,
Souls of the newly dead and gone,
Shone so bright in the morning sun.

I watched it on my TV screen,
Devolution of the dream,
Images a nightmare scream,
To wake the likes of me.

A charnel house of sight and sound,
Familiar streets a killing ground,
The day they brought the buildings down,
Down for all to see.

David and I would like to thank Claude Saindon, (this recording was his brain child), CBC Radio and all those who helped Claude's idea become a reality.

Thanks to Mark, Michel and Lucinda, helping partners all, a very quiet, very patient Colin and to Molly for not Meowing and Buddy for not barking.

Luke, Mark Westberg, Jenn, David, Charlotte, Don, Claude, Dave, Karl, and me in front of our house after 2 days of taping.

Dedicated to the victims of September 11/01



back home

Karl sets up the mobile studio in our upstairs hall

Charlotte thrilled us with her haunting composition, Señor, yo no soy digna. The words to the Centurion's Prayer, with piano by Charlotte, were sung as a duet in Spanish by Don and Jenn. Luke's superb bass playing complimented the deeply moving piece

Señor, yo no soy digna

Señor, yo no soy digna,
Que entres en mi casa,
Pero, una palabra tuya
Bastara, para sa narme.

The Centurion's Prayer

music by Charlotte Hebert

Jenn and Don recording Señor, yo no soy digna

Don records Burning in the Streets

Don Bray is a master at putting pen to paper and writing lyrics so beautifully poetic and true to the human experience that my heart aches when I hear them. When he is not performing he is a fireman in downtown Toronto. Burning in the Streets gives us insight into a side of life that only a few brave men and women, will ever live.


Words and lyrics by Don Bray/2001

He heads out in the middle of the night
To the song of siren the dance of flashing light
He puts his boots on the musty smell of smoke
And he rides that red truck somebody's only hope

CHO: And he sees the burning of a thousand souls
And the embers rising as their flames unfold
And he feels so lucky to witness the glow
Of this burning in the streets tonight

Bringing in babies supplying graveyards
Some nights are easy some nights are hard
And every moment illuminated by
This conflagration consuming every eye


Some burn quickly and some burn slow
Some just smoulder you'd never know
Some burn strong with a life so free
Showing what we might be

The city yawns as he roars down the street
Past the sadly silent and the echoing concrete
The lonely losers and the Cadillac-ed elite
Who ignore this preview of the fate we all must meet


you can find Don Bray's web site at


you can find Dave Clarke's web site at


photos by Beth