“Lucky Pierre”, by Gilbert Bowden

I have expressed considerable skepticism toward Justin Trudeau, the hereditary leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, because he consistently denies the divisive nature of politics and thus, ironically, promotes the very cynicism that he claims to oppose and subverts necessary and proper political differences. There is nothing more cynical than an elected politician who casts himself as a unifying figure, because anyone who presents himself for election in a democratic system necessarily both attracts supporters and repels opponents. Politics is, by nature, divisive and should remain so. He also has a tendency to speak in the third person, like Hercule Poirot (though Justin Trudeau’s “little grey cells” probably work less hard than those of the great Walloon sleuth).

Thankfully, I, too, come from a hereditary line: in this case, of irreverent Trudeau-skeptics!

My great-uncle Gilbert Bowden, then a civil servant living in Ottawa, put his creative talents and sardonic wit to good use in 1979 when he wrote his ode to Pierre Trudeau (who at the time had just resigned as Liberal leader and Prime Minister) – “Lucky Pierre.” A local Ottawa musician named Michael O’Shea performed the rendition that I’ve posted below.

The true political junkies (a description which, if we’re going to be honest with one another, probably applies to most of you, dear readers!) should spot the political references and the then-current but now-historic events mentioned herein. My favourite line is, “Two Christmas kids put [Pierre] one above God” – and the sentiment hasn’t gone unnoticed. Justin’s legion of adoring fans seem to think of him in messianic terms, as if he were the Second Coming of Canadian politics.

“Lucky Pierre”

Oh, Lucky Pierre was a real Romeo.
Girls all went crazy wherever he’d go.
Grabbin’ his fingers and rufflin’ his hair –
O how they loved Lucky Pierre!

They used to treat him like he was star.
Why did they scream at the side of his car?
Lining the streets with their hands in the air,
Yelling for Lucky Pierre.

He wasn’t the king of the diamond ring;
He wasn’t the star of the pool.
And how can you go
On a portfolio?
And whoever heard of a cool
House of Commons?

Nevertheless, he’s the one we root for,
Right from Vancouver to Newfoundland shore.
All of us fellows, we couldn’t compare,
And wished we were Lucky Pierre.

Climbing the mountains or diving for pearls,
Everywhere he went, so did the girls.
Under the ocean or up in the air, following Lucky Pierre!
He’d blow them kisses, they hollered for more,
They climbed on the roof and they’d bang on the door.
There’s no peace anyway, and I’m not so Lucky Pierre.

One day in despair, he took to the air.
He vanished away in the blue.
Then he went to BC
Where he met Mrs. P.
All of the girls shouted, ‘you fuddle-duddle!’

Blow on your trumpets and ring on the bell,
Finally someone has broken the spell.
Give an ovation to that lady fair
Who saved us from Lucky Pierre.

O how fortune favoured him really was odd:
Two Christmas kids put him one above God.
All he was losin’ it seemed was his hair.
Happy, go-lucky Pierre!

Suddenly we knew that something was wrong
When Maggie sang Mrs. Castro a song.
Then she went off and got stoned in the air
With one of the Rollin’ Pierres!

Then Rene Lesvesque took over Quebec;
He started to making himself King.
And Maggie said, ‘dear, I’ve had it to here,
I’ve just go to do my own thing.’

Now that they’re showing the House on TV,
He’s not the fellow that he used to be.
One more election, and maybe he’s through.
Then we could say, ‘Pierre Who?’!
Then we could say, ‘Pierre Who?’!


About J.W.J. Bowden

My area of academic expertise lies in Canadian political institutions, especially the Crown, political executive, and conventions of Responsible Government; since 2011, I have made a valuable contribution to the scholarship by having been published and cited extensively. I’m also a contributing editor to the Dorchester Review and a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Parliamentary and Political Law.
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4 Responses to “Lucky Pierre”, by Gilbert Bowden

  1. glebedance says:

    This is my dad singing!


  2. Jennifer Shea-Paston says:

    I haven’t heard this song since I was very young. Thank you, this is my Dad, Michael, singing.


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