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article image'Heroes' by Seventeen & Change Honours Canadians Killed in War Special

By KJ Mullins     Dec 29, 2009 in Entertainment
The band Seventeen & Change have released the song "Heroes" in honour of soldiers who take Canada's Highway of Heroes on their final ride home.
The song was written by John Pierrepont of the Ontario based band Seventeen & Change. Pierrepont told Digital Journal during a phone interview that he wrote the song right after being at the bridge on September 20.
"My wife and I saw two WWII veterans and slowed down so we could thank them. They replied, "just doing what we do." I understood that being a retired Toronto police officer. Service men when thanked all respond with "just doing what we do."
Pierrepont rounded a corner and pulled over, writing down the first lyrics of the song "Heroes" on the spot. The photos on the video are from the next time after the song was written that a soldier returned home via the Highway of Heroes.
There is a vacant bridge near the Albert Street bridge that Pierrepont said he imagined the ghosts of war veterans welcoming home the soldiers.
Pierrepont spoke of his time at the bridge when one of the troops returns home.
"It's not a party atmosphere but people are talking and connecting. Then someone will say they are coming and there is dead silence to honour the returning troops home."
Pierrepont also wanted his song to remember those who survive their time at war.
"The second verse of the song is for the people who go over there to Afghanistan. They are changed. You are not the same person when you return as the one that left Canada. You can't help it. We honour the dead and forget about those who are alive and serving our nation still."
Martin Mitchell said that he is very proud of his friend Pierrepont's song Heroes.
"John has always been at the bridge. He's a strong supporter of the military."
The group are comprised of John Pierrepont, Martin Mitchell and John Bower. Mitchell and Pierrepont have known each other since they were four. Bower joined the 'gang' when they were in the Grade 5. They played together as teens in garage and church bands, drifting apart when it was time to go the career route. Pierrepont became a Toronto policeman, Bower a firefighter in Ajax and Mitchell works at Grand and Toy. When they reunited after years away from playing together it was time to live their dreams. In November they produced their first CD.
Mitchell told Digital Journal that they are being realistic:
"We know there are not a lot of producers out there looking for guys in their fifties but we're having a lot of fun living our dreams."
Mitchell said that during the 70's the friends played both rock and folk music. Folk music was their forte though.
The trio have been playing gigs around Ontario including a senior centre in Port Perry.
Pierrepont, the main songwriter for the group, said that each of the songs on the CD has a special meaning to the three. He and his wife for instance wrote the song "Fathers and Grandfathers" from words his wife wrote down about her childhood and father one evening.
"We sort of gave up our dreams to careers," Pierrepont said, "It's kinda cool to do-over and now have our dreams come true."
Pierrepont says that his ultimate dream would be driving down the street and pulling up beside someone playing a song that he had written.
Mitchell agrees that he's having fun with the renewed band, "it feels like we're kids again."
The band's YouTube channel is located here. Seventeen & Change plan on having an April release party. Details will be posted when they have been finalized.
More about War, Seventeen change, Heroes, Ontario band
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