Thinkin’ Man’s Country Song

Written by Harold McNeill on January 23rd, 2015. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


Lego For the Oil Patch

Following a series of exchanges with a Facebook friend concerning gender equality, I happened upon this little song written by Thomas Wharton.  Born in Grand Prairie, the young man studied both at the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary where he achieved his Phd. He is currently an Associate Professor of writing and English at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.

An author with several books to this credit, he wrote the following lyrics about the changing attitudes of oil patch man and published in the most recent edition of Albertaviews (page 27). I can’t find a link to magazine article so I typed it below.  I think the song speaks well to the changing’ attitude towards woman in that province, a province which is becoming more Liberal with each passing day.

Albertaviews you might ask! My god, what business does a wishy washer, BC socialist, do-gooder think he’s up to by reading an Alberta magazine?  Has he totally lost his mind or has he, perhaps, finally achieved a more realistic (conservative) view of the world?  Well, perhaps the first, but certainly not the second.

As for Albertaviews, I just happened upon that little gem by chance some months back as it certainly attempts to bring some balance to the table on any number of important issues that swirl around Alberta and Canada.  As you know, it’s hard to find a balance in discussions when it comes to a Province that has carried the Conservative banner longer than most of us have been alive.  Ah, that’s progress.

If Albertaviews can survive in that climate (not the weather), there must certainly be a glimmer of hope for the rest of us.

Anyway, back to gender equality in Alberta with a Thinkin’ Man’s Country Song.

Well, I got my pick up truck and a 24 o’beer
I know a dirt road that’ll take us far from here
If you thought it was those skin-tight jeans
That brought me to your door
Think again, little honey, it’s your brain that I adore

Evolution was showin’ off when it made you
You’re my Susan Sontag with a dash of Atwood too
It’s as hot as hell the way you know your Keirkegaard
You get my frontal cortex all alert and working’ hard

Well, get you lips, lips, over here, hottie
Whisper me those quips, quips, little smartie
Don’t shake those hips, hips, cause that body
is just fine but it’s your mind
that drives me crazy

Well there you go with your autographed Munro
Drivin’ all night with Mahler on the stereo
What colour are your eyes, well baby I don’t know
Tonight all that matters is your intelligence quo

Wo Wo

(Spoken lead-up to Chorus)
Thinkin’ turned up to eleven
Have your read The Lathe of Heaven?
Ira Glass is on at seven

(Slightly revised course)
Well, get your cerebrum over here, hottie
Wanna hear your quips, quips, little smartie
Don’t shake those hips, hips, cause that body
is just fine but it’s your mind
that drives me crazy

(Free verse)
Really it’s all so messed up, isn’t it,
still fuellin’ up the big ass truck
in the shadow of climate apocalypse
No, you’re right, McLuhan is more relevant than ever.
Honestly, I ‘m not really sure what post-human means

(banjo break)
Ding, dang diddle diddle
Ding dang diddle diddle, etc

(Husky-voiced spoken word as the banjo fades)
My entire library is at your disposal…
Getting’ ready to quote Oscar Wilde…
Sippin’ absinthe and recitin’ Rilke in the moonlight…

(repeat course ad infinitum as though trapped in Dante’s

WELL a guy can’t become more engaged than that. In my day (and my song library) it was “Oh, Lord it’s Hard to Humble when your perfect in every way.”   Ah, that song along with my trusty guitar, set so many hearts a’flutter.



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  • Mike Fedorowich

    September 1, 2023 |

    I have gone through the above noted text and have found it quite informative.
    I am a former member with several law enforcement agencies from across Canada.
    I worked in the First Nations service under the authority of the RCMP with the over sight of the OPP. My law enforcement service was conducted under the authority of the Nishnawbe – Aski Police Service in North West Ontario the Louis Bull Police Sevice in Hobbema AB, the Kitasoo Xaixais Police Service in Northern in side passage on Swindle Island, the Lac Suel Police Service North West Ontario and the Vancouver Transit Authority Sky Train Police Service. I’m presently dealing with an RCMP member for falsifying a report against me for a road rage event. Court case is finished and the charge was dropped but I have an on going complaint with the member and have forwarded to the WATCH DOGS IN OTTAWA FOR the RCMP review and consideration. I believe the said officer is in violation of his oath of office and should be held accountable for falsifying his RTCC all the while dragging me through the court system here in Nanaimo. RCMP continue to stonewall the appeal but Ottawa and the crowns office are still looking into the matter. if your able and find the time or the interest in this very brief introduction, I would very much like to speak with you and would be grateful to hear any wisdom that may come across from your end. I served with First Nations Police Services for ten years in isolation and six years with Transit Police out of New West Minster. I do value and appreciate any time you could spare to chat for a bit on this particular subject matter. Respectfully with out anger but an open mind, Mike Fedorowich Nanaimo BC 250 667 0060

  • Harold McNeill

    February 28, 2022 |

    Hi Robert, I do remember some of those folks from my early years in Cold Lake (Hazel was my aunt and our family spent many fond times with Uncle Melvin, Aunt Hazel and Family. I knew Lawrence and Adrian. Having read a half dozen accounts it is clear their were many false narratives and, perhaps, a few truths along the way. I tried my best to provide an even account from what I read. Cheers, Harold. (email:

  • Robert Martineau

    February 25, 2022 |

    Its been a long time since any post here, but its worth a shot. My Grandfather was Hazel Wheelers brother Lawrence, and son to Maggie and Adrien. Maggie Martineau (nee Delaney) is my great grandmother. The books and articles to date are based on the white mans viewpoint and the real story as passed down by the Elders in my family is much more nefarious. Some of the white men were providing food for the Indians in exchange for sexual favors performed by the Squaws. Maggie was the product of one of those encounters. Although I am extremely proud of my family and family name, I am ashamed about this part of it.

  • Julue

    January 28, 2022 |

    Good morning Harold!
    Gosh darn it, you are such a good writer. I hope you have been writing a book about your life. It could be turned into a movie.
    Thanks for this edition to your blog.
    I pray that Canadians will keep their cool this weekend and next week in Ottawa. How do you see our PM handling it? He has to do something and quick!
    Xo Julie

  • Herb Craig

    December 14, 2021 |

    As always awesome job Harold. It seems whatever you do in life the end result is always the same professional, accurate, inclusive and entertaining. You have always been a class act and a great fellow policeman to work with. We had some awesome times together my friend. I will always hold you close as a true friend. Keep up the good work. Hope to see you this summer.
    Warm regards
    Herb Craig

  • Harold McNeill

    November 26, 2021 |

    Hi Dorthy, So glad you found those stories and, yes, they hold many fond memories. Thanks to social media and the blog, I’ve been able to get in touch with many friends from back in the day. Cheers, Harold

  • Harold McNeill

    November 26, 2021 |

    Well, well. Pleased to see your name pop up. I’m in regular contact via FB with many ‘kids’ from back in our HS days (Guy, Dawna, Shirley and others). Also, a lot of Cold Lake friends through FB. Cheers, Harold

  • Harold McNeill

    November 26, 2021 |

    Oh, that is many years back and glad you found the story. I don’t have any recall of others in my class other than the Murphy sisters on whose farm my Dad and Mom worked.

  • Harold McNeill

    November 26, 2021 |

    Pleased to hear from you Howie and trust all is going well. As with you, I have a couple of sad stories of times in my police career when I crossed paths with Ross Barrington Elworthy. Just haven’t had the time to write those stories.

  • Howie Siegel

    November 25, 2021 |

    My only fight at Pagliacci’s was a late Sunday night in 1980 (?) He ripped the towel machine off the bathroom wall which brought me running. He came after me, I grabbed a chair and cracked him on the head which split his skull and dropped him. I worried about the police finding him on the floor. I had just arrived from Lasqueti Island and wasn’t convinced the police were my friends. I dragged him out to Broad and Fort and left him on the sidewalk, called the cops. They picked him up and he never saw freedom again (as far as I know). I found out it was Ross Elworthy.