Canadian Newfies

I Wouldn’t Take a Million Dollars for a Single Maple Leaf

By Roy Payne

I’ve seen a lot of sadness in the countries of this world,
I’ve seen the starving faces of a million boys and girls;
I’ve walked the war torn countryside and the bloody battered streets,
Where young men fought and died because they wanted to be free.

And as I watch my children playing freely with their friends,
I thank God for this country, mister, that we’re living in;
There are no cries of fighting soldiers dying on our streets,
I wouldn’t take a million dollars for a single Maple Leaf.

When you think you’ve got troubles, you just listen to the news,
And I’m sure you’ll realize, my friends, your troubles they are few;
Compared to those of others in the countries of this world,
We live in a paradise, a rare and priceless pearl.

Spoken:
Yes, friends, we’ve got so much to be thankful for, all across this land,
From the mighty Pacific Ocean to the shores of Newfoundland;
So tonight when your children pray down on their knees,
You ask them to ask God to bless Canada and forever keep her free.

Yes, as I watch my children playing freely with their friends,
I thank God for this country, mister, that we’re living in;
There are no cries of fighting soldiers dying on our streets,
I wouldn’t take a million dollars for a single Maple Leaf.
I wouldn’t take a million dollars for a single Maple Leaf.

####…. Roy Payne ….####

Recorded by Roy Payne (I wouldn’t Take A Million Dollars For A Single Maple Leaf, trk#1, 1980, Impact Music Productions, Mississauga, Ontario).

Just thought I would post this video. The lyrics are so strong, written by Roy Payne, a former peacekeeper as he returned home to Newfoundland from the Gaza Strip back in the early 60’s. There is no doubt that he must have seen some terrible things, and he pays tribute to his country with this song. For a time, there was actually talk of using this song as the Canadian National Anthem. It would have been cool to have a Newf write the song to be used for this purpose. Nonetheless, this is still a great tune.

Sure we are known for our bacon and our maple syrup, but there is so much more to being a Canadian.

My parents were not born Canadian, they were born Newfoundlanders, only after 1949 were they considered Canadians. Prior to that, the little island was a British Colony. Times were very hard back then, as my parents and grandparents recall.

Newfoundland, known primarily for it’s cod fishery, is made up of so much more. There was also a forestry industry, and a promising tourist industry. Our cod fishery is no more, the forest industry is all but gone, but the tourist industry is there, just waiting for someone to take the lead, and introduce our great province to the rest of the world.

11 thoughts on “Canadian Newfies

  1. I just happened to be looking for the lyrics to this song, so I read your blog. I used to sing it, a lot, while serving in Cyprus in ’83. I was friends with some of the British Engineers who had spent time in Northern Ireland and the Falklands war was,also, fresh in their minds. Whenever I would play ‘Single Maple Leaf’ around them, the place would go silent. They would always ask me to play it. It, too, became my special tribute to our Canada. Great memories. It also has special meaning to me because my Mother is from Corner Brook and I am very close to my (ton of) relatives there. Thank you, from a half-breed Newfie, for posting the song on your blog.

    1. Glad I could help. Ironically, Roy’s experiences in Cyprus are what he wrote the song about in the first place! If you need any other lyrics, feel free to ask. I am a DJ from Newfoundland

  2. I only heard about this song this evening from a very dear friend and I just love it…..brought tears but a great pride as well. God bless Roy and God bless CANADA….the greatest country in the world!

    1. I have been playing this song for about 35 years. I remember playing it for some British Army Engineers in Cyprus when we would get together for a few. Many of them could relate because they had served in Northern Ireland and /or the Falkland Islands so it really hit home for them. They wanted me to play it whenever we got together. I always play this song every Canada Day when we are with our friends.

      1. Yes, I know. I always intro this song by telling that Roy wrote this song after returning from Cyrus around 1964 and that I was singing it 20 years later, also in Cyprus.

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