Dave Carroll - God Save Doreen - Video Cap

Video: God Save Doreen by Dave Carroll

Screenshot 2016-07-08 11.45.54 My grandmother Doreen Daley was a big influence over my entire family and although she lived in several places during her life, she spent her last few years here in Halifax with my parents.

She was a British war bride arriving with my dad and his sister at Pier 21 in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1944 and raised 3 children, the youngest of whom died from tainted blood received in hospital in the 1980’s.

A very proud and humble woman, she lead a seemingly normal life surviving my grandfather and a second husband of over 25 years each, but as she was coming to the end of her battle with cancer I decided to attempt to summarize her 88 years in a four minute song. That’s an impossible task but I decided to try, and focused on the essence of the person she was at three stages of life: her beginning and childhood with her maiden name; as the wife of a soldier traveling alone to a new country as Doreen Carroll and finally near her end as woman with a third last name, Daley, with a life well-lived.

One thing I learned from her was how to be proud of who you are and where you come from without feeling ‘better’ than others. For my grandmother her family, God and The Queen were the three pillars she rested her story upon and so I had a most powerful experience sitting her down in my studio chair and playing this recording for her a few weeks before she died.

I’d never seen her cry until that day, and if I had to say there is one song I’m glad to have written, it is this one. It’s called ‘God Save Doreen.’


1 reply
  1. Jody says:

    Dear Dave –

    This song about your grandmother gave me chills. What a beautiful tribute. It reminds me of Proverbs 31 – “her children shall rise up and call her blessed.”

    The reason I came to your site today is that in the midst of trying to sing a song I just wrote, “United Breaks Guitars” came to mind.

    I was writing about a circumstance that’s already been featured on Saturday Night Live, CNN, and Good Morning America about a three year cruise that got canceled.

    My dad happened to be one of the passengers who has yet to be refunded ($60,000.00). He decided to sign up while my mom was dying of cancer and sell their house of forty-eight years for the freedom of traveling the world.

    I’ve had to keep a sense of humor about the whole thing, so I wrote a song, and started drafts for a series.

    I’m not writing out of malice or bitterness – I’ve actually been laughing hard over the words today; but I would like to share this song with people as some way to redeem what has been a pretty raw situation.

    Besides that, because of the press the Life at Sea cruise with Miray already received, I think people might really like it.

    As someone who watched the process unfold up close, I have details the public doesn’t know – but I bet they would like to.

    I just don’t think I’m equipped to do it justice and wanted to ask you for advice and find out if you would be interested in collaborating.

    By the way, I went back and watched “United Breaks Guitars,” and it still makes me laugh.

    Thank you,

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