Burnaby mayor, councillor team up for COVID-19 anthem

A Burnaby city councillor and punk icon has teamed up with the city’s mayor to put out a spirit-lifting anthem for the trying times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We’re All in This Together was written by Joe Keithley – a.k.a. Joey Shithead, lead singer of legendary punk band D.O.A. – who also provided lead vocals and guitar for the song. Mayor Mike Hurley performed on the bass guitar and brought the backup vocals.

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The song is intended to “celebrate the spirit of our communities and our frontline workers,” according to a news release from the city, which describes the song as “a passionate, upbeat song for our times.”

“Joe wrote this great song, and I hope it energizes and fortifies people to stay strong,” said Hurley. “It captures the community’s grit and determination that we see all around us today, and calls on us to double down on our commitment to each other and beat COVID-19.”

The duo – the sole Burnaby Green Party councillor and an independent mayor – performed the song (with the appropriate distance between them) for a video at Deer Lake Park.

“The song is both a salute to the resilience and perseverance of residents during the COVID-19 crisis and a rallying call,” reads the city’s news release, pointing to the lyrics in the chorus:

We’re all in, this together

We’ve got to brave, this stormy weather

You can count on us, we’re your neighbours

We’re all in, this together

“Writing this song was just natural as I saw the growing effort by our fellow Canadians to keep as many folks as possible safe throughout the pandemic,” said Keithley. “It's my way of thanking and expressing my admiration for the nurses, doctors and all the front line workers. They are the best!”

D.O.A. and Keithley are considered among the founders of punk music – particularly in Canada – having kicked off in 1978. The band is famous for its strong political stances and history of activism, embodied in its slogan: TALK-ACTION=0.

Hurley, a lifelong guitar player, has had his own forays into the music scene – well, sort of. In November 2019, he brought his own song – Burnabarians – to the Burnaby Board of Trade’s business excellence awards.

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