Secord In Song: Rosalee Peppard


'Laura Secord' - Rosalee Peppard (2004)


Through a variety of musical voices - from folk to blues to opera - she sings of love, literacy, triumph over loss and shame, heritage, and humour, all soaring on Rosalee's shimmering voice, self-accompanied on guitars and mountain dulcimer. Rosalee connects listeners with a poignant, living past and reminds us of its "presents". She colours each show with traditional and popular songs which are generously "peppered" with wit!

Rosalee writes of her song:

"Laura Secord" is my 2004 song from Laura's first person perspective of her "walk". I think it is the only song from this perspective. It opens with sounds of running through the woods and then "Laura! Laura! Laura!" which is in a musical theme one would associate with First Nations - thus connecting Laura with the Caughnawaga nation throughout the song.

The irony is that Laura and the First Nation warriors made the difference that changed Canadian history, but, in the eyes of the 19th century, Fitzgibbon and his British officers (who never fired a shot in the Battle of Beaverdams) were the credited heroes because she was "just" a woman and they but "red skins" - at that time in history, not "persons", let alone heroes.


Music & lyrics by Rosalee Peppard on "Legacy" CD (SOCAN, 2004)

Laura, Laura, Laura...

My name is Laura Secord
I am running for my life
The war is raging at my door
With musket,drum and fife
My husband lay there wounded
And the enemy's within
Snapping at my children
While I run for FitzGibbon

My name is Laura Secord
I am running night and day
12 wooded miles behind me
God, lead the way
To Beaver Dams, FitzGibbon
And the men who'll set us free
I must not rest for in my breast
I know it's up to me

My name is Laura Secord
I am running though I die
My flesh is torn and bleeding
My throat is parched and dry
Still I will press on boldly
To give FitzGibbon news
The enemy is coming
There is no time to lose

My name is Laura Secord
I am standing face to face
With fierce and mighty warriors
Unknown to me by race
I taste the bitter bile of fear
Yet here I stand my ground
"I?ve come to warn FitzGibbon!
Take me where he can be found!"

My name is Laura Secord
The battle now is o'er
My news had armed FitzGibbon
Caughnawaga won the war
He brandishes a Colonel's rank
And credit for the win
But I am "just a woman"
And they but "red skin"

Laura, Laura, Laura...

My name is Laura Secord
I am running out of time
At 65 though still alive
My body and my mind
Still feel the ache; neglect can take
A silent spoil of war
And now I am a widow
Wondering what my run was for

I ran to save my husband
On Brock's bloody battlefield
I ran to save my children
And the future they would yield
I ran to save my country
I ran till I was lame
But now that I've stopped running
Who?ll remember my name

Laura, Laura, Laura...

My name is Laura Secord
Reward has come at last
Prince Edward sent 100 pounds
To recognize my past
But now at 85, I thrive on irony
So I'll pour a dram for who I am
And raise a glass to me!

A Message from
HRH Charles
Prince of Wales

The Friends of Laura Secord are pleased and honoured to announce the receipt of a personalized video message from His Royal Highness Charles, Prince of Wales, on the occasion of the Bicentennial Celebrations for Laura Secord's famous walk into history and the official opening of the Laura Secord Legacy Trail.

Video was recorded 07 June 2013 at St. James' Palace. First viewed publicly on Friday, 21 June 2013 at the Toast to Laura Secord reception beside the Laura Secord Monument at picturesque Queenston Heights Park, Queenston, Ontario.


A note on pronunciation

HRH Prince Charles uses an acceptable but less widely used variant on the pronounciation of Laura Secord's surname, one which is more common in the United Kingdom than in North America. The ancestors of Laura's husband James Secord were Huguenots (French Protestants) with the original surname Sicard. In the late 1600s, Ambroise Sicard, a French Huguenot born in Mornac, France in 1631, fled from the persecution that followed the Treaty of Nantes, and in the 17th century ended up at New Rochelle. Some of his descendents (like James and his family) became United Empire Loyalists living in Upper Canada. Most of the Secords in Southwestern Ontario are descended from three of Ambroise Sicard's great-grandchildren - John, Peter, and James Secord (Laura Secord's husband).

In addition to evolving towards a more Anglicized spelling, the Secord surname has also undergone changes in pronunciation. Most commonly pronounced as 'SEE-cord', it is also pronounced by some family members as 'SEH-cord'. Other pronunciation variants exist worldwide, notably in Guatemala and Norway, where members of the extended Secord family are known to reside.


Secord In Song: The Brothers In Law


Secord's Walking Blues (1967)

Centennial year in Canada - 1967 - marked a spate of commemorative projects and activities in all sectors, and musical comedy was no exception. A trio of irreverent musical police officers from the Windsor area - Larry Rheaume, Alec Somerville, and Bob Lee - produced a Centennial record album called 'Expose 67', which took aim at a whole range of Canadian icons and sacred cows - including the apocryphal one that never actually accompanied our heroine Laura Secord.

This absurd portrayal has the redoubtable Mrs. Secord traipsing all over southern Ontario in a pair of squeaky boots, ostensibly to warn Major General Sir Isaac Brock about the impending American attack. The fact that Brock had been dead for eight months when Laura made her famous trek didn't faze these fellows one bit, nor did the fact that she started in Queenston, not Toronto (which didn't even exist then; that city was known as 'York' until 1825). And she never walked through Fort Erie, Hamilton or Stoney Creek either.

But why let historical accuracy get in the way of a bit of musical fun?

Events: 2013

Here's what transpired in the bicentennial year of Laura Secord's famous walk...


Wednesday, June 12th, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Niagara Historical Society and Museum

43 Castlereagh St, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0


Left: Bronze Laura Secord bust sculpted by Canadian artist Mildred Peel, which was installed on her gravesite at Drummond Hill Cemetery in Niagara Falls in 1904 [Niagara Historical Society Museum].Middle: Scanner being used to create a 3D digital rendering of the bust. Right: 3D printer, which uses plastic resins to create a scaled-down version of the bust in three dimensions - one thin layer at a time [The Generator at One].

Laura Secord's famous bust will soon be bathed in the eerie light of a three- dimensional digital scanner, capturing its every nuance and detail in a 3D shape file. The resulting digital image of the bust can be used for visualization, 3D animation, and - perhaps most excitingly - for the creation of exact 3D replicas of the famous bust at virtually any scale, created using state-of-the-art 3D digital printers at The Generator at One in St. Catharines.

Digital image guru Tobias Wiegand of Morro Images will be on hand to coordinate the project. Wiegand brings a wealth of experience in digital image creation to the initiative, drawing upon a wide portfolio of work in film, television, video games, and computer animation. Moving into 3d printing is a natural evolution for him and his company.

The goal is to use the technology to create an archival image of the famous Secord bust, and to use the resulting detailed digital shapefile to produce scale replicas of the sculpture that are accurate down to the finest detail. These bust models will be produced in a limited edition of 200 for the Bicentennial, and sold to subscribers as a fundraiser by the Friends of Laura Secord, the group which conceived of and commissioned the project.

Proceeds will be used to fund the creation of a wheelchair-accessible trail to the bridge at Laura's Crossing, with a portion going to the Niagara Historical Society and Museum to preserve and support their collection.

The entire scanning process will take place onsite at the Museum on Wednesday, 12 June, from 1-3 p.m. The event is open to the public for the price of a regular museum admission.

Pre-orders for the limited edition bust replicas will also be taken that day. Proceeds will be used to fund the creation of a wheelchair-accessible trail to the bridge at Laura's Crossing, with a portion going to the Niagara Historical Society and Museum to preserve and support their collection.

For further information, please contact the Friends of Laura Secord or The Generator at One.



Friday, June 21st, 2013 - 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Laura Secord Homestead

The Laura Secord Homestead in Queenston will be the location for the launch of Canada Post's 2013 Laura Secord stamp and the Royal Canadian Mint's 2013 Laura Secord 25 cent coin.

A COIN EXCHANGE will allow you to trade in your old cash for shiny new Laura Secord quarters.

Where else could you share in the excitement of such an important joint philatelic and numismatic event?

Have a slice of the big commemorative cake and join the fun!

Open to All - free!




Saturday, June 22nd, 2013 - 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Join thousands of Canadians at the Laura Secord Homestead in Queenston for this signature event celebrating Laura Secord's legacy! Leave the Homestead through the same door Laura Secord did 200 years ago, and embark on your own walk into history! Hike the entire 20 miles (32km), or opt for a shorter "Laura Secord Experience".

Walk the newly established Laura Secord Legacy Trail, which features interpretive multimedia resources that tell the story of Laura Secord, other pioneer women and men, and the First Nations people whose contributions helped define the nation that became Canada. Hike along ancient Indian paths and modern city streetscapes, forested trails and open meadows. Cross DeCew's Field, where Laura Secord encountered the First Nations warriors who escorted her to DeCew House to deliver her message to Lt. Fitzgibbon.

Join in the activities at the Laura Secord Homestead and DeCew House during the day.

Parking for most events is at Niagara College, with shuttle bus service to the Homestead.

Click here for further information!


You are welcome to come and make radio contact with other "ham" radio stations around the world. You can even try your hand at Morse Code!!

The Club has received permission from Industry Canada to use the specal amateur radio callsign XL3S to communicate with the world, promoting the bicentennial of Laura Secord's walk and celebrating the 200 years of peace and friendship that have ensued between Canada and the United States of America.

The portable "ham" radio station - a veritable "Laura Secord Special Event Communications Station" - will be located at Niagara College near the Laura Secord Legacy Trail to be close to the hikers and general public that will be in the area.

A special QSL card (radio contact postcard) will be sent to all contacts that are made during this event.

Drop by and discover your inner 'ham'!


Sunday, June 23rd, 2013 - 10:00 a.m.
Holy Trinity Anglican Church
7820 Portage Road, Chippawa (Niagara Falls)

The elderly Laura Secord very likely met the 18-year-old Albert, Prince of Wales, at a memorable service at Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Chippawa in September of 1860. A few months after their enconter, the future King Edward VII sent Laura Secord a gift of 100 pounds Sterling, vastly improving her financial prospects and publicly recognizing her heroism.

Join Reverend Terry Holub and the congregation at a special Sunday service to reflect on our history and commemorate the events that changed Laura Secord's life.


Sunday, June 23rd, 2013
Niagara Historical Society and Museum

Share your walk experiences (if you can still walk!) with Secord and Ingersoll descendants from around the world, and meet descendants from the the FitzGibbon, Ducharme, Brant, and DeCew families.

Other Community Events


Saturday June 15th and Sunday June 16th, 2013

Follow in the footsteps of a Canadian heroine by hiking from Queenston to DeCew. This 30KM hike is challenging but memorable walk along the Bruce Trail starting where Laura began her walk so many years ago and ending at DeCew House where she passed on information about the enemy's plans.




NBTC logo

2013 marks the 200th anniversary of Laura's walk. For this year ONLY, the Niagara Bruce Trail Club will be offering the option of a two day hike. A special badge is being created for this momentous event.

Registration Options:

1. ONE DAY HIKE – Saturday June 15 only
2. TWO DAY HIKE – Saturday June 15 and Sunday June 16

Visit the Niagara Bruce Trail website for details: .htm#secord



A pre- Première

Saturday, June 22nd, 2013 - 7:00 p.m.

On the day of the 200th anniversary of Laura Secord's brave adventure, Music Niagara presents a concert version of the entire score of this new work by Mark Richards, commissioned by Music Niagara.

In the summer festival of 2012, Music Niagara presented a concert version of the first two acts of this new work-in-progress. This June 2013 concert will present the completed score.

The full opera will be staged in 2014.

Opera logo

Mark Richards

Mark Richards, Toronto-based composer of Laura Secord: An Opera

The Laura Secord Opera project is supported by Walter M and Lisa Balfour Bowen.

Admission: $27.50 – includes a contribution towards the establishment of the Laura Secord Legacy Trail.

Tickets available through the Shaw Festival Box Office office at 905-468-2172 or 1- 800-511-7429.

Further information about the opera:

For more information on musical events celebrating Laura Secord, visit the Music Niagara website.

Music Niagara


Sunday, June 23rd, 2013 - Battle of Beaverdams Par

Join in the impressive festivities in the City of Thorold commemorating the victory at the Battle of Beaverdams.



Laura Secord Legacy Trail is accessible from the east shoulder of First Street Louth, just south of Pelham Street, St. Catharines. Use extreme caution on the roadways and trails, and come at your own risk.

PARKING - Google map

Important details:

Parking is limited. You may have to park on the shoulder of the road. USE EXTREME CAUTION when parking and walking on this busy thoroughfare.

Southbound traffic on First Street Louth: Park CAREFULLY on the wide shoulder of First Street Louth (uppermost 'P' on map). Cross to the trailhead just north of the bridge and follow the access road 450 m to the Bridge at Laura's Crossing.

Northbound traffic on First Street Louth: Park in the small carpark in front of the Parks Ontario Utility Building, 2884 First Street Louth (lower 'P' on the map). Walk CAREFULLY along the road shoulder to the trailhead just north of the bridge and follow the access road 450 m to the Bridge at Laura's Crossing.

Trails and access roads are unpaved and may be uneven, muddy, dusty, steep, and / or slippery. Dress appropriately for the weather and wear appropriate footwear.

LAURA'S COW: The Legend of Laura Secord

Saturday June 1st, 2013 - 7:00 p.m.
Laura Secord Secondary School
349 Niagara Street
St. Catharines, ON L2M 4V9


See preview article in the Niagara Advance here: era-puts-fun-and-humorous-spin-on- secord