Diem Lafortune

Diem Lafortune

 Toronto, Ontario, CAN
SoloFolkAdult Contemporary

Diem Lafortune brings a huge heart and tons of soul to her performances and her new CD BEAUTY AND HARD TIMES. Her rich alto and mature guitar sound draw listeners into her prophetic lyrics. Lafortune is a profound instrument for change - all wrapped in catchy and unforgettable melodies.


Diem Lafortune, has a hard-won wisdom eloquently showcased on Beauty and Hard Times, a compelling and passionate work of art. While a rich and lush melodicism provides the Beauty, the lyrics probe deeply into Hard Times. Her music as "quintessentially Canadian Everything is there nothing disappears: they co-exist. Its an allegory for an idealized version of what we think Canada should be about". With a voice described as like a barn big, earthy and full of timber, people are catching on.

Her powerful rhythms lay down grooves and together her voice and her playing are a mesmerizing package. Beauty and Hard Times is an immensely satisfying result from a truly renaissance woman who can wear many hats at the same time." Make one of those hats a bowler, in honour of one of her cultural heroes, Charlie Chaplin. Shes become one of the go to performers at peace and justice related events. (visit http://www.mamadhorizondancer.ca/tours-appearances/)

Diem is honoured to be the 2013 Canadian Aboriginal Songwriter of the Year nominee, this honour has been heightened by her invitation to be a part of the Official Showcase at the conference in Calgary.

Diem is excited to start working very soon on her next CD, with three time Grammy award winning, producer, Chris Birkett. Theyre in the planning stages now, and will start after she returns from the awards in November.



Written By: © Diem Lafortune 2012

A bloody beach, a burning tree, the boats have landed
But the line from the ship to the shore’s in our command now
To the peacemakers, healers, the lovers and dreamers before us,
Their words were strong, they carried us on, what do we make of this?

You have smiled as you’ve recounted your great victories
You have sung your many anthems without their harmonies
You have cried to your mother’s mother and still you’d let it be
You would turn on your own sisters to write your histories.

And on the evidence, you’re implicated
And on the evidence, we have paid some price
And on the evidence, you’ve been found guilty
And on the evidence, it is time for reparation.

There’s been a pushing of many souls into oblivion
We have been offered in return an earless Babylon
A textbook heaven we can’t touch for lives cut down with pain
You have bled poison into hearts you’d piss on anything.

There are faces from the past you cannot wipe away.
It is your peace stolen now by ghosts that lie in wait
For all you took for all who’ve grieved for all your bloody trails
‘Til now your breath like a wicked storm blows itself across the scales.


Written By: © Diem Lafortune 2012

Many miles from home we are taught in your fine schools
That a history book’s a weapon not a tool
In many voices we try to understand, what has come upon this land
Many good intentioned Christians tell us, “Children you must listen!”
Oh, they kill us with their kindness; in God’s name they terrorize us

On a starry night in a Central American town
Loved ones pray their loved ones won’t be found
While in the deepest part of a silent night, shots ring out in the dark
The missing ones will not be found, their killers never caught
And in the paper there’s a caption GUERILLAS KILLED IN ACTION
But they were children, they were only children, and how their mothers cry.

On a dusty road by an olive grove they rest
Young women with babies at their breasts
Upon the souls who went before them who lay beneath the earth
An earth made rich with bloodshed, blood shed before their births
And on the TV’s there’s a newsflash “MORE VICTIMS ON THE HOLY LAND!”
But they were children, they were only children, and how their mothers cry!

And it goes on and on, we see it everyday
We don’t need the papers, we don’t need the news
We all have the answers, we all share or we all lose…..

In the capitals of these places they call nations
There are papers pushed and proud congratulations
And while the victimized are criminalized are laughed at and are lied to
More plans are made by the death machine, will these madmen never tire?
No, they kneel and they pray to a materialist Saviour
And they were children, once they were children, what made their mothers cry?

And where are all the children? Where are all the children?
Where are all the children? What makes your mother cry?


Written By: © Diem Lafortune 2012

She imagines herself, light-years ahead, asleep with her memories and grey in her hair
Just another seasick sailor clinging to the side of the bed
And they keep on smiling in that old photograph high in the wall overhead
She just like she remembers for they surrender for a few on the steps of the shed.

Oh, they’re down I the kitchen, their liquored up words spin, like needles into her hears
It’s ok if the kid hears, it’s the neighbours you fear, as her best friend her dog, licks her tears
When the whiskey wears off, they’ll still have their pride, and she’ll feel guilty for wishing they’d died
She’ll be kissed on the forehead. They’ll thank God he’s not dead and leave on the damned bathroom light.

Oh, Mama said, “So, and Papa said, “No”, and Grandma said, “Come let’s play tea dear”.
And holding the lid as she pours for the kid, “They don’t mean it, it’s only the booze”

She’s bombarded with curses, commending she’s worthless and this time she’s just gone to far
There’s somebody pushing, and somebody pulling, in a world that assumes there’ll be scars.
And Mama sits smoking, saying, “Daddy’s just joking. He’ll do nothing he’ll ever regret.
Get closer, what’s the problem? Hug your father, be a daughter. And don’t you ever forget”

Oh, Mama said, “So”, and Papa said, “No”, and Grandma said, “Life isn’t easy”
And stroking her head, she tells the kid, “It’s gonna’ be better for you”.

She covers her head, and hides in her bed, and says she’ll “Keep quiet, if you don[‘t make me dead”
And it doesn’t get better, before it gets worse; she retreats to a world in her head.
\It’s a bloody Mary, it’s a bloody sin, it’s bloody on bloody all over again
Like caught on the side where the waters run high and it’s filthy and stinking with dread.

What does it mean, to be part of a dream, that’s a nightmare most of the time?
Why do you say that’s it’s only a phase, are you confusing your life with mine?
And Father has spoken, “You bitches, you broke it. You’re why I get half-coked and tight”]
And some learn to fight, and some take to flight and some pray to Jesus with all of their might.

Oh, Mama said, “So”, and Papa said, “So”, and Grandma, said love isn’t painless
And rubbing her neck she says, ”It’s just that I cannot accept you as you”.

Oh, Mama said, “So, and Papa said, “No”, and Grandma said, “Come let’s play tea dear”.
And holding the lid as she pours for the kid, “They don’t mean it, it’s only the booze”
Oh, Mama said, “So”, and Papa said, “No”, and Grandma said, “Life isn’t easy”
And stroking her head, she tells the kid, “It’s gonna’ be better for you”.
Oh, Mama said, “So”, and Papa said, “So”, and Grandma, said love isn’t painless
And rubbing her neck she says, ”It’s just that I cannot accept you as you”.


Written By: Diem Lafortune

LETTER FROM SAN FRANCISCO - © Diem Lafortune 2012

Half read sonnets and moss upon the columns
The CD’s programmed old and blue love songs
A line so fine is redefined
What is yours is yours and what is mine is mine
I lay frozen in this room of shifting shadows
Uncertain past the point of no return
My mind? A spider’s web fevered churning
Alone here in this night I must let go.

And it’s so clear and concise and out of phase
Like the photographs of us together in the lion’s cage
Between the ash and the bone drink long and hard
Into the bottom of the well into the flood.

Up to the sun we flew passions laced to fury
Dispensing with the lessons we had been learning
The borrowed wings of Icarus have let me hanging
I guess I got too close and I got burned
I didn’t need to need to run away
I felt shame and cursed myself, “Oh, not again!”
I looked for wrong that was wrong and now that hounds me
Into this steamy night where choice has found me.

A harvest moon lights an asphalt river
Soon we’ll be up to here in winter
Love will come again like the seasons
But memories need heartaches to grow cold.
Gently there are no accidental warriors
There are incidents and words that haunt and form us
Bruised we are and sad that it’s been spoken
Peace be with us as we cross our rivers Jordan


Written By: Diem Lafortune

GHOSTDANCE - © Diem Lafortune 2012
She moves down the street in a windswept ballet,
to the sound of the mariner’s rhyme
Porcelain skin etched with old pain,
heart in her hand pantomime.
Gone is the safety and gone is the saviour,
and gone is the light in her eyes
She never quite found her way back from night
He was lost in that crimson washed tide.

Springtime would come and she’s find herself,
waiting for summer to fade
For hours and hours it seemed she could kneel,
her own pleasure she’d learn to delay
Brocaded satin and vows sworn in Latin,
stained yellow and spent with old time
Haunted by shadows of ghosts of
commanders: her threshold a family line

I felt sorry echo through each word she spoke,
I was helpless to this killing despair
She said: “Life’s a rehearsal for the next time around,
my shame is a pain I can bear”
The embarcadero’s ghosts, would beckon,
once she thought her prince had been saved
But there was nothing there, when she reached for his shoulder,
so she withdrew from all those who cared.

For 35 years she tried not to pretend
that the man she was with was the one
We’d hold on tight on those rides to the
station, “In time you learn to care”
Oh, the more he was gone, the more she’d return,
and then never again his sweet rage
Now she burns sacraments, and salutes the men,
for their part in this evil charade.

I refused the divide; I would not take sides,
I’d be honest as both of them taught
Touched by the lives of the times that they’d lived,
but for me, their dreams: they forgot
For what they believed, for their wish that I be,
I will dance this one serenade
For where is the line between sadness and madness,
and me, and the part that I played?

And, where will I be, and who will be near,
when it’s time for me to take leave?
Will my ghosts take their seats, when the curtains come down,
and my flash becomes my conceit?
She spoke with acceptance at a holiday breakfast
that her ashes be scattered at sea
And how will it feel, that moment revealed,
will I learn before then to be free? Ahhhh!



Set List

Fear & Hunger
And On The Evidence
Minuet for the Staircase Children
Safe & Sound
If They take Us In the Morning
Shaking the Foundation
Mr. Businessman's Blues
A Little Bird Told Me So
Letter From San Francisco
Where Are All the Children?
In From The Cold
Hot Kisses