The Kennedy Suite


The Cowboy Junkies present ‘The Kennedy Suite’

A few years back Reid was invited to record and perform on the Kennedy Suite. A collaborative work on the subject of JFK’s assassination by school teacher / poet Scott Garbe, and presented by Cowboy Junkies. This eclectic opus features some of Canada’s brightest stars: Sarah Harmer, Hawksley Workman, Skydiggers, Jason Collett, Lee Harvey Osmond, The Good Family and more.  The record was long listed for the Polaris Music Prize.  

Joined by Margo Timmins on the endings haunting background vocals, Reid Jamieson performs the song TAKE HEART (Elbow Room). Arguably the most moving of the songs, it is written from the perspective of a parade cop on that fateful day, one who is already having a tough day that is bound to get worse.  (lyrics below)

DOWNLOAD TAKE HEART by Reid Jamieson w/ Cowboy Junkies : MP3, cover art, lyrics.

Buy album from Cowby Junkies site Listen on Spotify

“Charged with protecting the President, a Dallas police officer reflects on the tragedies that he has recently experienced as he rides directly beside Jackie Kennedy in the Presidential motorcade.” — Scott Garbe

The Kennedy Suite — V. Take Heart (Elbow Room) + 26 Seconds from The Kennedy Suite on Vimeo. More

(Includes footage from Reid Jamieson’s stage performance on 22/11/13 at Toronto’s Elgin Winter Garden Theatre (2 sold out nights). Immediately following is “26 Seconds”, an audio collage by Scott Garbe and Doug Telfer based on the historic interview with Abraham Zapruder in the immediate aftermath of the assassination.)

1 Prologue: Origami Peace Corps Mischief Makers

The Screwed

Hawksley Workman

2 Bullet for You

The Kennedy Suite Singers

3 Secret Spy Decoder Ring

Harlan Pepper

4 The Dallas Youth Auxiliary

Jessy Bell Smith

5 Take Heart (Elbow Room)

Reid Jamieson

6 26 Seconds

7 Parkland

Lee Harvey Osmond

8 Disintegrating

9 When Will I Be Mine

The Good Family

10 Senior Prom

Doug Paisley

11 The Truth About Us (The Ballad of Lee & Marina)


12 Arlington

Jason Collett

13 Slipstream

Martin Tielli

David J. Clark

14 Reliquary

The Potion Kings

15 Epilogue: White Man in Decline

Sarah Harmer

TAKE HEART (ELBOW ROOM) written by Scott Garbe

This late in November, everything seems out of kilter to me
Autumn doesn’t give hope elbow room

In your pink Chanel you’re radiant
And your husband is the president
But your black car floats through Dallas like a tomb
Take heart, take heart

I have a confession, my wife died in November
Lost both the breasts that fed my little girl
Sold everything to treat her, but cancer proved the bigger spender
Left us broke and broken but she’d say

Take heart, take heart, take heart, 
for there are ways to shine without gold

There’s more I didn’t mention, my daughter died in November
Of disappointment that she wasn’t you
Nights I’d wake to find her weeping, her Jackie hair-do slipping
Yearning for love from everyone but me, and I’d say
Take heart, take heart, for there are ways to shine without gold

(and) Riding here beside you, helps me fight off that nagging notion
That without my family my usefulness is through
I couldn’t save my wife, and I couldn’t save my daughter
But I may save myself if I can help save you, two

Take heart, take heart, take heart 
Come on and give hope a little elbow room
Elbow room, elbow room, mmm mmm  
Right on Houston, left on Elm