Mi'kmaw teen's video rendition of Beatles classic goes viral
A Mi’kmaw teen hopes her music will inspire others to learn more about her language and culture.
Emma Stevens lives in Eskasoni, N.S., and her version of the Beatles hit, "Blackbird," performed in the Mi'kmaw language, has gone viral.
Stevens is hoping to revive a part of her own history, while attracting the attention of a famous singer.
It's a song familiar to many around the world and one that's become a hit once again on the First Nations community of Eskasoni.
“It's a very, very powerful song and doing it in Mi'kmaw just makes it more powerful," said Stevens. “It's a different language and a very beautiful language.”
Stevens, a Grade 10 student at Allison Bernard Memorial High School, recorded the Beatles song with help from her music teacher.
“Our language is dying, so we need more people to keep it alive and speak it,” Stevens said. “It's slowly going away.”
Stevens’ video has gone viral -- it’s been shared tens of thousands of times around the world.
Katani Julian enlisted the help of her father and they spent more than two hours translating the lyrics into Mi'kmaw.
“When the song comes out, the young people and youth will play it over and over again,” Julian said. “Pretty soon, they start being able to sing it. Even if they are not able to converse in the Mi'kmaw language.”
Stevens says she’s “really happy" the song is gaining a lot of attention.
“I want it to go up even more,” she said. “When you look up 'Blackbird,' I want Paul McCartney's version and then mine.”
Stevens is not only hoping to connect to her peers in Eskasoni, she's also hoping to hear from the man and group that made the song famous.
“I've been tweeting him every day,” she said. “I hope he sees it and I get to meet him. I really want to meet Paul McCartney.”
The lyrics have struck a chord with many in the community, including the elders.
“When I saw the final product I was absolutely stunned,” Julian said. “It was just beautiful. I showed it to my dad and I had tears that I didn't want him to notice, but when I looked over, he was wiping away a tear there too.”
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kyle Moore.