BCTF Online Museum

As Long As It Takes

Geoff Peters and Marion Runcie October 2005

As Long As it Takes song lyricsThis song became the theme song for the October 2005 strike, and was sung on picket lines and at rallies all around BC, including with 20,000 people at the Legislature in Victoria.

The story of its creation is amusing. Robert Tarswell, President, Princeton District Teachers’ Union kept leaving urgent messages on our answering machine. We played telephone tag for a few days as we prepared for a weekend camping trip. The urgent problem? “We are having a rally on Monday and we need you to write a new song. It has to be about staying on the picket line as long as it takes to get what we want this time.” 

Robert can be very persuasive, so we took it on. Our road trip would have to detour over the Hope-Princeton and our first campsite would be his back yard. Between teaching and packing we put some ideas together. The song was finished on the freeway just east of Chilliwack.

In Princeton, Robert had arranged for a teacher couple, Shirley and Wah Fee Low, with a recording studio, to make a CD. We continued our trip. Some Princeton teachers performed the song, and by the time we returned home, the song had been shared all over the province. 

A web site was created by a teacher we had never met, called As Long As It Takes, as a repository for photos, songs, chants, rants and more.

Melody: I Feel Like I’m Fixing To Die Rag, Country Joe and the Fish, 1965