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Price of oil inspires Nova Scotia man's mournful country tune

The plight of resource workers is ripe ground for sad folk and country songs. Think miners toiling in the Canadian shield, or Atlantic fishermen, or Pacific loggers.

Jody Hickey, an oil worker and singer-songwriter, takes inspiration from the pain of the bust

Jody Hickey has worked in Alberta's oil patch for years, and penned a mournful country tune about praying for the price of oil to rise. (Jody Hickey/You Tube screenshot )

The plight of resource workers is ripe ground for sad folk and country songs: think miners toiling in the Canadian shield, or Atlantic fishermen, or Pacific loggers.

It's no wonder, then, that someone has penned a mournful tune on living at the whim of the price of oil. 

"You work all your life to become a tradesman or another worker out in the field there, and it's just so fragile. Your job, your entire existence is based on the price of oil," said oil worker and singer-songwriter Jody Hickey, who wrote the song "$100 Barrel."

Of course, oil workers are a different breed from those huffing coal dust underground, or felling timber in Canada's forests, mostly because the paycheques are a wee bit larger when you're "pulling dragons from the ground," as they say.

"You know, you're living in a $500,000 home, you've got two $75,000 trucks and two sleds and two quads and you can't live like that very long with the price of oil down," said Hickey on the inspiration for the song. 

Okay, so it might be hard to find sympathy if that's the source of the lament. But that plays into the song's chorus, which references the oh-so-familiar bumper sticker from Calgary's last great bust of the '80s, begging for one more boom and promising not to "piss it away" should it occur.  

In the end though, Hickey hopes oil workers find inspiration from the song and focus on the expectation that the good times will once again return. 

"At the end of the song, 'I will be working again', and we all will be. Everything is going to turn around eventually."

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