As just about anyone in Montreal, visitors included, has experienced – the city has become one big construction zone. Roads are being ripped up and repaired. Condo developments and other projects are everywhere. It is not only affecting drivers, but cyclists and pedestrians as well. It is causing stress, anxiety and in some cases even depression – and Jennifer Gasoi, a multi-talented, Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter has come up with a song to help ease the pain of Montreal’s construction mayhem. Drivers find themselves alone in their cars, pulling at their hair and feeling helpless after they followed detour after detour just to get from one block to another. Cyclists and pedestrians might have an easier time navigating the city, yet they have to deal with dust and noise as well. Inspired by her own frustration with the construction mess, Jennifer has used her creative talents to come up with something that is bringing everyone together and helping to ease the collective pain – she has written a song called ‘Jack Hammered’. She posted the song on her Facebook page last Wednesday July 17th and it already has thousands of people singing along and smiling.
weâ€™re going through, especially for people who donâ€™t have a creative outlet â€“ thereâ€™s just so much frustration. Someone who viewed my video said to me that â€˜in just two minutes you summed up my entire experience of Montreal and the trafficâ€™. “It truly is an issue that everyone can relate to, regardless of language, heritage or age. Itâ€™s something that we all experience and flabbergasts us all.
Gasoi strongly maintains that a sense of humour is what it takes to handle all the noise and endless headaches â€“ and believes Montrealers have a great sense of it. And so does she, in abundance. Jennifer found the inspiration to write the song, on what started out as a pleasant morning, but her moment of bliss was interrupted by the sounds of a jackhammer once again, just outside her place in the Plateau. She decided to turn her frustration into something positive and Jackhammered was born.
I had the opportunity to ask her a few more questions and decided to approach them in the same way she approached her song, with humour â€“ and she was right on the ball:
HOW DO YOU THINK ORANGE CONSTRUCTION CONES FEEL ABOUT THE WHOLE SITUATION, WITH ALL THE HATRED BEING THROWN AT THEM? JG: Theyâ€™re putting in overtime and itâ€™s not their fault the roads are a mess. They are doing what they can do to warn pedestrians and do their partâ€¦ and theyâ€™re just kicked to the curb, literally. They are everywhereâ€¦ you see them behind dumpsters, you them in sewers, you see them on top of garbage cansâ€¦ I personally think they feel like they get no respect!
DO YOU THINK THE CONES ARE ACTUALLY HELPFUL WITH THE WORK THEY DO? JG: I think they can be helpful, but I think a lot of them are very misguidedâ€¦ we often are driving down the highway and thereâ€™s just a line of a hundred cones â€“ and they are doing nothing. Drivers canâ€™t understand why theyâ€™ve been placed there when there doesnâ€™t seem to be any roadwork going on and they just donâ€™t pick up the cones. I hope these cones are getting paid double or triple time for their work.
CARS HAVE BEEN SEEN DRIVING RIGHT INTO THE CONES, KNOCKING THEM OVER â€“ DO YOU THINK THERE SHOULD BE PENALTIES FOR THATâ€¦ LIKE DEMERIT POINTS? JG: I think there should possibly be group therapy sessions for all the drivers in Montreal, I think that would help! I donâ€™t blame them, theyâ€™re frustrated â€“ but then you feel bad for these little, lonely cones that are just trying to do their job; but at some point, when theyâ€™re not serving a purpose in the moment, I can understand why drivers run them over (she laughs).
DO YOU THINK THE CONES COULD — USE SOME GROUP THERAPY OR SUPPORT GROUPS TO HELP THEM DEAL WITH THIS SITUATION? JG: Iâ€™m sure they could use it, just as much as all of us can tooâ€¦ you know, we might all end up in the same support group together!
All cones aside, with the lyrics (see photo) and the link to the Jack Hammered video you can sing along with Jennifer! Go to https://www.facebook.com/jennifer.gasoi/videos/2171532416279420/