Arlene Mantle 1939--2012
She lit her candle in the wind. It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of singer-songwriter and social activist Arlene Mantle (Sage), on September 10, 2012.
The trademark headband, overalls, buttons, acoustic guitar, Joplin voice and razor wit and insight will be instantly recognizable to anyone fighting for justice in the ‘80's and 90’s in Ontario, in Canada and around the world.
A woman, a feminist, poor, lesbian, a single mother, Arlene forged her own path. She was not the same, she was a painted bird. She chose to use her magnificent talents to speak up for the causes of workers, women, immigrants and refugees, the injured, the ill, the oppressed everywhere. She sang for peace and justice and against class and race discrimination. She would stride to her stage and speak to us and for us. She would raise our spirits when we struggled. She would help us see with her insight. She would weave our words into a mighty statement and a powerful song. She changed our lives with her songs and her courage to sing them. She stood for overcoming personal adversity and standing up to greed.
She leaves to us a vast collection of songs, many written in collaboration with grass roots groups. Songs of resistance, struggle and fight-back.
Our thoughts and love go to her sons, daughters, and grandchildren, who journeyed with her through all the ups and downs, and who shared her with us.
Arlene was a life-force. She will be deeply missed. Please share the news of her passing with everyone who has fought with her for change. Planning for a memorial concert is underway; details will follow.
Sing with us now. You know the tune. “One woman pushing won’t make the mountain move, two women pushing won’t make the mountain move, all women pushing will make the mountain move. Let’s move mountains together.”