Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Stan Rogers and David Myles

This may be the first time those two names have been used in the same sentence. But certainly not the last. My good friend, David Myles, has been nominated as Best New/Emerging Artist at the Canadian Folk Music Awards. It's well-deserved. David's written bagfulls of great songs, including Something I Can Feel, which for me captures the wistfulness of being a young man better than most songs I know:

I wanna build a house
Up on a hillside
I wanna sing my songs
I won't need money
I'll just need time

And no song, I think, is as great as Stan Rogers' Northwest Passage in capturing the young man's desire to leave home-bound pleasures and security for a heroic adventure only "to find there but the road back home again."

If you've not listened to either of these guys you are poorer for it. But now you can be a rich man.

1 comment:

RevM said...

I was not familiar with the Stan Rogers song ( and couldn't find a spot to hear it yet) but I did find the lyrics including an unpublished verse that you may or may not have seen.
Kudos for David - his music is wonderful and deserves the honour!

Here's the Rogers lyrics
Northwest Passage

Chorus:

Ah, for just one time I would take the Northwest Passage
To find the hand of Franklin reaching for the Beaufort Sea;
Tracing one warm line through a land so wild and savage
And make a Northwest Passage to the sea.

Westward from the Davis Strait 'tis there 'twas said to lie
The sea route to the Orient for which so many died;
Seeking gold and glory, leaving weathered, broken bones
And a long-forgotten lonely cairn of stones.

Three centuries thereafter, I take passage overland
In the footsteps of brave Kelso, where his "sea of flowers" began
Watching cities rise before me, then behind me sink again
This tardiest explorer, driving hard across the plain.

And through the night, behind the wheel, the mileage clicking west
I think upon Mackenzie, David Thompson and the rest
Who cracked the mountain ramparts and did show a path for me
To race the roaring Fraser to the sea.

How then am I so different from the first men through this way?
Like them, I left a settled life, I threw it all away.
To seek a Northwest Passage at the call of many men
To find there but the road back home again.

Unpublished additional verse:

And if should be I come again to loved ones left at home,
Put the journals on the mantle, shake the frost out of my bones,
Making memories of the passage, only memories after all,
And hardships there the hardest to recall.