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Thinking about music

As often happens, that music meme has made me want to reflect on why certain people or albums are so important in the story of my life. I started commenting on gillo's comment on my last post, and it became a long paragraph, so I thought I'd post it here instead. I'm not sure where my passion for Springsteen comes from. Partly a "soundtrack" issue - you know how you seem to have a soundtrack for certain parts of your life? Well, "The River" was my soundtrack when I was in grad school, and "Born in the USA" was when I was teaching in China. And the music has just stuck. Also, he's on the side of the angels as far as his politics and what he expresses in his lyrics - morph to pickledginger's meme on protest songs. If you don't know Stan Rogers - I don't know how well he's known outside Canada - try him, you'll can't fail to like him, I think. "Northwest Passage" is the quintessential anthem to Canada - CBC radio listeners voted it the ultimate Canadian song in a poll once, and it was the song I played to my Chinese students, saying "listen to this, and read the words, and you'll understand what it is to be Canadian." But that makes him sound not accessible to others: listen to "The Mary Ellen Carter" and the refrain "Rise again... rise again...like the Mary Ellen Carter rise again" and you'll have something to help you to overcome bad patches in your life.

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
umbrella_term
Apr. 14th, 2006 04:51 pm (UTC)
Man, that's so cool. My dad used to play Born in the USA all the time on the family record player. I was in kindergarten when that was a brand new record in the house. I remember making a tape of it and bringing it to class one day. All us kids liked it too!
gillo
Apr. 18th, 2006 09:13 pm (UTC)
The Guides at Vimy Ridge told me that's what it means to be Canadian!

I suppose for me it's 70s folk singers - not just the electric gang, but the Watersons, Carthy et al.

intertext
Apr. 18th, 2006 09:46 pm (UTC)
Heh - yes, well Vimy Ridge is like our Spanish Armada and Waterloo all rolled into one, but it's something that makes Canadians proud. "Northwest Passage" expresses our soul... I know what you mean about 70's folk singers, though. I forgot Gordon Lightfoot, but he's another important one for me. And Stan R died in 1983; I saw him in Toronto in 82 at his height, so he almost counts as a 70's folk singer.
gillo
Apr. 19th, 2006 09:48 am (UTC)
Vimy ridge is a very moving place - please don't think I was mocking. I went there with a bunch of kids a couple of years ago, as part of a "Western Front" field trip. All the fun of the Somme, Ypres, Vimy. We managed special detours for some kids to put little crosses by the graves of relatives too. It's on the History syllabus, but I rather feel all kids ought to go there - I know of no better way to learn about just what brutality man can descend to than to look at ground where nothing grows nearly 90 years later.

John Renbourne was good. And Planxty. Therapy. Pentangle....
intertext
Apr. 19th, 2006 06:15 pm (UTC)
Oh heavens! I didn't think you were mocking - you're right that Vimy is a very very important event or place or whatever for Canadians. And I'm sure I'd be in shreds if I went there. Any of those places that resonate with history like that are extremely moving.

But you can read the words of the song here:
http://lyrics.rare-lyrics.com/S/Stan-Rogers/Northwest-Passage.html

Read them, and you'll see what I mean, I hope.
pickledginger
Apr. 21st, 2006 04:17 am (UTC)
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
pickledginger
Apr. 21st, 2006 04:15 am (UTC)
I <3 Stan Rogers. Thanks for the reminder! I really need to get some of his albums on a more modern medium than vinyl.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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