Stan Rogers’ music continues to amaze, amuse and inspire people from all walks of life, and has been referred to as “one of the touchstones of modern Canadian history.” He was and remains one the finest songwriters of the past 100 years.
Borealis Records is proud to make available a limited edition double-vinyl album with eighteen of Stan Rogers’ best loved songs, re-mastered for vinyl by João Carvalho and Bill Garrett. All songs are produced by Paul Mills. Executive Producer is Ariel Rogers.
1. Fogarty’s Cove 2:12
2. Free in the Harbour 3:56
3. White Squall 5:02
4. Lock-keeper 5:30
5. Barrett’s Privateers 4:32
1. The Flowers of Bermuda 3:47
2. Tiny Fish for Japan 3:30
3. The Last Watch 5:08
4. Forty-five Years 3:30
5. Northwest Passage 4:49
1. The Jeannie C 5:54
2. The Field Behind the Plow 4:30
3. Lies 5:41
4. Delivery Delayed 4:43
1. The Idiot 3:49
2. Make and Break Harbour 4:26
3. Song of the Candle 6:39
4. The Mary Ellen Carter 5:25
Writer Rick Salutin on Stan and “Northwest Passage”
Stan Rogers was a folk musician in an almost 19th century sense. That was a time of forming new nations from disparate parts, and artists played a central, defining role. He too wrote about his country’s people, in the sense of working people. There are no lawyers or government officials in his songs, though had he lived longer, who knows-
He started from the base he knew: Atlantic Canada and the fishing industry. He extended organically to the “Calgary roughnecks from Hermitage Bay” in Newfoundland, who moved west to work on oil rigs rather than take the “government dole that rots your sole.” In the “taverns of Edmonton,” they shout “Haul it away,” as they had on the boats at home where “the whales make free in the harbour.”
Some artists are reluctant to write about people whose lives they don’t know well, since you risk getting it wrong and humiliating them, ‘and yourself. He plunged in, adopting the voice of a farmer surveying the field behind his plow, whose neighbour took a heart attack and died at 42/ you could see it coming on ‘cause he worked as hard as you- and getting it right, to my ear. (In the city, he’d have “had” a heart attack.) With even more nerve, he wrote about a 29 year old farm wife, who’s lost her wondrous looks to the hard life. Her mirror tells her lies but her man sees her as she was, and therefore still is. It seems to me he gets this one right too. It’s among his most audacious songs.
Everyone I know thinks Northwest Passage should be Canada’s national anthem. It has phrases to match, “O’er the ramparts we watched.” (Which O Canada doesn’t.) Phrases like: “Tracing one warm line through a land so wide and savage”. The key to the song may be that “savage.” He always did it without instrumental accompaniment, as if it was meant to be sung by anyone, anywhere. I have a friend in northern Ontario who says, “I’ve heard that song wailed by so many drunk, slurring, tuneless people at closing time- and you just can’t ruin it!” A day later she called to confess she was one of them.
If a country could be sung into existence, he’d have done it.
|Dimensions||32 × 32 × 1.2 cm|