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Origins: Northwest Passage (Stan Rogers)

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NORTHWEST PASSAGE


Related threads:
Verse Add: Northwest Passage (Stan Rogers) (17)
Tune/Chords Req: Northwest Passage (Stan Rogers) (8)
(origins) Lyr Req: Northwest Passage (Stan Rogers) (16)


poor lonesome boy 08 Feb 01 - 11:16 PM
DonMeixner 08 Feb 01 - 11:25 PM
campfire 08 Feb 01 - 11:30 PM
Mary in Kentucky 08 Feb 01 - 11:45 PM
GUEST,MeadowMuskrat 08 Feb 01 - 11:59 PM
radriano 09 Feb 01 - 12:46 PM
Keith A of Hertford 09 Feb 01 - 03:11 PM
Kim C 09 Feb 01 - 03:22 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 09 Feb 01 - 03:32 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 09 Feb 01 - 03:45 PM
Clinton Hammond 09 Feb 01 - 04:19 PM
Trapper 09 Feb 01 - 04:32 PM
GUEST,Fred 09 Feb 01 - 11:44 PM
Metchosin 09 Feb 01 - 11:49 PM
Mark Cohen 10 Feb 01 - 12:09 AM
Marion 10 Feb 01 - 12:28 AM
Clinton Hammond 10 Feb 01 - 02:18 AM
Gorgeous Gary 10 Feb 01 - 04:26 PM
Peter T. 10 Feb 01 - 04:54 PM
bobby's girl 10 Feb 01 - 07:16 PM
Jeri 10 Feb 01 - 07:41 PM
poor lonesome boy 10 Feb 01 - 07:45 PM
Clinton Hammond 10 Feb 01 - 08:05 PM
poor lonesome boy 10 Feb 01 - 08:31 PM
Naemanson 10 Feb 01 - 09:17 PM
Clinton Hammond 11 Feb 01 - 11:43 AM
Metchosin 11 Feb 01 - 12:30 PM
black walnut 12 Feb 01 - 12:48 PM
bubblyrat 09 Oct 14 - 08:53 AM
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Subject: I will take the Northwest Passage!
From: poor lonesome boy
Date: 08 Feb 01 - 11:16 PM

for one more time, I will take the Northwest Passage To touch the hand of Franklin reaching for the Beauport Sea Just one more line, in a land so wide and savage And take the Northwest Passage to the sea

Is Stan Rogers not the coolest? Excuse any mistakes I might have made in the lyrics. I'm simply transcribing what I sing in the shower, not necessarily the oringinal words.

My questions, as a newly discovered fan of Stan Rogers, are: Who else made this song popular? What are your favourite Stan Rogers songs?


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Subject: RE: I will take the Northwest Passage!
From: DonMeixner
Date: 08 Feb 01 - 11:25 PM

I like everyone of Stan Rogers songs but there is a feeling that "Turnaround" supplies for me that no other song has. I found myself and my first real singing partner at that same juncture in our lives. He went to sea and I stayed inland. He sailed boats and I built them. I raised a family and he never has. Who is to say whose course was truest. Stan's song tells the tale better than any other I've heard.

Don


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Subject: RE: I will take the Northwest Passage!
From: campfire
Date: 08 Feb 01 - 11:30 PM

My favorite Stan Rogers song changes often - whichever one I'm hearing maybe. Maybe I'm biased, but I can't think of a "bad" one.

campfire


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Subject: RE: I will take the Northwest Passage!
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 08 Feb 01 - 11:45 PM

Big Joe, you might be interested in this thread. It seems that there are several Stan Rogers fans around here.


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Subject: RE: I will take the Northwest Passage!
From: GUEST,MeadowMuskrat
Date: 08 Feb 01 - 11:59 PM

I don't know of anyone else who made this song popular, I think this was very much the late Stan Rogers signature song, though I understand his brother Garnet performs it in concert playing a fiddle and inviting the audience to sing along.There is a recently released tribute album of Stan's songs sung by Canadian artists, but I haven't been able to find it yet, so I don't know if Northwest Passage is on it. I agree with you on your enthusiasm for this song.I remember feeling emotionally drained after hearing it for the first time and still think it is one of the finest songs I ever heard.In my opinion it ranks only with Gordon Bok's Bay of Fundy, Fred Small"s Denmark 1945 and Eric Bogle"s The Band Played Waltzing Matilda for song craft and profound lyrics. I also like Stan's Mary Ellen Carter,house of Orange, and White Squall.I regret I never saw him perform live, I didn't discover his music until sometime after his untimely death in the early 80"s.He died in a plane crash, supposedly while helping other passengers.


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Subject: RE: I will take the Northwest Passage!
From: radriano
Date: 09 Feb 01 - 12:46 PM

I believe that the last line of the chorus should be:

"And make a Northwest Passage to the sea"

I have heard that when Stan Rogers was recording the album that Northwest Passage is on he had not written the song yet. Now I may not be getting the story exactly right but he needed one more song (or a title song) to complete the album. Apparently he was working under a time deadline so he stayed up that night in the studio and composed a song to complete the album. He presented the song to the rest of the crew the next morning and "Northwest Passage" completed the album.


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Subject: RE: I will take the Northwest Passage!
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 09 Feb 01 - 03:11 PM

I love The Jeannie C but please, does anyone know why she foundered?

If not a rock that she struck, then what?
Hoping not to be forsaken,
Keith.


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Subject: RE: I will take the Northwest Passage!
From: Kim C
Date: 09 Feb 01 - 03:22 PM

There is a group out of Ohio called Father Son and Friends that recorded this song a few years back. Y'know, I am ashamed to say I know nothing about Stan Rogers, except this one song. I think I need to go enlighten myself...


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Subject: Lyr Add: NORTHWEST PASSAGE (Stan Rogers)
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 09 Feb 01 - 03:32 PM

NORTHWEST PASSAGE
(Stan Rogers)
As recorded by Stan Rogers on "Northwest Passage" (1981)

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 wide and savage
And make a Northwest Passage to the sea.

1. 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. CHORUS

2. 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. CHORUS

3. 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. CHORUS

4. 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. CHORUS

[Copyright Fogarty's Cove Music]


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Subject: RE: I will take the Northwest Passage!
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 09 Feb 01 - 03:45 PM

Keith. It is not uncommon for wooden Cape Islander type fishing boats to hit a large wave trough, and open up their seams. The boats are often neglected, and worms or rot cause them to leak and weaken. Occasionally collision with a whale, or nowadays a steel container washed off a passing freighter could cause such a condition. Sometimes in Canadian waters during the winter, a piece of sea ice too....Yours, Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: I will take the Northwest Passage!
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 09 Feb 01 - 04:19 PM

I can think of a few Stan tunes that are not tops of my list, but that's a really short list... I'm still kinda on the fence over "From Coffee House To Concert Hall"... There's an album that, had Stan survived, certainly never would have seen the light of day... it's alomst embarrassing in a few places...

My favorite album is either "Home In Halifax" for the racus stuff, or "Turnaround" for the melow bits he did so well...

;-)


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Subject: RE: I will take the Northwest Passage!
From: Trapper
Date: 09 Feb 01 - 04:32 PM

Meadow Muskrat-

"There is a recently released tribute album of Stan's songs sung by Canadian artists,..."

There is an album called "An East Coast Tribute" whereon a Canadian group called "Modabo" does a fine rendition of Northwest Passage.

- Al


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Subject: RE: I will take the Northwest Passage!
From: GUEST,Fred
Date: 09 Feb 01 - 11:44 PM

Several years ago the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Company) made a 1 hour documentary called "One Warm Line" with Stan performing many of his songs in concert, including his last one at the Kerrville festival in Texas before his tragic flight back to Chicago. The energy in his performances is certainly something to see.

If anyone gets the chance, the annual Canmore Folk Festival (just outside Banff National Park in Alberta) is performed on the Stan Rogers Memorial Stage, and it always ends with an all-performers and audience rendition of "The Mary Ellen Carter"--very moving (even in the pouring rain, as it often is). I remember seeing Stan perform at the Canmore festival long ago.


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Subject: RE: I will take the Northwest Passage!
From: Metchosin
Date: 09 Feb 01 - 11:49 PM

Fred I heard that broadcast....hope it was bottled for future use.


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Subject: RE: I will take the Northwest Passage!
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 10 Feb 01 - 12:09 AM

I'll never forget seeing Stan in concert in Philadelphia in 1980. It was part of a summer folk music series, and the stage was on the deck of the barque Gazela Primeiro, which was permanently moored at the (then) new waterfront park. At one point he looked around him and said, "This is a beautiful ship, and by God, Philadelphia, you're lucky to have her!" We all were lucky to have him, too, for all too brief a time.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: I will take the Northwest Passage!
From: Marion
Date: 10 Feb 01 - 12:28 AM

My favourite song on "From Coffeehouse to Concert Hall" is also about the northwest passage. The song is called "Take It From Day to Day" (or something like that) and is about an ordinary crew member's experience.

Clinton, which songs do you particularly like or dislike on the album?

Marion

No stranger I to the touch of steel
Or the honest fear any man can feel
But I long for dust under my heels
And a pocket full of pay....

We're as far north now as I want to come
But Larson's got us under his thumb
And I signed up for the whole damn run
I can't get off halfway...

I often find myself repeating those last two lines when I feel the urge to get off in the middle of the whole damn run I'm currently signed on to... God, Stan was a wonderful lyricist! So many wonderful lines that are so simple and direct and yet so compelling...


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Subject: RE: I will take the Northwest Passage!
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 10 Feb 01 - 02:18 AM

Oh, I don't wanna get into that... suffice to say I find it more than a little 'exploitive'... I also found the biography "An Unfinished Conversation" more than a little invasive as well...

Mind you, I have heard some good stories from Garnet, like the time that Stan was nearly arrested for rape...

;-)


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Subject: RE: I will take the Northwest Passage!
From: Gorgeous Gary
Date: 10 Feb 01 - 04:26 PM

In the filk community, Dave Clement (from Edmonton) has made a number of Stan's songs popular, "Northwest Passage" in particular. I'd say it appeals to the bit of explorer in each of us.

-- Gary


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Subject: RE: I will take the Northwest Passage!
From: Peter T.
Date: 10 Feb 01 - 04:54 PM

The first time I heard it was from the late Tex Koenig on a very busy day at the St. Lawrence Market in Toronto. You might be interested to check out his thread for the poem I wrote in his memory, and about the effect of the song on one person ....
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: I will take the Northwest Passage!
From: bobby's girl
Date: 10 Feb 01 - 07:16 PM

I love North-west Passage, but the only time I have ever heard it sung was by a Scottish singer called Tich Frier at Whitby Festival, and I bought his tape on the strength of that song. The Jeannie C is sung beautifully by Cilla Fisher - also heard for the first time at Whitby in 1984 - obviously a good place to hear brilliant songs!


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Subject: RE: I will take the Northwest Passage!
From: Jeri
Date: 10 Feb 01 - 07:41 PM

The first time I heard the song was sometime in '87 or '88, on the Nova documentary about the Franklin expedition and the discovery of the crew members' bodies. I was fascinated by the subject itself, but then to hear that wonderful song near the end ensured I'd never forget the program. It sounds like Stan Rogers must have been fascinated by the history of that expedition as well. I went to our weekly session shortly after that, and asked about the song and the singer. That's how I found out about Stan Rogers.

I can't recall any stand-out performances by people other than Stan Rogers, although I've heard a lot of people sing it. Well, I distinctly remember hearing it on the Canadian TV show "Due South." I'm not sure, but I think it was in the last episode of the show.

I love Jeannie C. Also Lock Keeper, White Squall and quite a few others.


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Subject: RE: I will take the Northwest Passage!
From: poor lonesome boy
Date: 10 Feb 01 - 07:45 PM

There's a live bit I heard once that has Stan showing just what kind of quick wit and performance ability he had. At the end of one song he tell the crowd they wiped him out and he could only do one more song. Then he tells them they win crowd of the year. Someone from the audience yells out "What about last year?" and the crowd laughs. Stan, without missing a beat, says, "Winner and still champion." Lardy, lardy byes, what a loss.


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Subject: RE: I will take the Northwest Passage!
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 10 Feb 01 - 08:05 PM

BJM... not to split hairs... But that's on "Home In Halifax"... and the audience member hollers out, "We won that last year"...

;-)


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Subject: RE: I will take the Northwest Passage!
From: poor lonesome boy
Date: 10 Feb 01 - 08:31 PM

Home in Halifax... that's the one. And, not to split hairs, it's still a fine piece of quick comeback.


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Subject: RE: I will take the Northwest Passage!
From: Naemanson
Date: 10 Feb 01 - 09:17 PM

I have to agree that Stan was one of the best. And I have to agree that Coffeehouse To Concert Hall was exploitive and would never have seen the light of day if Stan had lived. It isn't a bad album, it just isn't good enough.

My favorite album is... all of them. I couldn't pick out a favorite. I love The Nancy, The Jeanie C, Witch Of The Westmoreland (I know he didn't write it but I love his performance), White Squall, MacDonald On The heights, Lock-Keeper, The Idiot... I could go on and on.


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Subject: RE: I will take the Northwest Passage!
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 11 Feb 01 - 11:43 AM

Sort of funny BJM, listening to Stan and Garnet on that album, trying to beat each other to the punch line in places! LOL!!

;-)


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Subject: RE: I will take the Northwest Passage!
From: Metchosin
Date: 11 Feb 01 - 12:30 PM

from the other thread, typo corrected

Stan Rogers should be made Canada's Poet Laureate posthumously.


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Subject: RE: I will take the Northwest Passage!
From: black walnut
Date: 12 Feb 01 - 12:48 PM

heard stan and the band live, almost 20 years ago, and i'll never forget it....

~'nut


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Subject: RE: Origins: Northwest Passage (Stan Rogers)
From: bubblyrat
Date: 09 Oct 14 - 08:53 AM

My favourite version is by Tom Lewis and his Polish friends on the CD titled "Poles Apart" ( lovely harmonies & "Leave Her Johnny Leave Her " in Polish !! ).
             Stan Rogers did not actually die in a "'plane crash" per se. The aircraft in which he was returning home from the US to Canada experienced a fire in the aft toilet compartment, from which smoke was seen to be coming.A stewardess informed the pilot,who told her to disharge a CO2 extinguisher into the compartment,which seemed to solve the problem.The pilot DID NOT declare an emergency, or ask for an alternate airfield to land at.Later, the fire got worse and smoke filled the cabin ; even the aircrew were affected.By now, they had passed over their nearest "alternate" and headed instead for (I believe) Cincinatti ,where they landed ;when the doors were opened,the inrush of fresh air exacerbated the fire ,which raged uncontrollably killing many,although it is thought that many rear-seat passengers (including Stan ) were probably already (mercifully ) dead from smoke inhalation.One can only hope that Stan did not suffer too much.The whole tragedy was caused by pilot error and was totally avoidable.


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