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Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song

DigiTrad:
CLAUDE DALLAS
FOUR RODE BY
FOUR STRONG WINDS
RED VELVET
SOMEDAY SOON
SONG FOR CANADA
SPRINGTIME IN ALBERTA
SUMMER WAGES


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Mister Spoons (Ian and Sylvia) (10)
Lyr Req: Makes a Long Time Man Feel Bad (Ian Tyson (10)
Lyr Req: Farewell to the North (Ian and Sylvia) (9)
Ian Tyson Tribute - Cowboy Poetry (Elko) (4)
Lyr req: Ian & Sylvia songs. Katy Dear, others (33)
Lyr Req/Add: Song for Canada (Ian & Sylvia) (12)
Who has recorded 'Summer Wages' (19)
Lyr Req: Ghost Lover (from Ian & Sylvia) (7)
Lyr Req: The Renegade (Ian & Sylvia) (9)
Lyr Req: Wild Geese (Anne Hills) (4)
(origins) 'Someday Soon' lyrics meaning (18)
Lyr Req: Lonely Girls (Ian & Sylvia) (14)
Lyr Req: The Renegade (Ian Tyson) (41)
Review: Summer wages -- sad? (Ian & Sylvia song) (42)
Lyr Req: You Were on My Mind (Sylvia Fricker) (35)
Lyr Req: Give It to the World (Sylvia Tyson) (18)
chords/Lyr Req: Stories He'd Tell (Ian Tyson) (13)
Lyr Req: So Much For Dreaming (Ian and Sylvia) (8)
Lyr Req/Add: Friends of Mine+Play One More (Tyson) (15)
Lyr Add: Barney (Ian Tyson) (6)
Lyr Req/Add: Play One More (Ian & Sylvia) (10)
Lyr Add: Marlborough Street Blues (Ian Tyson) (11)
Chord Req: Four rode by (Ian Tyson) (15)
Chord Req: love without end (Ian Tyson) (4)
Lyr Req: Wild Geese (Ian Tyson) (12)
Lyr Req: National Hotel (Ian Tyson) (15)
Lyr Req: The Renegade (Ian Tyson) (11)
Lyr Req: Long, Long Time to Get Old (Ian & Sylvia) (17)
Chord Req: Short Grass (Ian Tyson) (43)
Lyr/Chords Req: Some Kind of Fool (Ian Tyson) (17)
Ian Tyson recordings (16)
Lyr Req: V'la l' Bon Vent (Ian & Sylvia, in French (24)
Lyr Req: Maude's Blues (Sylvia Fricker) (16)
DT Correct: Four Rode By (Ian Tyson) (12)
Lyr Req: The Mighty Quinn (from Ian and Sylvia) (27)
Lyr Req: You're Not Alone (Ian & Sylvia) (5)
Help: Ian and Sylvia collaborations (25)
Ian Tyson radio interview (4)
Lyr Req: River Road (Sylvia Tyson) (7)
Chord Req: Someday Soon Ian and Sylvia (17)
Lyr Add: Jaquima to Freno (Ian Tyson) (1)
Lyr Req: Tomorrow Is a Long Time (Ian & Sylvia) (5)
Lyr Req: Springtime in Alberta (Ian Tyson) (4)
Lyr Req: Ian Tyson Lovin Sound (4)
Lyr Req: Brave Wolfe (Ian & Sylvia version) (9)
Lyr Req: Will James (Ian Tyson) (6)
Lyr Req: The French Girl (Ian Tyson) (2)


Bob the Postman 26 Mar 05 - 10:04 PM
Amos 26 Mar 05 - 11:20 PM
Pauline L 26 Mar 05 - 11:23 PM
Little Hawk 26 Mar 05 - 11:30 PM
cptsnapper 27 Mar 05 - 12:42 AM
DonMeixner 27 Mar 05 - 01:33 AM
burntstump 27 Mar 05 - 03:22 AM
GUEST,Obie 27 Mar 05 - 07:43 AM
Peter T. 27 Mar 05 - 07:47 AM
Severn 27 Mar 05 - 08:07 AM
paddymac 27 Mar 05 - 08:31 AM
GUEST,Clay T. 27 Mar 05 - 09:31 AM
Midchuck 27 Mar 05 - 09:48 AM
Willie-O 27 Mar 05 - 10:03 AM
Midchuck 27 Mar 05 - 10:41 AM
Little Hawk 27 Mar 05 - 10:55 AM
DonMeixner 27 Mar 05 - 12:33 PM
DonMeixner 27 Mar 05 - 12:42 PM
GUEST,Obie 27 Mar 05 - 01:02 PM
Clinton Hammond 27 Mar 05 - 01:16 PM
Pauline L 27 Mar 05 - 01:32 PM
DonMeixner 27 Mar 05 - 01:38 PM
Willie-O 27 Mar 05 - 01:47 PM
DonMeixner 27 Mar 05 - 02:50 PM
Clinton Hammond 27 Mar 05 - 03:26 PM
Bob the Postman 27 Mar 05 - 03:36 PM
Clinton Hammond 27 Mar 05 - 03:49 PM
GEST 27 Mar 05 - 09:20 PM
paddymac 27 Mar 05 - 11:41 PM
Steve Latimer 28 Mar 05 - 07:41 AM
Rapparee 28 Mar 05 - 08:58 AM
John Hardly 28 Mar 05 - 09:07 AM
GUEST 28 Mar 05 - 12:06 PM
GUEST,bobad 28 Mar 05 - 04:03 PM
GUEST,Geddy Lee 28 Mar 05 - 08:52 PM
GUEST,bobad 28 Mar 05 - 09:08 PM
GUEST,Rapaire 29 Mar 05 - 10:51 AM
Peter T. 29 Mar 05 - 12:45 PM
GUEST 29 Mar 05 - 01:10 PM
ToulouseCruise 29 Mar 05 - 01:11 PM
Willie-O 29 Mar 05 - 01:16 PM
TheBigPinkLad 29 Mar 05 - 03:57 PM
PoppaGator 29 Mar 05 - 04:21 PM
DonMeixner 29 Mar 05 - 04:33 PM
Peter T. 29 Mar 05 - 05:15 PM
Bob the Postman 29 Mar 05 - 07:35 PM
Rob Smyth 29 Mar 05 - 08:31 PM
GUEST,Gerry 30 Mar 05 - 01:09 AM
GUEST 30 Mar 05 - 03:56 AM
Peter T. 30 Mar 05 - 07:23 AM
ToulouseCruise 30 Mar 05 - 07:50 AM
GUEST,mkebenn@work 30 Mar 05 - 08:06 PM
Little Hawk 30 Mar 05 - 08:37 PM
Severn 30 Mar 05 - 09:21 PM
DonMeixner 30 Mar 05 - 09:59 PM
GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser) 31 Mar 05 - 05:31 AM
GUEST,Keelo 31 Mar 05 - 08:12 AM
John Hardly 31 Mar 05 - 08:39 AM
GUEST,Larry K 31 Mar 05 - 09:38 AM
GUEST,Gerry 31 Mar 05 - 09:06 PM
Severn 31 Mar 05 - 09:41 PM
GUEST,Paranoid Android 25 Apr 05 - 09:27 PM
GUEST,Paranoid Android 26 Apr 05 - 06:05 AM
Bob the Postman 26 Apr 05 - 08:56 PM
Margret RoadKnight 26 Apr 05 - 11:36 PM
Willie-O 27 Apr 05 - 08:03 AM
Jack the Sailor 27 Apr 05 - 03:50 PM
Jack the Sailor 27 Apr 05 - 04:02 PM
Burke 27 Apr 05 - 06:50 PM
Bob the Postman 27 Apr 05 - 07:07 PM
GUEST,Will A Scot 14 May 05 - 12:21 AM
number 6 14 May 05 - 12:39 AM
Bob the Postman 14 May 05 - 08:51 AM
dianavan 14 May 05 - 09:40 PM
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Subject: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 26 Mar 05 - 10:04 PM

Ian and Sylvia's 1963 hootenanny classic Four Strong Winds has been selected as the most essential Canadian pop song since the year 1900. The winnowing process, begun several months ago on CBC Radio, was flawed from the point of view of selecting actual essential songs but was useful in spurring thoughtful (and/or emotional) discussion among Canadians who care about songs. Of the top ten songs, eight could be classified in the folk genre:
'Four Strong Winds' by Ian and Sylvia
'Heart of Gold' by Neil Young
'Northwest Passage' by Stan Rogers
'Canadian Railroad Trilogy' by Gordon Lightfoot
'Both Sides Now' by Joni Mitchell
'Suzanne' by Leonard Cohen
'Big Yellow Taxi' by Joni Mitchell
'Early Morning Rain' by Gordon Lightfoot
See the complete list here:
50 Tracks


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: Amos
Date: 26 Mar 05 - 11:20 PM

I'd think the Canadian Railroad Trilogy beat the others hands down, but maybe that's just me.


A


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: Pauline L
Date: 26 Mar 05 - 11:23 PM

I don't understand why some of the songs, including Both Sides Now and Suzanne, would be considered essential Canadian.


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Mar 05 - 11:30 PM

Hmmm. I would pick "Four Strong Winds" as number One too, although the competition for that position is really fierce. Not surprising that Gordon Lightfoot and Leonard Cohen logged in the top 10.

I'd add Buffy Sainte-Marie's "Piney Wood Hills" and "Until It's Time For You To Go" (which has never been sung right by anyone except her) to the list.


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: cptsnapper
Date: 27 Mar 05 - 12:42 AM

What about Joni Mitchell's "A Case Of You?"


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: DonMeixner
Date: 27 Mar 05 - 01:33 AM

Hmm... one song by Stan Rogers and Ron Hynes, none by Wade Hemsworth or Ryan's Fancy. I am surprised "Western Boat" and "The Last Battle" isn't on the list.

Don


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: burntstump
Date: 27 Mar 05 - 03:22 AM

No mention of the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald by Lightfoot,I also think that Canadian Railroad Trilogy should be number one.


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: GUEST,Obie
Date: 27 Mar 05 - 07:43 AM

I loved the music of the Tysons and I think that Four Strong Winds was a great song, but it would not be my first choice. If my memory hasen,t faded too bad that song crossed from folk/country to pop and became an international hit but it was sung by Bobby Bare, an American.
                  Obie


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: Peter T.
Date: 27 Mar 05 - 07:47 AM

Canadian Railroad Trilogy is far and away the greatest Canadian song. Mon Pays is probably number two. They have a majestic quality that captures some essence of the whole beast.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: Severn
Date: 27 Mar 05 - 08:07 AM

For "Best Canadian Rap Song", The winner is..........

(TA-DA!!!!)......


"RINGO" by Lorne Greene


Severn


(Who, if anybody, came in second?)


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: paddymac
Date: 27 Mar 05 - 08:31 AM

I agree that "Four Strong Winds" is an incredible song. It was written and recorded to memorialize their divorce, a thing, I suspect, that only folk musicians would have the sentient sensitivity to do.

I've only seen one "split up" more effectively done. In that case, both parties were home brewers. They easily settled division of all the "things," but could not find resolution to the terrible problem of dividing the beer. Finally, a friend suggested "why not have a party and drink it all?" They quickly agreed, the party was had two weeks later, and they parted as good friends.


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: GUEST,Clay T.
Date: 27 Mar 05 - 09:31 AM

I agree that "Four Strong Winds" is an incredible song. It was written and recorded to memorialize their divorce, a thing, I suspect, that only folk musicians would have the sentient sensitivity to do.

You can't believe everything you read on Mudcat Cafe.

Ian & Sylvia met in 1959.

They recorded "Four Strong Winds" in 1963.

They got married in 1964.

They got divorced in 1975.


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: Midchuck
Date: 27 Mar 05 - 09:48 AM

Guest Clay T. beat me to it...

If I were Canadian, I think I might vote for Northwest Passage purely from that standpoint.

But I think FSW has more universal appeal.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: Willie-O
Date: 27 Mar 05 - 10:03 AM

And Clay would know. Note his last initial. Sorry paddymac you've been euchred.   

"Four Strong Winds" won for a number of reasons having to do with quality and popularity, the bottom line being that the most listeners voted for it.   

As for others' suggestions, you need to understand the process. It has been going on all winter on CBC radio. (The "Canadian 50 tracks" was after last year's similar show, without the nationalist qualification, came up with an, English-language pop music list of the 20th century that was almost all American). They spent two weeks on each decade (pre-1950's counted as a single decade, like it or not), with weekly guests from the music biz nominating two songs each, then voting each other's selections on or off the island. BUT WAIT! Each week also had a "listener choice" of the songs which were not selected, which is how certain items of no great popularity with critics, such as "Snowbird", were added on. Eventually they had a list of 50 songs. Then there was a whole other process to rank them from 50 to 1--that was done entirely by online poll voting from CBC listeners. (Any of you could have participated so quit carping.) Remember, the theme was"popular", not "folk". (Don, I am a Canadian folksinger and have never heard of either song you mention--sorry.) What the results show, in part, is the demographic of CBC listeners, and that 60's folk music is when "folk" was actually "popular", and most importantly, that those songs are still our best beloved. Stan Rogers being the only post-1975 folk classic in the top ten. I really think the top ten is a listing of absolute classic songs, with two exceptions.

The two songs that made top ten but are not listed in the top post were "American Woman" by the Guess Who (NOT on my list, though they were a great band they did better work) and most puzzlingly, the NUMBER TWO song was that catchy little jingle by the Bare Naked Ladies from 1992, "If I Had A Million Dollars". If that had emerged in 1963, which I can well imagine, it would be a long-forgotten novelty song by now, but the kids that were imprinted with it in '92 are now old enough to listen to CBC radio.

The late Peter Gzowski, as I recall, did a similar, less structured exercise twice. I think he did it twice, because I recall two separate grand winners: "Four Strong Winds" and "Northwest Passage".

The cream always rises.

W-O


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: Midchuck
Date: 27 Mar 05 - 10:41 AM

And Clay would know. Note his last initial. Sorry paddymac you've been euchred.

That totally got by me. Duhhhh....

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Mar 05 - 10:55 AM

Heh! Thanks for dropping in and correcting that, Clay. I saw you play in Orillia awhile back, and it was a good show.

The story I heard about "Four Strong Winds" was, Ian had just purchased Bob Dylan's first album (or his second one?) and was talking to everyone about how this kid was revolutionizing the whole folk scene by writing his own original songs...and how the rest of the folkies were going to have to follow suit very quickly. Accordingly, Ian began writing songs, saying, "If that little squirt can do it, so can I." His first original song was "Four Strong Winds", and it turned out to be probably his most enduring composition of all. As for Sylvia, she tried writing some stuff too, and came up with "You Were On My Mind" (another great song).

Now...how close did I get? Accurate or not?

I just saw Ramblin' Jack at Hugh's Room the other night, and Sylvia was there for a bit early in the evening, so I heard, but I didn't see her.


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: DonMeixner
Date: 27 Mar 05 - 12:33 PM

Hi Willie,

I'm a United Statesian folksinger and I'll bet there are loads of great songs from this side of the lake I have never heard. You probably know more than a few of them.

Bill Gallaher and Jake Gailbraithe recorded Bill's song "The Last Battle", about the Metis rebellion and The Battle of Battoche a few years ago. Gordon Bok has it on his CD "In The Kind Land".

My knowing or "Western Boat" or maybe you know it as "Cape St. Mary's" in more sketchy. I seem to recall it was written by a prison warden but I can't swear to that anymore. My favorite recording of it is by The Irish Descendents. And Gordon Bok has recorded it as well.

Don


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: DonMeixner
Date: 27 Mar 05 - 12:42 PM

Hi Again Willie,

Here you are, Same song, two titles,   It is also on the Mirror site with music as well.

Don


CAPE ST.MARY'S

Take me back to my western boat
Let me fish off Cape St. Mary's
Where the hog-down sail
And the Fog horns wail
With my friends the Browns and the Clearys
Let me fish off Cape St. Mary's

Let me feel my dory lift
To the broad Atlantic combers
Where the tide rip swirls
And the wild ducks whirl
And old Neptune calls the numbers.
'Neath the wild Atlantic combers

Let me sail up Golden Bay
With my oilskins all a-streaming
From the thunder squalls when I hauled my trawls.
And my old Cape Ann a-gleaming
With my oilskins all a-streaming.

And let me view that ragged shore
With the beaches all a-glisten
With the caplin spawn
Where from dusk till dawn
You bait your trawn, and you listen
To the undertow a-hissin'.

And when I reach that last big shoal
Where the groundswells break asunder,
Where the wild sands roll to the surge's toll
Let me be a man and take it
When my dory fails to make it.

Oh take me back to that snug green cove
Where the seas roll up their thunder
There let me rest
In the Earth's cool breast
Where the stars shine out their wonder
And the seas roll up their thunder.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Written by Otto P. Kelland, Quality Music, Inc., PROC.
Recorded by Stan Rogers in 1982 on For the Family, Folk
Traditions, R002.


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: GUEST,Obie
Date: 27 Mar 05 - 01:02 PM

We're drifting this thread but nobody ever matched Harry Hibbs doing Cape St.Mary's.
Another Newfoundland song, Squid Jigging Ground should be in any top 50 if folk is included.


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 27 Mar 05 - 01:16 PM

If I EVER hear 4 Strong Winds or Can. RR Trilogy EVER again, it'll be too soon...

And putting anything by that goof Tom Connors, or "Home For A Rest" on that list shows exactly how vacuous and worthless these kind of polls are...

'Tower of Song'... I played that last night at the request of a VERY beautiful young woman... I can still feel her eyes on me... Lens music is goof for that... We had a blast singing "Closing Time" to each other to end the night...   

And 'If I had $1000000' by the Barenaked Ladies and 'Lovers in a Dangerous Time' by Bruce Cockburn are abso-frigg'n lootly FOLK songs


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: Pauline L
Date: 27 Mar 05 - 01:32 PM

Thanks, Don Meixner, for posting the words to Cape St. Mary's. I love that song. I havent heard it in a long time, but when I read the words, I could hear it inside my head, and I got shivers up and down my spine.


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: DonMeixner
Date: 27 Mar 05 - 01:38 PM

Pauline,

Cape St. Mary's (Western Boat) is in the Digitrad Data base along with half a million other great songs.

Don


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: Willie-O
Date: 27 Mar 05 - 01:47 PM

Don, I am a big fan of Cape St Mary's, (written by Otto Kelland who died just a year or so ago) too. My personal jones is certainly of a Maritime bent.

The reason it wouldn't have made the list is that FWIW, it would have been considered "regional". And of course it's just one fine example of a very large body of work which is, well, a lot deeper than other regions of Canada might claim ;)=

Sonny's Dream almost suffered a similar fate. It just got on by persistent lobbying. One of the panel members that week, who publishes and writes most of a nation-wide music magazine with an alternative focus, Exclaim!, had never heard the song before!!!
Exclaim! is a pretty good magazine in some ways--but they expect me to understand references to seven million bands I've never heard of. That's what being over forty does I guess.

W-O


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: DonMeixner
Date: 27 Mar 05 - 02:50 PM

Yeah Willie,

I imagine that regionality can be an issue. But I think the things that define a song as representative of the culture of Canada could well be found in a regional recording. But then I look at the spirit of something as defining the culture rather than the gross sales.

I'm still at a loss as to why Wade Hemsworth is not on the list.

Don


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 27 Mar 05 - 03:26 PM

"Wade Hemsworth "

Who?


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 27 Mar 05 - 03:36 PM

In case you aren't kidding, Clinton, Wade Hemsworth is the guy who wrote the Black Fly song. Here is a link to his obituary


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 27 Mar 05 - 03:49 PM

"Log Driver's Waltz" I know... But that's the extent of it....


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds (Clinton)
From: GEST
Date: 27 Mar 05 - 09:20 PM

How about Wade Hemsworth's The I'm Alone and Wild Goose?


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: paddymac
Date: 27 Mar 05 - 11:41 PM

Thanks for the edjamacation, Clay T. I didn't read that anywhere, though, I got the story from a saddle-maker client who has been a friend of Ian's for quite some time. He (my friend) is travelling that final slope at present, so I can't be too abrasive about it, but I will , er, pursue the question appropriately. It's also possible I just misunderstood.


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 28 Mar 05 - 07:41 AM

Another for Canadian Railroad Trilogy. I have to agree that it is in a league of it's own. I would also include Acadian Driftwood by The Band.


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: Rapparee
Date: 28 Mar 05 - 08:58 AM

I'd include Stan's "Macdonell on the heights," but that's for personal reasons. "Northwest Passage" is it.

Nobody likes "In the early morning rain"?

And there's also Stan's "Barrett's Privateers", which I've heard called "the greatest party song ever written, lots better than "Louie Louie."

"Cape St. Mary" and "Squid Jiggin' Ground" are also two of my fave raves. And let's not forget "Mary L. McKay."


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: John Hardly
Date: 28 Mar 05 - 09:07 AM

given the nature of the list as "essentially Canadian", I'd certainly substitute "Urge For Goin'" for the "Big Yellow Taxi" choice (if there must be a JM song in the list).


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Mar 05 - 12:06 PM

"Four Strong Winds" is OK, but I would have expected to see "Someday Soon" listed first among Ian & Sylvia songs.

Among Gordon Lightfoot compositions, why not "Edmund Fitzgerald" before "Early Morning Rain"?

Also, I have to wonder how difficult it must have been to pick one or two individual numbers from the Joni Mitchell songbook.

Another great bit of Canadian songwriting from the Folk Scare Era: "Child's Song," recorded and popularized by Tom Rush but written by a Torontonian whose name escapes me.

Any why nothing by The Band? Are they disqualified by the presence of Levon, who made them only 4/5 Canadian?

Of course, I ain't Canadian, so my opinion has limited relevance, to say the least.


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: GUEST,bobad
Date: 28 Mar 05 - 04:03 PM

Guest

"Child's Song" written by Murray McLaughlin a singer/songwriter who did not make the list but should have IMO.

The Band is at no.15 for "The Weight".

B


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: GUEST,Geddy Lee
Date: 28 Mar 05 - 08:52 PM

Not a single Rush song! Rigged eh?


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: GUEST,bobad
Date: 28 Mar 05 - 09:08 PM

Hey Geddy

What you smokin man.

Take a look at the list again, specifically no.33 and no.48.

BTW no.33 sucks,IMO.

b


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: GUEST,Rapaire
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 10:51 AM

Okay.

If I wanted to buy the 10 quintessial, most important, most defining, albums of Canadian folk, what would I buy?

This is serious, 'cause I'll do it -- for the library I run.


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: Peter T.
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 12:45 PM

Well, it sort of depends on what you mean by folk music. The "real original" folk music has been issued in box sets from the CBC from time to time (that is, music fron Newfoundland - B.C. from 1650+). There have also been a number of beautiful box sets of Quebec music (I have one mammoth 5 disc thing). There are also some important surveys carried out by Folkways (e.g. Ken Peacock).

Anglo Folkie records would be different -- e.g. a recent 4 disc set from Vanguard of Ian and Sylvia; the reissuing of the early Gordon Lightfoot albums, etc.

yours,

Peter T


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 01:10 PM

I love both the songs mentioned, Four Strong Winds and CRT but I must say that this appears to be a Toronto and points west of there list. Where is The Wonderful Rita MacNeil and her song "Working Man"? Or Her Flying On Your Own ? Where are The Rankins, Laura Smith, Great Big Sea , Lenny Gallant ? It seems to me that Rita alone should have at least three songs on the list. But if you look at the panelists, they are mostly, although not all, Toronto based. Too Bad, because they missed out on some great stuff...maybe the country is just so big that it all can't be seen from Bloor Street.


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: ToulouseCruise
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 01:11 PM

Just to throw a little LESS emphasis on this list... remember that top three are only separated by a hundred or so votes, with the highest vote getter having about 3800 or so votes (i don't have the page in front of me now), and only 4% of the total vote. In other words, in a series of surveys, these are some of the essential Canuckian tunes. This also is not a one-vote-per-person survey, where folks could vote for multiple songs, or for one song multiple times.... it does provide for good chatter though :-)

Brian


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: Willie-O
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 01:16 PM

>"Four Strong Winds" is OK, but I would have expected to see "Someday >Soon" listed first among Ian & Sylvia songs.

But you'd be wrong, wouldn't you? Mostly because although an Ian Tyson song, it is associated with Judy Collins, and like many of Tyson's compositions, it is full of American place names. It just sounds better with Judy singing it. (I have sung it a lot actually, but it's hard to make the gender switches sound natural). And realistically, her version is most significant for introducing pedal steel to mainstream radio.

>Among Gordon Lightfoot compositions, why not "Edmund Fitzgerald" >before "Early Morning Rain"?

Because it's boring I guess. Lightfoot was the only performer to have three songs on the list, aside from Rain and Railroad Tril, "Sundown" aka The Ballad Of Cathy Evelyn Smith Before She Killed John Belushi was farther back there.

>Nobody likes "In the early morning rain"?

Early Morning Rain is NUMBER TEN on the list. Do people not read before they post any more?

>Also, I have to wonder how difficult it must have been to pick one >or two individual numbers from the Joni Mitchell songbook.

Not at all. Enough people picked the ones they remembered and liked the most...Both Sides Now and Big Yellow Taxi. Not rocket science folks!

>Another great bit of Canadian songwriting from the Folk Scare >Era: "Child's Song," recorded and popularized by Tom Rush but >written by a Torontonian whose name escapes me.

Murray McLauchlan of course. He wrote a lot of good songs, but if he had made the list it would have been for "Farmer's Song" or possibly "Down By The Henry Moore". Farmer's Song would have qualified as "popular, essential and Canadian" by virtue of being a Top 40 hit on AM commercial and country radio--a rare achievement in 1975.

>Any why nothing by The Band? Are they disqualified by the presence >of Levon, who made them only 4/5 Canadian?

"The Weight" weighed in, as has been mentioned. Read the friggin list before complaining about what's on it.

As for qualifying as Canadian, I believe they used the standard formula that legally defines Canadian content for radio play: must have at least two of:

  1. lyrics by a Canadian
  2. music by a Canadian
  3. performer Canadian
  4. recorded in Canada


We have had to think about this kind of stuff way too much.

Wade Hemsworth was mentioned by a number of callers, but did not make the list. Remember, the song would have had to be popular, AND be associable with a particular decade to get enough votes.
It's not a measure of quality. Rick Fielding didn't make the list either.

W-O


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 03:57 PM

All I can say is I hope the best is yet to come.


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: PoppaGator
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 04:21 PM

Yo, Willie-O,

Since I'm the source of all but one of the questions you just quoted, I figger I should say something.

RE: "Someday Soon" ~ I first heard it from Ian and Sylvia, and really loved it. That was years before the cover version came out, of course, but I still hear the original rendition in my mind. But you're right, it's set in the US, not Canada, which probably means something in this context. Incidentally, I was reminded about it fairly recently by hearing an excellent perfomance by a male singer, Mudcatter Jed Marum. Some of the lyric-adaptation can be a bit awkward, but it's such a great melody and great song, who cares?

Sorry I only read the top ten, as shown here in this thread, and didn't go to the link to review the entire list. Sue me!

As for the rest of it, what the hell, I was just making conversation. I'm taking the attitude that that's all you're up to, too.

;^)


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: DonMeixner
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 04:33 PM

Regards Some Day Soon, John Stewart did this with The Kingston Trio quite effectively. I have done it the same way and never felt awkward or out of place.

I am a young man (and) so you'll know

My age is twenty one,

I come from down in Southern Colorado,

I'm just out of the service and looking for my fun

But Some day soon she'll be with me Some day soon.

Her parents can not stand me cuz I ride the Rodeo,

Her father says that I will leave her cryin'

But I would follow her right down the roughest rode I know...


It is mostly first person from the masculine perspective from this point on. I don't see this is a big deal.

Don


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: Peter T.
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 05:15 PM

One of the great Canadian songs by a non-Canadian is Canadian Whiskey by Tom Russell.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 07:35 PM

Everybody but Clinton seems to adore Canadian Railroad Trilogy. Thirty five years ago I was in awe of this song but now I'm not so sure. First off, there's some kinda bad poetry in there: wild majestic mountains, song of the future, teardrops and toil. But my main problem with CRT is the central thesis--that the impact of industrial capitalism on this fair land is something to be celebrated rather than deplored. The green dark forests were plenty real, and full of sound for those with ears to hear, even before we white men arrived with our vaunted wheels. If I were king, every time they played CRT they'd also have to play, for instance, Buffy St. Marie's Now That The Buffalo's Gone. CRT is still an amazing, moving composition, but it's a case of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts.


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: Rob Smyth
Date: 29 Mar 05 - 08:31 PM

From Australia, a long way away but having more than a little in common with Canada culturally, the greatest Canadian songs are:

Acadian Driftwood (the Band), Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald (Lightfoot), Four Strong Winds (Ian & Sylvia), Suzanne, The Stranger Song, Famous Blue Raincoat, Seems So Long Ago Nancy and many other songs by Leonard Cohen.


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 01:09 AM

I'm astonished that there's nothing by James Keelaghan in the top 50,
and I'm astonished that I'm the first to point that out here. Surely
Cold Missouri Waters deserves a place.


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 03:56 AM

In the early 70s, we used to play both CRT and FSW in bars and coffee joints in the Mid Atlantic states. Guys liked CRT, girls liked FSW, but everybody listened to both. CRT makes a stronger statement for Canada, whether one likes the environmental impact or not. The Edmund Fitzgerald is too much a niche song to make it any higher on this list.

Allan


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: Peter T.
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 07:23 AM

It is history, it happened -- no railroad, no country, that is just the way it was. It was a romantic dream, captured. The thing that makes it work is the intercutting of the natural scene with the bustling of the railroad workers -- it paints the vast backdrop and the dreams, toil, and inspiration of the human beings.

If you had to pick one song for a space capsule that said Canada, it would be CRT, for better or worse.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: ToulouseCruise
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 07:50 AM

okay... maybe I am too young (36) or not been listening to this style of music long enough, or maybe it is just a regional thing... but I have never heard of the song Canadian Railroad Trilogy. Anyone know of where I might find this on this inflammation highway? not just lyrics (that part's easy!)...

Brian


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: GUEST,mkebenn@work
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 08:06 PM

My vote for best Tyson song is "Summer Wages", hands down, and them ain't no 'merican names in thar. I also think "Someday Soon" is a stronger if different song the way he wrote it as opposed to Judy's "missing my boy friend" reading. Mike


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 08:37 PM

"Summer Wages" is a brilliant song. No doubt about it.


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: Severn
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 09:21 PM

Shouldn't this poll be entitled "50 Strong Whims?"



Severn


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: DonMeixner
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 09:59 PM

Little Hawk

I gotta agree. If "Summer Wages" isn't my favorite Ian Tyson song then "Short Grass" is. I'd have to live or die on difference.

Don

or maybe its "Wild Geese"


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 05:31 AM

Can I put in a word for Tony Cuffe's arrangement of 'When First I Went To Caledonia'? Never bettered (Sorry Martin!).


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: GUEST,Keelo
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 08:12 AM

"I'm astonished that there's nothing by James Keelaghan in the top 50,
and I'm astonished that I'm the first to point that out here. Surely
Cold Missouri Waters deserves a place."

Greetings,

While I'm Canadian, that song is about an American and an event that took place in the USA. So I don't consider it a "Canadian" songe per se.

Cheers,

Keelo


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: John Hardly
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 08:39 AM

best new music from Canada -- The Duhks


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: GUEST,Larry K
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 09:38 AM

How could they not inclue "Mary Ellen Carter" by Stan Rogers.   Summerfolk ends each festival with this song.    How many other songs on the list have a festival dedicated to that song?


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 09:06 PM

Point taken, Keelo (a few messages up). Still, oughta be room in the top 50
for Hillcrest Mine, or Red River Rising, says I.


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: Severn
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 09:41 PM

The wounds of Mary Ellen shall be cauterized again!!!


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: GUEST,Paranoid Android
Date: 25 Apr 05 - 09:27 PM

The Black Fly song was mentioned by Bob the Postman in this thread.
I recall a "folkie" who sang that song in Dublin in the 60's and I haven't heard it since. I have checked out the Lyrics in Digitrad but the "Midifile" there does not sound anything like the air that he sang. Can anyone verify that the midifile (in Digitrad) is the correct air to this song?


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: GUEST,Paranoid Android
Date: 26 Apr 05 - 06:05 AM

http://www.blackflyhunt.ca/blackfly[1](1).mp3

I searched all night and found the above link.


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 26 Apr 05 - 08:56 PM

Blackfly Video Clip

Hi there, P/A. I see that the link I posted earlier to Wade H.'s obituary has already become obsolete. Try the link just above. There you will find (I hope) a video clip of an animation which gives a couple of verses of the song as sung by the man himself, plus another video clip of "Log Drivers' Waltz". I agree that the Digitrad midi doesn't sound much like the sung version, even if most of the notes are the same. The grassed-up version of Blackfly you located is kinda fun. I have recently added this song to my repertoire--the chords and words are in Rise Up Singing. Bob.


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: Margret RoadKnight
Date: 26 Apr 05 - 11:36 PM

And all those missing Kate & Anna McGarrigle compositions, not to mention those by the amazing Nancy White .....


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: Willie-O
Date: 27 Apr 05 - 08:03 AM

Didn't mean to kick your opinions around PoppaGator--yup, just having fun. The best thing about listening to 50 Tracks all winter was the arguments between the panelists.

I had actually thought about phoning in "Cold Missouri Waters" last year when they were doing 50 Tracks without a Canadian Content proviso--but it wouldn't have gotten more than a two-second audio clip, cause, again, both this year's and last year's selections were for POPULAR songs. And I'm a big fan of James Keelaghan, but however terrific a writer/performer he is, and obviously well-established on the international folkie circuit, he is sadly NOT on the popular radar. Pretty much like every other folkie singer-songwriter type whose career started after 1975. (Fire away, no doubt I'm wrong and you can dig out the discographies to prove it!)

I have this view that western writers are an entity unto themselves--in the forty-odd years of Ian Tyson's writing career, his songs have been notably about the west, and which side of the forty-ninth parallel a song was set on hasn't been made much difference. One reason his writing is so good is that he has never succumbed to any kind of flag-waving approach to songwriting...always tells a real story.   

Summer Wages is my favourite too--you can play that sucker anywhere, in a country bar or a folk club. (Maybe not at a womyn's festival, but you won't see me there anyway)

The thing about Someday Soon is that there is no one way to sing the lyrics, you have to make all these decisions--is he going to ride the rodeo and she'll follow, or can he ride but follow her, or maybe she rides the rodeo and his pa can't stand her cause he's a chauvinist patriarch who thinks she should be barefoot in the chuckwagon? This can be kind of fun but personally I don't like to think that hard.

I could go on and on, but I have to go to work instead.
Cheers
W-O


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 27 Apr 05 - 03:50 PM

By the criteria on the CBC website, I'd have to go with "American Woman"

50 Tracks Essential Song Criteria:

- Does it woo you with words?

"Woo" isn't the word I'd use, but the words are very powerful and memorable

- Does it move you with melody?

The rythm is more moving than the melody, but its Rock and Roll, Its supposed to be that way.

- Does it have you from the hook?

It has several excellent hooks, The repeated phrase "American Woman" the guitar vamp at the start, a very memorable guitar solo, and the twist where the "American Woman" being sung to represents the whole United States. The lines "I don't want your war machines, I don't want your Ghetto scenes" completely reframe the whole meaning of the song. A "break up" song with geopolitical overtones. Wow. It was masterful!

- Does it define a generation?

It not only defines a generation, it defines how a generation of young Canadians, and a lot of young Americans, were starting to view the US. see the lines quoted above.

- Did it create a musical revolution?

Not really, but then, neither did any other song on the list. Musical revolutions are pretty rare.


For the most essentially Canadian song, I'd go with Northwest Passage. A Canadian folk singer driving across some vast expanse of Canadian countryside thinking about the explorers of the past. What id the "One warm line?" The Railroad? The Trans Canada Highway? Canadian Identity? Canadian Unity?

More than any other song, that one gets me thinking about Canadian history and what it is to be Canadian. Canadian Railroad Trilogy is a dry history lesson in comparison.


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 27 Apr 05 - 04:02 PM

For an Expatriot Canadian, it is Joni Mitchel's "If I had a River." or Lucie Blue Tremblay's "Tour Song", or of course, Un Canadien Errant".

For a pure poetic discription of a single aspect of Canada, "Let Me Fish off Cape St. Mary's is good. I grew up 100 miles from Cape St. Mary's. But INMHO, 'Mon Pays' by Gilles Vigneault (1965) is better.


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: Burke
Date: 27 Apr 05 - 06:50 PM

Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald is another one that is not about Canada. The boat was taking ore from one US port to another US port. The ore was probably mined in northern Minnesota.

The ship was the pride of the American side
Coming back from some mill in Wisconson

Concluding some terms with a couple of steel firms
When they left fully loaded for Cleveland


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 27 Apr 05 - 07:07 PM

Mon Pays was #30. American Woman was #5. Northwest Passage was #4. I too find Northwest Passage very moving, despite the bathos of the song turning out to be about a guy on a car trip (en route to the Vancouver Folk Festival, presumably). I think the "one warm line" is the vanishing thermal trace of a solitary warm-blooded explorer traversing a frozen landscape. It refers to the ephemeral human presence in the wilderness which IMO is the true essence and symbol of Canada--not some crummy highway or railroad.


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: GUEST,Will A Scot
Date: 14 May 05 - 12:21 AM

I'm a poor excuse for an authority on best Canadian songs, but one I would like to throw in the mix would be Hart Rouge "Danny Gaudry"


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: number 6
Date: 14 May 05 - 12:39 AM

How about "I'm movin on" by Hank Snow!

sIx


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 14 May 05 - 08:51 AM

"I'm Movin' On" was #34 on the list. See the link in the first posting in this thread.


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: dianavan
Date: 14 May 05 - 09:40 PM

Scollin thru this thread was a medley! Wow - I hope Canadians keep pumping out the tunes. I can't imagine a memory without Ian and Sylvia or Leonard Cohen or Valdy or Joni Mitchell or Ronnie Hawkins or...

Beautiful songs!


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Subject: RE: Four Strong Winds Top Canadian Song
From: GUEST,Mr. BEEF
Date: 18 May 05 - 05:12 PM

personnally i like the wreck of the edmund fitzgerald


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