This folk song has “classic Canadiana” written all over it. It has been tried and tested by Dr Elroy Friesen and the University of Manitoba Singers. Elroy says that the audiences LOVED it wherever they went. The Jubilate Vocal Ensemble is taking it to the Kathaumixw International Choral Festival.
Canada is the 2nd largest country on earth. It’s hard to believe that the humble canoe was a major mode of transportation and exploration across such a vast territory during those formative years. This song, arranged by Rebecca Campbell captures the imagination.
By woodsmoke and oranges, path of old canoe,
I would course the inland ocean to be back to you.
No matter where I go to, it’s always home again
To the rugged northern shore and the days of sun and wind.
We nosed her in by Pukaskwa, out for fifteen days,
To put paddle and the spirit at the mercy of the waves.
The wanigans were loaded down and a gift left on the shore,
For it’s best if we surrender to the rugged northern shore.
In the land of the silver birch, cry of the loon,
There’s something in this country that’s a part of me and you.
The waves smashed the smoky cliffs of Old Woman Bay,
Where we fought against the backswell and then were on our way.
I could speak to you of spirit – by the vision pits we saw them
Walk the agate beaches of the mighty Gargantua.
I have turned my back upon these things, tried to deny
The coastline of my dreams, but it turns me by and by.
It tossed the mighty ship around, smashed the lighthouse door,
Sends a shiver up my spine, oh the rugged northern shore.
In the land of the silver birch, cry of the loon
There’s something ’bout this country that’s a part of me and you.
VISIT COMPOSER PAGE