Canadian Folksong Favourites

Home 9 The Diane Loomer Choral Series

Canadian Folksong Favourites

Diane Loomer (1940-2012) was founder and director of Chor Leoni Men’s Choir and co-founder/conductor emerita of Elektra Women’s Choir. She became internationally recognized as one of Canada’s leading musicians, frequently appearing on CBC national radio as a spokesperson for the classical arts. The first woman to conduct the National Youth Choir of Canada, Ms. Loomer received the Healey Willan Award in 1990 for her service to choral music in British Columbia; in 1994, she was named YWCA Vancouver’s Woman of Distinction for Arts and Culture; and in 1997 and 2004 received Distinguished Alumni Awards honoring her achievements. In 2002, she was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for her significant contribution to Canada’s culture. In 2011 Diane was the recipient of an honorary Doctorate of Letters degree from the University of British Columbia. She was the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and received an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Gustavus Adolphus College in May 2012. Diana became the recipient of the Order of Canada (C.M.)  watch this Diane Loomer Tribute video

Away from the Roll of the Sea

by Allister MacGillivray arr. Diane Loomer

TTBB with piano – CP 1028
SSAA with piano – CP 1001
SAB with piano – CP 1087
SATB with piano – CP 1525

One of Allister MacGillivrays and Canada’s favorite folk songs originally arranged for the Elektra Women’s Choir by Diane Loomer our all time best seller! Harmonies are straight forward and the poetry is quintessential MacGillivray.

Barrett’s Privateers

by Stan Rogers arr. Ron Smail

TTBB – CP 1253
SATB – CP 1226

Stan Rogers, Canada’s folk music hero, speaks to all of us through his words and music. This is a rollicking sea shanty. Not many songs have swearing (moderate) but this one really works! You might be swearing too if you lost both your legs!

Fogarty's Cove

by Stan Rogers arr. Ron Smail (Canadian folk song)

TTBB – CP 1033 
SATB – CP 1032

Stan Rogers, Canada’s folk music hero speaks to all of us through his words and music. This arrangement is faithful to Stan’s musical style and its great to sing. Optional violin, guitar, and bass parts are available upon request.

Frobisher Bay

by James Gordon arr. Diane Loomer

TTBB a cappellaCP 1115. – duration 6:15
SSA a cappellaCP 1699
SATB a cappellaCP 1319

One of the very few folk songs from Canada’s frozen North. It’s the tale of the captain of a whaling ship who decides to push the late summer season to catch “one more whale”, but finds himself and his crew frozen in for the winter. Diane’s arrangement captures the mood of sailors who won’t see their home and families for another nine months, if at all.

Four Strong Winds

by Ian Tyson, arr. Larry Nickel

SATB with piano – CP 1160
TTBB with piano – CP 1161
SSAA with piano – CP 1162
SAB with piano – CP 1194

This is Ian Tyson’s beloved Canadian folksong, about life in southern Alberta – love and loss. Men and women take turns carrying the melody while the piano emulates the guitar. Nickel’s arrangement has been presented by honour choirs at PODIUM and ACDA conventions. Perfect music for high school and community choirs! There is also a symphonic setting available.

Let Me Fish Off Cape St Mary's

arr. Diane Loomer

SA – CP 1039 

This familiar Newfoundland folk song is set for unison treble voices with optional divisi and suggested colour accompaniment. Most appropriate for children’s choir but might also be a simple read and song for women.

Log Drivers' Waltz

by Wade Hemsworth arr. Ron Smail

SATB – CP 1029
SSA – CP 1030 

A show-stopper of a piece! This work is a piece of Canadiana, is funny and exciting, and includes a coloratura soprano solo.

Make and Break Harbour

by Stan Rogers arr. Ron Smail

SATB & piano – (opt. instr) CP 1031 

Ron has given Stan Roger’s poignant classic a solid and approachable choral rendition. Optional violin, guitar, and bass parts are available upon request.

In Make and Break Harbour the boats are so few
Too many are pulled up and rotten.
Most houses stand empty old nets hung to dry
Are blown away lost and forgotten

Old Lady Rose

by David Baker arr. Larry Nickel

SATB with piano – CP 1124

In Stan Rogers’ “Make and Break Harbor” we regret the passing of the cod from eastern oceans. Now in Baker’s Old Lady Rose we bemoan the same phenomenon happening to the salmon on the west coast. Baker’s sea shanty of regret begins and ends with a melancholy farewell. Nickel adds sensuous harmonies.

Royal Hudson

by David Baker arr. Larry Nickel

SATB with piano – CP 1130 

This song is a real cooker. Get on board and ride along British Columbia’s famous coastline. Baker’s railroad rhythm captures the excitement of one of BC’s landmarks – famous engine #2850 – the Royal Hudson.

Song for Peace

by Allister MacGillivray arr. Diane Loomer

SATB with piano – CP 1016
SA with piano – CP 1017
TTB with piano – CP 1019
SAB with piano – CP 1018

One of Allister’s most popular folk tunes originally written for solo voice — arranged for solo and choir. The tune has the typical MacGillivray lilt and the harmony is correspondingly uncomplicated.

Watching the Apples Grow

by Stan Rogers arr. Ron Smail

SATB piano (opt. instr) – CP 1125
TBB piano (opt. instr) – CP 1223 

Another of our favorite combinations a popular tune by Stan Rogers with a very upbeat choral arrangement by Ron Smail. This rollicking hoedown-type tune compares the joy and freedom of growing apples in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia with life in the big city. Guess who wins? The rhythms are challenging but easily learned, the words come fast but easy, and the harmonies have that special Smail touch.

Optional violin, guitar, and bass parts are available upon request.

Williams Lake Stampede

by Alan Moberg arr. Larry Nickel

SATB with piano – CP 1120

Alan Moberg, one of BCs favorite folk song writers, gives us this rollicking musical vision of BCs best known (and wildest) rodeo. Complete with thigh slapping rhythm, catchy melody, and down home lyrics, it regales us with names of many of the Cariboo’s most famous cow towns. The tunes are simple but effective and Nickels harmonies are appropriately twangy and perfectly suited to a visit to part of the last frontier.

V'la L'Bon Vent

arr. Allison Girvan

SSAA – CP 1105
SATB – CP 1235

This classic French Canadian Folksong, is over 300 years old, and was sung by the Voyageurs and Coureur du Bois (pioneers) as they worked. Snappy rhythms and an unforgettable melody makes this piece stand apart.