This fanmix travels across Canada while touching on some important events in Canadian history. We start on the East Coast with the Celtic music of Great Big Sea and the enlistment of World War I.
1) Recruiting Sargeant by Great Big Sea
"So it's over the mountains, and over the sea.
Come brave Newfoundlanders and join the Blue Puttees.
You'll fight the Hun in Flanders, and at Galipoli.
Enlist you Newfoundlanders and come follow me."
This is an iconic song from Quebec.
2) Mon Pays by Giiles Vigneault
The first lines translate as:
"My country, it is not a country, it is the winter.
My garden, it is not a garden, itsi the plains.
My path, it is not a path, it is the snow.
My country, it is not a country, it is the winter."
3) MacDonnell on the Heights by Stan Rogers
Major MacDonnell (the spelling varies) lead the charge at the Battle of Queenston Heights after General Brock was killed in action. MacDonnell was also killed in action and is also buried under Brock's Monument at the site of the battle (if you go there you can find his name on a small brass plaque on the monument) but is poorly remembered by history. Stan wrote: "It gives me no small amount of satisfaction to think that more people will know that there's more than just Brock under that huge stone monument."
"To say the name, MacDonnell,
It would bring no bugle call.
But the Redcoats stayed beside you
When they saw the General fall.
Twas MacDonnell raised the banner then
And set the Heights aflame,
But not one in ten thousand knows your name.
You brought the field all standing with your courage and your luck
But unknown to most, you're lying there beside old General Brock.
So you know what it is to scale the Heights and fall just short of fame
And have not one in ten thousand know your name."
4) Harsh and Unforgiving by Connie Kaldor
Connie is from the Prairies and has written several songs about life there. This is one of my favourites-it encompasses the beauty and danger of this area.
"I come from a land that is harsh and unforgiving.
Winter snows can kill you and the summer burn you dry.
When a change in the weather makes a difference to your living,
You keep one eye on the banker and another on the sky.
But oh, I get caught by those wide-open spaces.
Caught by the sight of that straight horizon line.
Caught by the sight of those lined, open faces,
Weathered over trouble and time.
Cause that big old flatland, she doesn't suffer fools lightly;
Watch your step if you're new around.
Cause Brown broke down in a blizzard last winter;
Tried to walk, and froze to death
Fifty feet from town."
5) We end in the north with the song Northwest Passage by Stan Rogers. This song, considered by many to be Canada's unofficial anthem, links the great explorers of the past with today's travelers.
"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 wild and savage
And make a Northwest Passage to the sea.
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."