Stan Rogers

As I prepared a turkey and did dishes and squeezed oranges this morning, I cranked iTunes and let Stan Rogers echo through my cement block house.

[drawing by Anthony Hare]

Those not familiar with Canadian folk legend Stan Rogers should get to know his work. From my memory, I remember that he was a son of Nova Scotian parents and grew up in Ontario. His Atlantic roots never left him and before long he was writing songs about fishermen, explorers, and the Canadian workingman. In 1983, He died at age 33 of smoke inhalation while helping other people off a landed plane that had caught fire.

I remember hearing Stan Rogers' songs at a benefit concert that hippie friends through for us in the Rexton Community Hall after our house burnt to the ground in 1983. I remember the lines "God damn them all" and "I'm a broken man on a Halifax peer" from the a capella song "Barrett's Privateers" and the chorus to "Northwest Passage."

When paddling down the MacKenzie River 4 1/2 years ago with Kris, Ty and Eric, we would sing as much as we could remember to Northwest Passage. We forced our way into a tumultuous Beaufort Sea with the chorus on our lips

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.


littledeb_04@yahoo.ca said...

The stage at the canmore folk festival is named after Stan Rogers. His son was there one year when I was there...he has the SAME voice...almost spooky. in a beautiful sort of way. By the way, Zaak, there is a photo of you in Guatamala with the Volcano in the back ground where you look just like Papa.
by the way, I think Stan Rogers is cool too....my memories of him are mostly playing him when going to pick you up at SAndy lake academy.

robtherockeet said...

Wow, what a beautiful image... hard too, to think of dying helping people, could be worse though.