Reminiscing About Stan and Schooners…

I mentioned earlier that my new job has taken the wind out of me – not only am I adjusting to a different routine than what I’d become used to, but my schedule is pretty crazy – aside from one out-of-town event I worked at on Monday, I have four more events between now and May 7, three of which are out-of-town… I love the job, but it’s completely drained me already! Hopefully things will slow down a bit in a few weeks…

All this means I haven’t had the energy to produce much this past week. I did manage to make two LP books, with plans to make more when I’m not as exhausted (I don’t like playing with sharp knives when I’m tired).

Yesterday I hit the mother lode when I visited my local thrift shop – I found several LPs of each of the Beatles, The Who, Led Zeppelin, and David Bowie! I couldn’t believe my luck – I’ll now have lots to choose from for my next LP books…

But best of all, I found a Stan Rogers CD! Here’s the folk-lovin’ Maritimer in me coming out! This particular CD contains Forty-Five Years, one of my favourite Stan Rogers songs. Incredible to think he was just 23 years old when he wrote it… For those who don’t know Stan Rogers, he was a folk singer from Ontario who lived in Nova Scotia for many years. His most famous song (one every Maritimer knows by heart) is Barrett’s Privateers – go to any Irish pub in Canada and you’re sure to hear it! Unfortunately Stan died at the ripe old age of 33 when the plane he was travelling on caught on fire in 1983. The smoke was so thick that no one could find their way out, so he used his booming voice to help direct passengers off the plane. He later died of smoke inhalation.

If you go to this website and click on the large red “iStan music player” icon, you can actually listen to a few of his songs, including Forty-Five Years. Be sure to listen to Northwest Passage while you’re there…

In all honesty, I must admit that until 10 years ago, I had no clue who Stan Rogers was. You see, I grew up in a part of New Brunswick that doesn’t much listen to traditional Celtic/Maritime music. Growing up on the U.S. border, we were mostly influenced by American pop culture. I got to know Stan’s music in 1997 when I had the most awesome summer job travelling across Eastern Canada with the beautiful schooner Bluenose II (the same ship that’s on our dime). I spent an entire summer travelling with sailors from Nova Scotia, so I couldn’t help but become immersed in Stan’s music (and Maritime music in general). Good times gone by much too quickly…


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