Song Lyrics Sunday: Northwest Passage by Stan Rogers

Song Lyric Sunday (whenever it gets posted) is usually my reply to Helena’s pick on her blog: This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time.

{PS: Here is her Song Lyric Sunday Post “Someone to Love” by Queen. I doubt I’ll be the first up and posting too many times!}

But, it’s 4:48 am (now 5:30 am) on Sunday (December 13), and I’m ready with a “pick,” so Helena – here goes.

On The Coast,” a CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) show determined (through a multilayered contest) the song all Canadians should know is: Northwest Passage by Stan Rogers.

Now, if you’ve visited here over the years, you will have “heard” me mention Stan Rogers, usually in connection with his song, “The Mary Ellen Carter.”

Stan was a story teller – a true tale weaver. His words and voice about those who “sought the Northwest Passage” bring tears as I put together my Song Lyric Sunday. But, then, this prompt is about the types of songs which effect me now as much as when I first heard them.

Yes, every Canadian should know this song – lyrics front to back. As should all who love to tell stories, sing with friends, and remember.

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 wide 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.
Three centuries thereafter, I take passage overland
In the footsteps of brave Kelso, where his “sea of flowers” began
Watching cities rise before me, then behind me sink again
This tardiest explorer, driving hard across the plain.
And through the night, behind the wheel, the mileage clicking west
I think upon Mackenzie, David Thompson and the rest
Who cracked the mountain ramparts and it did show a path for me
To race the roaring Fraser to the sea.
How then am I so different from the first men through this way?
Like them, I left a settled life, I threw it all away.
To seek a Northwest Passage at the call of many men
To find there but the road back home again.


11 thoughts on “Song Lyrics Sunday: Northwest Passage by Stan Rogers

  1. BunKaryudo December 14, 2015 / 12:27 am

    I couldn’t seem to get the video to work (sorry!), but the lyrics are dramatic. Finding the Northwest Passage was a epic quest and one that I know was dangerous too. :)


    • tale weaver/ing December 16, 2015 / 3:36 pm

      Try going into YouTube, and use the very best (or best) of Stan Rogers, and you’ll be able to find the song.
      Epic Quest is right!
      Thanks so much for stopping by an I hope you get to hear Stan singing it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • BunKaryudo December 17, 2015 / 8:23 am

        Thanks for the tip. Somebody called Troy Easson put it up on YouTube. It’s a nice song.


  2. mysticalwriter12 December 13, 2015 / 11:18 pm

    I enjoyed reading your Sunday-northwest-passage.


  3. Helen Espinosa December 13, 2015 / 2:11 pm

    Such a beautiful song! Thank you so much for sharing! I normally have it s he filed for 8am my time, but I’ll start posting it at midnight. :)


    • Helen Espinosa December 13, 2015 / 2:12 pm

      That’s supposed to say scheduled. I’m typing too fast on my phone apparently. :)


      • tale weaver/ing December 13, 2015 / 2:29 pm

        I type too fast for my computer, and it doesn’t even have smart in it’s name.
        I happened to be up saw the news feed about Stan Rogers and Northwest Passage. Knew it was way before your posting time — I did it around 5:30 am EST.
        Scheduling prompt times is interesting when you are part of a group that has prompsters from Australia to Europe (south and north) and North America. I think we are running on Central European Time. All I know is that when it’s my turn for the Tale Weaver’s prompt, I schedule it for publishing at 6:01 am on the day due, and it publishes one minute past midnight here! (If all goes according to plans!)

        Liked by 1 person

        • Helen Espinosa December 13, 2015 / 2:39 pm

          Yeah, I didn’t even think about it, to be honest. I don’t think I was truly expecting anyone to take part. But now that you are, I should think about posting times. :)


          • tale weaver/ing December 13, 2015 / 3:40 pm

            Oh, please don’t worry about posting times because I have sleepless nights!
            Most weeks the title of my post is “Song Lyric Sunday posted on (pick your day of the week)”, lol.
            I can leave a post in draft until you post yours. I often do riff off your choice — this was one of those flukies where I had been thinking of Stan and wondering which of his lyrics I would use sometime.
            Give the Mary Ellen Carter a listen if you get the chance. An anthem to overcoming adversity despite the odds.

            Liked by 1 person

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