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Songs from British Columbia. Help & Thanks

Rick Fielding 22 Jul 99 - 12:23 PM
Bob Landry 22 Jul 99 - 12:44 PM
Charlie Baum 22 Jul 99 - 01:24 PM
Rick Fielding 22 Jul 99 - 03:16 PM
Rana 22 Jul 99 - 03:28 PM
Rick Fielding 22 Jul 99 - 03:51 PM
Marion 22 Jul 99 - 04:51 PM
Marion 22 Jul 99 - 04:56 PM
rich r 22 Jul 99 - 06:13 PM
Fadac 22 Jul 99 - 06:31 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 22 Jul 99 - 07:21 PM
dick greenhaus 22 Jul 99 - 07:31 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 22 Jul 99 - 11:19 PM
Rick Fielding 23 Jul 99 - 01:23 AM
Marion 23 Jul 99 - 02:08 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 24 Jul 99 - 06:50 AM
Tony Burns 24 Jul 99 - 10:52 AM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 24 Jul 99 - 03:11 PM
Dale Rose 24 Jul 99 - 03:28 PM
rich r 25 Jul 99 - 10:01 PM
Jack Hickman - Kingston, ON 25 Jul 99 - 11:44 PM
Rick Fielding 26 Jul 99 - 12:11 AM
Barry Finn 26 Jul 99 - 12:36 AM
Murray on Saltspring (B.C.) 26 Jul 99 - 02:31 AM
Tony Burns 26 Jul 99 - 05:07 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 26 Jul 99 - 06:41 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 17 Feb 02 - 03:52 PM
Jon Bartlett 17 Feb 02 - 04:17 PM
Stewart 17 Feb 02 - 05:09 PM
lamarca 17 Feb 02 - 08:43 PM
Metchosin 17 Feb 02 - 09:32 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 17 Feb 02 - 10:20 PM
Stewart 17 Feb 02 - 10:50 PM
Stewart 17 Feb 02 - 10:54 PM
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Subject: Songs from British Columbia. Help & Thanks
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 22 Jul 99 - 12:23 PM

Hi. Several times a year I get asked to sing for fairly large groups from other countries. These are Canadian Tourist bureau events, and I like to do at least one song from every province. I've never felt that I was able to represent British Columbia properly. I know some logging ballads and old songs about very specific incidents but that's not really what I'm after. Does anybody know a song (songs) that gives some kind of overview of the area. It doesn't have to be traditional (or even old), just a well-written, descriptive piece of music that would give someone from another country an idea why the B.C. folks love their province.
Thanks so much if anyone can help.
Rick


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Subject: RE: Songs from British Columbia. Help & Thanks
From: Bob Landry
Date: 22 Jul 99 - 12:44 PM

Here's two that I know of:

Ian & Sylvia's "Four Rode By" about a gang of bandits active in the interior of B.C. a hundred or so years ago.

Ian Tyson's "Summer Wages" a song about a lost love that weaves in references to big stands of timber, towboats and hookers.

Bob Landry


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Subject: RE: Songs from British Columbia. Help & Thanks
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 22 Jul 99 - 01:24 PM

In Stan Rogers's "Northwest Passage," there's a line "to race the roaring Fraser to the sea." Obviously about driving across BC. But the song may be too strong for your purposes.

On a related subject, are there any ballads or broadsides about Bill Miner, the train robber who lived (and robbed) in BC in the 1890s and 1900s? He started out as a stagecoach robber in the U.S. in the 1860s; he was sent up to San Quentin prison in California for 30 years, and when he was released in the 1890s, discovered that his profesison had become as outmoded as, well, the buggy whip. So when he was in his 60s, he invented a technology for robbing trains, disconnecting the locomotive and money-hauling baggage cars from the passenger vehicles. He was unfailing polite (his politeness was an identifier--when the trainmen said that the robber was polite to them the RCMP knew it was another Bill Miner heist) and lived a Robin Hood-like existence in BC, where his neighbors knew and loved him, and therefore protected him. In short, he was the sort of man ballads and broadsides are written about. Does anyone know any?

--Charlie Baum


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Subject: RE: Songs from British Columbia. Help & Thanks
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 22 Jul 99 - 03:16 PM

Thanks folks. These are all fine songs, but I'm thinking of something more general. The people that I play these to, rarely know much about folk music and sometimes don't speak much English. Generally I play things like "V'la Le Bon Vent" for Quebec, "Ghost of Bras'dor" for Newfoundland etc. Perhaps someone might take a shot at writing a poem about British Columbia or Saskatchewan, and I could put a tune to it. I'm not looking for a superficial "folk song," just something that's descriptive.
rick


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Subject: RE: Songs from British Columbia. Help & Thanks
From: Rana
Date: 22 Jul 99 - 03:28 PM

Hi Rick,

I don't know if you heard Basic Black the other week (I think it was that show) but they had a feature on songs about places - many featured obscure Alberta towns but I'm sure there are BC ones. Funny though, they all seemed a bit countryish - maybe that's the correct medium for that.

Unfortunately I can't remember too many more details 'cos I'd reached the No Frills in Bloor W. by then.

Cheers Rana


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Subject: RE: Songs from British Columbia. Help & Thanks
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 22 Jul 99 - 03:51 PM

Country songs are fine!


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Subject: RE: Songs from British Columbia. Help & Thanks
From: Marion
Date: 22 Jul 99 - 04:51 PM

In my elementary school choir we did a song called British Columbia. I don't have a clue where I would start looking for it; it was slow and mellow.

I remember one verse:

Walking on a quiet beach

Fragrant blossoms in the Okanagan

Rain, rain on my face

And totem poles

(Sorry about the double-spacing; it's the poor man's line breaks, don't ya know.)

Marion


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Subject: RE: Songs from British Columbia. Help & Thanks
From: Marion
Date: 22 Jul 99 - 04:56 PM

Rick, maybe this is all too obvious, but I just thought of one more thing - are you familiar with Stomping Tom's work? I know he does a lot of regional songs, though the only one that I know myself is Big Joe Mufferaw (another elementary school choir memory, actually - I'm an Ottawa girl myself).

Marion

PS What's on your Ontario/Ottawa list?


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Subject: RE: Songs from British Columbia. Help & Thanks
From: rich r
Date: 22 Jul 99 - 06:13 PM

I remember one from some years ago called "when the boats (ships?) go down (sail in?) to Vancouver" or something like that. It was done by Andrew Calhoun. I may have it on tape if you want me to look.

There are also a couple of labor songs, "Where The Fraser River Flows" by Joe Hill about labor problems on the Canadian Northern Railway, and also "Bowsers' Seventy-Twa" which is about the 1912-1914 coal mine strikes on Vancouver Island.

Finally a song by Sally Rogers "WHERE THE COHO FLASH SILVER" which is about fishing off BC.

rich r


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Subject: RE: Songs from British Columbia. Help & Thanks
From: Fadac
Date: 22 Jul 99 - 06:31 PM

Hmmm, I did find a song written for a salmon fisherman. he fished off of Vancover Island. I don't know the name, but do a lookup on salmon, or troller and it should pop up. A troller is a common fishing type vessel of the Pacific North West. Me home.

-Fadac


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Subject: RE: Songs from British Columbia. Help & Thanks
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 22 Jul 99 - 07:21 PM

From the same CD "A Folksong Portrait -- Canada" (see Saskatchewan thread):

listed under BC and Yukon:

The Oda
The Dark-Eyed Sailor [well, this one certainly isn't exclusively BC]
Pretty Peggy O [nor this one]
So Long To the Kicking Horse Canyon
The Klondike Gold Rush
The Blue Velvet Band
The Lookout in the Sky
Willie Moore
The Story of Weldon Chan
Lake of Crimson


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Subject: RE: Songs from British Columbia. Help & Thanks
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 22 Jul 99 - 07:31 PM

Rick- Try a DigiTrad search for B.C.


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Subject: RE: Songs from British Columbia. Help & Thanks
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 22 Jul 99 - 11:19 PM

Ummm. One teeny correction... I would suggest saying Ghost of Bras d'Or is a song for Cape BReton. Perhaps for Newfoundland, you might consider, Let Me Fish off Cape St. Mary. Or Lukey's Boat. Or Jack was Every Inch a Sailor. Or Aunt Martha's Sheep.

And I'm thinking there is a major one I should remember.


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Subject: RE: Songs from British Columbia. Help & Thanks
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 23 Jul 99 - 01:23 AM

Thanks so much. I'll check these out in the morning. George, of course you're right about "Ghost of Bras dor", I meant "The Star of Logy Bay". Been fergittin' titles a lot lately. Hmmmm.
rick


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Subject: RE: Songs from British Columbia. Help & Thanks
From: Marion
Date: 23 Jul 99 - 02:08 PM

George, I have a hunch that the "major" Newfie song slipping your memory is "We'll rant and we'll roar like true Newfoundlanders..."


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Subject: RE: Songs from British Columbia. Help & Thanks
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 24 Jul 99 - 06:50 AM

That's IT! Thanks Marion. Knew it was a MAJOR song. That's a wonderful one.


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Subject: RE: Songs from British Columbia. Help & Thanks
From: Tony Burns
Date: 24 Jul 99 - 10:52 AM

There is a folk music mailing list for Vancouver Island Rick. I'll post your original question there and send you any responses.


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Subject: RE: Songs from British Columbia. Help & Thanks
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 24 Jul 99 - 03:11 PM

There was a long thread on Newfoundland songs some time back. Should be able to find it by searching threads.


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Subject: RE: Songs from British Columbia. Help & Thanks
From: Dale Rose
Date: 24 Jul 99 - 03:28 PM

Vancouver by Tommy Makem.

As for the NF songs, I know George has already been reminded by Marion, but I was going to suggest two others, Excursion Around The Bay and I'se The B'y.


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Subject: RE: Songs from British Columbia. Help & Thanks
From: rich r
Date: 25 Jul 99 - 10:01 PM

If you search on "vanco*" i.e. vancouver, several more songs come up that haven't been mentioned yet
The Potllatch Fair
Grand Hotel
Wreck of the Green Cove
Way Up In Ucletaw

rich r


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Subject: RE: Songs from British Columbia. Help & Thanks
From: Jack Hickman - Kingston, ON
Date: 25 Jul 99 - 11:44 PM

How about the "Frozen Logger", not specifically BC, but close enough.
In my youth,(about 50 years ago) I worked in the BC bush, and somewhere picked up a little paper back booklet entitled "Bunkhouse Ballads". Where it has gone to I can't recall, however, if it were still in print it contained a wealth of good BC logging songs.

Keep the Faith.


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Subject: RE: Songs from British Columbia. Help & Thanks
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 26 Jul 99 - 12:11 AM

Thanks folks. Jack, I've sung the Frozen Logger as a BC song, and as a New Brunswick and Michigan song. No one complained. That ol piece has gotten around.


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Subject: RE: Songs from British Columbia. Help & Thanks
From: Barry Finn
Date: 26 Jul 99 - 12:36 AM

Hi Rick, I can hear Debby McClatchy in the back of my mind singing about the Fraser River shore. My recall is working fine in reverse, sorry. Barry


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Subject: RE: Songs from British Columbia. Help & Thanks
From: Murray on Saltspring (B.C.)
Date: 26 Jul 99 - 02:31 AM

See if you can find "Songs of the Pacific Northwest", by Philip J. Thomas (Saanichton: Hancock House, 1979), which has nearly 50 songs of all sorts, about most of the industries, the Fraser River and Cariboo Gold Rushes, fishing, ranching, pioneering & so forth. Of these, my favourite is "Far from Home", whose words appeared in Harper's, Dec. 1860, and so American; the tune was put to it by the editor himself, and is a really fine thing. For a song about generalities, though, maybe you could use "Where the Great Peace River Flows". But the entire book is worth browsing through.


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Subject: RE: Songs from British Columbia. Help & Thanks
From: Tony Burns
Date: 26 Jul 99 - 05:07 PM

Well Rick, I just got email from Paddy Hernon in Victoria and he echos Murray on Saltspring. Here's Paddy's response:

The mudcat folks should be made aware of Phillip J. Thomas's fine book of B.C. songs "Folksongs of B.C." I have a copy. I don't know if there are any still around but you could contact Phil in Vancouver at (604) 224-4678.

Phil has been collecting B.C. folksong for about 50 years and is the best source on the planet.


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Subject: RE: Songs from British Columbia. Help & Thanks
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 26 Jul 99 - 06:41 PM

For BC, what about that song -- I know not by whom -- which has the chorus referring to the five lads from the north shore drinking from the Trawler to the Raven (apparently two pubs.)


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Subject: RE: Songs from British Columbia. Help & Thanks
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 17 Feb 02 - 03:52 PM

Another thought on the MAJOR Newfoundland song - Squid Jigging Ground.


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Subject: RE: Songs from British Columbia. Help & Thanks
From: Jon Bartlett
Date: 17 Feb 02 - 04:17 PM

Is Rick Fielding still looking? I've posted a goodly number of BC songs in DT. He might look up my contributions under [JB]. There are about sixty or so songs extant from Phil Thomas' collection, from which was drawn his book that Murray Shoolbraid mentioned. He can PM me, too, if he wants to get in touch. If other folk are interested, I'll list what there is in DT.


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Subject: RE: Songs from British Columbia. Help & Thanks
From: Stewart
Date: 17 Feb 02 - 05:09 PM

I'd also recommend Phil Thomas as a rich source of Pacific NW songs and history. I recently bought a copy of his songbook (out-of-print) from a online used book store in B.C. When I saw Phil a few weeks ago he kindly gave me all the corrections. And when I told him the used copy I got was from a school library in B.C., he said "those b*****ds! we gave away the book free to local schools." Anyway, Phil is a great person and will talk to you at no end about Canadian songs and history.

A second recommendation would be songs by Bill Gallaher and his group "Harmony Road." Bill is a history buff and great songwriter. Most of his songs are about Pacific NW history. Charlie Baum, post #3, mentioned the train robber, Bill Miner. Gallaher has a song about him titled "The Hold Up" on his CD "The Last Battle." He also has a great songbook with 33 of his songs along with background information and much history.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Songs from British Columbia. Help & Thanks
From: lamarca
Date: 17 Feb 02 - 08:43 PM

Dave Parry sang a wonderful song called "The Young British Rancher" on his cassette The Wind That Tramps the World that is a parody of Kipling's Young British Soldier, and describes the toils and travails of ranching in BC (I think it was BC and not the prairie provinces...)

I Googled for the words, but the Canadian folklore site that has them isn't responding collections.ic.gc.ca/folklore/worksong/rancher.htm


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Subject: RE: Songs from British Columbia. Help & Thanks
From: Metchosin
Date: 17 Feb 02 - 09:32 PM

Stewart, I too have a copy of Songs of the Pacific Northwest by Phil Thomas. If there is any way I could get the corrections, it would be sincerely appreciated.


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Subject: RE: Songs from British Columbia. Help & Thanks
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Feb 02 - 10:20 PM

Is this the site you were looking for, Lamarca? They had to change as a result of the AtHome debacle and are now on @shaw: Tunebook
This has been posted before, but not on a separate thread that is easy to find.


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Subject: RE: Songs from British Columbia. Help & Thanks
From: Stewart
Date: 17 Feb 02 - 10:50 PM

Metchosin, here are the corrections in Phil Thomas's "Songs of the Pacific Northwest," most are minor.
3. ANNEXATION p. 17, insert an additional verse after verse #2:
verse 3
Yankee Doodle went to sleep,
Among the bills of parcels,
President Polk he stirred him up
And cocked his tail so martial.

30. THE TRUCK DRIVER'S SONG, p.111. Additional chord, top line after Bm (above "bound") insert D.

33. THE POTLATCH FAIR, p. 120. insert an additional verse after verse #2:
verse 3
I come down to Vancouver
And I look for a place to eat;
There I meet all them Swensky fallers
All down on Powell Street.

Add an additional song -- SEATTLE ILLAHEE (II), p.62a

1.
While strolling 'round Seattle a dance hall I passed by
Where a hays klotchman I chanced to espy;
(very pretty woman)
She wore high parnella boots, and her iktahs they were chee ,
(clothes, new)
She was the fairest klootchman that ever I have seen --
(woman)
She had tupso on her opoots at the age of seventeen
(hair, posterior)
Chorus
Then roll, boys, roll, let's travel
To the place they call Seattle;
That's the place to have a spree --
Seattle Illahee!
2.
" Spose mika tika kunamokst nika klatawa copa dance ?"
(perhaps you want me to go to dance)
The way that klootchman threw on airs, you'd think she came from France.
And when the dance was over, her to my room I took;
"Spose mika tika moosum " she said in good Chinook
(sleep)
She potlatced me mesahchie clap; it took six months to cure --
(gave, bad)
Farewell all brass-assed klootchman, I'm done with you for sure.

The piece of macaronic bawdry "Seattle Illahee (II)" was found in the papers of journalist-historian B. A. Mackelvie, which are in British Columbia's Archives. Although it shares the chorus with the preceding song, its view of Seattle's offered pleasures contrasts with "Seattle Illahee (I)." Together they may present a "before" and "after" view of the experience, one of anticipation and the other of regret, at least for some of the men.

"Seattle Illahee (II)" belongs with those songs which express the anxiety young men in particular feel about their sexual potency and about contracting venereal disease -- an anxiety that is apparently eased in some through the chanting of rugby songs and the like. What is often shown in hostility towards women frequently of other races. Here the storyteller holds the Tacoma Indian woman responsible for his troubles. Rationally, this was no more than he should have expected, for the white men had brought with them gonorrhea and syphillis which are both spread through sexual promiscuity. The situation may have compelled some men to take a stand of bravado when faced with the inevitable discomforts of gonorrhea. In Victoria in the 1890s it was a common assertion among the young men that "you're not a man until you've had the clap." How far into antiquity this rite of passage reached is not known, but it may well have grown out of the west coast situation where prostitutes were commonly sought. A factor which affects the spread of gonorrhea and may allow an infected woman, including one from Tacoma, to protest innocence, is that gonorrhea in women is asymptomatic when compared to its effects in men. The disease can indeed do a woman internal harm without her knowing she is infected.

That's about it, except for a few minor errors in the index which should be obvious.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Songs from British Columbia. Help & Thanks
From: Stewart
Date: 17 Feb 02 - 10:54 PM

Oops, sorry for the missed italic closure. :-(

S. in Seattle


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