Stan Rogers: Northwest Passage
Quiz by Sharon Michiko Yoneda
"Three centuries thereafter, I take passage overland. In the footsteps of brave Kelsey, where his Sea of Flowers began."
"Ah, for just one time I would take the Northwest Passage to find the hand of Franklin reaching for the Beaufort Sea"
"Ah, for just one time, I would take the Northwest Passage to find the hand of Franklin reaching for the Beaufort Sea"
artist: Stan Rogers
songwriter: Stan Rogers
date released: 1981 by Stan Rogers
Singer-songwriter, Stan Rogers was born in Hamilton, Ontario, in 1949. Rogers was known for his rich, baritone voice and his balladeer songs which were frequently inspired by Canadian history and the daily lives of working people, especially those from the fishing villages of the Maritime provinces and, later, the farms of the Canadian prairies and Great Lakes. Rogers died in a fire aboard Air Canada Flight 797 on the ground at the Greater Cincinnati Airport at the age of 33. His influence on Canadian folk music has been deep and lasting.
Northwest Passage" is one of the best-known songs by Canadian musician, Stan Rogers.
The ballad's central theme is a comparison between the journeys of Canada's past explorers and the singer's own journey by car to and through the same region over the Prairies to the West Coast. His solitary journey allows him to view "cities behind him fall and cities ahead rise" from behind the wheel. He ultimately reflects that, just as the quest for a northwest passage might be considered a fruitless one, a modern-day traveller along similar paths might meet the same end.
The song also references the geography of Canada, including the Fraser River ("to race the roaring Fraser to the sea") on the western coast and the Davis Strait to the east.