My cover of one of the late, great Stan Rogers' most famous and iconically Canadian songs. 'Northwest Passage' compares the journey of a modern day traveler to those of explorers during the early day's of Canada's history, when brave souls sought to discover a navigable sea trade route between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
The song recalls the adventures of such explorers as Sir John Franklin, Henry Kelsey, David Thompson, and Sir Alexander Mackenzie. Many people dreamed of the riches and glory that could be gained by discovering a route that would allow faster sea trade with Asia, but the harsh conditions and geography of the area made travel in the region perilous, and many people lost their lives in the attempt to find it.
This song release wraps up my month of Canadian content. As a bonus, I've recorded two different versions of the song. This one is the simpler of the two, done with guitar and solo voice, played at a somewhat faster tempo than the original.
"NORTHWEST PASSAGE" - Written by Stan Rogers
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 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.