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Canadian disaster songs: research project

Marion 19 Jun 06 - 05:01 PM
GUEST,mg 19 Jun 06 - 05:21 PM
HiHo_Silver 19 Jun 06 - 06:02 PM
HiHo_Silver 19 Jun 06 - 06:18 PM
Jeremiah McCaw 19 Jun 06 - 06:19 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 19 Jun 06 - 06:25 PM
GUEST,Jon Bartlett 19 Jun 06 - 06:39 PM
Marion 19 Jun 06 - 06:48 PM
Marion 19 Jun 06 - 06:55 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 20 Jun 06 - 12:55 AM
CeltArctic 20 Jun 06 - 01:18 AM
GUEST,Dale 20 Jun 06 - 04:31 AM
GUEST,Wayne 20 Jun 06 - 05:27 AM
Willie-O 20 Jun 06 - 08:11 AM
JohnB 20 Jun 06 - 10:10 AM
HiHo_Silver 20 Jun 06 - 10:12 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 20 Jun 06 - 10:55 AM
GUEST,thurg 20 Jun 06 - 11:15 AM
breezy 20 Jun 06 - 12:28 PM
CeltArctic 20 Jun 06 - 01:22 PM
Slag 21 Jun 06 - 03:03 AM
Beer 21 Jun 06 - 06:45 AM
Peter T. 21 Jun 06 - 07:58 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 21 Jun 06 - 12:47 PM
GUEST 21 Jun 06 - 01:50 PM
Marion 22 Jun 06 - 04:20 PM
GUEST 22 Jun 06 - 04:42 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 22 Jun 06 - 07:04 PM
GEST 22 Jun 06 - 07:18 PM
bobad 22 Jun 06 - 07:51 PM
Beer 22 Jun 06 - 08:12 PM
Greg B 23 Jun 06 - 06:48 PM
GUEST,Michael Burton windhugger@yahoo.ca 23 Jun 06 - 07:20 PM
Susanne (skw) 25 Jun 06 - 10:26 PM
Jon Bartlett 26 Jun 06 - 02:25 AM
CeltArctic 28 Jun 06 - 11:17 AM
CeltArctic 28 Jun 06 - 11:18 AM
GUEST,Joe Scanlon 28 Jun 06 - 07:37 PM
GUEST 28 Jun 06 - 07:39 PM
dick greenhaus 09 Aug 07 - 06:56 PM
GUEST,harold macdonald 21 Oct 07 - 11:00 PM
Santa 22 Oct 07 - 09:15 AM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 14 Mar 08 - 02:35 PM
Beer 14 Mar 08 - 03:42 PM
topical tom 15 Mar 08 - 10:27 AM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 15 Mar 08 - 11:10 AM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 15 Mar 08 - 11:52 AM
Beer 15 Mar 08 - 12:43 PM
GUEST,Norm 17 Jun 08 - 10:42 PM
Beer 17 Jun 08 - 10:46 PM
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Subject: Canadian disaster songs:research project
From: Marion
Date: 19 Jun 06 - 05:01 PM

Hi folks. I found an interesting request at the bottom of another thread and am reposting it under a new title to get more attention. I will ask the researcher to return to this thread when it has run its course, so you can answer here instead of emailing him.

"I am working on a study of Canadian disaster songs and would be pleased to hear from anyone who knows anything about such songs including the title, name of the artist, where we can find the words, what it is about etc. At the moment we have close to 100 songs some more complete than others. The complete list is pasted to this message. We have just started this work so I am sure the list contains errors -- corections are welcome.
Our goal is to see whether these songs accurately reflect the incidents they sing about. [Other studies show this is not true for movies and fiction -- but our initial research suggests it may be true for folk songs.]
Joe Scanlon,
Professor Emeritus and Director,
Emergency Communcations Research Unit,
Carleton University
jscanlon@ccs.carleton.ca If my mailbox jams use Joe.Scanlon@talk21.cm
Suggestions as to who we might usefully contact would also be welcome


Note from Marion:
I emailed Joe to ask how Canadian is Canadian and how disastrous is disastrous, and he responded:
" have already written an article comparing fictional and non-fictional
accounts of the Halifax explosion. I thought it would be interesting to
look at disaster music. The fiction distorts what actually happened --
and quite seriously. Our goal is to see if the songs do the same.
Our definition is songs about incidents in Canada or incidents
involving Canadians whether that meant Canadians were involved (e.g. a
Canadian boat lost at sea) or that Canada was in on the response --
this includes Titanic -- since 200 bodies were brought to Halifax and
stored at the Mayflower Curling Club.

Mass death related to war is not being included.

We are not writing a proposal to look at pandemic death -- there is
almost no literature. I have written about the handling of the dead
from the Halifax explosion and studied the Gander air crash.\"

Songs

"(The) Ballad of the Frank Slide" Robert Gard [Rocks from Turtle Mountain came crashing down on Frank, Alberta ?April 29, 1902]

"(The) Ballad of Springhill" Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl THIS SONG WAS RECORDED BY MORE THAN ONE GROUP [Presumably the third Springhill, Nova Scotia mine disaster ?October 23, 1958]

"(The) Ballad of Springhill" Peter, Paul and Mary THIS SONG WAS RECORDED BY MORE THAN ONE GROUP [Presumably the third Springhill, Nova Scotia mine disaster ?October 23, 1958]

"(And the) Bridge Came Tumblin' Down" Stompin' Tom Connors [Second Narrows Bridge Collapse in Vancouver ?June 17, 1958]

"Cape Royal Disaster" Stan McDonald

"Captain Torres" James Keelaghan [The ship sunk in 1989 and was romanticized by Silver Don Cameron is his book Wind, Whales and Whisky ?39 dead, 23 from Captain Torres]

"La catastrophe de l'Empress of Ireland" Cyrice Dufour [This song has been issued by Radio Canada and is on the CD "Chants et complaintes maritimes de
Terres francaises d'Amerique" presumably another source of songs]

"Crashing Down" Tanglefoot [Another song about the Frank slide] The singers say they tell a tangential story that is in fact fiction.

"Disaster at Glace Bay" Bill Smith, Bill and Country Emotions

"(The) Empress of Ireland" Brian Morton's [This is in his CD "A Lonely Cairn of Stones"]

"Empress of Ireland" Susan Lawrence [This has been non-commercially recorded by
Sweet Tyme].

"Fire in the Mine" Stompin' Tom Connors [Not sure what incident this is}

"'(The) Flemmings of Torbay' Unknown CLEARLY FROM NEWFOUNDLAND

"(The) Foundering of the Asia" Unknown THIS IS ALSO AN INCIDENT ON THE GREAT LAKES

"Frank Slide" (The) Travellers

"(The) Greenland Disaster" Jim Rice WE HAVE THE WORDS 1898 INCIDENT

"The Halifax Explosion" Unknown [The December 6, 1917 explosion in Halifax harbour, Canada's only catastrophe]

"Hillcrest Mine" James Keelaghan [There were a series of gas explosions in the Hillcrest mine in Hillcrest, Alberta, 189 miners killed ?June 9, 1914]

"Hinton Train Disaster" Wiz Bryant [This is in the album Spirit of the North - LP 1986]

"How the Mountain Came Down" Stompin' Tom Connors [Presumably this is about the Frank Slide] The album is called Tragedy Trail

"Huntsville Fire" Gordon, James (with Tamarack) [A Major fire in 1904]

"Into the fire" Bruce Springsteen [The song is about the firefighters' response to the attack on the World Trade Center in 9/11]

"I will bring you home" Marion Parsons A song about the Newfoundland sealing disaster

"(The) Jennie C" Stan Rogers THIS IS AN INCIDENT NOT IN OUR LIST, PRESUMABLY NOT A MASS DEATH INCIDENT

"La Complainte de Springhill" Unknown" [Presumably the third Springhill, Nova Scotia mine disaster ?October 23, 1958]

Lady Franklin's Lament" Unknown THIS IS ABOUT THE LOSS OF THE FRANKLIN EXPEDITION IN THE CANADIAN ARCTIC IN 1845

"Lanark Fire" Mac Beattie [This is in the album This Ottawa Valley of Mine]

"(The) Last Goodbye" Bruce Moss [On the sinking of the oil rig Ocean Ranger ?February

"Let's Roll" Neil Young [This is about the passengers on the hijacked plane which crashed in Pennsylvania on 9/11]

"(The) Loss of the Jewel" Unknown THIS ALSO INVOLVED A RESCUE?

"(The) Loss of the Maggie Hunter" Unknown THIS IS ABOUT AN INCIDENT ON THE GREAT LAKES

"(The) Loss of the Ocean Ranger" Cal Cavendish THIS MIGHT BE THE SAME SONG AS THE ONE RECORDED BY MARY GARBEY [The sinking of the oil rig Ocean Ranger off the coast of Newfoundland 15 Feb 1982]

"The) Loss of the Regalus'" Unknown Ship lost off Cape Race

"(The) Loss of the schooner Antelope" Unknown ANOTHER INCIDENT ON THE GREAT LAKES

"Mack Wilson" James Gordon [Canadian crew on the S.S. Friar Rock Torpedoed in
WW2]

"(The) Mary Ellen Carter" Men of the Deeps

"Mary Ellen Carter" Stan Rogers

"Miracle of Colliery Two" Jack Kingston [This is about the survival of miners in the third Springhill Mine Disaster]

"(The) Miramichi Fire" Unknown Words by John Jardine [This is about a fire which swept through the Miramichi region of New Brunswick in 1825]

"My Brother's Fate New Waterford's Fatal Day" Unknown July 25, 1917 Explosion in Dominion Mine at New Waterford

"Newfoundland Sealers" Gallaher, Bill

"New Waterford's Fateful Day" Unknown" July 25, 1917 Explosion in Dominion Mine at New Waterford

"No. 12 New Waterford" Unknown July 25, 1917 Explosion in Dominion Mine at New Waterford

"No. 26 Mine Disaster" Men of the Deep DON'T KNOW WHAT INCIDENT THIS IS

"Noronic Disaster" Jack Kingston

"(The) Ocean Ranger" Mary Garbey [On the sinking of the oil rig Ocean Ranger ?February 14, 1982]

"Ocean Ranger" Wiz Bryant

"(The) Omen" Unknown THIS IS ALSO ABOUT NEW WATERFORD

"(The) Ottawa Fire" Morris Manley THIS IS ANOTHER INSTRUMENTAL COMPOSITION. THERE WERE SEVERAL MAJOR FIRES IN OTTAWA BUT THIS ONE PREDATES 1900

"(The) Petty Harbour Bait Skiff" Unknown [This dates somewhere in the 19th Century]

"Remember Me" Dan McKinnon Recorded in 1997 [A song based on survivor's accounts from the 1917 Halifax explosion]

"Seven Bells Waltzes" Dulder, F. [THIS IS APPARENTLY INSTRUMENTS ONLY ?BUT IT IS ABOUT THE MIRAMICHI FIRE WHICH STARTED OCTOBER 5TH 1825]

"(The) Southern Cross" Unknown [There is an article about this event]

"Springhill Mine Disaster" Joe King [In his 1993 album Sings Songs of the Maritimes]

"(The) Springhill Mine Disaster Song" Val MacDonald [MacDonald is the daughter of one the survivors of the third Springhill mine disaster and the song was written by her father, Maurice Ruddick, and recorded 50 years later.]

"Springhill Mine Explosion" Jack Kingston [This is about the second Springhill mine disaster]

"The 24th in 26" Unknown Another song about the incident in Glace Bay in 1979

"Train Wreck at Almonte" Mac Beattie and the Ottawa Valley Melodiers [A troop train crashed into a standing passenger train at Almonte, Ontario ?December 27, 1942]

"Train Wreck at Almonte" Barry Luft and Tim Rogers [Songs of the Iron Rail ?1983]

"Westray" Sarah Harmer IT IS NOT CLEAR IF SHE SANG THIS AS A SINGLE WHILE WITH WEEPING TILE OR THE GROUP DID IT [Mine disaster at the Westray mine ?May 9, 1992]

"Westray" Weeping Tile [Mine disaster at the Westray mine ?May 9, 1992]

"When that Great Ship went Down" Vesey and William Smith [This is the one about Titanic which sank in the Atlantic in 1912]

"(The) Wreck of the Athens Queen" Stan Rogers

"Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" Gordon Lightfoot [The ship sank in Lake Superior on November 1, 1975]

"Wreck of the John Harvey" Stompin' Tom Connors

"Wreck of the John Harvey" The Dorymen [On the LP 20 Great Hits of Newfoundland]

"(The) Wreck of the Julie Plante" Unknown THIS SUPPOSED TOOK PLACE ON LAC ST. PIERRE AND WAS SUNG BY LUMBERJACKS.

"(The) Wreck of the Steamship Ethie'" WORDS BY MAUDE ROBERTS SIMMONS THIS ONE APPARENTLY INVOLVES A RESCUE,

"Wreck of the Tammy Anne" Stompin' Tom Connors

"Young, Young Man" Modabo [This is on the Newfoundland Sealing Disaster].

"'Your Last Goodbye" Ted Rowe THIS COULD BE THE SAME SONG THAT WAS RECORDED BY BRUCE MOSS [On the sinking of the oil rig Ocean Ranger ?February 14, 1982]


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Subject: RE: Canadian disaster songs:research project
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 19 Jun 06 - 05:21 PM

Cool..I am on the list. Canada, especially Newfoundland, has some great songs about their terrible disasters. I also have one about a ship that went down with men from Cape Broyal...I think it is Broyal rather than Royal but would not totally swear to it. mg


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Subject: Lyr Add: JAM ON JERRY'S ROCK
From: HiHo_Silver
Date: 19 Jun 06 - 06:02 PM

Do not know if this is what you are looking for. Here are the lyrics from memory of a song out of the lumber camps on the East Coast.

JAM ON JERRY'S ROCK

Come all you true born shanty boys, and listen while I relate
Concerning a young river man, and his untimely fate;
Concerning a young river man, who manly true and brave,
'Twas on a jam on Jerry's Rock, he met a watery grave.

'Twas on a Sunday morning, in the springtime of the year.
The logs were piled up mountains. we could not get them clear.
The foreman said, "turn out, my boys, with hearts devoid of fear.
We'll break that jam on Jerry's Rock, and for town we'll steer."

Now some of them were willing, while others they were not,
For to work on jams on Sunday, they did not think their plight.
'Twas six of our brave shanty boys did volunteer to go
To break a jam on Jerry's Rock with their foreman Jack Monroe.

They had not rolled off many logs when they heard his clear voice say,
"I'll have you boys be on your guard. this jam will soon give away."
These words were scarcely uttered when the jam did break and go,
And it carried off these six brave boys, with their foreman young Monroe.

When the rest of our brave shanty boys the sad news come to hear,
To search for their brave comrades to the river banks did steer.
In searching for their dead comrades, to their sad grief and woe,
All crushed and bleeding on a rock was that of young Monroe.

They took him from his watery grave, brushed back his raven hair.
There was one fair form among them whose moans did rent the air.
This one fair from among them was a girl from town
Whose moans and cries they pierced the sky, for her true love that was drowned.

Miss Clara was a noble girl, the river man's true friend.
She with her widowed mother dear lived by the river bend;
And the wages of her own true love the boss to her did pay,
And the shanty boys for her made up a generous purse next day.

They buried him with sorrow deep. 'Twas on the first of May.
Come all you true born shanty boys and for your comrades pray.
Engraved upon a hemlock tree, that by the grave did grow,
Was the name and date of the sad fate, of this young man Monroe.

Miss Clara did not long survive to worry and to grief,
For in less than six months afterward, death came to her relief.
And when this time had come to pass and she was call to go,
The last favor she requested was to lay by young Monroe.

Now come all you true born shanty boys, who would like to go and see
These two green mounds by the river side, where stands a hemlock tree.
Neath its branches wavering in the breeze, two lovers there lay low.
They are Miss Clara Dinnis, and her true love Jack Monroe.


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Subject: Lyr Add: RESCUE AT MOOSE RIVER GOLD MINE
From: HiHo_Silver
Date: 19 Jun 06 - 06:18 PM

again from memory: Mine Disaster in Nova Scotia, Canada

RESCUE AT MOOSE RIVER GOLD MINE
^^
Way down in old Nova Scotia
Moose River it seemed was the name
Three Canadians on Easter Sunday
To a tumbled down gold mine they came

They descended the mine for inspection
Never dreamed fate trailed close at hand
With a crash that gave them no warning
They were trapped in that mine there to die.

Great men from all over the country
Volunteered to give up their lives
They slaved with unceasing effort
It seemed that death they defied.

On Monday they got their first message
From the men prisoned far far below
Can you help us they heard the men calling
Our suffering God only knows.

Next message filled all hearts with sorrow
As they heard them say one pal is gone
We are trying our best to hold on, boys.
Do your best. Don't make it too long.

On Sunday they got their last message
A miner out of breath brought the news
We've won the great fight he was shouting
At last we have dug our way through.

Now friends my story is ending
With hardships of many a day
But the rescue will go down in history
Of the gold mine down Moose River way.


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Subject: RE: Canadian disaster songs:research project
From: Jeremiah McCaw
Date: 19 Jun 06 - 06:19 PM

"Mary Ellen Carter" is fictional (which doesn't preclude it from being a truly great song).


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Subject: Lyr Add: WESTRAY REMEMBERED (A. McLean)
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 19 Jun 06 - 06:25 PM

Hi from Cape Breton Marion,^^
This is one that I have written.
Sandy


WESTRAY REMEMBERED
(A. McLean)
May 9, 1992.................5:18 am

Listen to me, friends, and a sad tale I'll tell
How a mighty explosion rose up straight from Hell
And swept through a coal mine as it passed on its way
And 26 men died down in Westray that day;
Yes, 26 men died down in Westray that day.

When the government inspectors were down in the mine,
They ignored all the coal dust and the shortage of lime,
And the methane detectors that were screwed up, they say,
So 26 men died down in Westray that day.

When the rescue team went down to search in that mine,
A path of destruction was what they would find.
15 bodies was all they recovered that time.
11 are buried still down in that mine.

Some high politicians, at first they did cry,
But their greatest concern was to cover their hides,
And the rot in the system meant that no one would pay.
Our courts they did fail us so badly that way.

The bosses and owners, they walked away free,
Thumbing their noses at the inquiry,
But someday in Heaven before God's great throne
There'll be no escaping when sins are atoned.

Now you've heard my story and a sad tale I did tell,
How a mighty explosion rose up straight from Hell
And swept through a coal mine as it passed on its way,
And 26 men died down in Westray that day.
Yes, 26 men died down in Westray that day.

(c)2000 A. McLean,
a.mclean@ns.sympatico.ca


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Subject: RE: Canadian disaster songs:research project
From: GUEST,Jon Bartlett
Date: 19 Jun 06 - 06:39 PM

I'd like to add a whole slew of songs, but don't know what you mean by "disaster". e.g. Mary Ellen Carter - ship sunk,no deaths, and fictional. While you're at it, what is Canadian about Springsteen's "Into the fire"? You mean maybe songs made by canadians about disasters elsewhere? Springsteen still wouldn't fit.

Jon Bartlett


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Subject: RE: Canadian disaster songs:research project
From: Marion
Date: 19 Jun 06 - 06:48 PM

Hi Mary. You'd better tell him how to spell your name, eh?

Thanks for the additions, Sandy and HiHo.

Jeremiah - I think Jeannie C. is fictional too, isn't it?

Jon - well, he says he's looking for corrections as well as additions, so it's helpful to point out the fictional ones. When I asked about how he was defining Canadian disaster songs, he said the disaster should include Canadians as victims or rescuers (hence the inclusion of Titanic and Sept. 11 songs), even if the songwriter isn't Canadian. I'm not sure about whether he's interested in Canadian writer's songs about non-Canadian events.

Marion


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Subject: RE: Canadian disaster songs:research project
From: Marion
Date: 19 Jun 06 - 06:55 PM

Here's a link to the lyrics to James Keelaghan's "Hillcrest Mine". It's a great song, but I'm not sure that it's "about" that mining disaster - it seems to be a more general warning about the perils of mining.

Marion


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Subject: RE: Canadian disaster songs:research project
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 Jun 06 - 12:55 AM

"The Southern Cross" was sung by Jack Dalton, Codroy, 1960, in Peacock, "Songs of the Newfoundland Outports, vol. 3, p. 973-974. The variant has a different tune from the one in Greenleaf and Mansfield, "Ballads and Sea Songs of Newfoundland," which is the version written down by Lizzie Rose, 1929.

Peacock's volumes have several 'wrecks' and many 'losses:
The Wreck of the Morrissey
The Wreck of the Semmity
The "Union" from St. John's
The Spring of '97 (ship not named)
There are 15 'losses':
The Loss of the Atlantic
The Loss of the Barbara Ann Ronney
The Loss of the Bruce
The Loss of the City of Quebec
The Loss of the Danny Goodwin
The Loss of the Eliza
The Loss of the Jewel (listed above)
The Loss of the John Harvey
The Loss of the Jubal Cain
The Loss of the Rammelly
The Loss of the Regalis (mis-spelled Regalus in list?)
The Loss of the Riseover
The Loss of the Sailor's Home
The Loss of the Shamrock

The Sally's Cove Tragedy
George's Banks (ship Morning Bloom lost many crew, other ships sunk in storm, 1868)

How many deaths make a disaster? ?


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Subject: Lyr Add: DEATH AT GIANT MINE (Steve Lacey)
From: CeltArctic
Date: 20 Jun 06 - 01:18 AM

Here's one from my neck of the woods. In Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, during a terrible labour dispute at one of our gold mines, 9 men were killed in an explosion that was found to have been intentionally caused.

Steve Lacey of Yellowknife (who also sings with me in a quartette called Ceilidh Friends) wrote "The Death at Giant Mine" within a week of the disaster.

DEATH AT GIANT MINE (C) Steve Lacey^^

'Twas the eighteenth of September; 'twas the year of '92.
The strike had gone on far too long as Yellowknifers knew.
Some men had kept the picket line, while other men had crossed.
But no one in this city guessed how much the strike would cost.

CHORUS: A hard rock miner's work is cold and dangerous at best.
A man on strike still has to pay his bills like all the rest.
The owners have to keep their eye upon the bottom line.
But nine men didn't have to die that day at Giant Mine.

Nine men started down the shaft to go to work that day.
They traveled in an open car, the ordinary way.
Some were locals, some were not, & some had crossed the line,
But none would ever walk out from the depths of Giant Mine. CHORUS:

Explosives lying on the tracks on which the mine-car rolled;
No warning for the men who died there in the dark and cold.
No need to call for rescue teams; there was nothing they could do.
Nothing left but angry pain that quickly spread and grew. CHORUS:

Was it a striker trying just to scare the scabs away?
Was it the owner's carelessness that killed those men that day?
Was it some crazy loner who had once worked underground?
This city won't find peace until these answers can be found.

Actually, although the police charged a man with the murder of the 9 men, many people do not trust the crime has been fully solved.

Moira Cameron


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Subject: RE: Canadian disaster songs:research project
From: GUEST,Dale
Date: 20 Jun 06 - 04:31 AM

Loss Of The Truxton And Pollux This is about two ships which went aground in Newfoundland during a storm in 1942.
^^
Atlantic Blue written by Ron Hynes, recorded by several. It's not immediately obvious, but this is about the sinking of the oil rig Ocean Ranger in 1982.

I also have the lyrics for Train Wreck at Almonte mentioned above. They're on my other computer, but I can post them if they are wanted.

I have more, but they are on that other computer, so for now I can't post them.


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Subject: RE: Canadian disaster songs:research project
From: GUEST,Wayne
Date: 20 Jun 06 - 05:27 AM

The Ballad of Yarmouth Castle - Gordon Lightfoot
Marie Christine - Gordon Lightfoot
Rocks at Thieves Bay - Spirit of the West


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Subject: RE: Canadian disaster songs:research project
From: Willie-O
Date: 20 Jun 06 - 08:11 AM

Re: Lanark Fire, Mac Beattie

From Lanark Highlands Township website(http://www.lanarkhighlands.ca/About/History.htm):

"1959 - A catastrophic fire in the Village destroyed 43 buildings (including the Town Hall, the Library, Memorial Clock and Legion Hall), leaving more than 100 people homeless, and caused $1.5 million in damage. It is a commonly held view that the fire had a profound psychological impact on the spirit of the people of Lanark, causing a temporary depression."

I'll be going through Lanark village in half an hour or so, if I ever get off the pesky Internet. It has long since recovered from the physical damage of the fire--of course, there's a stretch of newer buildings in that part of town, a contrast with the old houses and stone structures that are prevalent in the rest of this early 19th century settlement village. There's always been a depressive streak there, in the 20 years I've been around here. It's a village that never quite entered the 20th century, and now it's too late. Long story encompassing a lot more than the effects of the 1959 fire. It's looking pretty now, though the economic/infrastructure problems are still present.

This is not one of Mac Beattie's better known numbers. He was a mid-20th century Ottawa Valley troubadour who played every kind of gig--bars, radio shows and concerts in the valley for over 40 years--writing songs about local places and events all the time. His straight-ahead style would generally stick to the facts and reference local characters and landmarks rather than wax poetic, so though I don't have the lyrics they are probably pretty accurate.   

I could take a look in the village library--I know Beattie's autobiography is there.

Bill Cameron


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Subject: RE: Canadian disaster songs:research project
From: JohnB
Date: 20 Jun 06 - 10:10 AM

"he said the disaster should include Canadians as victims or rescuers (hence the inclusion of Titanic "
While you are on that subject don't forget Les Barkers "Have you got any news of the Iceberg" telling the Titanic story from a polar bears point of view.
JohnB.


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Subject: Lyr Add: CAPTURE OF ALBERT JOHNSON (Wilf Carter)
From: HiHo_Silver
Date: 20 Jun 06 - 10:12 AM

Song from Northern Canada. About a trapper in I believe Rat River.
Pretty factual:

CAPTURE OF ALBERT JOHNSON
^^ As recorded by Montana Slim (Wilf Carter)

There in that far-north country lived a trapper thought insane.
Some of his redskin neighbors to the pólice sent a complaint.

Two redcoats of the Mounties, who are known for their fame,
Went north to find the trouble. On this trapper was put the blame.

They journeyed out to his cabin. No harm was meant, you know.
But the trapper with his six-gun, he laid a Mountie low.

'Twas then that the trouble started, and as the story goes forth,
It was the greatest manhunt in the hist'ry of the north.

For weeks and weeks they trailed him through the snow and the bitter cold,
And the hardships that he endured we folks will never know.

Once when they had him surrounded while trailing him through the snow,
He laid another deadly shot, laid another Mountie low.

Still on and on they trailed him. This trapper he knew his game.
He'd backtrack on his trailers, this man they thought insane.

Now the chances of his escape for the trapper they were too slim.
They hunted him by day. They hunted him by night. This manhunt they must win.

Then just in the evening twilight, he was climbing up a hill.
This trapper sighted his trailers, aimed another shot to kill.

Down deep in the snow for shelter, the bullets were flying low.
He aimed another deadly shot, laid another Mountie low.

The rest of them heard the shooting. They quickly joined the lead;
And under a hail of bullets his riddled body dropped dead.

Now the greatest of the manhunts are [sic] ended in the history of that northern land,
But we'll give credit to the Mountie. They always get their man.


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Subject: RE: Canadian disaster songs:research project
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 20 Jun 06 - 10:55 AM

"The Springhill Mine Disaster" (Maurice Ruddick, Bill Clifton, Paul Clayton and one other author) was recorded by Bill Clifton and His Bluegrass Boys and released within weeks of the disaster. Google Neil Rosenberg and "Springhill Mine Disaster" for a story on this.

Bob


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Subject: RE: Canadian disaster songs:research project
From: GUEST,thurg
Date: 20 Jun 06 - 11:15 AM

Definitely about "the mad trapper of Rat River", and I think accurate, as far as it goes, although of course it leaves out many interesting and curious details, including the involvement in the hunt of the legendary bush pilot "Wop" May.

Marion - Your friend Scanlon should start off with the easy and obvious sources, such as Edith Fowke's Penguin Book of Canadian Folk Songs, and Helen Creighton's various publications. Many of the songs mentioned so far have been published along with summaries of the research into historical verity.

I would recommend that he contact a bona fide folklorist or two (or is that what's he's done in contacting you?) Could save himself a lot of work.


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Subject: RE: Canadian disaster songs:research project
From: breezy
Date: 20 Jun 06 - 12:28 PM

Jeannie C was written for the fishermen of Dover N S


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Subject: RE: Canadian disaster songs:research project
From: CeltArctic
Date: 20 Jun 06 - 01:22 PM

Does anyone know if anyone wrote a song about the Air India flight? There's a big news Canadian disaster - one that never seems to leave the news.

Moira


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Subject: RE: Canadian disaster songs:research project
From: Slag
Date: 21 Jun 06 - 03:03 AM

Sung to the tune, "God Save the King"

(Stimpy)
Our country reeks of trees
Our yaks are really large
And they smell like rotting beef carcuses

And we have to clean up after them
And our sadle sores are the best
We proudly wear women's clothing
And searing sand blows up our skirts

(Ren joins in with Stimpy)
And the buzzards, they soar overhead
And poisonous snakes will devour us whole
And our bones will bleach in the sun

(Stimpy)
That's it!

(Ren & Stimpy)
And we'll probably go to phbbbbtlb
And that is our great reward
For being the
Ro-oy-oy-al
Canadian Kilted Yaksmen!

(Stimpy)
C'mon everybody

(everyone)
Repeats one more time.

by Nickleodeon

Now if that isn't a Canadian disaster, I'll never know what one is!


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE STORM OF 98 (Adrien Doucette)
From: Beer
Date: 21 Jun 06 - 06:45 AM

Here is one I wrote in the spring of 1998. It was a disaster of sorts. Melody has a bluegrass tempo.
Beer


THE STORM OF 98
(Adrien Doucette)

In the year of 98 when folks were sleeping and would not wake.
The Ice storm came at our front gate and would not go away.
Well people in the morning would not believe,
When they woke up to the bent down trees.
The lights were out there was no heat.
Yet the children played.

Now the news man said, don't be late,
Gather up candles at the market place.
It's not to late if you want some heat,
But the stores will be empty soon.
I couldn't believe when I ventured there,
Candles, batteries the shelves were bare.
Said " My God", what am I gonna do.

Yet the children played, as we prayed.
Yes they played, as we prayed.

Two, four, six more days, still no heat but yet we prayed.
Branches, trees, all broke down.
Streets of the city was a big ghost town.
Hydro lines and telephone poles.
"Oh my God but how it's cold".
Generators breaking down,
Yet the children played.

Chorus

Help came from far and wide,
Without their aid we'd not survive.
Death came it was not surprise,
To the old, weak, and lame.
My neighbor who at 85,
Lost his love yet he survived, ( strum, but a pause. No words. As if thinking.)
Yet the children played.

Red Lake and the Sagunay, How they suffered yet they came.
Newfoundland to Halifax, P.E.I. did their best.
Friends to the South and the great out West,
Jumped in their trucks and shared our stress.
The army left their babes asleep,
Yet the children played.

Oh yes they played,
As we prayed.
In the storm of 98.

Adrien Doucette
1998


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Subject: RE: Canadian disaster songs:research project
From: Peter T.
Date: 21 Jun 06 - 07:58 AM

"Stephen Harper is a fake,
Doodah, doodah,
Has the eyes of a cobra snake,
Oh, doodah day!
Gwine to run all day,
Canada to betray,
Oh, he'll give the country to the money men,
Oh, doodah day."

Canadian disaster song.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Canadian disaster songs:research project
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Jun 06 - 12:47 PM

Thanks, Peter. I'll pass on your warning of the coming Doomsday.

That list posted by Marion seems odd to me. Too many songs printed in major Canadian collections are absent.


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Subject: RE: Canadian disaster songs:research project
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Jun 06 - 01:50 PM

This is great stuff and I appreciate it.
I am keeping an eye on the postings and I will send emails to those who are helping.
At the moment I am in Oslo so please excuse me for not reacting faster.
Joe Scanlon


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Subject: RE: Canadian disaster songs:research project
From: Marion
Date: 22 Jun 06 - 04:20 PM

Hi Joe, and thanks for coming back to check these. I think a little more clarification about what a Canadian disaster song is would be helpful. For example - if you're not collecting songs about disasters caused by war or crime - wouldn't that rule out the September 11 songs (and anything that might be found about the Air India flight, also)?

And what sort of body count are we talking? There are logging songs that talk about accidents causing single deaths, like "Jam on Jerry's Rock" (above), or "Peter Amberley". Do you want titles for those?

Marion


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Subject: RE: Canadian disaster songs:research project
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Jun 06 - 04:42 PM

Or Frozen Charlotte.
Beer


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Subject: RE: Canadian disaster songs:research project
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 22 Jun 06 - 07:04 PM

There's Frobisher Bay by James Gordon.^^


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Subject: RE: Canadian disaster songs:research project
From: GEST
Date: 22 Jun 06 - 07:18 PM

And there's also Sad Day In Gander, by Eric Waterman, about the worst air disaster on Canadian soil.


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Subject: RE: Canadian disaster songs:research project
From: bobad
Date: 22 Jun 06 - 07:51 PM

Your song brings back memories Adrien, I'd like to hear it sometime.


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Subject: RE: Canadian disaster songs:research project
From: Beer
Date: 22 Jun 06 - 08:12 PM

Thanks Bobad.
I did it two years ago when the throat was in shape at our festival.
Beer


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Subject: RE: Canadian disaster songs:research project
From: Greg B
Date: 23 Jun 06 - 06:48 PM

Does Margaret Trudeau qualify?


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Subject: RE: Canadian disaster songs:research project
From: GUEST,Michael Burton windhugger@yahoo.ca
Date: 23 Jun 06 - 07:20 PM

The Ocean Ranger certainly figures prominently as one of Canada's songworthy disasters, for sure.

My friend Kevin Firth, a singer songwriter originally from Manchester UK, worked as a diver recovering remains, personal effects, etc. from the Ocean Ranger. He has written a very compelling song about the tragedy that probably can't be touched by the average armchair historical bard. He recorded it on a CD project a few years back. Some of his crewmates also died in the salvage operation.

I will hunt down the CD and post lyric / link if interested.

Michael Burton
Singer-Songwriter-Boatbuilder
Prince Rupert, BC
windhugger@yahoo.ca


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Subject: RE: Canadian disaster songs:research project
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 25 Jun 06 - 10:26 PM

Don't know if it qualifies, being man-made, but Montreal, December '89 definitely was a Canadian disaster, even though the song was written by an Australian, Judy Small.


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Subject: RE: Canadian disaster songs:research project
From: Jon Bartlett
Date: 26 Jun 06 - 02:25 AM

Wreck of the Green Cove
The Oda G.
Wreck of the C.P. Yorke
(all three tugboat songs from the west coast by Stanley G. Triggs, the first two fictional, the second fact)


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Subject: Lyr Add: THIS MEMORY (Wyrd Sisters)
From: CeltArctic
Date: 28 Jun 06 - 11:17 AM

I just remembered another good one. The Wyrd Sisters - "This Memory" - about the Montreal Massacre.


THIS MEMORY
(as recorded by the Wyrd Sisters)

Early that morning, cup of coffee in her hand,
Kissed her mother on the cheek, said, "I'm more busy than I'd planned.
I'll be coming home a bit late; would you keep the supper warm?"
Oh, it's just another busy day.

Early that morning, getting ready by the door,
Kissed her lover on the cheek, said, "I'll be coming back for more.
Oh, how I love you! We've got so much to live for.
Oh, and I'll be coming home real soon."

And it could have been me just as easily.
Could have been my sister (lover) left there to bleed.
Oh, it could have been my brother or my father done the deed.
Oh, no! Don't let me lose this memory.

Later on that evening I turned on my TV
Listen as they're talking about the news of a shooting spree.
Fourteen young women shot dead in Montreal.
Oh, it's a-killing of us all. Yes it's a-killing of us all.

And it could have been me just as easily.
Could have been my sister (lover) left there to bleed.
Oh, it could have been my brother or my father done the deed.
Oh, no! Don't let me lose this memory.

And it could have been you just as easily.
Could have been your sister (lover) left there to bleed.
Oh, it could have been your brother or your father done the deed.
Oh, no! Don't let us lose this memory.

Moira


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Subject: RE: Canadian disaster songs:research project
From: CeltArctic
Date: 28 Jun 06 - 11:18 AM

Woops, that should say Wyrd Sisters, not Wyds.


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Subject: RE: Canadian disaster songs:research project
From: GUEST,Joe Scanlon
Date: 28 Jun 06 - 07:37 PM

I am delighted by the material that keeps coming and coming.
The song on the Montreal massacre intrigued me.
What is generally not known is that it was the third mass killing in a Canadian education institution.
The first was at Centennial in Brampton.
The second was at Pius X in Ottawa. The boy who did the shooting started by torturing and killing a young woman then shot up the school.
Those incidents preceded similar incidents in the United States.
Joe Scanlon

Some of you might be interested to know that while doing research on the 1917 Halifax explosion I decided to compare six fictional accounts to what actually happened. The results were published in a Canadian academic journal which can be found in most university libraries.

Scanlon, Joseph (1999) "Myths of Male and Military Superiority: Fictional Accounts of the 1917 Halifax Explosion" English Studies in Canada Vol. 24 pp. 1001-1025

The fiction tends to downplay the role of women and play up the role of the military. In fact the explosion occurred at 9:04:35 a.m. on a weekday morning when men were at war or at work and school age children were at or on their way to school. Those at home in the North end were women, pre school children and the elderly. The initial rescue work was therefor done by woman. The explosion caused damage, death and injury to soldiers at the Armouries and substantial damage, death and injuries to soldiers and their families at the Wellington Barracks. The military therefore had to deal with its own problems in the initial stages.
At first glance it appears that the songs tend to be more accurate than fiction -- but that is what we will test.


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Subject: RE: Canadian disaster songs:research project
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Jun 06 - 07:39 PM

Marion asked whether one death was enough. I would like all songs. We may have to sort them out later.
Perhaps it is helpful if I mention that one definition of a disaster is an event that causes or threatens to cause harm. The train derailment that led to the evacuation of Mississauga Ontario was a disaster even though there were no deaths.
Joe Scanlon


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Subject: RE: Canadian disaster songs:research project
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 09 Aug 07 - 06:56 PM

There were at least two other Sprinhill mine disasters; both have songs associated with them.
Check out LA COMPLAINTE DE SPRINGHILL
and      SPRINGHILL MINE DISASTER (1891)


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Subject: RE: Canadian disaster songs: research project
From: GUEST,harold macdonald
Date: 21 Oct 07 - 11:00 PM

I am looking for the words to "Springhill mine Explosion by Jack Kingston. Or, any songs relating to the 1956 mine explosion.


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Subject: RE: Canadian disaster songs: research project
From: Santa
Date: 22 Oct 07 - 09:15 AM

The Angel of Long Point, By Joe Grant and Steve Ritchie, of Tanglefoot? Dealing with the wreck of the Conductor, I assume it is based on a true story.


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Subject: RE: Canadian disaster songs: research project
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 14 Mar 08 - 02:35 PM

"Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" Gordon Lightfoot [The ship sank in Lake Superior on November 1, 1975]

SS Edmund Fitzgerald (nicknamed "Mighty Fitz", "The Fitz" or "The Big Fitz") was a lake freighter that sank suddenly during a gale storm on Lake Superior on November 10, 1975.

Charlotte (was 4 years old at the time)


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Subject: RE: Canadian disaster songs: research project
From: Beer
Date: 14 Mar 08 - 03:42 PM

Great great song and very tragic. Mentioned above on the first thread.


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Subject: RE: Canadian disaster songs: research project
From: topical tom
Date: 15 Mar 08 - 10:27 AM

There is a song about a boat burning down in Whitehorse, Yukon, I think, but I cannot for the life of me remember the title or who sang it(perhaps the lead singer of Stringband ,Bob Bossin?)Or were there two boats? Rats, my memory is failing me! Does anyone know the song?


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Subject: RE: Canadian disaster songs: research project
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 15 Mar 08 - 11:10 AM

"Does Margaret Trudeau qualify?"

yes *LOL*

Charlotte (coffee and humour on a Saturday morning)


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Subject: RE: Canadian disaster songs: research project
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 15 Mar 08 - 11:52 AM

"Great great song and very tragic. Mentioned above on the first thread."

I realise that, I was merely correcting the date of the disater..it was listed on the posting as 1st November 1975, where as it was 10th November, which happens to be my Dad's birthday as well.

Charlotte (the view from Ma and Pa's piano stool)


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Subject: RE: Canadian disaster songs: research project
From: Beer
Date: 15 Mar 08 - 12:43 PM

Than that is a date you certainly wouldn't forget. Good for you. I apologize.


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Subject: RE: Canadian disaster songs: research project
From: GUEST,Norm
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 10:42 PM

there is one song   and I cannot remember all the words to it   but it is a song about the steelmen working on the 2nd narrows bridge when it collapased it was Called STEELMAN    and the first line is
Steelman working on that bridge of steel   steel man and on the fateful day I cannot remember the rest of it or who sang it .
If you find out could you please tell me   thank you

Norm


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Subject: RE: Canadian disaster songs: research project
From: Beer
Date: 17 Jun 08 - 10:46 PM

Norm,
I suggest that if you don't get your answer on this thread that you start one asking the same question. But give this one a run first.


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