Lyr Add: Life of a Voyageur/Voyager To Thread - Forum Home

The Mudcat Café TM
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=10483
54 messages

Lyr Add: Life of a Voyageur/Voyager

22 Apr 99 - 06:59 PM (#72827)
Subject: Lyr Add: LIFE OF A VOYAGER
From: Laurel

Hi!
I just stumbled along this song- it's great!! I learned it at camp and recently found it in my three song books I've compiled over the years.

LIFE OF A VOYAGER

-chorus-
The life of a voyager that of a sojourner
travelin' around and round, but not from town to town
travelin' the lakes and streams, follows his distant dreams
peace on the waterways, clear skies and cloudy days...
my heart has but one home, from which I'll never roam;
Land of true happiness, Canadian Wilderness.
_____________
The call of the lonely loon, coyotes howlin' at the moon;
wind rustling through the trees, that's the Canadian breeze;
smoke rising from the fire, up to the trees going higher and higher.
reach to the sky in the evening glow, sun goes down no northwinds blow.
-chorus-

The mist from the distant falls, distant hooting of the owls,
fire crackling through the night, rising fog at dawn's first light.
Fall, when leaves come tumbling down, winter's blanket covers the ground.
Zephyrs whispering through the pines, voyager's heritage, this is mine.
-chorus-

The life of a voyager, that of a sojourner,
clear as a northern stream, key to his distant dream
Someday he'll find it there, place where he'll lose all care
Loons cry and the winds blow free, he'll find his liberty.



Silant'
Laurel


29 Jan 02 - 01:44 AM (#637642)
Subject: RE: Life of a Voyager
From: GUEST,billybobleroyiv@yahoo.com

Hi, might you have an author for "life of a voyager"? A friend of mine atributed it to Robert Service, and I don't buy that.I learned it at Widji of the St.Paul,Mn YMCA. What camp did you learn it at? thanks bbl


29 Jan 02 - 02:12 PM (#638062)
Subject: RE: Life of a Voyager
From: Sorcha

I found it several places on line, sometimes titled Canadian Wilderness. If it is Service, it's not at the Service site. I doubt that it is. No attribution anywhere, though.


22 Aug 03 - 03:25 PM (#1006619)
Subject: ADD: Life of a Voyageur
From: GUEST,LongJohn

Hi all -

I'm an off and on lurker here, but I finally may have something to contribute.

I learned this song in the mid-'70's at Camp Manito-Wish in northern Wisconsin. It was written by a woman affiliated with that camp, and I believe it must have dispersed from there.

It's a beautiful song and well received whenever I sing it.

Quoting from: "Songs of the Northland, Manito-Wish Song Book."

"... written in 1960 by Mary Satterfield Swanson. On the first of many trips back to the Quetico, Mary brought along her baritone ukulele, which she fondly named Sarah after her adventures on Sarah Lake as a camper in 1959. It was on Sarah Lake that the words and music to 'The Life of a Voyageur' came to her. Mary brought the song to camp with her that summer and taught it to her cabin and later to the entire camp community."

"Roger Perry wrote a third verse in 1971 that is still sung today."

Unfortunately, the editors of this book accidentally omitted the 2nd and 3rd verses, but here's the first verse and chorus as written and the other 2 verses from my notes.

THE LIFE OF A VOYAGEUR

VERSE: The life of a voyageur
That of a sojourner
Traveling around and 'round
But not from town to town
Paddles the lakes and streams
Follows his distant dreams
Peace on the water ways
Clear skies, no cloudy days

CHORUS: My heart has but one home
From which I'll never roam
Land of true happiness
Canadian wilderness

The call of the lonely loon
Coyotes howling at the moon
Wind rustling through the trees
That's the Canadian breeze
Smoke rising from the fire
Up through the leaves of the stately spires
Down to the hearth in an evening glow
Sun goes down no north winds blow

The still waters of the morn
Reflect one lonely soul
Paddling so silently
That none's disturbed by he
Untouched by human flesh
Water so pure and fresh
His life is rough but good
This is his chosen home

Twice, now, I've heard this song in other contexts and each time it was sung with a different 3rd verse - not the one by Roger Perry. That's what got me to thinking and doing some digging. Some 'net searching turned up several versions of the first 2 verses - more-or-less the same as I learned. A couple versions, including the one at the top of the thread, include alternate 3rd and 4th verses. So far, I have found 6 verses in addition to the "original" three. All but one of the references I found are from or suggest a link to a summer camp.

I find it interesting that this song evidently found its way into the folk tradition, but that it must have happened between 1960 and 1971, because the Roger Perry verse is not included. Makes me wonder if there are others around with no connection to the original source who know the Perry verse.

- John


04 Aug 04 - 11:24 AM (#1240197)
Subject: RE: Life of a Voyager
From: GUEST,guest, Jenny

Like John, I went to Manito-wish and learned the song there in late 80s. I particularly like the "indian" beat that is inherent when you sing the lines. The one change since that time seems to be in the middle verse:

The call of the lonely loon
coyotes howling at the moon
Wind rustling through the trees
that's the Canadian breeze
Smoke rising from the fire
up through the trees with a stately spire
Reach toward the sky in the evening glow
Sun goes down, no north winds blow

All else same. I'm curious about the lost verses. I think we should raid the camp songbook collection in Boulder Junction....
Jenny


23 Aug 04 - 03:46 PM (#1254695)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Life of a Voyager
From: GUEST,Zephyr

at the camp I go to(in Vermont)this song is taught through a 3 year progression ending in an 11 day canoe trip to canada. it has five verses, but the chorus changes each time. I dont know the words, though.


28 Oct 04 - 12:22 AM (#1309270)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Life of a Voyager
From: GUEST,Annie

I also went to Mantio-Wish and learned this song 2 years ago. It's still oone of my favorites. My friend went to French camp through Concordia and learned it in French.


17 Feb 05 - 03:22 PM (#1413229)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Life of a Voyager
From: GUEST


17 Feb 05 - 03:34 PM (#1413237)
Subject: ADD Version: Life of a Voyageur
From: GUEST,Marissa

LIFE OF A VOYAGEUR

The life of a voyageur
That of a soldiener
Travels around and 'round,
But not from town to town.
Paddles the lakes and streams,
Follows her distant dreams.
Peace on the waterways,
Blue skies no cloudy days.

My heart has but one home,
From which I'll never rome
Land of true happiness,
Canadian wilderness.

The Cry of the lonely Loon,
Coyotes howling at the moon.
Wind rustling through the trees,
That's the Canadian breeze.
Smoke rising from the fire,
Up to the trees in a stateling spire.
Reaches the moon in an evening glow.
Sun goes down, no North winds blow.

My heart has but one home,
From which I'll never rome.
Land of true happiness,
Canadian wilderness.

The Life of a Voyageur,
That of a soldiener.
Tired and warily,
Searching unendingly.
Searching for peace of mind,
While moves the hands of time.
Moving unceasingly holding the secret key.
Keys to her distant dreams,
Dreams that may often seem
Hopeless and gone awrong,
But she'll keep moving on.


18 May 07 - 06:03 PM (#2055913)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Life of a Voyager
From: GUEST,campkid

I learned this song at a girl scout camp in california. I know my mom also knew the song from her camp days at a girl scout camp in Wisconsin in the early 70s.


07 Nov 07 - 12:52 AM (#2188114)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Life of a Voyager
From: GUEST,Tyson

I learned this song from my mother when i was very young, anyway I'm looking for the music to it so i can play it on guitar. I'm not creative enough to be able to come up with my own chords so i was wondering if anyone knows where i could find some.


02 Dec 07 - 09:24 PM (#2207234)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Life of a Voyager
From: GUEST

I learned this song at Manito Wish, too, and I was just wondering if anyone knew a recorded version of this. I have found every other song I learned but this one. So If anyone has the artist that would be great!
    Please note that anonymous posting is no longer allowed at Mudcat. Use a consistent name [in the 'from' box] when you post, or your messages risk being deleted.
    Thanks.
    -Joe Offer-


13 Dec 07 - 11:58 PM (#2215011)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Life of a Voyager
From: GUEST

I learned it at Camp Fire Girls' camp in N. Minnesota...Camp Trelipe..


08 Sep 08 - 11:45 PM (#2434823)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Life of a Voyager
From: GUEST,Skipper

I learned this song at Chalk Hills Girl Scout Camp, Amberg WI about 1965. It was brought back to camp from Camp Widji (the St. Paul Y Camp)when our Canadian canoe trip used to go out of that camp. There were 4 verses at that time.


09 Sep 08 - 12:30 AM (#2434845)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Life of a Voyager
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

Google sites show no composer.


08 Oct 08 - 10:28 PM (#2460736)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Life of a Voyager
From: GUEST,JohnWhaley

Life of a Voyager was our theme song when a group from Oakton Community College in Illinois went canoeing in the BWCA in the early 1980s. I've lost touch with my friends from that trip but been looking for these lyrics now for years! Thanks. My wish is that one of you campers would try to compose the best attempt at all verses! It is such a great song.


11 Oct 08 - 11:10 AM (#2462968)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Life of a Voyager
From: GUEST,Ariel

yup i learned it at camp Manito-wish too! it was 1999 i believe!


11 Oct 08 - 04:37 PM (#2463201)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Life of a Voyageur/Voyager
From: Joe Offer

I don't know this song, but I take it that the post from Long John above is the definitive version. Any corrections to his lyrics, and any comments about his attribution of the song to a counselor at Camp Manito-Wish in Wisconsin?
Can anybody make up a MIDI for me for posting?
-Joe Offer-
joe@mudcat.org


10 Nov 08 - 06:51 PM (#2490316)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Life of a Voyageur/Voyager
From: GUEST

learned it at manito-wish! love this song and quetico!


10 Nov 08 - 10:22 PM (#2490439)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Life of a Voyageur/Voyager
From: Joe Offer

Is "Quetico" another song from Camp Manito-Wish?

-Joe Offer-
(who went to Robert S. Lyle Scout Reservation on the Wolf River, in the same area)


14 Dec 08 - 03:11 PM (#2515131)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Life of a Voyageur/Voyager
From: GUEST,Menogynite

I learned the song on my Nor'wester out of Menogyn in Minneapolis, MN, and we sang it thus:


Life of a voyageur
that of a sojourner
travels around and round
but not from town to town
travels the lakes and streams
follows his distant dreams
peace on the waterways
blue sky, no cloudy days

My heart has but one home
from which I'll never roam
land of true happiness
Canadian wilderness

Call of the lonely loon
coyotes howling at the moon
wind rustling through the trees
that's a Canadian breeze
smoke rising from the fire
up through the trees which in stately spires
reach towards the evening glow
sun goes down, no northwinds blow

My heart has but one home
from which I'll never roam
land of true happiness
Canadian wilderness

Mist rising from the falls
distant hooting of the owls
fire crackling through the night
bird's cry at dawn's first light
fall when leaves come tumbling down
winter's blanket covers ground
zephyrs blowing through the pines
voyageur's heritage, this is mine

My heart has but one home
from which I'll never roam
land of true happiness
Canadian wilderness

Life of a voyageur
that of a sojourner
clear as the mountain stream
key to my distant dream
some day I'll find it there
place where I'll lose all care
owls hoot and loons cry free
there I'll find my liberty

My heart has but one home
from which I'll never roam
land of true happiness
Canadian wilderness!


14 Dec 08 - 03:26 PM (#2515144)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Life of a Voyageur/Voyager
From: Desert Dancer

Joe, re: Quetico

There might be a song, but I assume the poster was referring to the place, which is canoeists' heaven.

~ Becky in Tucson
but spent a wonderful 5 days there with family as a child...


31 Dec 08 - 12:22 PM (#2528374)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Life of a Voyageur/Voyager
From: GUEST,M. Peters

Hello,
   My father and all three of his brothers went and learned this at Manitowish, and my uncle used to sing it to me all the time when I was young.

I'm wondering if anyone knows of any recorded version of it? Or maybe sheet music for the melody?

viola_man14@yahoo.com if you have anything

Thanks!


28 Feb 09 - 07:04 PM (#2578165)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Life of a Voyageur/Voyager
From: GUEST,Megan

I learned this song at Camp Kamaji on Wolf Lake in Minnesota in 1974 or 1975. I believe it was written by a Canadian about the professional voyageurs who worked for either the Hudson Bay Company or The North West Company, as traders - not by a woman at a summer camp. She may have brought it back with her from a trip up there, but I think it's been around for a lot longer.


21 Mar 09 - 10:20 AM (#2594012)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Life of a Voyageur/Voyager
From: GUEST,Guest, Kim

I learned this at Honeyrock Camp in WI and it was Wisconsin Wilderness. I just remember the 1st 2 verses and chorus.


15 Apr 09 - 08:57 PM (#2612088)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Life of a Voyageur/Voyager
From: GUEST,Cat

At Camp Farnsworth in Vermont (which I do believe is the same camp that Zephyr referred to back in 04), everyone can learn the first two verses of the song (life of a voyageur & cry of the lonely loon), however, you learn the other three verses, one at a time, as you move up the progession of the 'Voyageurs' camp program. At the all-camp closing campfire, the group then sings what they've learned to everyone else.


06 Oct 09 - 07:56 PM (#2740040)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Life of a Voyageur/Voyager
From: GUEST,Sandy

Life of a Voyager is sung on a 33 1/3 record called Sounds of Roundup, Idaho 1965 (Girl Scouts of the USA). There it says "This original song by Mrs. Mary Webster..."


19 Oct 09 - 02:55 PM (#2748124)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Life of a Voyageur/Voyager
From: GUEST

MarkL, Menogyn
I learned it in 1980 or '81 while working at Y Camp Menogyn on the Gunflint Trail NW of Grand Marais, Minnesota. The tune, chorus, and parts of 2 verses stuck with me ever since. I just Googled it recently (thanks Laura!) to learn it completely for an upcoming canoe trip in Algonquin Provincial Park, Ont. The others, all college students, enjoyed it.
Verses can be changed depending on what you experience. Wind from the the north? "..as north wind blows." Calm? ...no north wind blows."
Did you encounter one of those black and white striped cats? ;~) "The skunk's deep rich musky spray, keeping closest friends away..." If you experience something special out there, feel free to try to work it into the song.
One other thing. At Menogyn, after the verse and before the chorus we did four slowly spaced clunks of our paddles on the canoe gunwales(or hands on the table)


11 Jun 10 - 03:21 AM (#2925252)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Life of a Voyageur/Voyager
From: GUEST,Otookee

I learned it with an alternate chorus after the final verse (the other choruses were as above):

End of all loneliness
End of all weariness
Land of true happiness
Canadian wilderness!


24 Jun 10 - 06:53 PM (#2934280)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Life of a Voyageur/Voyager
From: GUEST,Manito-wisher freak

these all sound... right, but all of them sound a little different than i have sang it at camp manito-wish. i have been going there for four years now, and these all sound different but right at the same time. as much as it annoys me, i cannot remember for the life of me the actual lyrics by the lady who wrote it while on "trail"


27 Jun 10 - 09:53 PM (#2935770)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Life of a Voyageur/Voyager
From: GUEST

Alexis
I learned this song around 1964 at Camp Tepicon, a Girl Scout Camp, in Indiana. The camp counselors were sisters. "Sprite " had dark curly hair and "Star" had straight blonde hair.


14 Jul 10 - 11:55 PM (#2945303)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Life of a Voyageur/Voyager
From: GUEST,skeeter

who has the guitar chords for this song?....learned in the 60's while canoeing in the Boundary Waters with Girl Scouts~ now i want to play it on my baritone yukele. thanks,


30 Aug 10 - 07:31 PM (#2976323)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Life of a Voyageur/Voyager
From: GUEST,Paula C.

The life of a voyager, that of a sojourner,
Travels around and round, but not from town to town.
Travels the lakes and streams, follows his/her distant dreams.
Peace on the water ways, blue skies and no cloudy days.
My heart has but one home,
From which I'll never roam,
Land of true happiness, Canadian wilderness
The cry of the lonely loon,
Coyotes howling at the moon,
Wind rustling through the trees,
That's the Canadian breeze.
Smoke rising from the fire,
Up to the moon in stately spires,
Sun goes down in evening's glow,
Moon comes up and north wind blows.
The mist from the roaring falls,
Distant hooting of the owls
Fire crackling through the night
Fall, when the leaves come tumbling down,
Winter's blanket covers the ground
Zephyrs whispering through the pines
Voyageur's heritage, this is mine.


02 Sep 10 - 05:41 PM (#2978820)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Life of a Voyageur/Voyager
From: GUEST,kim

I learned the song at Camp Trelipe in N Minnesota in the mid 70's. This is what I have.


The life of a voyageur that of a sojourner,
traveling' around and round, but not from town to town.
Paddles the lakes and streams, follows his distant dreams
Peace on the water ways, blue sky or cloudy day.

My heart has but one home, from which I'll never roam
Land of true happiness, Canadian Wilderness.

The call of the lonely loon, coyotes howling at the moon.
Wind rustling through the trees, that's a Canadian breeze.
Smoke rising from the fire, up through the trees with a stately spire.
All is still in the evening glow. Sun goes down no north winds blow.

My heart has but one home, from which I'll never roam
Land of true happiness, Canadian Wilderness.

The life of a voyageur, that of a sojourner,
Avid but wearly, searching unendlessly.
Searching for peace of mind, while move the hands of time,
Moving uneasily, holding the secret key.

Key to his distant dreams, dreams that may often seem,
Hopeless and gone all wrong but he'll keep moving on.

The life of a voyageur, that of a sojourner,
Clear as a northern stream, key to his distant dreams
Some day he'll find it there, place where he can lose all care.
Loons cry, the wind blows free, he'll find his liberty.

End of all loneliness, end of all weariness, land of true happiness
Canadian Wilderness.


21 Oct 10 - 01:08 PM (#3012313)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Life of a Voyageur/Voyager
From: GUEST,Teresa

girl scout camp in lapeer Michigan one verse was printed in our camp songbook.


31 Jan 11 - 02:08 PM (#3086016)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Life of a Voyageur/Voyager
From: GUEST,Bruce Guthrie

I learned a close version of this song at Gunflint Wilderness Camp on the Gunflint Trail near the Boundary Water Canoe Area in Northern Minnesota in 1975.

I sing it to my young boys as a lullaby.

Here are some guitar chords I worked out that you could try:
Em
The life of a voyageur
D
that of a sojourner
C
travels around and 'round
B7    (Bm: x21202)
but not from town to town
Em
travels the lakes and streams
D
follows his distant dreams
C
peace on the waterways
Em         Em7 Em Em7 Em
blue skies and cloudy days

Bruce Guthrie
spdsk8@aol.com

There are a few versions on YouTube with guitar and simpler chords.


11 Jun 11 - 09:46 PM (#3169117)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Life of a Voyageur/Voyager
From: GUEST,Christine

I learned it at Camp Ko-Ha-Me in Kansas. We sang "Ko-ha-me wilderness" instead of Canadian wilderness. We were about as far from the loons as you can imagine, but we still sang about them. This was a Campfire Girls camp.


11 Jun 11 - 11:57 PM (#3169135)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Life of a Voyageur/Voyager
From: GUEST,mg

They are very interesting people..people think they were only in Canada but US certainly had them..up and down teh Mississippi and across in the west...there were many people from Orkney Islands..maybe more in Canada. In US lots of Iriquois Indians and of course French and Metis and Hawaiaans. Lots of Hawaiaans and Orkeney people contracted or were contracted by their king to Hudson's Bay..mg


04 Sep 11 - 09:25 PM (#3218279)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Life of a Voyageur/Voyager
From: GUEST,Loki-cf

Referring to zephyr '04 and cat in '09.
Yes camp farnsworth traditionally teaches everyone verses 1 and 2 with a trip progression from there. In recent years due to low numbers and interest such programs have been cut. I was among the first 'counselors in training' to be taught ( against custom) all 5 verses in an attempt to keep the song alive. We know slightly different lyrics but they all have the same meaning so what difference do a few words or even a verse mean. It's a song that means a great deal to me and I assume others and I'd be happy to hear any version because no matter the version at least it's being sung.


19 Jan 12 - 11:48 PM (#3293169)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Life of a Voyageur/Voyager
From: GUEST,Richard Flor

Hello,

I too learned this song during my days at Manito-wish...and sing it to my two young children when we're canoing, at bedtime, hoping that some day they too can experience Manito-wish, or even more, that we get to visit Quetico some day and I can show them some of my old haunts from days working there as an Outward Bound instructor, and the numerous personal trips I've taken.

The song has a mysterious melody and haunting rhythm, which curiously resonates with me--hair on the back of my neck is standing up right now as I right this while this memory comes back to me--of hearing the "singing wilderness" up on Montgomery Lake after we had hiked into a canyon to see some newly discovered petroglyphs of what were thought to be caribou or elk (definitely NOT deer or moose!).

Magical...though I know the song, intimately, does anyone know if the score has been written?

May the wind always be in your favor!

Richard Flor


26 Jul 12 - 02:31 PM (#3381840)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Life of a Voyageur/Voyager
From: GUEST,Laura

I learned this song back in the early 70's at Camp Norwesco (Girl scout camp) in New Auburn Wisconsin.

The first two versus are similiar to the way I learned them with one exception. In the second verse the last four lines go as follows:

Smoke rising from the fires
Up to the trees in stately spires
Breezes sigh in the evening glow
Sun goes down, the north wind blows.

I had never learned a 3 or 4th verse and I see that there are several versions posted here and elsewhere on the web.

I would love to be able to give credit to the correct author, but alas I still am unsure after reading these posts.


26 Jul 12 - 02:51 PM (#3381849)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Life of a Voyageur/Voyager
From: GUEST,mg

Read Washington's IRving's book..I think called Astoria..he gives some great descriptions.


27 Jul 12 - 11:35 AM (#3382261)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Life of a Voyageur/Voyager
From: voyager

Mudcatters -

So the counterpoint to this thread (from the film 'A Mighty WInd') -->

Never Did No Wanderin' (Lyrics - The Folksmen)

Never Did No Wanderin' (You Tube - New Main Street SIngers)

I'm tempted to pen a 'Mudcat Voyager's Ballad) based on 12+ years of membership and the origins of my 'handle'. Since 'Nomad' was taken when I first enrolled, I chose this name from our Plymouth mini-van

Cheers
voyager


27 Aug 12 - 11:38 AM (#3395926)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Life of a Voyageur/Voyager
From: GUEST,RJ Lewis

I also learned this song at summer camp on the BWCA in Minnesota in the early 70s. I don't remember the camp name but the cabins were all named for explorers in the area, and the nearest town was Orr, MN.


05 Dec 12 - 10:02 PM (#3447821)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Life of a Voyageur/Voyager
From: GUEST

I learned this song in about 1976 at a Campfire girls Camp in Iowa! I loved this song, I never learned the 3rd or 4th verse either, i had Campfire girls song book and I couldn't find it and decided to look on the web was surprised to see so many postings.

I used to sing this song to my son when he was little and he loved it and we got to talking about it thus leading to us looking it up!


31 Jul 14 - 12:12 AM (#3646813)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Life of a Voyageur/Voyager
From: GUEST,Guest

I realize this thread has been inactive for quite some time, but I just thought I would add! I was searching for the chords to this song, as I'm on a camping trip and forgot my songbook at home.. But for any of you searching for the chords, the Camp Manito-wish website sells a songbook which includes the sheet music and chords for this and a ton of other great songs.. I attended this camp when I was much younger and this is where I learned this song.


17 Apr 17 - 01:53 AM (#3850786)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Life of a Voyageur/Voyager
From: GUEST

Mary Satterfield wrote this song on 1959 on a trip into the Quetico. She came back to Manitowish with it & the rest is history. Credit for this beautiful, lyrical song belongs to her!!


23 Oct 17 - 01:59 AM (#3883959)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Life of a Voyageur/Voyager
From: GUEST,GUEST,LongJohn

Good to see that this thread has stayed alive all these years.

To Joe Offer from October '08: I have every reason to believe mine is the definitive, or at least original, version. I've been affiliated with Camp Manito-wish since 1972 - as a camper, counselor, and frequent volunteer. I have friends who know Mary Satterfield Swanson, and an Uncle who was a co-worker at the camp with her. Mary wrote the first two verses.

And no, 'Quetico' is not another Manito-wish song. I do, however, paddle past your camp on the Wolf most summers.

For M. Peters in December '08: I know of 4 recordings of the song. The camp sells a CD. Richard Blackhawk Kapusta does an a capella version on his CD - there is a short sample here. A camper posted a couple of videos on YouTube.

- John


23 Oct 17 - 02:29 AM (#3883960)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Life of a Voyageur/Voyager
From: GUEST,GUEST,LongJohn

Here's how I play the song. This differs somewhat from the songbook, but corresponds to the way is was played in the late '70's and in camp sing-alongs more recently.

THE LIFE OF A VOYAGEUR

[capo II]

Intro
Am A4    Am A4    Am A4    Am A4    [A4=X02200]
verse
[Am]The life [A4]of a [Am]voya[A4]geur
[G]That of a sojourner
[F]Traveling around and 'round
[E]But not from town to town
[Am]Pad[A4]dles the [Am]lakes and [A4]streams
[G]Follows his distant dreams
[F]Peace on the water ways
[E]Clear skies, no cloudy days

Chorus
[Am]My [A4]heart has [Am]but one [A4]home
[G]From which I'll never roam
[F]Land of true happiness
[Em]Canadian wilder[Am]ne[A4]ss Am A4    Am A4   

The call of the lonely loon
Coyotes howling at the moon
Wind rustling through the trees
That's the Canadian breeze
Smoke rising from the fire
Up through the leaves of the stately spires
Down to the hearth in an evening glow
Sun goes down no north winds blow

The still waters of the morn
Reflect one lonely soul
Paddling so silently
That none's disturbed by he
Untouched by human flesh
Water so pure and fresh
His life is rough but good
This is his chosen home

- John


23 Oct 17 - 02:54 AM (#3883961)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Life of a Voyageur/Voyager
From: Joe Offer

Thanks for stopping by again, John. It's fun when a thread like this goes on for almost twenty years.
I had never been north of Rhinelander (Wisconsin) until last fall (2016), when I made it all the way to Duluth-Superior. There sure is some pretty country in northern Wisconsin.
All the best to you.
-Joe Offer, now in Applegate, California-


24 Oct 17 - 02:33 AM (#3884191)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Life of a Voyageur/Voyager
From: GUEST,LongJohn

Played this song again the other evening for the first time in several years - made me think of this thread...

Hmmm, when this thread began my younger son was 11 months old. Last summer was his second as a counselor at Manito-wish. Plus, he's a way better guitar player than I'll ever be.    ;-)

I live about an hour and a half south of Rhinelander. Yes, lots of pretty country up in our north woods, but it's a much more subtle beauty than out your way.

- John


02 Jun 18 - 01:42 AM (#3928583)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Life of a Voyageur/Voyager
From: GUEST

I learned the first two versus of this song at Camp Sacajawea in central Iowa in 91-92 time frame. So cool to see how this song has traveled over the decades. Also cool to how old this thread is!


04 Jan 20 - 05:47 PM (#4026345)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Life of a Voyageur/Voyager
From: GUEST

I was a counselor at Camp Manito-wish in 1981 and 1962. Mary Satterfield was a counselor there then. She wrote that song, but we only sang two verses then.


15 Sep 20 - 08:52 PM (#4072013)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Life of a Voyageur/Voyager
From: GUEST,Coke (Colleen Pike Holbrook)

Oh golly. I have never heard of camp Manito-wish or any others back east, for I'm a Pacific Nortwest Scout. A rather old one now, but every summer camp songs sprout wings in my heart, and this one is an old favorite. The minor key songs seem to make the most impact, it seems. My camps were River Ranch (camper,1960s-staff in 1974 and 76) in Carnation; Lyle McLeod (camper 1960s) in Belfair, and Robbinswold (camper, early 1970s) in Lilliwaup, all in Washington State. Then Camp Whispering Winds 1975 in Philomath, Oregon, and Flying G Ranch in Deckers, Colorado in 1977. Canoeing and sailing were always part of camp and Life of a Voyageur was always on top of the list. Another one was Far I Long to Go Today. Also Once a Canadian Lad. And Bed is Too Small for my Tiredness....Oh now I'm going to have to break out Bethany Mara, my old 12 string guitar who was my camp comrade since I was 14 (that was OMG 49 years ago).....Thank you for the memories....