The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Great Canadians of the 20th Century #14

Stan Rogers


Brent McKee said...

So many great songs that have entered the Canadian song book - so many more that could have been.

swac said...

I find it nigh impossible that he was only 33 when he died. I mean, the guy looked like he possessed the wisdom of the ages and sang like a crochety old sailor in his late '50s. Being an East Coast-er, I find Rogers' stuff comes as close to the heart of Canadiana as his contemporaries who fared better with listeners south of the border, and songs like 45 Years From Now and Field Behind the Plow are as fine a folk tune as anybody has ever written.

Never got to see Stan while he lived, although an ex-roomie of mine got to hear him and his dad argue about politics and religion into the wee hours in their family's kitchen over a bottle of uisce beatha. At least I've gotten to know his brother Garnet over the years, a fine songwriter and guitarist in his own right.