ESL Video Quiz: syoneda: Stan Rogers: Northwest Passage

Quiz by: Sharon Michiko Yoneda
Quiz #: 20769
(ESL Category: listening) Stan Rogers follows the route of Canada's explorers to the West
3569




Northwest Passage

chorus: 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.

chorus: 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.

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.

chorus: 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.

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.

chorus: 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.

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.

chorus: 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.



songwriter: Stan Rogers

performed by: 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.

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