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Songs of the north country

I was thinking about Wade Hemsworth’s songs today. My friend Richard posted a tune on Facebook called The Cry of the Wild Goose (performed by Frankie Laine, no less), and the title immediately brought to mind Mr. Hemsworth’s haunting song, The Wild Goose. Of course after that I was done for. Wade Hemsworth songs have been going through my head all day, earworms all.

I think I was in my 20s before I even knew who Wade Hemsworth was, but I sure knew some of his songs. It seems I always knew The Blackfly Song as if it came with the Canadian DNA package. Do you remember the 1991 NFB short?

The same goes for The Log Driver’s Waltz. Again there was an NFB short, from 1979, performed so beautifully by Kate and Anna McGarrigle and the Mountain City Four. I could listen to this 100 times in a row and never tire of it.

Wade Hemsworth’s songs have a quality about them that makes them seem as if we’ve always had them. What a treasure.


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