I came across this video from 1992 on the YouTube – with Wade Hemsworth and the McGarrigles, and Adrienne Clarkson, who went on to become Canada’s Governor General. I had seen Mr. Hemsworth perform either that year or maybe it was the year before, when Mariposa was in Barrie. I guess he only wrote a couple dozen songs but they’re all great songs, some of the finest songwriting this country has heard. I think as Canadians, The Blackfly Song and The Log Driver’s Waltz have become part of our DNA over time. I’ve watched this video many times of the years. In it, Wade and Kate and Anna sing part of The Shining Birch Tree – in my opinion his greatest song. “In the quiet of the evening when the camp settles down, and the night is cold, so very cold, and Old Rory Bory start shiftin’ around, shiftin’ around…..then you think of the warm lips and the laughter so free, in the land of the muskeg and the shinin’ birch tree, the shinin’ birch tree.”
Here’s Mr. Hemsworth’s original recording of The Shining Birch Tree. Maybe you’ll agree, it’s just perfect.