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Various Artists - Canoesongs Volume 1

Canoesongs Volume 1

Various Artists


Portage Productions
31 Burnview Cr.
Toronto, ON, Canada M1H 1B4
(416) 289-2777

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
By David Schultz

If you're the type of paddler who needs your iPod loaded with inspirational paddling music, Canoesongs Volume 1 is required listening for your music collection. Best-selling outdoor author James Raffan and award-winning record producer Paul Mills team together to compile Canadian singer-songwriters and folk artists who have written songs about canoes and canoeing. All but two of these thirteen songs have been previously released on the artists' own albums, but have been compiled together for the first time here. Sales of this CD help support the Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough, Ontario (

Many songs on this collection express the serenity that we paddlers experience when canoeing across a still mountain lake in the Canadian Rockies on a warm fall afternoon. Bruce Cockburn contributes Let Us Go Laughing, his dreamy ballad from his second album 1971's High Winds White Sky. The Path of the Paddle by Myrna McBrien and David Archibald provides a metaphor for life when solo paddling in a tandem canoe. Blue Canoe Lullaby was inspired by Jeff Hale paddling out of Algonquin Park late at night with seven-year-old son asleep in the bow of the canoe.

Not all the songs are peaceful paddling songs. James Gordon's That Old Cedar Strip is the anthem for any ex-adventurer who has settled down in suburbia with no time to paddle anymore. Tanglefoot's La v'la m'amie is a traditional Voyageur song sung by the fur traders. The song had a beat to keep the paddlers in rhythm. Children's performer Fred Penner creates a sing-along round from Land of the Silver Birch" and My Paddle's Keen and Bright, two of the best-loved campfire songs about paddling.

Like the canoe, which teaches us cooperation and independence, this album is a wonderful collection of paddling songs for your outdoor experience, for the car on the drive home, or for a quiet night at home wishing you were on the river. As Shelley Posen asks "So, asked if you want a Sea-Doo, say thanks but I'd rather canoe."

Track List:

  • Canoe Song-Connie Kaldor
  • La V'La M'Amie - Tanglefoot
  • River Mend My Heart - Nancy White
  • Land Of The Silver Birch/ My Paddle's Keen & Bright - Fred Penner
  • That Old Cedar Strip - James Gordon
  • The Path Of The Paddle - Myma McBrien & David Archibald
  • Let Us Go Laughing - Bruce Cockburn
  • Blue Canoe Lullaby - Jeff Hale
  • When I First Stepped In A Canoe - Shelley Posen
  • Canoe Song At Twilight - Eileen McGann
  • Campfire Light - Ian Tamblyn
  • Woodsmoke & Oranges - Three Sheets To The Wind
  • The Song My Paddle Sings - Tamarack

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2005, Peterborough Folk Music Society and David Schultz.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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