Andrew Lambdin-Abraham (kd5mdk) wrote,
Andrew Lambdin-Abraham

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Stan Rogers Songs

I was doing a lot of yardwork at my parents' house today, and I listened to my iPod during it. When it comes to tasks like this (including mowing, thanks to the electric lawnmower we use), an iPod is a wonderful thing, as you can really listen to the music without distraction. Running the headphone wire inside your shirt helps, though.

Anyway, first I listened through my Steeleye Span collection (absent King Henry, which I can't stand anymore, after listening to it closely once. Hazard of English Folk lyrics, I suppose. Skipped "Underneath her Apron" and "Royal Forrester" too). After that, because my Fairport Convention collection on the iPod is terrible, I move on to Stan Rogers. After listening to some of that (didn't get all the way through it), it struck me that, at least to me, a lot of Stan's songs can be pretty sad. Now, they all aren't, but White Squall is terribly depressing, and as I listen to it, Flying is pretty tragic too. So I figured I'd run a tiny meme:

What are the 3 Stan Rogers songs you find happiest, and the 3 you find saddest. Explanations welcome.


1) White Squall - absolutely. Young, needless death, "widowed" sweetheat, etc, it just tears me up.

2) Make and Break Harbor - The sounds of rural decay and a vanishing lifestyle, the boats that will never be replaced and the children who will never return.

3) Flying - It's upbeat enough to take 3rd, but the image of so many chasing their dreams of success and never making it, or making it for a few years before "selling on commission", well, it feels tragic to me.

Extra notes: "Northwest Passage" grabs me when it mentions the "hand of Franklin" and I think about the book and other stuff I've read about that tragic journey.

Barrett's Privateers ought to be sad, with a 21 yr old cripple and all that, but it's just a little to much fun to sing to do that. Is it Cheri-ose, perhaps?

Woodbridge Dog Disaster is also tragic, but is too comical to evoke the sadness the topic deserves.


1) Acadian Saturday Night - Just a nice country party with dancing, pretty girl and smuggled Trindidad Light. Toss in a fiddle and it's a load of fun.

2) Mary Ellen Carter - the ever so happy song of a ship sinking. Really now, it's just too uplifting at the end for you to come out of it anything but up.

3) The Nancy - I'm just looking at my track list here trying to think of something, an it's the best I can do, as at least the beat keeps you going.

What do y'all think?

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