1. The Old Canoe

From the recording The Waters That Bind

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The words in this song are actually from a poem written by George Marsh in 1905. If you listen/read closely, you'll see that they are from the perspective of a tired old canoe, left to rot on a remote shoreline. Around the forests in Lake country, this is a common site. The words tell the tale from the perspective of one such canoe who has seen much adventure in its life, and a lot of Canadian history.

Adam Ruzzo - Vocals, Guitars, Bouzouki
Tom Fitzgerald - Fiddle
Max Senitt - Drums
Lyrics - George Marsh (1905)
Music - Arranged by David Bain and Adam Ruzzo


My seams gape wide, so I'm tossed aside
To rot on a lonely shore
While the leaves and mould like a shroud enfold, For the last of my trails are o'er;
But I float in dreams on Northland streams
That never again I'll see,
As I lie on the marge of the old portage
With grief for company.

When the sunset gilds the timbered hills That guard Timagami,
And the moonbeams play on far James Bay By the brink of the frozen sea,
In phantom guise my spirit flies
As the dream-blades dip and swing
Where the waters flow from the Long Ago In the spell of the beck'ning spring.

Do the cow-moose call on the Montreal
When the first frost bites the air,
And the mists unfold from the red and gold
That the autumn ridges wear?
When the white falls roar as they did of yore
On the Lady Evelyn,
Do the square-tail leap from the black pools deep Where the pictured rocks begin?

Oh! the fur-fleets sing on Timiskaming
As the ashen paddles bend,
And the crews carouse at Rupert House
At the sullen winter's end;
But my days are done where the lean wolves run
And I ripple no more the path
Where the gray geese race 'cross the red moon's face From the white wind's Arctic wrath.

Tho' the death-fraught way from the Saguenay To the storied Nipigon
Once knew me well, now a crumbling shell

I watch the years roll on,
While in memory's haze I live the days That forever are gone from me,
As I lie on the marge of the old portage With grief for company