Monday, August 17, 2015

Song for Canada (One Single River)

Why two Canadas?
We're much better off as one.
Isn't that enough?

I'm not Canadian, but plenty of people ask me if I am. I'm a fake Canadian, I guess. That said, I find "Song for Canada (One Single River)" to be quite affecting. I'm assuming that the literal river in question is the St. Lawrence as well as the gulf that separates Quebec from the Maritime and Atlantic provinces, but in a more profound sense, it's about the gulf between Quebec and the rest of Canada. I think it is, anyway. The song, written by Ian Tyson of Ian & Sylvia along with Peter Gzowski, sounds like an appeal to Quebec to remain part of the rest of Canada at a time when the separatist movement in the French language-majority was at its height. Bob Dylan and the Canadian members of the Band recorded it during the Basement Tapes sessions of 1967.

How come we can't talk to each other any more?
Why can't you see I'm changing too?
We've got by far too long to end it feeling wrong
And I still share too much with you
Just one great river always flowing to the sea
One single river rolling in eternity
Two nations in this land that lies along its shore
But just one river rolling free.
How come you shut me out as if I wasn't there
What's this new bitterness you've found?
However wronged you were, however strong it hurt
It wasn't me who held you down.
One single river always flowing to the sea
One single river rolling in eternity
Two nations in this land that lies along its shore
But just one river rolling free.
Why can't you understand I'm glad you're standing proud
I know you made it on your own
But in this new pride you've earned, I thought you might have learned
That you don't have to stand alone
Lonely northern river always flowing to the sea
One single river rolling in eternity
Two nations in this land that lies along its shore
But just one river rolling free.




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