Voyageur

© 2018 by Scott Perry
Out of wood, carved with care
Distant pieces gathered, with stories to share
Made to sing – built to play;
Everything fit perfectly in place

Voyageur is like a musical experience of history
Ships and doors and sticks from
Henderson and Gretzky, even Rocket’s ring
And so many more…

One guitar, a nation’s pride,
Mirrors who we are, this mosaic of life
The Golden Spruce of Haida Gwaii
Felled to earth but still her spirit soars so high…

Voyageur is like a musical experience of history
Ships and doors and sticks from
Henderson and Gretzky, even Rocket’s ring
And so many more…

Telling the story of a whole country
Little by little, the pieces add up to
One people’s voice

Voyageur is like a musical experience of history
Ships and doors and sticks from
Henderson and Gretzky, even Rocket’s ring
And so many more…

One Christmas, my father was given a copy of the book “Six String Nation” about an amazing project cooked up by Jowi Taylor (then with the CBC). While Quebec was voting on whether to separate and much of Canada was rallying to show support for La Belle Province, he had the idea to build a guitar from scratch out of a wide array of historic objects from across Canada, as a way to highlight the unity of this vast and disparate country. I read the whole book that day and absolutely fell in love with the concept and the guitar itself (a gorgeous instrument, not at all thrown-together, and which by all reports also sounds amazing). By Christmas dinner, I had written this song, on my dad’s old Yamaha, dreaming of touching the transcendent national guitar, nicknamed “Voyageur.” The crucial top piece is from Haida Gwaii’s legendary Golden Spruce, the only chunk of wood allowed (at the time) to be cut out of the fallen tree still considered sacred by the Haida. The song, like the guitar, like the whole concept of our multicultural country, is a “mosaic of life” and “mirrors who we are.” Jowi loved the song when I sent it to him, but pointed out that the line “Trudeau’s oar…” was inaccurate, as canoes have paddles, not oars. I knew that, but was hoping to retain the awesome cadence of that line (and one of the more famous items on the guitar); but he was right, so I changed it to “Ships and doors and sticks from Henderson and Gretzky…”