parlando playlist #39: stringband - the maple leaf dog [1978]

Posted on October 21st, 2013 by Scraps.
Categories: Music, Parlando Playlist.

Very obscure in the United States, though less so in Canada, I only know Stringband through science fiction fandom. I familiarized myself with three of their albums through other people's collections (mostly Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden), but I never acquired any of them. Finally Stringband had a two-CD collection, with 46 tracks; that mostly satisfied me.

Today Gavin had a piece up on Rule Forty Two dealing with Canadianness, and I thought of Stringband. Though they're not always funny -- they are poignant and sometimes sweet too -- but when they are funny, they are also very Canadian. I had to have some political jokes in their songs explained to me; but not the central reference of "The Maple Leaf Dog" involving several Prime Ministers.
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current parlando playlist

6 comments.

Scraps

Comment on October 21st, 2013.

Wikipedia on Joe Clark:

He came to power in the 1979 election, defeating the Liberal government of Pierre Trudeau (making him the only person to ever defeat Trudeau in a Federal election) and ending sixteen continuous years of Liberal rule. [. . .] His tenure was brief as he only won a minority government, and it was defeated on a motion of non-confidence. Clark subsequently lost the 1980 election[.]
[. . .]
Clark's government would last a total of nine months less a day, as it was defeated in the 1980 election. [. . .] Trudeau's Liberals swept his party back into power in the February 1980 election with 146 seats, against 103 for the Progressive Conservatives.

Scraps

Comment on October 21st, 2013.

Wikipedia on William Lyon Mackenzie King's (he's the voice at the end reminiscing about his dog) diary, made public after his death:

Privately, he was highly eccentric, with his preference for communing with spirits, including those of Leonardo da Vinci, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, his dead mother, and several of his Irish Terrier dogs, all named Pat except for one named Bob. He also claimed to commune with the spirit of the late President Roosevelt. He sought personal reassurance from the spirit world, rather than seeking political advice. Indeed, after his death, one of his mediums said that she had not realized that he was a politician. King asked whether his party would win the 1935 election, one of the few times politics came up during his seances. His occult interests were kept secret during his years in office, and only became publicized later. Historians have seen in his occult activities a penchant for forging unities from antitheses, thus having latent political import. In 1953, Time stated that he owned—and used—both an Ouija board and a crystal ball.

Scraps

Comment on October 21st, 2013.

I just discovered (reading about King) Canadian diplomat H.H. Wrong.

Gavin

Comment on October 21st, 2013.

More Canadian content:

The fifty greatest Canadian inventions, as determined by a CBC poll

Gavin

Comment on October 30th, 2013.

That's goofy to the point of being filky, I thought, and then went back and read your intro--did they actually emerge from filk? Anyway, I was charmed by it. It's for the best that silliness isn't the only arrow in their quiver, though--I could see that getting tiresome quickly.

Scraps

Comment on October 30th, 2013.

No, not filk; they were admired in Canadian folk circles. But in fandom, it's true that there's a much bigger folk strain in music tastes -- at least there was thirty years ago -- and especially in Seattle.

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