No video online; lyrics available here

This is an unusual song for Tanglefoot; most of their material is drawn from Canadian history. In fact, I recall hearing a tale–though I don’t know how true it is–that the band was formed by a bunch of history teachers looking for a way of making the material a little bit more real to their students. I got to know their music when I was doing work on the Vimy memorial, and Collar dragged up this song that a band from near where he grew up had written:

And that’s the Vimy memorial they’re standing in front of. Fascinating site. Remind me to talk your ear off about it sometime. Or not.

In keeping with my commitment to keep seriously depressing music off this mix (uh… couldn’t you tell?), I sent you the song about people drowning instead.

OK, I really sent it because, minus the part about people drowning, it reminds me of the time we spent living with my mother’s parents just outside of Boston when I was very, very young, and the times we would visit them while we lived in Manitoba. My mother and my grandmother are both ocean people; they would pack us into the car and drive to Cape Cod at the slightest provocation–or no provocation at all. I grew up inland–Winnipeg, and then Atlanta–but I was always very conscious of being inland, away from sand and waves and seagulls and fresh seafood. Inland was the exception, the not quite natural state of being.
I’m not a beach bum–I don’t like heat, I burn way too easily, and sand itches–but water soothes me. Some of the most difficult portions of both my MA and PhD, as well as some of the most profitable work I did during my year-long stint as a freelance artist were done on the balcony of a condo on the Gulf coast. I’m lucky, now, to live somewhere I can get to the coast by train in less time than it used to take me to drive to work. I should take advantage of that more often than I do, but generally, unlike the couple in the song, I don’t feel a pressing need to be as close to the ocean as possible; I just like to know it’s there.