The singer is in a place where he sees the world with the eyes of love. From the porch swing to the dusty road to the tightrope of life, it is love for her that inspires him—in all ways.
The shift whistle blows, footsteps beat time, another day begins in Company Town. This could be Anytown, Canada, remnants of a past based on logging, mining, fishing. Now the companies have head offices elsewhere and the locals are left to cope with downsizing. And the future? Like the man says “Where can I go from this Company Town?” Times are hard but this is his home, his port in a stormy world.
My Anchor My Island
After being away for much too long, the singer returns. He finds a song of praise for that most marvelous of earthly stopping places, Grand Manan Island. Of course, he hopes that this particular and poetic island becomes a metaphor of return for the listener’s own island of shelter and delight. The harbours vary, but the ocean is the same.
My Ship Came In
“Feeling like a sailor in a seacoast town, / Knowing that your luck will never let you down / Standing on the dock with quite a different point of view / My ship came in on the very same wind as you!”
Southern Head Rescue
A true story about Sydney Guptill and Vernon Bagley, of Grand Manan, being lowered down the Southern Head cliffs, in a blinding snowstorm, to save the life of a Maine fisherman. Vernon: “I’d been telling myself all the reasons why I couldn’t go down over that cliff. But then this idea hit me: Would you go down if it was your own brother? That’s when I talked out loud, I guess: “Yessir, I sure would!”
The Undertaker’s Ball
This song chronicles a birthday party for the long-time undertaker of Grand Manan, Johnny Graham. The highlight of the party is a ghostly visit from some very satisfied customers.
All of Them Boats
Here is the first day of lobster season at the Ingall’s Head wharf. When the horn goes at 8 o’clock, on the second Tuesday of November, dozens of boats, very loaded down, are all heading out past the breakwater to set their traps for the season. Children skip school, women bring lunches, every able-bodied person is there to lend a hand. I hear Wilma Ingalls call out “My, aren’t they handsome!”
Song of the Humpback Whale
Whales are the planet’s largest mammals. Needless to say, their brains are much larger than ours. The sounds they make are a kind of language, combinations of sounds which have meaning for them. We humans still
don’t know how this language works. Will we ever know? Can we be trusted with this knowledge? Out on the whale watching schooner we come face to face with the mystery of Leviathan. As we follow them, we journey into reverence.
Bound for Amerikay
In the 1770’s many settlers came to the New World from the British Isles as indentured workers. The poor of city and country would sign on for seven years, after which time they were free to work the land then granted them. This song recreates the true story of 38 men from the streets of Liverpool who found their way to Campobello Island in the Bay of Fundy. In the ancient tradition of tragedy, the drama unfolds at the end.
One last night, one last farewell. The sailor needs to leave this town; it has not been kind to him—but she has. What can he say that will make her want to come with him? Or has the moment past? No matter what, she’ll always be his guiding light.
The Fisherman’s Song
This song pays homage to the fishermen of Grand Manan Island, Bay of Fundy. Captain Paul Tate is a bear of a man full of stories and laughter and a voice that rings above the sound of wind, water and diesel engine. This song revisits a 3 day hand-lining trip to George’s Bank in a leaky Cape Islander. All around is sky and water, bobbing up and down. The “light from across the sea” beckons. The journey will soon be over, as we homeward go with the tide’s rush and roar.