Canadiana Part III: John Dunsworth and Gord Downie, and Hugh MacLennan


I've had many previous posts on Canada and Canada-themed books and music and travels, including the time I interviewed Vince Ditrich of Spirit of the West on his favourite children's books!

I've also featured Canadiana parts I and II on my knitting blog, including Talli Roland/Leah Mercer's books.

Today's Canadiana features two sad items, the passing of actor John Dunsworth, who most recently played the character of Jim Lahey on Trailer Park Boys, and of Gord Downie, the lead singer of The Tragically Hip.

Here's a playlist featuring some of the funny bits from the first season of Trailer Park Boys:

(I didn't create this playlist; I hope it's a good one!)

Here's a playlist I created a while ago featuring a few songs by The Tragically Hip, in no particular order (subconsciously they may reflect the first recording I owned by them, which wasn't an official album but a mix on tape (yes, on cassette!) made for me by a friend):

Listening to the song Courage, which was written for Hugh MacLennan, makes me feel like rereading MacLennan. Each Man's Son is a beautiful book.

I just realised that I've never blogged about this book before. A huge omission. Here's the blurb from the Penguin site, which barely skims the surface of the emotion and deep understanding of character that resonates in this book:
"In Each Man's Son, his fourth novel, Hugh MacLennan returns to his native Cape Breton to present life in a small mining community.
Dr. Daniel Ainslie, who ministers to the rough miners, yearns for a son, which he can never have. He comes to love young Alan MacNeil, the son of Mollie MacNeil and her absent husband, Archie, who deserted his family several years before to seek his fortune as a professional fighter. Now Archie returns, bitter and defeated, to wreak tragedy on his community.
Originally published in 1951, Each Man's Son, a stunning account of the rationalistic Ainslie and the animalistic MacNeil, moves inexorably towards its harrowing conclusion."

The Simon and Garfunkel song The Boxer isn't related to this book, but its plaintive tone always reminds me of it.

Also, way down below, I have that list of "blog posts to come", and truck stops have been on it almost since the day I created this blog. Part of that was meant to highlight truck stop references in song lyrics. REM's Man in the Moon has one, and so does Locked in the Trunk of a Car by The Hip. They always evoke a sort of wanderlust/nostalgia in me.

ROW80 update: School! I've been doing some drafting on the sequel to The Charm of Time, but I've mostly been wrapped up in readings and essays for school. Five weeks to go before the end of the semester!

Who was the last Canadian author that you read or band that you listened to?
Are you as fascinated by truck stops as I am?


Seems like a lot of celebrities dying this year.
I listened to Rush just yesterday!
Beth Camp said…
Loved the Trailer Boys clip, though these guys are too young to die. Just too young. Put MacLennan's book on the TBR list. Sounds like a busy week, but persevere!
Hi Deniz - have to say no to either ... though I'm sure I've read some and probably seen a film or two - does The Boy in Blue film count ... I also wish I was more musical - but I enjoyed The Tragically Hip link ... and I've noted 'Each Man's Son' ... sounds somewhat tragic ... but I'm sure true to life ... as it's reminding me of someone ...

Truck stops - no ... but the words 'planned obsolescence' came up when I was working for a small organisation making an ad for Mercedes' trucks - cheers Hilary
I like mix tapes; I still have a few, even though I no longer have a tape player. I could probably access most of those songs online, but I have nostalgia for the days when I would record songs from my CDs or off the radio, which is why several of my tapes have songs that are cut off at the end because of the DJ interrupting or because of commercials. I've never actually been to a truck stop, but I think it would be interesting to read/write a story about truckers, especially since so much of their lives and jobs are solitary and it'd be interesting to read what goes on in their minds while they're on the road.
Nas said…
Hi Deniz, yes, we are losing so many. Thanks for this post.
S.P. Bowers said…
So sorry for the loss of two more celebreties.

I'll have to look into that book. I've never heard of it.

Misha Gericke said…
Sounds like a lovely book. My favorite Canadian book is Anne of Green Gables, and although it's not written by a Canadian Author, I loved the Temperance Brennan books set in Quebec. :-)
Deniz Bevan said…
Thanks for visiting, all!
I still have a box of all my old tapes. Someday I need to get one of those record/tape/CD/mp3 all in one stereo sets...

Popular posts from this blog

Contest to Celebrate My 900th Post!

New Goals for ROW80, and Open for Guest Posts!

Some Early Resolutions - Thank You Contest Still Ongoing