Thomas Moore: “A Canadian Boat Song”Posted: March 17, 2014
Thomas Moore (Irish poet, singer, songwriter, born Dublin, 1779-1853)
”A Canadian Boat Song” (1804)
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Thomas Moore, who would later be renowned for poems and songs such as “The Minstrel Boy”, “The Last Rose of Summer” and “Believe Me, If All Those Endearing Young Charms”, visited Canada when he was 25 years old. He wrote “A Canadian Boat Song” during his time here in 1804.
*St. Anne’s: Moore visited this church – Ste-Anne-du-Bout-de-l’île–located in the town of Ste. Anne de Bellevue, on the tip of Montreal Island where the St. Lawrence River joins the Ottawa River.
*Utawa: an 18th/early 19th-century spelling of Ottawa
*“this green isle”: Montreal Island (L’île de Montréal )
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Zocalo Poets Editor’s Note:
My mother Eileen is a native of Belfast, Northern Ireland, though her family emigrated to Canada more than sixty years ago. Ma is in her eighties now, and she most definitely lives in the “here and now”. Yet she has powerful memories of those early years in the new country. She tells me: “I learned A Canadian Boat Song in the early 1950s, after coming to Canada. It was a camp song for the Eaton’s Girls’ Club up at Shadow Lake near Uxbridge. …I also have a memory from back in Ireland: the sound of a marching flute band going by. As children, we simply followed the band, and whistled and sang, as they marched along. They were playing “The Minstrel Boy” by Thomas Moore – and all of it on flutes!”
For more favourite poems of my mother, click on the following ZP link:
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