One of the best things for me about the Top 10 Sailing Songs project for me was discovering a lot of music and artists I have never heard. I am embarrassed to say I had never heard of Stan Rogers but this was my loss.
He has a passionate fan base. Here is just one of the comments from Gary Bruner in the original entries to the contest:
Oh man! I see no reference to the great Stan Rogers, a Canadian songwriter/singer far beyond most on this list. He was AMAZING before his untimely death in an air accident back in the eighties. I think I have ALL of his albums, including "Home in Halifax", recorded live.
Super songs include: White Squall, The Mary Ellen Carter, Barrett's Privateers, Make and Break Harbor, Fogarty's Cove, and The Bluenose, to name but a few.
Also, one should hear Eric Bogel's tribute to Rogers entitled "Safe in the Harbor", a song I've requested by played at my funeral.
Sadly Stan Rogers left us too soon. He died in 1983 from smoke inhalation on board an Air Canada jet that made an emergency landing in Cincinatti. Stan Rogers was 33.
You can find a good catalog on iTunes but it's hard to find Stan Rogers in stores and I waited a month for Amazon to find it. You can find out a lot more about his music and hear samples at his web site.
He has a wonderful Canadian folk voice and sings some of the best songs of the sea. Here is a snippet from the Mary Ellen Carter:
And you, to whom adversity has dealt the final blow
With smiling bastards lying to you everywhere you go
Turn to, and put out all your strength of arm and heart and brain
And like the Mary Ellen Carter, rise again.
Rise again, rise again - though your heart it be broken
Or life about to end.
No matter what you've lost, be it a home, a love, a friend,
Be like the Mary Ellen Carter, rise again.
The song saved the life of one fisherman on a sinking ship.
I could not find any video of Stan Rogers performing but here a rather campy tribute to Nova Scotia with Stan Rogers singing "Barrett's Privateers"