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In 1978 I spent a couple of months touring as a solo musician in northern British Columbia. During a particularly interesting two weeks in Vanderhoof, a bar patron told me the story that inspired this song. The story was changed slightly to protect the privacy of the person, but I hope it captures the essence of life and death in the north in those days. This song was recorded in 1995 with Stone Whistle, and also appears on the Stone Whistle CD "Salamanders".

Players:  Rick Garvin - vocals, guitar

               Rob Castle - background vocals, added guitar

               Patty Castle - whistle, background vocals

               Mark Rowsome - bass

 

Round Round                  1978 Rick Garvin

 

1.  Once I was a young man, living by the coast

Fishing for my living, and living more than most

Now you see me begging, for a dollar or a drink

And you look at me and wonder how low a man can sink.

 

Chorus: Now it's round, round, the bottle pass my way

Maybe if we drink enough, we can drive the memories away.

 

2.  Once I was a proud man, living by the sea

On the north of Graham Island in the Charlottes of BC

To the canneries at Rupert with my cargo I would go

And trade my fish for silver and pick up food for home.

 

3.  My lady's name was Anna and she meant the world to me

I had a darling daughter whose name was Melody

They filled my days with loving till a man could want no more

But I lost them both to fire in 1964.

 

4.  It happened late in August when I was not at home

A tankard of marine gas exploded in the sun

Where Melody was playing, she turned and looked around

And caught her head a fragment and died without a sound.

 

5.  My Anna came a running from the house down to the pier

She saw her daughter lying with the flames drawing near

She ran to try and save her but the fire caught her hair

And when I returned at sunset, I found her dying there.

 

6.  So I come down to Vancouver and I ran my ship aground

And if I were less a coward I'd have stayed with her and drowned

Now you see me dying one bottle at a time

So drink to your misfortune and I will drink to mine.