Voyageur Storytelling: Repertoire Current Year

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On this page

we tell you about

our Repertoire and Concerts

for 2012

Our 2012 Concerts

Note: where no author or composer is shown, the material is our own.


We are mounted four concerts in 2012. Two were new concerts — Roads Taken and Sounds Like a Circus — in our regular schedule of Country Supper Storytelling Concerts on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday evenings in season (mid-June to mid-September). We presented our Sabbath Balm concert (last year's version of our traditional Sabbath concert) for groups by special arrangement. And since we are planning some travelling in the off season, we have melded some old concerts into a new one called Paddle Song as our Travelling Concert. These are described in the above order on this page.

Roads Taken

Whether one travels with any of the vigorous spirits who soar through this concert, or simply in the spirit of a vacation on Bruce Peninsula, the journey is always a metaphor for life or some part thereof. Our concerts are collages, an art form that perhaps best matches their metaphorical duties: life is not only one journey, collage the essence, "Bon voyage!" the only wish that covers everything.


The Pilgrimage as Worship … Alden Nowlan

Storytelling Concert

Loomings (prologue; Paul) ... Herman Melville

Road to the Isles (song: Leslie) ... Traditional

Poem for the Astronauts (poem: Paul) ... Milton Acorn

Scoot! (story; Leslie)
Come Josephine in my Flying Machine
(song; duet) ... Fred Fischer & Alfred Byan
The Song My Paddle Sings
(poem: Leslie) ... E. Pauline Johnson-Tekahionwake

Salute the Route! (Song; Paul) ... music by Arthur Sullivan

Meditation in Morse (song; Leslie)


Roads Taken (personal stories; Paul, Leslie)

The Road Not Taken (poem; Paul) ... Robert Frost

Urge for Going (song: Leslie) ... Joni Mitchell

A Brush with Starvation ... (personal story; Paul)

Four Strong Winds (song: duet) ... Ian Tyson

Your Guide to Bruce Peninsula — another candidate for Bruce Peninsula's Official Song!

Cover Image: Swan Hills in Northern Alberta, taken by Paul when he travelled that country frequently, back in the 1970's and 80's.

Sounds Like a Circus

And speaking of metaphors, the circus is another good one, as are all environments where one may find clowns, fools, tricksters, fellow spectators and a world of wonder. This concert is designed as a reminder that the word "amuse" contains a Muse (actually more than one), and that "intrigue" has a double edge.


The crowd at the ball game … William Carlos Williams

Storytelling Concert

High Wire (story; Paul) ... E.L. Doctorow

Peanuts! Popcorn! (song: Leslie) ... Paddy Roberts

Carousel Tune (poem: duet) ... Tennessee Williams

Circus! (story: Leslie)
The Man on the Flying Trapeze (song; duet) ... Gaston Lyle & George Leybourne

Manzini: Escape Artist (poem: Leslie) ... Gwendolyn MacEwan

The Kallyope Yell (poem; Paul) ... Vachel Lindsay
Goliard Galliard
(song; duet) ... from Carl Orff


Stages in Lives ... (personal stories: Paul, Leslie)

Of the Clients of Barnum (poem; Paul) ... A.M. Klein
The Circle Game (song; duet) ... Joni Mitchell

The Substitute (personal story: Paul)

Strike the Tents (song; duet) ... tune by Henry Clay Work

Your Guide to Bruce Peninsula

Cover Image: "Sounds Assembling" by Canadian (Manitoba; Toronto) artist-author-poet Bertram Brooker (1888-1955),

from the collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Brooker was a pioneer in Canadian abstract art, and a man of many talents.

Sabbath Balm

This concert is by far our most enduring, and shows no signs of wearing out. We reshape from time to time, and occasionally replace parts, as we have this year, but always in the same spirit.

Invocation: Sabbath Blessings and Songs

Storytelling Concert

Shalom Aleichem — Israel Goldfarb & Gil Aldema

Elijah the Guest — Hasidic tale

Nigun Talmudei Besht — Ben Steinberg

Bull's Eye — traditional tale

Tshiribiri — Yiddish nigun

The Dying Rabbi — story of unknown origin

Dona, Dona, Dona — Aaron Zeitlin & Shalom Secunda


The Rabbi Laughed Thrice — tale of the Baal Shem Tov

Cuando el Rey Nimrod — traditional Ladino song

Coat Tale — traditional story

The Age-Old Question — Yiddish song

Three Poems — A.M. Klein

Eli, Eli — Hannah Senesh & David Zahavi

Cover Image: "Angel Leading Elijah" by Marc Chagall (1887-1985)

Paddle Song

Our Travelling Concert for 2012 blends some from previous years such as Wet and Wildness (2002-2003), Water Flows (2004), Flowing Moz-Art (2006), Chordelle (2008), and Canadian Riverscape (2010)

Storytelling Concert

Canadian Boat Song — traditional song adapted by Thomas Moore

How To Talk Bear — on canoe trips you may encounter wildlife, with sometimes surprising results

The River of Life — not all good river songs came from the voyageurs

The Song My Paddle Sings — heard first hand and written down by E. Pauline Johnston Tekahionwake

Low Tide on Grand Pré — ah, those memories of courting in a canoe! — music by Franz Schubert helps

Charlotte Small: Woman of the Paddle Song — the wonderful tale of David Thompson's wife and survival mentor

Ti-Bleu and the Chasse-galerie — when the wily trickster-voyageur meets the devil, who will prove the wilier?

V'là l'Bon Vent — traditional song


Voyageur Song — the True Story of the voyageurs, with accompanying songs illuminating their Way of Life

The River Song of Maria Simpson — a classic tale of love and tragedy on the Great Canadian Canoe Route

A Voyageur's Guide to Talking Canoes — it is not known whether voyageurs talked to their canoes; some poets know that canoes may talk back

Midsummer Voyageur — a love story, up to a point

The Voyageur — by Phillip Child

Chickadee Perdriole — a new, nonetheless rousing take on an old song

Cover Image: Chasse-galerie (1929) by Franz Johnston, a member of the original Group of Seven.

Links to Concerts from Other Years

(This page is 2012. If that's the year you want, you're already there.)

Voyageur Storytelling, December 2012

All contents of this site copyright © Voyageur Storytelling 2006-2012 unless otherwise noted.