Down the Rabbit Hole – From Portlandia to the Northwest Passage

by Lindy

I went down another virtual rabbit hole this week. This is how it went.

I was working in my home office doing tasks on one monitor while watching Netlix on the other monitor, as usual. Yes, two monitors are better than one! I selected Portlandia to watch as it prompted me that there were new episodes. Instead of recognizing which episode I’d watched last, it played episode one. I loved it! It reminded me again how funny and clever the comedy was – I was hooked immediately again by the intro song, “The Dream of the 90s is Alive in Portland.”

“Portland is a city where young people go to retire!”

“In Portland you can just put a bird on something and call it art!”

Then I saw in the song credits that it was from an album called ‘Songs of the Northwest’. So after watching several episodes of Portlandia, I went to YouTube to search for more Songs of the Northwest. Imagine my glee when I stumbled on some awesome historical videos on the development of the Pacific Northwest with all the lumberjack footage!

Then I saw a song recommendation pop up: Stan Rogers’ Northwest Passage; I had a sneaking suspicion that that was the musician I was trying to remember from when I first listened to it in the 90s!! I had purchased an old cassette tape at a garage sale in Bellingham and went through a phase of listening to this awesome Canadian folk music; although friends may have found it a little odd when Sir Mix A Lot’s Baby Got Back was also one of my faves of the time. But to find it on YouTube with actual video of the song and learn a little bit more about the history was awesome!

I stayed up a little longer than I should have that night! The Canadians are very proud of this song apparently and think it should replace the existing Canadian Anthem; no joke. I tend to agree – it’s hard not to be moved by the lyrics and the music. It makes you honor those adventurous explorers who risked it all to journey into the unknown. I like how the video poster said, “This video is dedicated to all who have journeyed north and west (and south and east) ‘to find there but the road back home again'”.

I love these final lyrics:

How then am I so different from the first men through this way?
Like them, I left a settled life, I threw it all away.
To seek a Northwest Passage at the call of many men
To find there but the road back home again.

The rabbit hole didn’t end there; I ended up watching videos on ‘Occupy Cascadia’ – the Northwest Region of British Columbia, Washington and Oregon. I found that very interesting, but I’ll save that for another day. There is more for me to explore in that regard.

    


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