Friday, December 3, 2010

"Your Rocky Spine" - Great Lake Swimmers

I'm not really interested in sports, and I am definitely not an athlete by any means. I do love swimming though. I'd swim anywhere; ocean, river, pool, but I especially like lakes. Having grown up in North Western Ontario I was surrounded by them. My hometown was situated around Lake Nipigon, the largest lake that lies entirely within the province of Ontario, and feeds into Lake Superior - the largest of the five Great Lakes. A fun little fact for those of you that may not know, but Lake Superior is actually the largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area. I'll tell you another thing that I know from experience, not from a textbook. Lake Superior, even in the dead heat of summer, is always effing FREEZING! After a good twenty minutes in the drink you'll be jumping out to warm up.


I grew up swimming in Lake Nipigon and Lake Superior, so I’ve acclimated. I'll jump into any lake now without so much as a shiver. I guess what I like most about swimming is the weightlessness. The feeling of just floating. I never feel so small as when i'm treading water and can only see water in any direction I look. I'll admit one of my favorite things to do in summer is skinny dip. Not necessarily in a sexy misbehaving way. I just like getting naked and jumping in the lake. My cousins and I take our jet-ski out mid-day in the summer and do it. No harm no foul. Our parents however, do not think it's funny when we switch our bikini's before arriving back at the beach.


Well, chalk one up for the neighbor again. This is a song recommended by him, I feel almost like he should be getting royalties.. that is, if I made any money off this blog. I suggested he write a guest blog for me (probably one of the only people I’d trust to do so). He said he would want to write about something interesting like himself.... so in short, he will not be writing on my blog anytime soon. But I certainly appreciate his recommendations as I've been a bit stumped on what to blog about lately. If you have any suggestions feel free to message me with your songs!


Great Lake Swimmers is a fairly new band, debuting their first album, "Ongaira" in 2007. Clearly good ol' Canadian boys,"Ongaira" is actually the original name for the infamous Niagara Falls. Their songs definetly have a "folk" feel to them. If describing their music in one word, I would say "haunting". Tony Dekker's vocals sound positively ghostly in some of his songs, particularly this one. After analyzing the lyrics to "Your Rocky Spine", it finally hit me. At first glance I assumed it to be a love song, written about someone. I was right in the sense that it's a love song, but it's not about someONE, it's sometTHING. In my opinion Dekker has written this song about Canada, maybe even more specifically Ontario.

Dekker does a brilliant job of personifying the environment in which Canada is famous for. "I was lost in the lakes", "The mountains said I could find you here/they whisper the snow and the leaves in my ear",”I was moving across your frozen veneer". Lakes, Snow, Trees, Cold, yup that's Canada if you ask me.




I was lost in the lakes

And the shapes that your body makes
That your body makes, that your body makes
That your body makes

The mountains said I could find you here
They whispered the snow and the leaves in my ear
I traced my finger along your trails
Your body was the map, I was lost in it

Floating over your rocky spine
The glaciers made you, and now you’re mine
Floating over your rocky spine
The glaciers made you, and now you’re mine


I was moving across your frozen veneer
The sky was dark but you were clear
Could you feel my footsteps
And would you shatter, would you shatter, would you


And with your soft fingers between my claws
Like purity against resolve
I could tell, then and there, that we were formed from the clay
And came from the rocks for the earth to display


They told me to be careful up there
Where the wind blows a venomous rage through your hair
They told me to be careful up there
Where the wind rages through your hair

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