Singers and Songwriters
Newfoundlanders have always been topical in their songwriting, fashioning
lyrics to reflect their lives and their communities, celebrating heroes,
villains and characters and recording events from the epic to the comical.
But the best music of Newfoundland and Labrador does much more than simply
tell stories or recount history. The music is a reflection of the place and
its people, articulating hopes, dreams, myths and fears. It provides a window
on qualities considered central to the Newfoundland character: humour, irony,
ambivalence and endurance, to name a few.
||Musicians Performing, 1979.
Newfoundland musicians performing at the Newfoundland and Labrador
Folk Festival, Bannerman Park, St. John's, 1979.
Courtesy of the Centre for Newfoundland Studies
Archives (Coll - 154), Memorial University of Newfoundland Library, St.
"The songs are there behind every tree and every rock," said Harry Martin,
one of Labrador's most renowned composers. "It's just a matter of putting it on paper. It's not difficult to write a song about the big land."
In this tradition, the songwriters of the province are popularly seen as
the voices of Newfoundland and Labrador. The following are a few of the more
prominent among those voices.
© 2001, Jamie Fitzpatrick
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