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Doug Gifford - Music

"O Gananoque"

Doug Gifford - Music

Long ago I was a sailing and canoeing instructor and group leader at the Ontario Camp Leadership Centre at Bark Lake, an Ontario Government institution where beginning camp counsellors went to learn how to teach camp skills like canoeing, swimming, tripping, orienteering, sailing etc. Bark Lake, of course, had a camp anthem: 'O Bark Lake. The leaders would always introduce it with the phrase "to the tune of "The Ash Grove" knowing full well that no-one had any idea of what the tune to "The Ash Grove' was. It was just something we did and it always amused us.

In 2009 I was inspired to create a town anthem for Gananoque for a musical play I was writing. The first verse, to the tune of "The Ash Grove, is a parody of 'O Bark Lake. The story of the song was that a couple had written it together while at tea, each contributing alternate lines. Some years later I was reading about Gananoque's town tree, the pitch pine, and learned its latin name, which inspired the second verse.

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