Friday Zen – “The Log Driver’s Waltz”

Log Driver's Waltz title screen. NFB short animated film. Song by Kate and Anna McGarrigle.

Over the years, there have been a ton of great animated shorts from the NFB, Canada’s National Film Board. Growing up in Canada, the songs from some of these shorts have become embedded in our brains, and few more so than the lovely, lyrical “Log Driver’s Waltz”.

It will always be one of my favorites, for its whimsy and its almost entirely Canadian style of story telling. Based on a song by Canadian Folksong writer Wade Hemsworth, it is sung by Kate and Anna McGarrigle.

Kate McGarrigle & Lhasa De Sela

Kate McGarrigle, one half of the Canadian folk/alt duo The McGarrigle Sisters, has passed away from cancer on January 18th, 2010. Kate and her sister Anna were iconoclasts, singing, writing and performing in a way uniquely their own.

Kate passed her musical gifts on to her son and daughter, Rufus and Martha Wainwright.

Kate McGarrigle’s death comes on the heels of the death of another fabulous Canadian singer/songwriter, Lhasa De Sela.

Lhasa De Sela was also from Quebec, but was born in upstate New York. Of Mexican American descent, she performed in Spanish, French and English. Seeing her in concert was an utterly mesmerizing experience, and I regarded her as one of the best singer song writers performing today. I’ve added one of her videos, after the cut.

Here’s Kate on stage at Radio Music Hall, performing “Talk to Me of Mendocino”, with Rufus and Martha performing back up vocals.

Lhasa De Sela performing Leonard Cohen’s “Who By Fire”, after the cut.

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