I’m part of a seven-year national study looking at employment-related geographic mobility. I’ve been surprised how many of the songs on my ipod (yes, I still have an ipod…) hit on this theme. Here’s a selection of six songs.
All Hell For a Basement, Big Sugar: A song about an unemployed worker travelling to Alberta for work (possibly Medicine Hat)
Atlantic Blue, Ron Hynes: A moving song about the death of off=shore oil workers in the Ocean Ranger sinking in 1982.
Free in the Harbour, Stan Rogers: A song about the impact of employment-related emigration on the towns left behind in Atlantic Canada.
Four Strong Winds, Ian & Sylvia: An iconic song about immigration to Alberta from “out east” and how it severs relationships.
The Idiot, Stan Rogers: Another song about a migrant whose come to Alberta for economic security at significant personal cost.
Work Away, Classified: A contemporary song about fly-in fly-out workers across Canada and the impact it has on their families.
An interesting omission are Canadian songs about migrant workers from other countries--I'd be happy to have any suggestions in the comment box below.
-- Bob Barnetson