Doctor, I Smell Burnt Toast!

 Who else remembers Canadian Heritage minutes? And the shorts between movies on the movie and on public television?

I was listening to music this morning and a song came on that sent me all the way back to childhood. Who else loves "The Log Driver's Waltz"? I have memories of watching tv after school and waiting for something to end just so I could see the shirt cartoon. 

I loved how it started with archival footage and then when to the simply drawn cartoon. At any given moment, even now, I can sing this song. From beginning to end (with a few mumbled lyrics in the middle if I forget a few words), I think almost all Canadians my age can do the same thing.

Then there are the Canadian Heritage minutes. There is a large swath of us that still makes jokes about the smell of burnt toast. Beyond the camp of teaching history through one-minute vignettes, they were shockingly effective. Through them, I learned about Jennie Trout, how the Winnie the Pooh got his name, and that Laura Secord was about more than chocolate and ice cream. 

There are dozens of spots, all so well produced and packed with easily digestible tidbits. I blame these for my knowledge and love of anecdotal information. The best part is that you can still find them online. And every now and again yet more are produced. 

Want to know more about the Halifax Explosion? Want to know how a Canadian invented basketball? Perhaps you're curious about how our country got its name? 

It's all there! 

Some of you may be reading this and literally have no idea what I am on about today. I promise these are not fever dreams brought on by lack of sleep. The first time I talked about Log Driver's Waltz with my husband, he was half certain that I was making it up. He didn't grow up here. Imagine his confusion when I mentioned it to some friends and they sang the song without a prompt.

If you have some time today, or over the next couple of days, Google Canadian Heritage Minutes. If you're like me, it will take you down a rabbit hole of familiar joy, and you might learn a little, too. 

Music Corner

So, obviously, I am going to talk about Log Driver's Waltz. This version is by Kate and Anna McGarrigle, and also the original. The above is by a band called Captain Tractor. 

In learning about the song, it turns out the short came out the same year I did, maybe that is another reason I love it so much. Written by Canadian folk singer Wade Hemsworth, the short is the most popular of all Canadian vignette series released by the National Film Board. Hemsworth also wrote the Black Fly song, which also became a short that was later released by the board.

Shopping Corner

Log Driver's Waltz - THE BOOK!

Canadian History for Dummies
CBC Toque


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