Ian Tyson

In 2002 Andrew and I saw Ian Tyson at the Winnipeg Folkfest. I was so excited because I had grown up listening to Ian, and Sylvia, on televsion. That night we snuggled under a mexican blanket, while on stage Ian sang about a Navajo rug. Overhead was an endless prairie sky, a perfect experience.

A couple of years later Andrew and I, along with my parents, attended a concert of Ian’s at the Civic Centre in Prince George. The chair wasn’t as comfortable as the mexican blanket, but I enjoyed the performance.

This year Ian Tyson celebrates 50 years of performing. He will be performing at Vanier Hall on May 9th. I so want to be there. I don’t know how many more opportunities we will have to see Ian Tyson live. CBC is holding a poetry contest for two tickets. Andrew has submitted a poem for it. It was the first submission they received, and it aired yesterday morning on the radio.

The Last Song

Old Buck never made it from the stage
He fell still clutching his guitar
That ancient Gibson with the pick scarred top
And the beaded smoked hide strap
Hand made by a kookum in Saskatoon
He fell to the sound of the crowd
A field of people still cheering his last song
Still cuddling under the stars
Dreaming of trail rides
Tales told around a camp fire
Herds of red eyed cows
And Navajo blankets
His battered Stetson caught in the summer breeze
Wheeling off across the prairie
Fetching up against a patch of willows
To grieve its loss alone
Old Buck’s last song ended as he wanted
Ended the cowboy way
– Copyright 2012, Andrew Burton

When he first read me the poem I didn’t now it was for a contest. I told him I loved the poem, although I am admittedly biased, and it reminded me of Winnipeg. Then he told me about the contest.

Andrew: CBC is having a poetry contest. They wanted a cowboy poem.
Me: Makes me think of Ian Tyson
Andrew: The prize is two tickets to see Ian Tyson.
Me: Ooooh, I really want to go to that concert.
Andrew: Oh? If I win maybe I will take you.
Me: You were planning to take someone else?
Andrew: Just keeping my options open.
Me: ….. (hmmmmmm)

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