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Parry, David - The Man From Eldorado

Format: CD
Label: Borealis BCD 106
Year: 1993
Origin: London, England - Toronto, Ontario - Ottawa, Ontario
Genre: folk
Keyword:  Robert Service
Value of Original Title: 
Make Inquiry/purchase: email ryder@robertwilliston.com
Release Type: Albums
Websites:  No
Playlist: Ontario, 1990's, Robert Service, Folk


Track Name
We Are a People Few and Far Away
Heart of the Sourdough
Athabaska Dick
In Praise of Alcohol
The Atavist
The Man From Eldorado
L'escargot d'or
Spoken word: "There! my pipe is out..."
Spoken word: "And now I fear I must write..."
The Volunteer
A Song of Winter Weather
Spoken word: "I have been at it for over six months..."
Pot of Tea
The petit vieux
We Are a People Few and Far Away (reprise)


Parry  david   the man from eldorado

Parry, David - The Man From Eldorado

71pxutkv0ll. ac sl1208

The Man From Eldorado


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This recording is a masterpiece created by singer, songwriter, and storyteller David Parry, from the writings of Canadian poet Robert Service. Following a narrative shape inspired by Service himself, Parry leads us through the many phases of Robert Service's life, from the poignant and poetic to the outrageous and gregarious. The Northern stories for which Service is most famous are well represented here, along with work from his Paris bohemian days, World War I experiences and much else. Many of the poems are set to tunes for the first time, with melodies that echo turn of the century music hall and British folk traditions. Songs and poems are woven together into a seamless whole, for a wonderful theatrical and musical experience.

Also known from his work with the folk group "The Friends of Fiddler's Green" and from his innovative theatre work at the Canadian Museum of Civilization, David Parry brought his immense acting and musical talents to bear in what was to be his final recorded work. Borealis is proud to give this album the greater appreciation it deserves.

"...Now, thanks to David Parry, I can wallow in verse from the Yukon, tall tales, outrageous rhymes and sagely advice...great fun!"

Born in England, David Parry began singing traditional music during the folk revival in the late 50's. He came to Canada in the early 70's and lived both on the West Coast and in Ontario. Until his untimely death in 1995, he performed solo, as a duo with Ian Robb, and as a member of the band The Friends of Fiddler's Green, with whom he toured all across Canada and the U.S. He can be heard on their recordings "This Side of the Ocean" and "The Road to Mandalay," and on his own previous recording "The Wind That Tramps the World." In his professional guise he was a theatre director, actor, teacher, and creator of the live interpretation programme at the Canadian Museum of Civilization. Borealis is proud to release this testament to David Parry's skills and Robert Service's rich legacy.

David Parry 1942-1995
Singer, storyteller, actor, director, morris dancer, musician, teacher and member of the Friends of Fiddlers Green [Toronto-based ceildgh band], David Parry died sudenly of a heart attack on June 13th, 1995, a few days before his 53rd birthday.

Born and raised in London, England, and married in India [to American, now Canadian, Caroline Balderston Parry], David made Ontario --first Toronto, and latterly Ottawa-- his home for the last two decades. His formal credentials included a PhD in medieval drama, and he spent many years as an academic in the field, but he was never one to make distinctions between work and pleasure, and his training and talent inevitably spilled out into the non academic arts community. He acted in and directed countless amateur and professional productions. ranging from the entire and enormous York Cycle of Mystery Plays to Shakespeare and to Gilbert and Sullivan, and latterly made his living as director of the successful and innovative live interpretation program at the Canadian Musieum of Civilization.

But David's biggest creative passions were undoubtably singing and storytelling. He knew more songs than anyone I have ever met, and had a prodigous ability, born no doubt of a love for language and an actor's training, to absorb stories and songs, tuck them away in some corner of his vast memory, and then bring them forth at will. This he would do on a concert stage, in the pub after a long day's morris dancing with the Toronto Morris Men, in the supermarket, on the elevator, or wherever and whenever the urge took him. HIs extrovert enthusiasm for singing went way beyond the bounds of convention; he was happy to sing anywhere, anytime, just for the joy of it. And people loved him for that.

As those of us who sang and played with him quickly found out, David was a man of the moment. He did not, I think, like to plan, was fairly ambivalent about rehearsal, and generally liked to deal with life and performance as it encountered him, rather than before. HIs tendency to give his all to the issue of the moment made him constantly and exasperatingly late, but his enthusiasm and talent for performing and his vast resources of songs and stories, not to mention a fine voice and peerless skill at delivering good words, made it a joy to share stages with him. David Parry was a big hearted man who lived life uncautiously and to the full. He would not have wanted people to mourn him, but to remember and celebrate.

(written by Ian Robb and first published in Sing Out! magazine. Reprinted by permission)

In addition to being heard on the two albums of the Friends of Fiddlers Green, listed below, David recorded his own tape of songs and stories, "The Wind that Tramps the World", in 1985 and a CD comprised of many lesser-known poems of Robert Service, called "The Man From Eldorado" in 1993. Most of these are set to music of David's own composition, and played on guitar and angloconcertina. He is accompanied by Ian Robb, Alistair Brown, Jim Strickland, Graham Townsend, and Ken Whiteley, who was also the producer of the CD and the earlier tape.

Immediately after David's death, the Friends of Fiddlers Green put together a memorial tape of songs for which David was either lead or solo singer, called "'E Liked It All", collected from various archival sources. Unfortunately, it, like David's earlier tape, is completely sold out, but the CD was remastered and is available through Borealis Records as #BCD 106, "The Man From Eldorado: Songs and Stories of Robert W. Service".

Email: info@borealisrecords.com Website: http://www.borealisrecords.com

Friends of Fiddlers Green "This Side of the Ocean" and "The Road to Mandalay" CDs, reissued in 1997 and 1994 respectively, are available from

FOFG Productions
26 Noble Street, Unit 12
Toronto, ON M6K 2C9


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