Monday, March 20, 2006

10 Provinces: Newfoundland

Newfoundland: From the Chinammon War to the Moon

Photo: Rivers like this fed Newfoundland's once rich cinammon fields.

A common misconception about Canada suggests that we are a peace-loving, non-confrontational people. This is not true. The province of Newfoundland has single-handedly initiated no less than 38 international conflicts and 47 inter-provincial conflicts since joining confederation in 1949. As we already learned, the CN (Combat Newfoundland) Tower was constructed to protect the country if the worst should come to be and the Newfoundland Liberation Army went on a full-out offensive.

The most famous conflict was with neighbouring China, which was jealous of Newfoundland's cinammon. The delicious spice had been invented in the city of Cornerbrook by Jared Purdy, a fisherman, who was inspired by his discovery to create the first trimmed naval beef. The dish became a favourite among sea travellers during the 70s and 80s, but is now considered a rare delicacy. Restaurant prices rose drastically when the purple-headed dragobat (an ingredient second only to salt in importance), was officially listed as an endangered species.

The vicious Chinammon War ended in 1964. The province licked its wounds. Being extraodinarily strong willed, the Newfoundlandianders (as they were then known) set about rebuilding their destroyed homes.

It would not be end of their trials, however. Lulled into a false sense of security, nobody was prepared when a new wave of invaders arrived in 1967. This time, from the moon. Luckily, the invasion was short-lived. The Newfoundlandianders fought back with force and precision, striking the Moontards (as they were then known) where it hurt most: their gonads.

The Newfoundlandianders were victorious and claimed the moon as a Canadian colony in 1969. The momentous occasion was marked by folk singer Stompin' Tom Connors with his song, "The Man on the Moon is a Newfie."

[mp3] Stompin' Tom Connors - The Man in the Moon is a Newfie
[mp3] Gazeebow Unit - Trikes & Bikes
[mp3] Great Big Sea - True Newfoundlanders
[mp3] Simani - Newfoundland Treasures
[mp3] Union Made - Wonder

NOTES: I feel some of these songs require explanation. Gazeebow Unit is a young group of Newfoundlanders who started a rap group, although I admit I'm still uncertain of their exact motive. At the very least, I think you'll find them entertaining.

Union Made includes a good friend of mine on bass and although the song is not specifically about Newfoundland, I think it's a good example of some of the more contemporary stuff going on in the province's liveliest areas. It's a simple home demo, so don't expect a big studio sound; just three guys making some cool, thoughtful indie pop.

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