Wild West Podcast

The Cremation of Sam McGee

December 09, 2021 Michael King/Brad Smalley
Wild West Podcast
The Cremation of Sam McGee
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Show Notes

The following is a narrative poem written by Robert Service, composed during the Klondike Gold Rush of 1896–1899. It is the story of two friends mushing their way along the Dawson Trail, scavenging for gold. Even though the story in poetic terms starts to be a grim tale, it leads to a wonder - something that sparkles to the disparity of hope on the eve of a Christmas Day.  Service like his stories was a wanderer who rarely settled for long in one place. In 1895, he made his way to British Columbia, worked as a store clerk in Cowichan Bay, and wrote poems and published them in the Daily Colonist, a Victoria newspaper. By 1903, he was working at a bank in Victoria. Head office sent him off to the new small town of Whitehorse, established in the frenzy of the Klondike Gold Rush and now in need of a bank. This is where he found the words to a ballad you are about to hear. Wild West Podcast proudly presents "The Cremation of Sam McGee" which is dedicated to Penny the producer's sister in law. 

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