The story behind Dawson City Dancer...
In the fall of 2011, my wife Jan and I took our first trip to the Yukon. When we visited Dawson City we found the majority of streets remain unpaved and a number of the original homes built during the gold rush still existed (albeit some on a distinctive angle thanks to perpetual permafrost). When we visited Diamond Tooth Gertie’s and Klondike Kate’s - two landmarks dating back to the gold rush of the late 1890’s, I couldn’t help but imagine I was back in the days when everyone rushed to Dawson City to make their fortune.
This song was inspired by a show I saw at Diamond Tooth Gertie’s and my visit to Klondike Kate’s the next morning. One of the dancers from the show served our breakfast and we discovered she is a professional dancer who travels to Dawson City each spring and stays until fall. Her “seasonal” stay is very typical of many people we met. As I observed her working diligently, I thought back to her wonderful performance the night before and considered that one’s quest for “gold” does not necessarily have to come from a prospector’s pan. I don’t know everyone’s motivation for going to the Yukon, but this song might explain some of the allure.
My song is dedicated to everyone who has experienced the Yukon and its special “soul”. Thanks to Ali Matthews for agreeing to grace this work with her creative talents and angelic voice and to Rick Francis for applying his musical and production genius to help me shape my music and our experiences into this presentation. Thanks also to Clarence Kapay who allowed me to use a portion of his original painting, “Celebration” for the background. His depiction of the Northern Lights offers a beautiful metaphor of the dancer’s skirt.
Most of all, thanks to my wife Jan, my treasured soul mate for her encouragement, support and creative assistance in helping me turn my notes during breakfast that cold September morning into this song.