Coke Oven Joe and Sue Ste. Marie 1990

Come into the North Woods
Never Mind! lyrics
The Coke Oven Jig and Reel lyrics
Canadian Boy lyrics 
Tender Touch lyrics 
Young Lovers  lyrics
Joey  lyrics
You Got Your World (I Got Mine)  lyrics
Same Thing Only Different  lyrics
Spring Break-up  lyrics
There's a Bridge lyrics
Stay Until Morning Comes  lyrics

This songstory was inspired by English professor, poet and playwright James Reaney. I only got to attend one lecture by Mr. Reaney in the fall of 1986 before scheduling conflicts took me elsewhere. A powerful force, Reaney said, "Write something about what you know! Write something about where you are from and then bring it back to the next lecture." Well, there was no next lecture and professor Reaney never knew what his words produced. It isn’t likely that he will ever hear this creation (if he is still with us), but if he does maybe he will accept it as a late, very late, assignment.
 coke oven joe 2
The story begins with an invitation to join the narrator who sits at an evening campfire on a hill overlooking Birch Bark lake. On the shore is the camp of Joe and Marie who have arrived for the May long weekend to open up for the season. (For the record, there are no "cottages" in northern Ontario, only "camps".)  Over twelve songs the narrator entertains us with both familiar adventures and a looming crisis that has sparked a new fire between and within Joe and Marie.

There is another angle to the songstory. At the time it was written in the latter 1980s the industrial base of Sault Ste. Marie’s economy, Algoma Steel, was on the ropes and looking like it may close (Sue’s serious illness). In this light you might say that Joe is the spirit of the town and Sue is its soul. Each in their own way celebrates what they are even as they struggle to get through to the next day. Sometimes that’s the best you can do. Welcome to the north woods.

Recorded live at the former Jolly Friar Brewpub by CBC Northern Ontario.

All songs Peter White © 1990 All rights reserved.

Coke Oven Joe and
Sue Ste. Marie


Back Roads


Right Now Is Forever


The Fates


Guitar Solos


Right Now Is Forever 2006


Logical Negativity



Voices from the Gathering Place
 Sault Ste. Marie:


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