Slaid Cleaves
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Q

How'd you come up with Breakfast in Hell? It's a cool song. I hear it all the time at the "Logger-boy camps" at Philmont Scout Ranch in the summer.


Slaid Cleaves responded on 12/23/2013
A

I was visiting Gurf Morlix and his wife Brende at their summer cottage in Ontario. They took me for a ride in their speedboat through the coves and straits of Georgian Bay, and we went swimming at Sandy Grey Falls on the Musquash River. Gurf told me the story of how the falls got its name, and I said, Damn, that's a folk song if I ever heard one. He had a great map of the 30,000 Island region with all these cool place-names (Go Home Bay, Giant's Tomb), and I started working on this traditional folk song at the cottage. I kept working on it all the way back to Austin the next week. It was just about done (and over 5 minutes long!) when I got home. I had recently been turned on to the great Canadian songwriter, Stompin' Tom Conners, so his music was an influence. Plus there's this poem my friend Seymour Guenther recites around the campfire called "The Cremation of Sam McGee." That's where I got that very traditional rhyme scheme.

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