Friday, 20 May 2011
The Shooting of Dan McGrew
In my last post, I looked at Malc's allusion in his novel Under The Volcano to the poem Face Upon The Floor. In the post I referred to a poem by Robert W. Service which is linked to the allusion.
The Shooting of Dan McGrew" is a narrative poem by Robert W. Service, first published in The Songs of a Sourdough in 1907 in Canada.
The tale takes place in a Yukon saloon during the Yukon Gold Rush of the late 1890s. It tells of three characters: Dan McGrew, a rough-neck prospector; McGrew's sweetheart "Lou", a formidable pioneer woman; and a mysterious, weather-worn stranger who wanders into the saloon where the former are among a crowd of drinkers. The stranger buys drinks for the crowd, and then proceeds to the piano, where he plays a song that is alternately robust and then plaintively sad. He appears to have had a past with both McGrew and Lou, and has come to settle a grudge. Gunshots break out, McGrew and the stranger kill each other, and the Lady that's known as Lou ends up with the stranger's poke of gold. Read more on Wikipedia
Here is a famous poem recited c.1915 by Taylor Holmes:
Taylor Holmes also recorded a recitation of The Face Upon The Floor