Yesterday evening Vala and I went to what our host family (Barb and Eric) called “Music”. It was in Winnipeg Beach, and on the way there from Gimli we passed Siglavik, Miklavik and Husavik!
Every week, in a small café down by the harbour in Winnipeg Beach, people of all ages and origins gather with their instruments and play music together (mostly Celtic music). The youngest was a beautiful girl called Kate (she was maybe about 9/10 years old and was there with her grandmother and sister, all of first nations’ descent), the oldest an ancient looking toothless woman called Marian (I have no idea how old she is, but she plays with passion). They both played violins, so did two others and then there were people with flutes, guitars, Celtic drums, a ukulele and a strange looking electronic, strummy, keyboard thing.
It was amazing. They played song after song. Jolly, Irish songs that made me smile from ear to ear. Some of the songs sounded like memories I had just forgotten, some also had Icelandic lyrics that Vala and I could remember and then we sang along happily (Lok lok og læs og allt í stáli, Þá stundi Mundi, Lífið er lotterí).
When they played Ring of Fire everyone sang along and then Kate (the young girl) sang Folsom Prison Blues. It was wonderfully absurd to hear her sing about how she shot a man in Reno just to watch him die.
They asked us for an Icelandic song and we first sang Á Sprengisandi and later I taught them to sing Ólafur Liljurós with us. They truly nailed the “Villir hann, stillir hann”!
After more songs, including the Gimli Waltz (Kátir voru karlar) we all thanked for the entertainment and said our goodbyes.
Vala and I then stayed a bit longer as we received an invitation to join a couple on their boat in the harbour. From there we saw two beavers eating grass in the twilight.
What a wonderful evening with wonderful people. The woman who extended to us the invitation was of Swedish descent, the girls’ grandmother was part Scottish and the girl and her sister turned out to be part Icelandic. I don’t know what everyone else had in their genes but they all had music in their hearts. It was the perfect evening, one of many in this trip.