The Making of Martyrs: Musicians, Mythmaking, and Counter-Discourse

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Hemer, Christopher
Mythmaking , National Identity , Symbols , Canada , Folk Music , Gordon Lightfoot , Research Creation
This research-creation project includes an album of music, an album historiography, and critical essays which question dominant narratives which inform the Canadian identity and present counter-narratives. The central questions this project grapples with are: (1) How has mythology and omission shaped Canadian national identity?; (2) What has been folk music’s role in perpetuating and also reimagining Canadian national mythology?; and (3) How can folk music be used to interrogate Canadian national mythology and present a counter-narrative? The critical essays are divided into Chapters 1 and 2. Chapter 1 examines the ideology of nationalism and Canadian national mythology, largely informed by the works of Benedict Anderson, Bernard Yack, and Daniel Francis. This includes discussions around the role of cultural production and the sociohistorical context of the 1960s in Canada. Chapter 2 presents a case study and critical inquiry into the creation and popularity of Gordon Lightfoot’s song, Canadian Railroad Trilogy, along with a lyrical analysis. Chapter 3 provides a historiography of my album, as well as my research-creation methodology and an in-depth analysis of the lyrical content of my album.
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