Release: Down at the Fair
Chatham Connection: (Sylvia is from Chatham-Kent. (Born Sylvia Fricker September 19, 1940 in Chatham, Ontario)
Sylvia Tyson, Caitlin Hanford, Cindy Church, Gwen Swick
1. Down at the Fair
2. Twenty Shades of Blues
3. That’s What You Always Say to My Heart
4. Where Love Lies
5. All These Things Are You
6. Who’s Foolin’ Who
7. Nothing Can Make the World Right Again
8. Tell My Lord
9. Sing a Song of Sadness
10. My Invitation
11. Marie Antoinette
12. I Mean What I Say
13. I Can’t Wait
Notes: Even after four decades of songwriting, and with over 200 songs to her credit, Sylvia says she is not a prolific songwriter. Still, “Down At The Fair” features two of her finest songs: the spiritual “Tell My Lord” (with the magnificent line, “I can tell my Lord things I couldn’t tell my mother”) and the remarkable character sketch, “Marie Antoinette.”
The latter is a story of a deluded woman working as a maid in a hotel who believes that in a perfect world she’d be the Queen of France. The song is a reminder that all around us are people whose lives we know nothing about, and some of them are quite delusional.
“When I was a kid I knew a girl who was adopted, and her name was Marie Antoinette,” Sylvia explains. “She truly believed she was descended from the Queen of France. I thought that was an interesting concept. The line ‘Off with their heads’ gets a laugh from audiences.”
Quartette was formed for a concert at Toronto’s Harbourfront in the summer of 1993. The following year, the group received the Canadian Country Music Association’s award for best vocal collaboration. In 1995 and 1996, it garnered Juno Award nominations for top country group. An hour-long showcase on “Adrienne Clarkson Presents” on CBC-TV introduced them to an even wider audience in 1995.
SYLVIA TYSON Quick Bio
Sylvia Tyson first made her mark in the ’60s with the folk/country duo Ian & Sylvia which recorded 13 albums. Ian and Sylvia, who married in 1964, were at the forefront of the ’60s North American folk movement.
Following Ian & Sylvia’s breakup in 1977 as an act and as a couple, Sylvia released seven solo albums.
In the ’70s, Sylvia hosted CBC-Radio’s roots music series “Touch The Earth,” and hosted CBC-TV’s “Country In My Soul” series.
Sylvia received Canada’s highest civilian award, the Order of Canada in 1995. She is one of the founders, past president, and song honoree of the Canadian Songwriters’ Hall of Fame. She was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1992, and the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 2003.