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Highway 105

The picturesque highway that MaryAnn and I take to our cottage in Quebec winds through the Gatineau Hills that border the Gatineau River. For more than 150 years, the river was used by raftsmen who drove logs down the river to the sawmills in Hull, Quebec. Today, the river is clear of logs, the logging having been stopped in 1990. The highway is dotted with farms, villages and other landmarks along the way. Mare's brother Paddy also has a place near us, and told me I should write a song about the highway. Then MaryAnn said that her sister Jane used to be able to recite the name of every village and hamlet, from one end to the other, and suggested that I put all of them in.

I thought I had, but the other day we were driving along an old part of the highway that we normally don't use and I realized that I'd missed a couple. I guess there'll have to be a part two.

That old Gypsy bus of ours is gone now, replaced by an actual cottage, which is much nicer, though I have to admit I kind of miss the bus. We had a lot of good years in there.

refrain:
Get in the car, start to drive
Headin' up the line, highway 105
There's somethin' 'bout the motion, somethin' 'bout the ride
Somethin' 'bout the road makes you come alive
Highway 105

Crossing the bridge from Ottawa to Hull
Forget the casino and the shopping malls
You don't need the lights or the smoky bars
Just follow that highway underneath the stars
You've got the river on your right, the hills all around
Ghosting through Chelsea and the only sounds
Are your wheels on the pavement, the wind in your hair
You're passing Tenaga like it's not even there
When you
    refrain

Get into Wakefield, there's the Black Sheep Inn
Have a beer, maybe check out the band
Ian Tamblyn, Mike Plume, Melwood Cutlery
Lynn Miles, Greg Brown, the Laws, the Kennedys
Keelaghan, Savoca, Blackie and the boys
Stacey Earle so full of joy
Tom Wilson, Fiftymen, Christine Graves
Fred Eaglesmith singing 'bout trains
yeah, I like trains, but when the night is done, I'd rather
    refrain

These towns have a history, it's living there still
Alcove, Farrelton, Brennan's Hill
Logging camps, whiskey runners, mines in the hills
The river took the logs to the E.B. Eddy mill
People working farms now that don't hardly pay
It's all cottage country starting in May
Pass the dam in Low, and then Venosta
If you don't turn off you'll be in Kazabazua
That's not so bad, you can eat at Sue-Ellen's, or you can
    refrain

Wright's got itself a fancy pedigree
But Gracefield was founded by my family
The land up here's just as pretty as it gets
We usually turn off when we get to Bouchette
We've got a little school bus sitting right on a lake
It's the perfect spot to catch a break
Lazing on the raft, soaking up the sun
Sitting 'round the campfire, have a little fun
But there comes a time when I've got to
    refrain

Messines' next if you're not tired yet
'Round Maniwaki it's all an Indian rez
Keep on driving, there's more to be seen
At Grand-Remous catch the one-seventeen
Or you can

Go back to Wakefield and the Black Sheep Inn
Have another beer, check out the bandů

 

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