Listen to ‘Wanderer’s Paean’ by Kim Beggs

Paul Keggington

October 01, 2009

While celebrating saintly itinerant Francis of Assisi during the month of October, the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity invite you to immerse yourself in Kim Beggsculturally rich Yukon ballad ‘Wanderer’s Paean’.

A few words from Kim about the song Wanderer’s Paean:

“When I was young, I traveled far from home and loved ones, guided by the wandering spirit song. This wanderer’s paean, sang through my blood until I was embraced by strangers and made a new home.  My home is now the Yukon, Canada.”


Whitehorse, Yukon may be a long way from the American south, but it’s notable for the same sort of hardscrabble lifestyle and unshakable sense of community that influenced early Appalachian music over a century ago.

kim-beggs-red-dress-photo-by-kevin-kelly.jpgIt was that very sense of community that prompted Toronto transplant Kim Beggs to make her home there almost 18 years ago, and it’s that same sense of banding together in the face of adversity that has inspired her distinctive “sweet dark” old-time tinged roots music – a style that draws inspiration from old country and bluegrass, but which is unmistakably influenced by the expansiveness and desolation of the North.

Combining delightful acoustic arrangements with a voice that’s been described by Acoustic Live in NYC as a “cross between Nanci Griffith and Iris DeMent” Beggs reflects on the journey through life and death, the wanderer’s spirit and the loss of loved ones. Closer to home, she sings of the destruction of the Whitehorse shipyards and the struggles of a family member with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Yet for all the allusions to tragedy, the songs never sound “heavy” thanks to Beggs’ uplifting melodies. On her sophomore CD, Wanderer’s Paean, a who’s who of fine acoustic players fleshes out the delightful old-time sound. They include Handy Award-winning bluesman Rick Fines on guitar, Shania Twain accompanist Burke Carroll on pedal steel, The Creaking Tree String Quartet’s John Showman on violin, and another Yukon starlet Kim Barlow on banjo.

wanderer.jpg Beggs’ sophomore album Wanderer’s Paean earned a 2007 Western Canadian Music Award for Outstanding Roots Recording and a 2007 Canadian Folk Music Award nomination for Best New/Emerging Artist. called it the full-bodied, fully realized statement of a major artist.” Her song “Lips Stained Red with Wine” and “Walking Down to the Station” were winners in the International Songwriting Contest, and Beggs was booked to play Canada Day celebrations this year in London’s Trafalgar Square. While there, she also appeared on the BBC Radio program Bob Harris Country, listened to by over 14 million people.  

Kim has sung this song, Wanderer’s Paean, on national public radio in Canada and the US. It has been played on the radio all over the world.

Her albums have been nominated for music awards in Canada and the US. If you like this song you might enjoy hearing her other songs. Visit Kim’s website. Both her albums, Wanderer’s Paean and Streetcar Heart are available in CD format as well as digital downloads from her website store. Her third album, Mama’s Dress, will be released in April, 2010.




One cup of tea in the morning for me

A kiss while you sleep

The sun rising up brings a tear to my eye

My heart tells me get along my way

I heard the train last night, whistle refrain

Hooo hooo hooo, wanderer’s paean

I heard the train last night, whistle refrain

Hooo hooo hooo, get along my way

I’m the one from my kin whose blood won’t stop burnin’

Wandering bones and skin

The saddle round my heart it cinches at night

When I start to thinkin’ I’m home

You shone your love in this stone that ain’t true

And my skies are heavy and blue

But with the clothes on my back,

grub and coins in my sack

My heart tells me get along my way

Hand clasping hand, pull me up from the tracks

By strangers won’t never look back

Boxcar my freedom, railroad my bath

Sundown by clickity clack

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