Four Strong Winds
"Four Strong Winds" is a song written by Ian Tyson in the early 1960s. Ian and Sylvia's single version, (released on Vanguard 35021) entered the Cashbox magazine "Looking Ahead" chart, 9/29/63. It was then recorded by The Brothers Four in a version that "bubbled under" the Billboard Hot 100 in October 1963. Subsequently, it was released by Ian and Sylvia on an album of the same name released in April, 1964, reflecting the Canadian chart success of the song in 1963.
The song is a melancholy reflection on a failing romantic relationship. The singer expresses a desire for a possible reunion in a new place in the future ("You could meet me if I sent you down the fare.") but acknowledges the likelihood that the relationship is over ("But our good times are all gone/And I'm bound for moving on...").
This folk classic has been recorded by many artists including Neil Young, Sarah McLachlan, Hank Snow, The Seekers, Judy Collins, the Chad Mitchell Trio, Bob Dylan, Marianne Faithfull, The Searchers, John Denver, The Brothers Four, The Kingston Trio, Trini Lopez, Waylon Jennings, Chad and Jeremy, The Wolfe Tones, The Tragically Hip, Joan Baez, Vanity Fare, Glenn Yarborough, Tony Rice, Johnny Cash, The Carter Family, and Schooner Fare. It was a hit by Bobby Bare in 1964. It was also a big hit in Norway in 1966 in a Norwegian version: "Mot ukjent sted" by The Vanguards and a big hit in Sweden in 1967 in a Swedish version: "Mot okänt land" recorded by The Hep Stars.
Additionally, the song is sung on the last night of the Edmonton Folk Music Festival each year.
Ian and Sylvia sang the song together at the 50th anniversary of the Mariposa Folk Festival on July 11, 2010, in Orillia, Ontario. On April 5, 2013, a recording of the song by Ian Tyson was played during the funeral of former Alberta Premier Ralph Klein, as the honour guard brought his urn into the Jack Singer Concert Hall.
- Ian and Sylvia Re-Releases and Discography
- 30 Years of Canadian Chart Listings - #9 on 28 October 1963
- Billboard magazine: 18. October 19, 1963. ISSN 0006-2510.
- Markusoff, Jason (April 5, 2013), "Key details of today's memorial service for Klein; temporary road closures to affect downtown, Macleod Trail", Calgary Herald.
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