The great landmarks of the world have often served as an inspiration for artists, painters, photographers and song writers alike. Niagara Falls is such a landmark; a focal point for people with creative leanings, serving as a source of symbolism and imagination.
The natural beauty of Niagara Falls lends itself well to evocative imagery and substantive meanings. Here are just a few examples of modern songs with nods or full out themes related to Niagara Falls.
Niagara Falls Songbook
In the past few years songs like the appropriately named ‘Niagara Falls’ from Detroit-born singer and songwriter Sufjan Stevens have used the falls to reference majestic sights.
From the top of the mountain
You could see
In a similar vein is ballad ‘Niagara Falls’ from Chicago, one of the most commercial successful bands of all time. Stylistically it’s much the same as many other 80s pop ballads, but hooks its romance overtures to the permanence of Niagara Falls:
As long as Niagara falls,
Until the end of time,
Till hell freezes over,
You are forever mine
American country singer Sara Evans has her own ‘Niagara’ song on her 2003 album Restless, that follows similar themes: ‘Asking me not to love you is like asking Niagara not to fall’.
Canadian band The Rheostatics contributed ‘Claire’ to the Niagara Falls song book.
Sometimes it’s only a passing reference, and even then it might be simplified to its location to signify scope. The falls are mentioned in the classic rock song ‘Rockin All Over the Place’ from the Stray Cats, but only in the line ‘From Hollywood to Niagara Falls’.
Many Niagara-themed songs or verses refer to the falls, and the intention is always different – nature, permanence, love or the idea of inevitability. Or just as a way to talk about something or someone ‘going over the falls’ (like in ‘Jock-O-Rama’) by the Dead Kennedys). But for a song more dedicated to setting itself in Niagara and using the location as part of its subject matter, look no further than Barbara Streisand’s discography.
The song ‘Niagara’ on her 1979 album Wet continued the water-based theme of the album but also weaves the location into a weighted ballad about lost love.
The end result is usually the same – the falls have a long history of inspiring songwriters, and the landmark has often found its way into the lyrics of iconic songs– and will continue to be quoted, referenced and called upon for inspiration for a long time to come.
Updates to the Niagara Falls Song Collection
Dan Gibson’s Solitudes series feature no audible, discernible lyrics. Natural sounds are inter-spliced with relaxing music, creating a meditative new age sound. Clichés aside, the Niagara Falls inclusion in the series, with it’s running waters, flowing and crashing against the rocks along the Niagara Gorge & within the Niagara River, creates a unique backdrop of sounds create a the lyrical rhythm of the area that any visitor will instantly recognize.
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