"Looking For A Place To Happen" as written by Robert Baker, Gordon Downie, Johnny Fay, Paul Langlois and Gordon Sinclair....
I've got a job, I explore, I follow every little whiff
And I want my life to smell like this
To find a place, an ancient race
The kind you'd like to gamble with
Where they'd stamp on burning bags of shit
Looking for a place to happen
Making stops along the way, hey

Wayward ho! Away we go,
It's a shame to leave this masterpiece
With it's gallery gods and it's garbage-bag trees
So I'll paint a scene, from memory,
So I'd know who murdered me
It's a vain pursuit, but it helps me to sleep
Looking for a place to happen
Making stops along the way, hey
Looking for a place to happen
Making stops along the way, hey

Looking for a place to happen
Making stops along the way, hey

Jacques Cartier, right this way,
I'll put your coat up on the bed
Hey man you've got the real bum's eye for clothes
And come on in, sit right down,
No you're not the first to show
We've all been here since, God, who knows?
Looking for a place to happen
Making stops along the way, hey
Looking for a place to happen
Making stops along the way, hey
Jacques Cartier, right this way
I'll put your coat up on the bed
You've got the real bum's eye for clothes
Come on in, sit right down,
We've all been here since, God, who knows?


Lyrics submitted by black_cow_of_death

"Looking for a Place to Happen" as written by Gordon Sinclair Gordon Downie

Lyrics © Peermusic Publishing

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Looking For A Place To Happen song meanings
Add your thoughts

2 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +6
    General CommentI believe that this song is about colonialism in the early days of Canada. Gord is taking the role of what seems to be an explorer from Europe, explaining how he would like to exploit "an ancient race, the kind you'd like to gamble with" (referring to the Native Peoples). He also adds "where they'd stamp on burning bags of shit," referring to the perceived stupidity of the Natives by the Europeans.
    In the second verse he talks about leaving his home behind, facetiously describing the landscape as a "masterpiece with...gallery gods and ... garbage bag trees" (the "garbage bag trees" may be an allusion to the song "At the Hundredth Meridian" where he describes a dirty, overrun city with a "swollen sea breeze, garbage bag trees, whispers of disease, acts of enormity"). The place where he comes from may be one of the many overcrowded cities in Europe during the days of colonialism. Gord goes on to sing about painting a "scene from memory, so I'd know who murdered me." He may be talking about the early war paintings that glorify the death of a general, or a very important person.
    Finally, the third verse seems to be the most odd of them all. The reference to Jacques Cartier, the famous 16th century French explorer, is the most obvious, but then the verse becomes quite ambiguous (a specialty of Gord Downie's). He seems to take the role of a Native person as he explains to Cartier that he's "not the first to show" and that his people have been on the land since "God, who knows?" Also, the "bum's eye for clothes" line may be the initial culture shock experienced by both the Natives and the Europeans, as the difference in clothing would have been staggering.
    "Looking for a place to happen" may be referring to desire to find a passage to the far east, which was the main intention of early explorers. "Making stops along the way" explains the discovery of North America, as it was seen as a "stop" before China after it was discovered by the Europeans.
    IvoKenton June 28, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General Commenthmmm more or less how I've always thought of the song.

    But I came in here to tell a story about the song which more adequately describes "What does this song mean to you?":

    A friend (from Prince Edward Island) went hitchhiking without really knowing where he was going. He wrote himself a cardboard sign

    "Looking for a place to happen making stops along the way"

    He got picked up by a like minded individual (also a hip fan) and they made there way down to Florida (eventually) and back (eventually).

    So as I see it, this song is more of an inspirational song to voyagers everywhere. Not necessarily about any one person or event but more the state of mind that accompanies setting out.

    One of these days I'm gonna paint up my sign and just go.
    Whitewulfon November 11, 2005   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain