Listen to this track with Torontonian renaissance man and pop singer-songwriter Andrew Cash. It’s “Trail of Tears” as taken from his 1988 debut record Time And Place. Hooking into a sort of rootsy pop feel much like Blue Rodeo, and especially like Toronto scenesters The Skydiggers, which his brother helped to form, Cash traded on jangly pop guitar hooks and socially aware lyrics too. The whole concoction fit perfectly on the charts here in Canada at a time when the local scene was beginning to enjoy nation-wide attention.
This was the lead single on his debut, typical of Cash’s approach of pop smarts and political content. But, it’s also a superlative example of a late ’80s return in Canada to singer-songwriters who had something to say in a global landscape where the protest song was something of a throwback to another era. With this one, a resident in the First World is confronted by how life around him often comes at the expense of those far away, or even those not so far away but otherwise unknown to him.
Despite how the ’80s as a decade is known for dated textures, thematically speaking this song still lives and breathes today, of course. It also hearkens back to the past as well. Read more