The Northwest Passage refers to a sea route through the Arctic Ocean, along the northern coast of North America. This route travels through the waterways of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago which connect the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Northwest Passage is one of Stan Rogers’ best-known songs. An a capella song, it refers to the early exploration attempts to discover a route across Canada to the Pacific Ocean and draws a parallel to his own journey across Canada.
According to Wikipedia, “Rogers was noted for his rich, baritone voice and his finely crafted, traditional-sounding songs which were frequently inspired by Canadian history and the daily lives of working people, especially those from the fishing villages of the Maritime provinces and, later, the farms of the Canadian prairies and Great Lakes. Rogers died in a fire aboard Air Canada Flight 797 on the ground at the Greater Cincinnati Airport at the age of 33.”