Play Along – The Canadian Version of Who Is Caribou?


“Who is Caribou?” is one of those intriguing questions that kids love to pose to their grandparents, or even teachers when they are young. This popular children’s song by Daniel Victor Snaith, who is a Canadian singer, musician, and vocalist also has done over thirty-five years with many hits.

The title of the song means nothing more than “who is caribou?” and if you know the song, you have an idea of why the question is important. In the first part of the song, there is the chorus, “You are my only love”. Then there is a slight variation in the lyrics and it says, “I’ll never find your face”.

In many interpretations of the song, including the most popular one from many years ago by the band Queen, it is about a boy who runs away from home to join the army. He is very young and barely knows how to read or write but he is so strong and confident in himself that he is able to climb over the barbed wire and survive the experience. After that, he is promoted and given a position with the Royal Air Force. It is there he meets the beautiful blonde girl who would become his wife and from there he falls in love.

As many people can relate, the two are happily married and have a son named Edward. However, things take a turn for the worse when Edward becomes captured and sold into slavery. This is the beginning of the end for the happy couple as they struggle to free themselves and their son.

As the old timers all know, the last verse of the song goes something like this, “So many lives lost; each day brings new lives to light…/so many lives saved/so little time left”…well, these few lines tell a great deal about how things really go when a person loses their life in battle. We know that war can be a horrible thing to experience but sometimes it is necessary for our survival. Now, how many listeners can relate to that?

So many listeners may be wondering how the song came to be so important and end up influencing so many pop songs today. Well, as previously mentioned, it wasn’t about a boy running away from home and joining the military. The real story goes much deeper than that. The song is about the endless cycle of death and rebirth, which can happen to anyone, everywhere.

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