Tyson, Ian. The Long Trail. My life in the West. Random House Canada (Pub.) 2010.
I.T.- One of North America’s most respected singer-songwriters. A recipient of the Order of Canada. A legitimate working cowboy with cowboy skills.
As a kid and teen-ager I loved books about cowboys and I loved cowboy songs. As an adult may reading and music tastes changed. I have no memory of the music of this ‘famous’ cowboy, Ian Tyson. When I saw this biography on the library shelf I had to read it ‘for old times’ sake’.
Ian’s story is typical of those who seek for fulfillment and meaning in the life they have been given. His story is unique because he was a working singing cowboy. His life style is also considered typical as a tough hard living cowboy. (There actually were, are, Christian cowboys also.) It would probably be fair to say that Ian is a self-made man. Unfortunately as so often happens, self-made men tend to worship their creators.
Ian’s life reflects the wholesomeness of a strong work ethic and a commitment to doing what he knows to be right. He exemplifies how a relatively small amount of talent can be maximized through hard work.
Ian sums up his philosophy of life as follows. “Life is a series of mistakes and corrections. The best you can do is honor the truth. That sounds easy, but it isn’t. We all have different interpretations of the truth and we all mould truth to suit our needs. It’s part of the human condition.”