'The Cremation of Sam McGee'

Sam and friend set off from Dawson City by sled into the frigid expanse of the Yukon.

hide captionSam and friend set off.

Ted Harrison/Kids Can Press

Related NPR Stories

A helpful map of the Yukon serves as the back cover of the book. i i

hide captionA map of the Yukon graces the back cover.

Kids Can Press
A helpful map of the Yukon serves as the back cover of the book.

A map of the Yukon graces the back cover.

Kids Can Press

Robert Service's poem, "The Cremation of Sam McGee," tells the tale of two gold miners in the Yukon and one man's "last request."

The poem, which was originally published in 1907, was later transformed into a children's book with colorful illustrations by Ted Harrison, in 1986.

Now, a 20th-anniversary edition has been released by Kids Can Press, with new cover art and heavy paper stock. The tale is bookended by the following verse:

There are strange things done in the midnight sun

By the men who toil for gold;

 

The Arctic trails have their secret tales

That would make your blood run cold;

 

The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,

But the queerest they ever did see

 

Was that night on the marge of Lake Laberge

I cremated Sam McGee.

Books Featured In This Story

The Cremation of Sam McGee
The Cremation of Sam McGee

by Robert W. Service, Ted Harrison and Pierre Berton

Hardcover, 1 v. (unpaged) | purchase

close

Purchase Featured Books

  • The Cremation of Sam McGee
  • Robert W. Service, Ted Harrison, et al

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Support comes from: