An iconic Atlantic Canadian folk musician (though he was actually from Ontario and only had relatives in Atlantic Canada, this is basically forgotten these days) whose brief, brilliant career began in 1976, produced a number of albums, and was then cut short by his tragic death in an airplane accident in 1983.
He left behind an enduring legacy for the Canadian music scene, and a number of his songs ("Barrett's Privateers", "Northwest Passage", "The Mary Ellen Carter") have become national standards. "Northwest Passage" has been cited by prime ministers and governors general as an unofficial national anthem of sorts, and was voted the fourth-best Canadian song of all time in a CBC radio poll.
There is an annual music festival held in his honour in Cape Breton.
* Fogarty's Cove (1976)
* Turnaround (1978)
* Between the Breaks ... Live! (1979)
* Northwest Passage (1981)
* For the Family (1983, the first of five posthumous collections)
* From Fresh Water (1984, posthumous)
* Home in Halifax (1993, posthumous)
* Poetic Justice (1996, posthumous)
* From Coffee House to Concert Hall (1999, posthumous)
* AntiChristmasSong: "First Christmas" isn't strictly anti-Christmas, but as Rogers believed Christmas was a time not just for celebration but for deep, sober reflection, it's depressing.
** "At Last I'm Ready for Christmas" tries to be one, but, like the narrator, the song's heart just isn't in it.
---> We swore this year we'd keep things simple, then did our usual spree.
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: In "The Idiot", the narrator's complaints about his job out west are the desolate landscape, the refinery fumes, and the cowboy clothes they wear.
* AuthorExistenceFailure: [[WhatCouldHaveBeen Who knows what else he might have done?]]
* BadassBaritone: Stan sings in a warbly variation of this, and it really helped get across many of the shantys he sang.
* DrinkingOnDuty / DrunkDriver: The captain in "The ''Mary Ellen Carter''".
* DyingTown: "Fogarty's Cove" (jauntier than the others), "Finch's Complaint", "Make and Break Harbour", "The Field Behind the Plow", "Free in the Harbour", "Tiny Fish for Japan"...
** The narrator in "The Idiot" left one of these to work in a refinery out west.
* FatalFamilyPhoto: the kid has one in "White Squall".
* TheGreatestStoryNeverTold: "[=MacDonnell=] on the Heights" tells of an unsung hero of the Battle of Queenston Heights, "but not one in ten thousand knows [his] name."
* ThePioneer: "Northwest Passage", although the singer is about a hundred years too late and merely inspired by the Franklin, Kelso, and Thompson Expeditions.
* SoleSurvivor: "I'm the last of Barrett's Privateers."
* [[TheAllegedCar The Alleged Ship]]: The Antelope sloop in "Barrett's Privateers", which can barely sail and gets smashed into pieces with one cannonball.
* TakeThat: Ontario's tourism industry came out with the slogan "No place you'd rather be." Stan's response, from ''Watching the Apples Grow'':
--> Ontario, y'know, I've found the place I'd rather be;
--> Your scummy lakes and city of Toronto don't do a damn thing for me,
--> I'd rather live by the sea.
* WarOf1812: "Billy Green" tells the story of the famous Billy Green the Scout who "helped defeat the Yank invaders". "[=MacDonnell=] on the Heights" tells of the Battle of Queenston Heights. "The Nancy" is about a skirmish between the crew of the titular ship and some American forces.