In the wake of recent events in my hometown and current city (Elliot Lake mall collapse), hearts have been pretty heavy. All celebrations for Canada were cancelled and replaced with candlelight vigils and the like. Needless to say, I haven’t been feeling all too awesome lately.
I wouldn’t be Canada Day though without some great Canadian music. Our Ultimate Canadian Playlist of Pride and Awesomeness was definitely a hit last year, so here it is. May your Canada Day weekend be filled with pride, joy, good times, and great music.Listen to the playlist here.
1. Raise A Little Hell – Trooper What better way to start a Canadian playlist with the rocking sound of Trooper? I’ll tell you, there isn’t a better way.
2. True Patriot Love – Joel Plaskett Emergency A Canadian anthem from one of today’s Canadian music heroes; it doesn’t get much better.
3. Helpless – Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young This is a song close to my heart, as it’s about my part of the country, North Ontario, and sung by the legend himself.
4. Oh, Alberta – Elliott Brood The sound of the jangly banjos, the great harmony and of course the lesson on Canadian provinces make this a must for this kind of playlist.
5. North Star – The Rural Alberta Advantage Could we call RAA the Guess Who of today? Probably. No one can resist this song about that star that does seem to always be there in the sky guiding the way for us Northern dwellers.
6. If I Had $1000000 – Barenaked Ladies This might not have been an obvious pick for a Canada Day playlist, but think about it. BNL have contributed and insane amount to the music today in Canada, especially 1992′s Gordon. This tune was a big hit, and I think I’m speaking for us all when I say the moment it comes on the radio is a moment of joy. We all know the words, and we all still chuckle at the mention of Dijon Ketchup. Thanks BNL for this masterpiece.
7. Acadian Driftwood – The Band If we’re talking songs about Canada’s history, this has got to be one of the best one’s out there, and of course this playlist couldn’t happen without The Band.
8. Welcome – Hey Rosetta! A tune from this year’s Seeds that’s a joy to hear, and comes from Canada’s favourite Newfoundlanders.
9. Oh…Canada – Classified This one is ”Self Explanatory”. Ha. Ha.
10. Great Lakes – Harlan Pepper What would a set of Canadian music be like without a geography lesson from some young’uns? You’ll know your great lakes for sure by the time this one’s through.
11. Tommy Douglas – Will Currie & the Country French Released earlier this year in the time of Canada’s election, this tune rightfully idolizes some of our great politicians that have made us what we are today.
12. B.C Orienteering – Said the Whale We all have those gone-wrong adventures in the bush; this song couldn’t be more Canadian if it tried.
13. One Great City! – The Weakerthans Although this song isn’t the most celebratory and pride-filled piece of music you’ll ever hear, I think it puts under the microscope what we all feel about our hometowns, wherever they may be. There are moments when all we want to do is get out, travel the world, be anywhere but the places we “hate”. When things go wrong though, that hometown where all memories are, good or bad, will always be there, and so will Canada.
14. Love This Town – Joel Plaskett Am I breaking playlist rules by having two Joel Plaskett dittys on here? Oh well. Joel Plaskett loves his town, and I love this song. Every small-town person can relate to Joel’s crooning about the silly and sometimes strange but always supportive hometowns we all have.
15. Living the Dream – Sloan This one really does speak for itself.
16. Jasper – Aidan Knight Another tune that illustrates Canada’s nature and gloriousness of it all. The rocks, trees, lakes, we love it all.
17. Canadian Railroad Trilogy – Gordon Lightfoot This is the best from the best. It IS Gord’s gold. Nothing could embody the spirit of Canada more than that voice, that guitar, and those words. Nothing.
18. Comin’ Home – City & Colour We all have bad times. You know this, I know this. But Canada is home, and returning here, whether physically or emotionally, is the best thing on earth. Hey America, you’ve got nothing on us. We are home.
19. Marengo, Saskatchewan – Jeremy Fisher I love Jeremy Fisher. I love the harmonica. I love Canada. I love songs about small towns. The reason this song appears on this playlist should be evident.
20. Adventures in Solitude – The New Pornographers In addition to this being a gorgeous song from one of Canada’s greatest bands, Adventures in Solitude is what we do every day. It’s Canadian life.
21. A Case of You – Joni Mitchell The best song from one of the best albums of all time. That’s right, it’s form 1970′s Blue. As one of the most influential Canadians, Joni sings here: “I drew a map of Canada, Oh Canada, and your face sketched on it twice.” Golden.
22. Our Voices – Matthew Barber Unity in music: this, friends, is what we’re all about. My biggest thanks to Matt Barber for this, one of my favourite songs.
23. I’ll Believe in Anything – Wolf Parade I will. You will. We all will. We’ll believe in each other, in ourselves, and in this beautiful, exquisite, cultured, expansive, great, loving country that is called Canada, but more importantly called home.