Canadians in Portugal’s 150 songs for Canada 150

on 3:02 pm

 
From May to October we posted the following 150 songs about Canada to commemorate Canada's 150 years of confederation on the Canadians in Portugal Facebook page. Below is the collection of those postings.

Week 1: April 1-9

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 1:
The railway was what stitched Canada together and Canada’s greatest troubadour Gordon Lightfoot gave it its due through the classic Canadian folk song “Canadian Railway Trilogy”, a tune about the construction of “an iron road runnin' from the sea to the sea.” Worth noting, the song was commissioned by the CBC 50 years ago to commemorate Canada's centennial. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiSFZBDAH9Y

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 2:
“Moose Jaw, Broadview, Moosomin too; Runnin' back to Saskatoon. Red Deer, Terrace, Hanna, Medicine Hat; Sing another prairie tune.” So goes The Guess Who’s “Runnin’ Back to Saskatoon”, a song that praises the goodness of what’s local, because “this tune is home grown. Don't come from Hong Kong.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BixQMQFMOYQ

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 3:
Sam Roberts decided to write Canada’s own national reverie when he wrote “The Canadian Dream”, a song he roots in things like freedom and equality, characteristics that have come to define Canada. "S.O.C.I.A.L.I.S.M. is here to stay; S.O.C.I.A.L.I.S.M. is the only way," he sings, as if a deciding factor of the Canadian dream, all the while questioning its acceptance, worrying that the dream may actually be further away than it's ever been. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tutTzTYuU1Y

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 4:
The Highway of Tears – also known as MacDonald-Cartier Freeway or Highway 401 – was unofficially named in 2002, after the first of Canada’s soldiers killed in Afghanistan were repatriated. Their remains were flown into Canadian Forces Base Trenton, and then taken southwest to Toronto along the highway. People young and old lined the highway, waving the red and white Canadian flag emblazoned with the maple leaf in tribute. In 2010 the highway was the subject of a song entitled "Highway of Tears" by The Trews, a song inspired by the 2006 death of Capt. Nichola Goddard, who was the first female Canadian soldier killed in combat and was from Antigonish, Nova Scotia, the band’s hometown. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrkgV5bl7kQ

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 5:
While the song never mentions Montreal by name, Leonard Cohen’s “Suzanne”, pays homage to romance in that Quebec city. The song depicts Cohen’s (real life) platonic relationship with Suzanne Verdal, a prominent muse of the beat era. The lyrics describe a rendez-vous in which Cohen goes to visit Verdal at her apartment by the Saint Laurence River. There, Suzanne would serve Cohen tea and oranges before the two would head off on a walk through the Old Port, towards the Church of Notre-Dame de Bon-Secours. A beautifully composed guided tour. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6o6zMPLcXZ8

Week 2: April 10-16

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 6:
“The Banks of Newfoundland” is the earliest Newfoundland composition set down in music notation. It was composed by none other than Francis Forbes, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland in 1820. Originally composed as a dance, it was later treated as a march by the soldiers of Royal Newfoundland Regiment during World War I. The song voices the lament of sailors on a voyage from Liverpool to Baltimore, where passing the cold Grand Banks of Newfoundland is the hardest struggle of them all. Great Big Sea’s contemporary version of this old-time standard, delivered in a Newfie accent, almost makes you feel those “cold nor'westers” in your bones. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRadBJvAKdU

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 7:
If you’re familiar with the folk/comedy sounds of The Arrogant Worms, you’ll know that every song they’ve ever penned tends to pokes fun at various aspects of daily life in Canada. “The Ballad of Tim Horton’s” is one good example, an Irish-inflected folk song that details a veritable Canadian nightmare: the day that Timmy’s ran out of coffee. They say “it was the morning the world began to end”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8FcM8sgY9k

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 8:
“Walter Gretzky had a son, he grew up to be the great one …” He sure did. Who wouldn’t want the Wayner we used to know back in the day on their team right now? Also hailing from Edmonton, The Pursuit of Happiness put together this ode to the king of Edmonton called “Gretzky Rocks”. “When I lived in Edmonton, he made us the City of Champions. With Jari and Semenko by his side, he filled our frigid city with pride …” And nothing’s been the same there since. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7mCmm2FKKg

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 9:
Hailing from the small farming and ranching town of Claresholm, Alberta, Shane Chisholm does a unique interpretation of country music with a large dose of Canada thrown in. Perfect for this time of year, the song “If Jesus was a Canadian” tells us exactly would Jesus would do from Newfoundland to British Columbia and up to the territories if he had been born in Canada or at least held citizenship. https://soundcloud.com/shane-chisholm/if-jesus-was-a-canadian

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 10:
"Late-breaking story on the CBC, a nation whispers, we always knew that he'd go free." The first time David Milgaard’s mother, Joyce, heard those words, she cried. It was 1992, and Joyce’s son had recently been released from prison after serving 23 years — 8,355 days — for a heinous crime he didn’t commit. He was just 17 when he was wrongfully convicted of the rape and murder of nursing assistant Gail Miller. The Tragically Hip, inspired by the case, wrote “Wheat Kings.” According to Gord Downie, the song is “about David Milgaard and his faith in himself. And about his mother, Joyce, and her absolute faith in her son's innocence. And about our big country and its faith in man’s fallibility. And about Gail Miller, all those mornings ago, just lying there, all her faith bleeding out into that Saskatoon snowbank.” David Milgaard was released from prison on April 16th, 1992, 25 years ago today. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xIaBcfL6vU 

Week 3: April 17-23

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 11:
“Well Canada's been good to us; we've a living and a home. We've all got central heating here and most are on the phone. I'm a citizen of both countries and very proud to be, for the thistle and the maple leaf are the emblems of the free”. So goes the song “The Old Sod” by Spirit of the West, a song about Scottish immigration to Canada, mind you it’s a story that can be applied to all immigrant groups in the Great White North – from language maintenance, to the creation of social clubs, to the ethnic shrines in the basement, easily applicable to the Portuguese as well, for example. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6KBf16qJIY

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 12:
While the Stan Rogers song “Northwest Passage” recalls the history of early explorers trying to discover a route across Canada to the Pacific Ocean (especially Sir John Franklin, who lost his life in the quest for the Northwest Passage), its central theme is a comparison between the journeys of these past explorers and the singer's own journey to and through the same region. Rogers sings that, just as the quest for a northwest passage might be considered a fruitless one, a modern-day journeyer along similar paths might meet the same end. Along the way, the song also references a series of Canadian geographical features, from the Fraser River to the the Davis Strait to the Beaufort Sea.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVY8LoM47xI

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 13:
The New Pornographers song “War on the East Coast” seems to paint Canada in a state of armageddon: “Last night I dreamt Vancouver dressed up in the ocean. Last night I dreamt, Victoria drowned in the ocean” – it’s war from coast-to-coast. A closer examination, however, reveals that that war may actually be based on vanity and hip(ster)ness. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMcumbSMY_8

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 14:
“She was a big boned gal from southern Alberta, you just couldn’t call her small. And you can bet every Saturday night she’d be heading for the legion hall” sings k.d. lang in the song “Big Boned Gal”, a reflection of women’s empowerment in the rural confines of Canadian cowboy country where “the big boned gal was proud”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4oKsP4VVKI

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 15:
The song “The Vancouver National Anthem” by Matthew Good is a gritty, critical exposé of a city infested with a lingering problem called drugs. “We all live downtown / Pay in blood, no parking / Sleep on the ground / Step over ourselves”, sings Good, lyrics inspired by scenes drawn from the city's notorious Downtown Eastside, considered one of the most dangerous neighbourhoods in North America. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQVLVUxpaes

Week 4: April 24-30

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 16:
If there’s a politician in Canada that recently almost caused a revolution of sorts, it’s Steven Harper. He ever led bands like Blue Rodeo to write political songs against him. “Stealin' All My Dreams” is that Blue Rodeo song and as the song goes: “He’ll throw me in jail cause I disagree”. So 25th of April. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3C1SWVquXA

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 17:
"How many acres how much light, tucked in the woods and out of sight; Talk to the neighbours and tip my cap, on a little road barely on the map". This is Feist's description of the simple life to be lived in “Mushaboom”. Where is Mashaboom you ask? Well, it's a rural community located in Nova Scotia, along that province's Eastern Shore, and, apparently, it's where the living's easy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yInB2qWMs6k

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 18:
The song “Rossland Square” is a light jab at what we take for granted in the towns we were raised in across Canada, only to realise how much a part of us they are when we’ve been away to long. Rossland Square is a square in Oshawa, Ont. “Rossland Square” it's an ode to Oshawa, the city that gave us the band behind the song, Cuff the Duke. "So if you go, take Park Road, and have a good look around. ‘Prepare to be amazed', that's the slogan of the city where I was raised. And I'll come running back each time." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Jq5qnmOQZg

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 19:
“West Van girl, you are all that isn't fair; Can I brush your hair and whisper East Van things in your ear?” goes the song “West Van Girl” by Vancouver’s The Awkward Stage, a song about divided love separated by the class and wealth structures to be found in opposite ends of the city of Vancouver: East Van and West Van. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kjj7N8_Uxbo

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 20:
Back when he was simply known as Tom Connors, Stompin’ Tom Connors got hired to play a tavern in Sudbury, Ont. called the Townehouse. Shortly after starting his stint, Conner’s penned “Sudbury Saturday Night” as a way of winning over the crowd who, more often than not, seemed to ignore the man up on stage singing and playing his guitar. It was here where Connors started stomping his cowboy boot on the stage to get the attention of patrons, and it was here where, slowly but surely, “Sudbury Saturday Night” became a crowd favourite and eventually a Canadian classic. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sl751CDdRZI

Week 5: May 1-7

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 21:
"One Great City!" by Winnipeg’s The Weakerthans. Yes, the song's chorus says "I hate Winnipeg," but the title (snarkily borrowed from a local civic pride slogan) and loving detail reveals the heart beneath the hate. After all, we've all at times harboured ill will toward our hometowns, especially when we were young and bored and eager start our lives somewhere, anywhere, new. But we adore them, too, and that love-hate relationship to where we're from is impeccably presented here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLlsjEP7L-k

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 22:
The genius of Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You”, the quintessential after-the-fact love song, is that Mitchell understands we have to feel the love enough to mourn its passing. Apparently that passing, the version presented by Mitchell, involves Canada: “On the back of a cartoon coaster; In the blue TV screen light; I drew a map of Canada; – Oh Canada –; With your face sketched on it twice”. Maybe like Mitchell herself, he too was Canadian. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YuaZcylk_o

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 23:
Cord Lund’s “Long Gone to Saskatchewan” is a song aimed at all those folks back in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, etc. who have to work their butts off to afford a simply life in an over-priced city: “Cuz I can buy up an acre beside a nice lake here for what it costs me at home to just rent” (…) “I can miss my foothills here and still drink my pilsner, and bitch and complain and surmise; about missin' the mountain, buy hey, look, who's countin', my place here is five times the size.” The likes of Saskatchewan await. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkhcjI5Pwi0

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 24:
Well before the people at Molson Breweries started selling beer on the back of the nationalist slogan “I Am Canadian”, Vancouver’s D.O.A was letting the punk-loving masses know what crisscrossing the country of Canada in a punk band is all about via the song “I Am Canadian”. “Driving down Highway 1; Just a little east of Saskatchewan; I pulled into a Husky truck stop; More Canadian bacon and a porkchop …” Who among us doesn’t love the Canadian wasteland? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaXoI3tyKgw

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 25:
The Canadian jazz fusion band The Shuffle Demons scored a Canadian Top 40 hit with a song about a Toronto Transit Commission’s (CTT’s) Spadina Avenue bus called “Spadina Bus” back in the 80’s. Now lets hear you sing along: “Spadina Bus (Spadina Bus); Spadina Bus (Spadina Bus); Spadina Bus (Spadina Bus); Spadina Bus (Spadina Bus); I say get on the bus (get on the bus); Yeah, right on the bus (right on the bus); Right on the bus (right on the bus); The Spadina bus (the Spadina bus)”. Easy, fun and silly. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZnLjRi_g9o

Week 6: May 8-14

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 26:
Released in 1963, "Four Strong Winds" is a song by the Canadian folk duo Ian and Sylvia, a melancholy reflection on a failing romantic relationship where the male subject expresses a desire for a possible reunion in a new place in the future (Alberta), while, at the same time, acknowledging the likelihood that the relationship is over. “Think I'll go out to Alberta; Weather's good there in the fall; I got some friends that I can go to working for; Still I wish you'd change your mind; If I asked you one more time; But we've been through that a hundred times or more”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3m7ckGhnsc

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 27:
“False Creek Change” by Vancouver’s Said the Whale laments the trendy, expensive development in the False Creek area of downtown Vancouver, and how it has pushed out so many long standing residents. “False Creek changed in '86; the year Expo exploited her shore. It's been twenty two years laying down bricks, and there's no room for me here anymore …”. Nowadays, a ghetto for the upper classes, this part of Vancouver is. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IkqtDWhpz0

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 28:
Hank Snow’s “Canadian Pacific” tells the story of a man travelling by train across Canada from East to West, taking up different jobs to get by, until he reaches his final destination – his baby’s arms. “Canadian Pacific, carry me three thousand miles. Through the valleys and the forests, to the sunshine of her smile. 'Cross the plains and the rugged mountains, keep this wandering boy from harm. Canadian Pacific, take me to my baby's arms. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyeK4dfbth8

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 29:
The Leopard Canal, located in Belgium, was a major line of German resistance during the Battle of the Scheldt in World War II. "The Banks of the Leopold Canal" by Saskatchewan’s Deep Dark Woods tells the story of a Canadian soldier leaving his love behind to go serve his country during the war. “Cruel was the war when it first began; Out of Canada we lost many a man. Out of Canada, men were battered and torn; Thousands lay dead on Leopold's shore”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKNYtva2bNA

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 30:
The Tragically Hip’s “Bobcaygeon”, at first listen, a beautiful song about Ontario cottage country where “the constellations reveal themselves one star at a time.” A closer introspection, however, reveals a song about racism that obliquely drinks inspiration from the Toronto Christie Pits Riot in 1933, a riot started at a baseball game between a mostly Jewish team and an anti-semitic club where Anglo-Canadian teens displayed a swastika flag. Supporters of both sides started to mass and a 10,000 person riot ensued as “their voices rang with that Aryan twang”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qxGYnZCeTY

Week 7: May 15-21

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 31:
Rita MacNeil was proud to represent her province of Nova Scotia. One night, as she sat in her hotel room in Vancouver, thinking about her beloved home, she came up with the lyrics: “So walk through her green fields, go down to the sea; The fortune in your eyes is more like a dream; She's called Nova Scotia and she so makes you feel; You’ve discovered a treasure no other has seen.” Alas the song “She’s Called Nova Scotia”, Rita’s ode to her home province. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2krP7HQMGgo

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 32:
“There is a town in North Ontario; Dream comfort memory to spare; And in my mind I still need a place to go; All my changes were there”. So sings out Neil Young in the song “Helpless”, a song about Young’s pining for simpler times in Northern Ontario, or more precisely, the town of Omemee where Young grew up. Below Neil does a rendition with Joni Mitchell and The Band. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2z7LXpAX3Q

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 33:
"Montreal -40°C" by Montreal’s French singing band Malajube is a song that tells us “Oh Montréal t'es tellement froide” only to go on to declare “Et je t'aime tellement que j'hallucine”. Yes that’s what -40ºC on l'Île de Montréal can do to a person. Bonne fête Montréal! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHwSk8bFS4M

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 34:
Sloan’s "The Rest of My Life" is a song that deals with growing up, or better yet, not knowing when it’s time to do so – when it’s time to take on other responsibility, to leave the fast life behind and settle down. The doubter depicted in the song may have doubts but there’s one thing he’s pretty sure of: “One thing I know about the rest of my life: I know that I'll be living it in Canada”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygejqgBm9l0

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 35:
Blue Rodeo doesn’t mince any words when comparing Alberta to Ontario in their classic tune “Western Skies”. “And I’d rather be back in the Rocky Mountains than sitting in some bar on Queen Street” is one such line in this ode to the natural wonders found along the B.C./Alberta border, set to one of the band’s twangiest Canadiana country licks. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bese4ijI8V8

Week 8: May 22-28

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 36:
The Lakeside Park offering its name to the Rush song “Lakeside Park” is located on the shore of Port Dalhousie, a suburb of St. Catharines, Ontario, on the south shore of Lake Ontario. Rush drummer and lyricist Neil Peart lived very close to Lakeside Park, and spent summers as a child and in his teen years playing and working at the fairgrounds that occupy the park. The lyrics mention that all too typical holiday that takes place in May, Victoria Day – today. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfpZGtr9BiU

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 37:
“Yo, it's corrupt where I'm from, Edmonton, tough” isn’t a lyric one is used to hearing in hip-hop. But the artist known as Cadence Weapon's tune “Oliver Square” is rife with rich detail of the oil town. The city’s Poet Laureate just wants us all to know he’s from “Champion City”, or at least it used to be. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLU8Crh5x_M

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 38:
“Oh Alberta, don't you cry, listen to me, it'll be alright, uh huh oh yeah; Don't hate Saskatchewan, never meant no harm to anyone; Manitoba, don't you know you're out where you won't make it home; Back to Ontario” is the start of a musical journey across Canada via the song “Oh Alberta” by Ontario’s Elliott Brood. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jC547s953ac

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 39:
Metric’s “Fanfare Parkdale” is regarded an ode to the Toronto neighbourhood of Parkdale with special descriptive emphasis of the neighbourhood lying in the lines: "We almost forgot every building is a shop, every person is a shopper..." – “flipping out” living in a consumer or “magazine neighborhood” designed to be exactly that. “As we headed further west, into the worst, out of the best” of Toronto we guess, but it could be other major Canadian cities too. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GD-ImYZxKCY

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 40:
Is there anyone in Canada capable of writing a breakup song using the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway as analogy? Of course there is; that can only be Gordon Downie. The song “Vancouver Divorce” does just that. “Sitting here at the Horton's”, says the song, “so you know this is important. Because it’s a Canadian gathering point of serious debate and discussion; … till one day. “Now we've hammered the last spike and we've punched the railroad through”. It’s the end of the line. It’s time to move on. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dX1C_ZbzM-k

Week 9: May 29-June 4

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 41:
Sarah Harmer cofounded a conservation group called Protecting Escarpment Rural Land (PERL) to battle a proposed quarry development on the Niagara Escarpment near her hometown of Burlington, Ontario. The song "Escarpment Blues" starts by asking: “If they blow a hole in my backyard; Everyone is gonna run away; The creeks won't flow to the Great Lake below; Will the water in the wells still be ok?”. Sometimes local activism can create some worldly results. That quarry never did go ahead. The creeks still flow to the Great Lakes and the water in the wells are still ok. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52vXPZAkDug

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 42:
In 1971 Manitoba’s Rick Neufeld wrote and recorded a song called “Moody Manitoba Morning” and had no success with it. That same year, the Montreal band The Bells, would cover the song and would see it become a cross-Canada hit. “I'm not sad or happy; just living day by day. It's a moody Manitoba mornin'; and I like it that way”, goes the tune. Manitoba sure sounds laid-back. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPygR80OOmM 

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 43:
As we celebrate young lives the world over today, we are reminded of the tragic story of Chanie Wenjack, a 12-year-old indigenous boy who, in the 1966, was separated from his family and placed in the Cecelia Jeffrey Indian Residential School in Kenora, Ontario. In October of 66, Chanie escaped the residential school and tried to walk home. His family lived 400 miles away. He followed the railway but never made it. Last year, Gord Downie paid homage to Chanie Wenjack with the release of an album that, in Downie’s words, is “an attempt to capture the feeling, somehow, of Chanie trying to get home.” The song “The Stranger” kicks off what Downie depicts as Chanie’s “secret path”. May Chanie’s story serve as a lesson to Canada and the world over. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=za2VzjkwtFc

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 44:
“And at the end of the day I will return to the city of lakes; Where the real people roam close to where all the real waves break”, sings Matt Mays and El Torpedo in the song “City of Lakes”, the nickname of the community of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, the town Matt Mays calls home. Because no matter how far you roam, it’s always nice to come home to who and what you know. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWqT6erNWUg

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 45:
“Old Portuguese men, hanging 'round, in the ancient smoke of a local bar”. In the song “Charlin, Angel of Kensington”, Jason Collett sets to song the presence of the Portuguese in the Toronto neighbourhood of Kensington Market. In the song, however, just like historic Kensington Market, the Portuguese are just part of the equation that composes “the shopkeepers and merchants, all families of immigrants”, or at least used to. Kensington Market is today very much a hipster neighbourhood with its hip bars, vegan sandwich joints and vintage clothing shops. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sz02rHvVwjk

Week 10: June 5-11

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 46:
If you happen to have been in Eastern Ontario, Southern Quebec and in Nova Scotia during the Great Ice Storm of 1998, it was probably one of the worse, yet unique, climatic moments in your life lives. The Arcade Fire song “Neighbourhood #3 (Power Out)” is about that ice storm (during which band members, no different from other Montrealers, were trapped in darkness with no power for an entire week. “Kids are swingin' from the power lines; Nobody's home, so nobody minds” – of course not, it’s Canada. The snow banks must have been pretty damn high. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ozdCLrTrtA

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 47:
In 1972, Canadian folk singer Bonnie Dobson sang about the “Poor Girls of Ontario” and the way men left that province for other points of Canada, leaving the young ladies behind. The only solutions? – “I’ll find me a husband and a good one too, if I have to go to the Caribou”. That’s right, she’ll chase one down all the way out to central B.C., if need be. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33mEwWeioxg

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 48:
There was a time when life wasn’t easy in the province of Saskatchewan. A time when farmers couldn’t make ends meet and working aged folk couldn’t find jobs. For the character in The Arrogant Worms song “The Last Saskatchewan Pirate”, the only option was to become a pirate on the river Saskatchewan. “'Cause it's a heave-ho, high-ho, coming down the Plains; Stealing wheat and barley and all the other grains. And it's a ho-hey, high-hey, farmers bar your doors; When you see the Jolly Roger on Regina's mighty shores”. An eye patch and parrot on the shoulder kinda trouble had hit the Prairies. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHAl1tWvvPA

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 49:
Trush Hermit’s “The Day We Hit the Coast”, a song written about the band's experiences touring Canada. The lyrics describe crossing prairies, “going up and over the mountains” and the "cool, cool breeze; blowing cool off Lake Louise." But the most joy is reserved for the moment these once east coast kids from Halifax meet the other coast – the Pacific. https://vimeo.com/78886283

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 50:
The song "The CN Tower Belongs to the Dead" by Final Fantasy (aka Owen Pallett) is certainly one not limited to poetic interpretations. The song deals with living and dying, that’s pretty clear. The CN Tower, however, seems to depict an object that, although built by humans, in the end it “lives” to outlast us all. “The CN Tower is built upon our bones! The CN Tower will always be our home!” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sryXWMn81nQ

Week 11: June 12-18

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 51:
Neil Young and Crazy Horse bringing out some provincial pride with the song “Born in Ontario”: “I was born in Ontario, where the black fly bites, and the green grass grows, that's where I learned most of what I know …” and then you move on. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1woTG_DaTuw

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 52:
Woodpigeon’s “Our Love is as Tall as the Calgary Tower” wants to make sure you know there’s no bigger love in town. Well that is unless that love is being measured on a Canada wide scale. In that case, there are taller loves in other Canadian cities. https://vimeo.com/15006305

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 53:
“One day God walked on old Mount Royal; Just to dream up the human form; Threw stones and cans and comic books in a kettle; And you came out like a shining goddess heavy metal”, goes the song “Montreal” by hometown act Bran Van 3000, a song that might be about a female love interest, or maybe, if you think about it, about the city of Montreal itself. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-BfbjYRPrw

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 54:
“Oh the prairie lights are burnin' bright; The Chinook wind is a-movin' in; Tomorrow night I'll be Alberta bound” are the opening lined to Gordon Lightfoot’s “Alberta Bound”, a tune about going back home to what one knows and what one loves. Here’s Gordon doing the song along with a bunch of friends. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A12paRJaCFo

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 55:
Outside my window, I listen to the rain; and the sounds of the passing cars, and the waves on English Bay” goes the song “English Bay” by Blue Rodeo, a song about being in a hotel room in Vancouver (obviously located in front of English Bay), while missing someone who’s “fifteen hundred miles away”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OC9HrAyzkmg

Week 12: June 19-25

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 56:
Gordon Downie shares a depiction of a hard Canadian via the song “The Hard Canadian”. Who might the hard Canadian be though? Well the character seems to be as uncommunicative as a sheet of rock in coldest February (after all, undaunting is “the elusive presence of the sun, to the hard Canadian”), but as the Hard Canadian drags a “brush through ... wet pigment,” remembering the “glow” of someone's nightgown, it appears that his hardness is really just an act. Perhaps Canada itself is the hard Canadian, a country that according to Downie, “needs to feel more vulnerable, act more vulnerable.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egtKJN5ro2o

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 57:
Buffy Sainte-Marie was born in Qu'appelle Valley, Saskatchewan. The song “Qu'appelle Valley Saskatchewan” is about her origins as an aboriginal Canadian and about going back to roots, going back to “walking the old way”. “Wrap me in your blanket dance me around; Take me back to where my heart belongs; Qu'Apelle Valley, ho Saskatchewan”. Because sometimes you have to return to officialise who you really are. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwV3vuMN1_o

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 58:
“From the Troller to the Raven with all stops in between.” And in between there was the “Park Royal Hotel, The Rusty Gull, Square-Rigger and Queen's Cross” – all of each drinking establishments in Vancouver North Shore back when there were very few and non were close to each other. That’s the theme of the song “The Crawl by Spirit of the West. That’s right, a song that tackles the very serious issue of going out on a pub crawl in a vast, all too Canadian setting. The song is further explained by the band in the video below. “I got out to Horseshoe Bay a little after five; From a table in the corner I heard familiar voices rise.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVhW6Tiwm6A

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 59:
“Tell her I'm glad she's doin' well in Montreal” goes the Corb Lund song “Alberta Says Hello”. “Tell her that the winters are still cold. Tell her I still got the old wood stove. Tell her that the Oilers are scorin' goals. Tell her that Alberta says hello.” And after that, “Tell her that I really miss her laugh. And tell her that I'm sick about the past. Tell her what I'd do with one more chance. Tell her that the snow is comin' fast. Well not that fast … yet. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAHbjMxzDlo

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 60:
Hey Christmas is exactly 6 months from today. To celebrate that, here’s a classic Canadian country tune by the classic Canadian country artist Wilf Carter, a little something called “Christmas in Canada”. Let’s all join in and sing shall we? “It’s Christmas time in Canada, hear the church bells ring; oh gather around the Christmas tree, sweet carols for you to sing. Christ was born on Christmas day, give thanks to God above; For it’s Christmas time in Canada the land we dearly love. It’s Christmas time in Canada, from the shores of Newfoundland; Across the snowcapped Rockies, to the Prairies can be found. A Merry Christmas to you all, make merry while we can; It’s Christmas time in Canada, God bless our native land.” One more time… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6j5R0YpnJM

Week 13: June 26-July 2

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 61:
In 1979, Toronto’s Martha and the Muffins had a huge international hit with the song “Echo Beach”. Now at the time the song was written, Echo Beach wasn’t a place anywhere in Canada, but rather a symbolic notion of somewhere someone would rather be. The song “Echo Beach”, however, perhaps foresaw a place, one that would be built years later, as is the case of the Echo Beach outdoor concert space in Toronto (built in 2011), located along the waterfront on a real sandy beach. Sure an Echo Beach now exists but it will always be more fun if you tell people that it’s “far away in time.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEQkIEkxm7k

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 62:
"The Maple Leaf Forever" is a Canadian song written by Alexander Muir (1830–1906) in 1867, the year of Canada's Confederation. Muir was said to have been inspired to write this song by a large maple tree which stood on his street in front of Maple Cottage, a house at Memory Lane and Laing Street in Toronto. The song became quite popular in English Canada and for many years served as an unofficial national anthem CBC Radio's Metro Morning show in Toronto ran a contest to find new lyrics for the song in 1997. The contest was won by Romanian immigrant, mathematician, and now a songwriter, actor and poet, Vladimir Radian, who came to Canada in the 1980s. During the final game of the Toronto Maple Leafs at their former home stadium, Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, Anne Murray sang another version (modified from Radian's version) of the Maple Leaf Forever to the crowd. This version was also used by Michael Bublé during the 2010 Winter Olympics closing ceremony. Here’s that Michael Bublé version. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WHbj4_y8q8

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 63:
Hip Hoppin’ the Canadian identity, sometimes serious sometimes stereotypically, that’s what Classified’s “Oh Canada” does. So many lyrics to chose from, could really quote the whole song, but we’ll go with the part that most applies to those us on the outside: “I know where I'm from and I told ya before, North of America, hard to ignore; Every-time I go away I tell them for sure; I'm from Canada, oh-oh-oh Canada; Oh Canada, oh-oh-oh Canada; I'm from Canada, oh-oh-oh Canada.” Yes sir! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fF62J3vxPdQ

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 64:
Whittling Canada down to just 150 references is a pretty tall order, but Bryan Anderson, a language teacher from New Westminster, B.C., proved up to the challenge and created a six-and-a-half minute song entitled “We're Canadian”, a tune that features 150 references covering everything from Niagara Falls and Penny Oleksiak's gold medal race to James Naismith and Stompin’ Tom’s Good Ol’ Hockey Game, all for Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMiFeu91Dms

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 65:
The band is called Sikumiut (translation: People of the Ice); the song is called “Utirumavunga” (translation “I Want to Go Back”). This Canadian Inuit country-rock outfit hailed from Puvirnituq, a northern village in Nunavik, near its mouth on the Hudson Bay in northern Quebec in the mid-1970’s. One of the versus of this song says: "White man came, destroyed everything, but we fought, and fought, and even though they beat us with their heavy killing machines and close-mindedness, our souls will forever live on in bliss and harmony because we and all things under the sun except the white man understands life as it was meant to be, not what they thought it should be." A story all too typical to the making of Canada. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VSsDSE2HEk

Week 14: July 3-9

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 66:
“I am the face of my country; Expressionless and small. Weak at the knees, shaking badly; Can't straighten up at all. I watch the spine of my country bend and break; I'm a sorry state” goes Spirit of the West’s “Far too Canadian”, an anti-Mulroney songs about the Mulroney government years, reflecting the widespread popular opposition to Mulroney among the Canadian public which led to the 1992 defeat of the Charlottetown Accord and the Progressive Conservative decimation in the Canadian federal election in 1993. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cax8qkZz6Lk

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 67:
Many are the ways one can interpret the Joel Plaskett Emergency song "True Patriot Love". We believe that Plaskett is here using a real life relationship as a metaphor for the one that exists between Canada-US, especially concerning free trade: “And we raise the white flag, So they can paint it red and blue, Getting into bed seemed easy enough, Getting out's a little harder to do”. As timely as a softwood lumber dispute, isn’t it? You’d think the two would be good bed buddies, but: “We all go out, then we all come home, But I fall asleep with the TV on, At 3 AM they play "O Canada", True patriot love and lalalalala”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLoO_XsYAxQ

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 68:
The Tragically Hip song “38 Years Old” is a fictional account of the real-life escape of 14 inmates from Millhaven Institution near the band's hometown of Kingston, Ontario on July 10, 1972. The date of the event and the number of escapees mentioned in the song are historically incorrect ("12 men broke loose in '73..."). This was done for the purpose of meter, and for rhyming with the next line of the song ("...from Millhaven maximum security"). In real life, of the 14 escapees, 12 were caught, one was shoot dead and the 14th was never found again. If there was a “Michael” among them, he wasn’t so lucky: “My mother cried, "The horror has finally ceased"; He whispered, "Yeah, for the time being at least"; And over her shoulder on the squad car megaphone; Said, "Let's go, Michael, son, we're taking you home." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbIZ1IuqCzU

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 69:
In the tune "416/905 (T.O. Party Anthem)", the godfather of Canadian rap and self-proclaimed "Toronto sex symbol" Maestro Fresh-Wes sets out to accomplish one goal: “to put Toronto on the party map”. In other words, form “T to the dot, O to the 'nother dot, know who makes the party hot”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9r2rmYUly7I

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 70:
Rufus Wainwright's “Hometown Waltz is a song about how "travelling out to find your way home" is a waste of time, as there's nothing special to be found out there. So eventually you'll end back home with the frustration of that greener grass you thought you'd find, being non-existent. Hometown, in this case, is Montreal, Wainwright’s hometown where “on Ontario Street looking up, Maybe (he'll) catch him on his way to the show. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=roIMWTF3vOk

Week 15: July 10-16

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 71:
“In the blue Canadian Rockies; Spring is silent through the trees; And the golden poppies are blooming; 'Round the banks of Lake Louise” goes the song “Blue Canadian Rockies” by Wilf Carter. It’s classic Canadiana at its best. Let that fiddle weep. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n90KkM2XVHw

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 72:
“I left Toronto in the rain, landed in Vancouver in the rain” are the lines that state off the song “Pacific Blue” by Jason Collett, not necessarily a song about the all too common Canadian climate conditions of light precipitation or heavy downpours, but one that does bring on the blues. Vancouver, as we know, sure gets a lot of it, but it’s in the interior of British Columbia where it’s particularly needed right now. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6ScydVfWIo

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 73:
The Rural Alberta Advantage don’t forget their roots, hence the name of the band. The song “Vulcan, Ab.” Is an ode to the small Alberta community that shares its name with a planet on Star Trek, that of Vulcan (of course). Vulcan, Alta. takes pride in its Star Trek connection, though ask pretty much any local, it’s pretty much the only thing the community has going for it – a community where the Enterprise is the town’s centrepiece. “Oh, you and me in the Enterprise, in Vulcan another night”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDgLsrMwo7U

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 74:  
Lets face it, Canada, the country of “sorries” and “I’ll hold the door open for you even if you’re at a considerable distance” and “lets pay that double-double forward”, is also one packed with trashy, trailer trash outcasts who often wish not to see life beyond their next welfare check. If it weren’t for these rogues of society, guess we would’ve never ended up with the Trailer Park Boys on the TV. The Dayglo Abortions tune ‘Proud to be a Canadian’ paints a silly, in your face, not exactly politically correct image of this side of Canada. “I'm proud to be a Canadian; Pass me another welfare check. I'm proud to be a Canadian; Hold my seat while I go out and cash it.”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAbisg02JD4

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 75:
The song “Philadelphia” by Vancouver’s Vancougar is not about the American city of Philadelphia whatsoever. The song is actually about growing up in the city of Vancouver back in the days before social media and iphones. “He used to skate. He skated all the time. He used to be shy, to see me in the summertime. We'd go to the PNE, with cash from Al and Jean …”. That’s right, those innocent summer days spent at the PNE – the Pacific National Exhibition – the annual 17-day summer fair that is surely part of the memories of many who grew up in that city. The fair’s been running since 1910, only having taken a break during World War II. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKiVISBsSlw.

Week 16: July 17-23

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 76:
The Rheostatics wrote a song in two parts about the hardworking Canadian hockey player. They called that song “Ballad Of Wendel Clark, Pts. 1 – 2”. “Well I heard Wendel talking to Dave Hodge last night; And he said that he was confident and keen. And he said that Jacques Plante didn't die so all of us could glide; He said that hard work is the ethic of the free. Wendel was a man with a stick in his hands who learned how to play in Kelvington, Sask. You'll wish that you had died, when Wendel has your hide, 'cause he does it the Canadian way. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kD-ITgCZlCE

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 77:
In the world of global travel and backpacking, no nationality is more respected than that of the Canadian. That’s often the reason for the flag on the back – let the world know where you’re from, because with that way of speaking, you just might be taken for an American otherwise. The song “X-pat” by Octoberman is about this very theme, the Canadian backpacker, the friendliest, most laidback travel there is. “He asked me if I paid my fare; a flag on my back and it was all laissez-faire. Then he asked me about those great outdoors; and if it's true we don't lock doors …”.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8HvnaFMqR8

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 78:
If anything, the Stompin' Tom Conners song "Long Gone to the Yukon" teaches us that the Yukon was once full of dancing girls, mystic voices and a whole lot of gold. Between 1896 and 1899, an estimated 100,000 prospectors made their way to the Klondike Gold Rush up in the Yukon. “Long Gone to the Yukon” tells the simple story of one such prospector. “I'll paddle my canoe along the Klondike; I'll pan the gold and be a sour dough. And when I pull into Dawson City, Yukon I'll be heading for the Diamond Lil Saloon…” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oGiybl9Af8

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 79:
“The girl works at the store sweet Jane St. Clair” is the opening line to the Barenaked Ladies song “Jane”, a tune inspired by one of the loveliest named intersections in Toronto Jane and St. Clair. Of course the female character in the song can only be a reflection of what inspired her name, as in someone “divided” as Jane and St.Clair is dividing, as it is so sweet to the point that you can’t really decide which side you want to be on. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0AayVP5w9s

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 80:
The Lethbridge Viaduct, commonly known as the High Level Bridge, is a massive railroad bridge that goes over coulees and creeks located right in the city of Lethbridge, Alta. Sadly, the bridge is also a place where many people go to commit suicide. The song “The Dethbridge in Lethbridge” by The Rural Alberta Advantage tells the story of a couple torn apart by the death of a family member (her grandfather), and now, while he wants out of town, she’s staying in the “old aching town”. “You felt the old bridge weigh us down; Let's try to turn our love around; And take the Dethbridge out of town.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFm64JKARGI

Week 17: July 24-30

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 81:
"Acadian Driftwood" by The Band is a portrayal of the troubled history of Nova Scotia and Acadia. Specifically, it is about the Expulsion of the Acadians (the descendants of French colonists) from Acadia, what is now Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, during the war between the French and the English. In all, of the 14,100 Acadians in the region, approximately 11,500 Acadians were deported, the majority sailing down the East Coast of North America to the Thirteen Colonies (the 13 original British colonies along the eastern seaboard of the US) and eventually further down to Louisiana becoming known as "Cajuns". “Acadian driftwood, Gypsy tailwind; They call my home the land of snow; Canadian cold front, movin' in; What a way to ride, Oh what a way to go”.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=te7KW4K-00E

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 82:
The Arkells song “Where U Goin” is set in a dorm room at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. The protagonist is a girl from Sarnia – aka “the Chemical Valley” – who’s feeling homesick and missing her family. The song is about being from small town Canada and missing that part of one’s life when one leaves it for the first time. “And you know in your bones, this might never feel like home, tonight. 403-401-402, you're on the run tonight.” The 403, 401 and the 402 are all highways leading back to Sarnia. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSb38323fJk

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 83:
The Smugglers song “Vancouver B.C.” is the ultimate catchy Vancouver tune. The song is so Vancouver, it even makes reference to Vancouver’s most popular citizen in the 80’s, Good Rockin’ Tonite and Much Music VJ, Terry David Mulligan. "I love Vancouver, Vancouver is my home town. Well I love Grouse Mountain, I love to surf, Vancouver, B.C., Vancouver, B.C." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EewEH8VrnY0

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 84:
The Northern Ontario town of Kapuskasing is a community known for its long, cold winters. The summer growing season is short and often punctuated by killing frosts. It is said that visitors often comment on the deep blue of the sky during clear weather – a cold blue. That said, surely the only reason Justin Rutledge would pen a song called “Kapuskasing Coffee” is to honour such a beverage in keeping Kapuskasingites(?) warm. It surely isn’t for the fact that Kapuskasing produces some of the finest blends to be had in Canada. “Early one morning drinking Kapuskasing coffee; Kapuskasing Coffee and I sang to you”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-9lWcSkr2o

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 85:
If you’ve ever made the long trek across Ontario with the seemingly endless stretches of trees, you’ll appreciate this Blue Rodeo song. The Toronto band has done more than a few of these drives, touring most of the country’s small towns many times over. “Mattawa” is the name of a song named after the northeastern Ontario town in the Ottawa valley. The song describes a winter night’s journey home with arrival scheduled in the wee hours of the morning: “200 miles ’til sunrise; 200 miles of this ice and snow; I’ll greet the dawn in Mattawa.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiR0B6cDEek

Week 18: July 31- August 6

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 86:
The tune “Manitoba” by The Wilderness of Manitoba is a soft, meandering song that sits beautifully in a landscape the invites observation to be carried out at a measured pace. Surely the wide open spaces of a province like Manitoba are fitting, as are the prairies in general. “I’m driving far; In a broken car; To where you are; Today.” https://vimeo.com/9682727

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 87:
Canadian alt-country chanteuse Carolyn Mark definitely and deftly walks the line between sly, sardonic humor with a wink and deadpan seriousness in the song “The Queen of Vancouver Island”, a song that leaves us wondering at times if the song is referring to a specific someone, or if it’s simply about the ferry boat that plies the Georgia Straight on a daily basis from Swartz Bay on Vancouver Island to Tsawwassen on the B.C. mainland. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QuKPAGILeLo

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 88:
Best known as the voice behind the Winnipeg band The Weakerthans, John K. Samson’s solo work has brought us such gems as “Oldest Oak at Brookside”, a song is addressed to the oldest oak tree in Winnipeg's Brookside Cemetery which happens to be western Canada’s oldest cemetery containing over 200,000 graves, the oldest dating back to 1876. The song serves as a reminder that nature, even if in the form of a single tree, existed long before the events and advances we tend to take for granted, in the case of this song, having Winnipeg as the setting of those events and advances. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVYFWlkAU7w

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 89:
The Kate & Anna McGarrigle song “Complainte Pour Ste. Catherine” just might be the quintessential song about Montreal. “Moi j' me promène sous Ste-Catherine; J' profite de la chaleur du métro; Je n' me regarde pas dans les vitrines; Quand il fait trente en-dessous d' zéro; Y'a longtemps qu'on fait d' la politique; Vingt ans de guerre contre les moustiques; Je ne me sens pas intrépide; Quand il fait fret j' fais pas du ski; J'ai pas d' motel aux Laurentides; Le samedi c'est l' soir du hockey”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXL7hUHaJaY

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 90:  
Sam Roberts penned a song called “An American Draft Dodger in Thunder Bay” and guess what it’s about? Yeah Thunder Bay was somewhat a popular destination for American draft dodgers who didn’t want to go to Vietnam back in the late 60’s. “He's on his way to Thunder Bay; Crossed the border late at night; And it was high stakes until he saw the Great Lakes; And he felt the cold wind bite”. (…) “I'm an American on the Canadian Shield; And I'm putting down roots in your frozen fields; It gets cold but you feel so good to be a stranger in a town and you're understood”.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tI6rInBvpmI

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 91:
The thing about an instrumental piece of music is that you can pretty much give it whatever name you want. This Broken Social Scene song is called “I Slept with Bonhomme at the CBC”, and why not (the title that is, not the actual sleeping with Bonhomme at the CBC.) Does the song not ooze sexual relations with the King of the Quebec Winter Carnival under the architectural confines of Canada’s oldest existing broadcasting network? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZuikjeK6Do

Week 19: August 7-13

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 92:
“50 Mission Cap” by The Tragically Hip describe the mysterious disappearance of Toronto Maple Leafs hockey player Bill Barilko. Barilko scored the Stanley Cup clinching goal for the Leafs over Montreal Canadiens in the 1951 cup finals. Four months and five days later, Barilko departed on a fishing trip in a small, single-engine airplane with friend. The plane disappeared between Rupert House and Timmins, Ont., leaving no trace of the men. Eleven years later a helicopter discovered the plane wreckage roughly 100 kilometres north of Cochrane, Ont. Barilko would be buried to rest in his home town of Timmins, Ont., the same year that the Maple Leafs would win their next Stanley Cup. “I stole this from a hockey card, I keep tucked up under”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkYoGf0pN9o

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 93:
A Québécois anthem, Gilles Vigneault’s “Mon pays” expresses nationalism, solidarity and connection to the northern landscapes. "Mon pays, ce n'est pas un pays, c'est l'hiver" ("My country is not a country, it's winter") — provides a good illustration of the metaphoric character of the song as Vigneault goes on to speak of winds, cold, snow and ice, establishing the weather of Northern Québec as a metaphor for its cultural isolation. Beyond evoking the solitude of wide open spaces, Vigneault also expresses the ideal of brotherhood and solidarity, stating: “De mon grand pays solitaire; Je crie avant que de me taire; A tous les hommes de la terre; Ma maison c'est votre maison; Entre mes quatre murs de glace; Je mets mon temps et mon espace; A préparer le feu, la place; Pour les humains de l'horizon; Et les humains sont de ma race.” And surely nothing’s changed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G551bmF4AhA

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 94:
“Bud the Spud” by Stompin’ Tom Connors, a song about a trucker who hauls potatoes out of Prince Edward Island. “It's bud the spud from the bright red mud; Goin down the highway smiling; The Spuds are big on the back of Bud's rig; And they're from Prince Edward Island they're from Prince Edward Island”. Is it any wonder that the song was turned into an illustrated children's book in 1994 featuring Bud the truck driver and his dog, and that an iconic tribute chip truck in downtown Halifax calling itself Bud the Spud has been there selling spuds since 1977? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtySGSuKZe8

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 95:
“Us middle-aged men just completing; The finishing touches on a dope deal; It's agreed we get a small piece; In the middle of the cornfield; When these Canada geese fly south; We'll harvest in the dark …” goes Gordon Downie’s “Canada Geese”, a song about the paranoia of pot growing middle-aged men and the Canada Geese who know what’s going on. “Us Canada geese held a meeting; In the middle of a cornfield; It's agreed we leave in small vees; And meet up again in the real world …”. Canada’s geese know all. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqgm9XiqAgE

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 96:
Surely you’ve been there, “...kick the darkness 'til it bleeds daylight...” as Bruce Cockburn describes in the song “The Coldest Night of the Year”. “I was up all night, socializing; Trying to keep the latent depression from crystallizing; Now the sun is lurking just behind the Scarborough horizon; And you're not even here; On the coldest night of the year.” The song is an ode to wintery Toronto (oh so far away right now): “I took in Yonge Street at a glance; Heard the punkers playing; Watched the bikers dance; Everybody wishing they could go to the south of France” or maybe Portugal … why not? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Mwc43Fd9DY

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 97:
“Edmonton” by The Rural Alberta Advantage, a song about memories of where you’re from, of when you were growing up, and how that city defines you even when you’re not there. In this case, as you might have guessed, that city is Edmonton, and just like every city, when the kids are growing up and are bored, they set out to explore: “Meet me there again; Under the lights at the Leg; And we will burn our eyes; Seeking out these purple nights". When the Legislature in Edmonton is lit up at night with yellow floodlights, they say if you walk up and stare into them for awhile, everything will look all purple-y when you look away. "Purple City" – surely a cheap thrill when the kids have nothing better to do. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcqr68ocUxY

Week 20: August 14-20

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 98:
Ode to Canadian girls is the song “Canadian Girls” by Dean Brody. “She grew up watching hockey”; “She likes snow storms and Gordon Lightfoot”; “She spends her summers out on a boat”; “She watched Degrassi”; and “She’d give her life for the red and white”. Good golly that is so every Canadian girl … except for those who hate hockey and snow storms and don’t know who Gordon Lightfoot is and get sea sick and have no nationalistic pride. Degrassi? Well everybody watched Degrassi? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvuHQkwMRmo

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 99:
As The Arrogant Worms point out in the song “Canada is Really Big”, “It isn't what you do with it; It's the size that counts!” Guess that means Canada’s got a whole lot more thrust in it then say a place like Portugal, for example. “We're the second largest country; On this planet Earth; And if Russia keeps on shrinking; Then soon we'll be first (as long as we keep Quebec).” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOM-TmZBzZo

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 100:
It only makes sense that a band from Canada would write a song called “Fuck, I Hate the Cold”. That band is Cowboy Junkies. “Too many years on the rinks of Montreal. Too many years in the lofts of old TO. Too many nights in the bowels of Avenue B. Too many days in the arms of Lady T. Or maybe I'm just getting old, 'cause, fuck, I hate the cold.” That’s when it’s time to move somewhere warmer. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmfwHqRW-Ko

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 101:
“Fogarty’s Cove” by Stan Rogers embraces a triple-barreled narrative common in Canadian Maritime lyricism: love for your home, pride in your work and the knife-twisting need to ship away to keep working. “We just lost sight of the Queensport light down the bay before us; And the wind has blown some cold today with just a wee touch of snow; Along the shore from Lazy Head hard abeam Half Island; Tonight we'll let the anchor go down in Fogarty's Cove.” Life once upon a time along the pristine, ruggedness of Nova Scotia. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1bB8hU_pzs

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 102:
The Murray McLaughlin song “Down by the Henry Moore” references several Toronto landmarks, including Kensington Market, The Silver Dollar, the Henry Moore sculpture and close by Nathan Phillips Square, as well as the now defunct Palm Grove Saloon. The song is an ode to the Toronto of yesteryear, more specifically the 60’s and 70’s. The place has sure come a long way. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJ1S7LE6vmY

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 103:
The Tragically Hip’s “Goodnight Attawapiskat” is a song that grapples with the Federal Government’s poor treatment of Canada’s aboriginal communities. The northern Ontario community of Attawapiskat was/is an obvious example: high suicide rates, high unemployment, addiction, poor housing and overcrowding, poorly educated and high dropout rates, etc., etc… “Goodnight Attawapiskat” is based on a trip the band made to Attawapiskat to play for the people and bring light to the issues. “Attawapiskat; City by the Bay; A diamond dazzling; Oh, Attawapiskat; You're on your way.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzHu4btRUyY

Week 20: August 21-27

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 104:
As he belts in the song “Saskatchewan Son-of-a-Gun” Tim Hus is the “genuine big sky son-of-a-gun from Saskatchewan”. And everywhere that he has been, “from Estevan up to Creighton; Meadow Lake to Speedy Creek and everyplace in between; Street so wide on the main drag you can drive a combine to the bank …”. Cause “the prairie is a place, you can watch your dog run away for days; Golden fields of wheat as far as you can see.” That’s what it’s like with “grain elevators in a line out in the land of the living skies”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGxKhsr_pxY 

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 105:
Leonard Cohen recorded "Un Canadien errant" (The Wondering Canadian), a song written in 1842 by Antoine Gérin-Lajoie after the Lower Canada Rebellion of 1837–38, changing it to "Un Canadien errant" (The Lost Canadian) in 1979. The video below shows Cohen in Montreal in 1979, listening to the demo tape of this very song and translating it into English. He sits out on the balcony at the back of his home overlooking the neighboring backyard shacks of what might be his Portuguese neighbours. In the end, he is shown in Parc du Portugal where he lived until his recent passing. “Un Canadien Errant (A wandering Canadian); Banni de ses foyers (banned from his hearths); Parcourait en pleurant (travelled while crying); Des pays etrangers (in foreign lands)”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6V-Rth-NKk4  

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 106:
Calgary’s hip-hop duo Dragon Fli Empire penned the song “Mount Pleasant” based on observations while riding a Calgary Transit Bus running from the Calgary neighbourhood Mount Pleasant to downtown and back again. “It's like up and down the number 2 Killarney 17th Avenue. Its Mount Pleasant. Its Mount Pleasant y'all. Its Mount Pleasant. Its Mount Pleasant y'all.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5w0Zal6ffj8

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 107:
A hardworking man from east of Gatineau pleads with “Jolie Louise” for her to marry him and live in a pretty house — but fate has different plans in this dark love song by Canada’s legendary musician / producer Daniel Lanois. “Ma jolie, how do you do? Mon nom est Jean-Guy Thibault-Leroux. I come from East of Gatineau; My name is Jean-Guy, ma jolie. J'ai une maison a Lafontaine; Where we can live, if you marry me; Une belle maison a Lafontaine; Where we will live, you and me; O-oh Louise... ma jolie Louise.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3SUAk0pEFg

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 108:         
“There's no short cut; And no straight line; How am I to find the sleeping country?; Ghost horse in my head keeping time; Wandering lines; Trans Canada”. Cause there’s no way around it when crossing the vastness that is Canada, and “Trans Canada”, the song by The Constantines, pays homage to that long, long stretch of uniting pavement. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApY-gpsxddU

Week 21: September 9-18

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 109:
“Spoonful of sugar in Montreal city; when the leaves are dying and look so pretty. At home the ships are on the rocks and sinking. And as hard as we try, we just can't stop thinking.” The Matt Mays song “Spoonful of Sugar” is about being away from home, in this case, missing the Maritimes while in Montreal during autumn season. “Nothing can cure this homesick disease; this fall the trees fell before the leaves.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXBhXYKC_xU

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 110:
Terminal City is one of the various nicknames attributed to the city of Vancouver (or more specifically Gastown), in this case for being the western terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Doug and the Slugs paid homage to their hometown with the 1992 album Tales from Terminal City, a record that kicks off with the song “Terminal City”. “That’s all right (That’s all right); I’m sitting pretty (That’s all right); We’ve got every colour alive out in Terminal City”. We do too. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbZGZ8ubM2k

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 111:
The song “Émile Bertrand” by The United Steel Workers of Montreal is an ode to the historic Émile Bertrand Restaurant in Montreal. It’s a nostalgic look back at working class life during bygone days along Montreal's Lachine Canal where the Émile Bertrand was located from 1898 till its closing about a dozen years ago. “Dreamin’ just comes easy; when work’s too hard to bear. Staring in your eyes dear; believing our dreams can be here.” In the making of Montreal. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-AEnb3bRiA

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 112:
“Canadian lover, don't demean yourself; Though I know you and I know you mean well; Beneath a starlit night, in a prairie fire; With the pioneering spirit just about to expire” goes the song “Canadian Lover, Falcon’s Escape by Destroyer, a song about searching and not always finding. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4efK2fgdPww

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 113:
Huntsville, Ont. is 215 km north of Toronto, not far from Algonquin Provincial Park. In the song “Huntsville CA” Kevin Hearn (who is also a Barenaked Lady) and Thin Buckle describe the difference between life in the winter and in the summer up in Huntsville. It’s all comes down to this really: “Walking through the city in the sun; Where are all these people coming from?; Well they are disappear when the winter comes.” And then later on: “It’s 40 below where they go?; Shovellin’, shovellin’, shovellin’ snow.” Yeah, it almost seems like it the only reason to come out.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36sQMgpf4wc

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 114:
“North East South West” by Vancouver’s Japandroids tells us that no matter how long you’re going crazy away from Canada, Canada’s always there awaiting to ground you again. “Flayed and gutted, so I've got to go; Back home, hungry for a hand to hold; And no matter how much I fan the flames; Canada always answers when I call her name; Down and out, drinking Dundas dry; Up against the wall of a winter's night; Toronto, I'm trusting you to the cut the 'caine; 'Cause I'm saving Vancouver for a rainy day.” (By the way, some of the song’s video was shot in Portugal. See if you can spot São Bento train station in Porto for example.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=172&v=D1cRSpSk5D4

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 115:
The Rah Rah’s “Good Winter”, a song about tobogganing, ice skating and curling, can’t get much more Canadian than that. The song is a romanticised reimagining of being young in a small town Canada. The song’s nostalgic tone is meant to underline the dichotomy between all that is good about the 'good winter', as described in the song, and the reality of the harsh cold, boredom and loneliness that actuality accompanies Canada’s coldest season. “We used to go skatin' every other day. Slap in time to cheddar, I was Lafleur, you were Messier.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9L-ZDORArE

Week 22: September 18-24

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 116:
 The Kathleen Edwards song “Oh Canada” is far from being about Canada’s national anthem. The song references the 2005 killing of 15-year-old Jane Creba (killed on Boxing Day when caught in the cross-fire of a gang-related shooting on Toronto's Yonge Street) as a way of criticising larger problems in Canadian society. Although a notch down from its southerly neighbours, we cannot forget that Canada too has problems of racism, cultural sexism and gun violence. “Oh Canada, I stand on guard for a lot; But just last week a white girl was shot; Outside a shopping mall; Yea, it's written in the press; That your sweet little town; Has lost its innocence”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMhohrxvgZA 

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 117:
“Roll on Saskatchewan” by Stompin' Tom Conners, not necessarily about the province but the river that, in this case, rolls through a twangy, quickly strummed ditty. "From the wheat fields of my heart, go find your way to the cool Hudson Bay, and roll on, roll on Saskatchewan." The Saskatchewan River actually empties into Lake Winnipeg. It does not find its way to “cool Hudson Bay”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqROd4oUNB0

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 118:
Jason Collett’s “Provincial Blues” reflects on the at time unlivable state of Canadian provinces that leads to internal migration, only to have it all come back around. One moves from Alberta to Toronto because Alberta’s not doing it, only to have Toronto become too pricy. It’s an all too common part of Canada. “I came to the city, when the city was cheap. Now that cheap had some work done, I pay through the teeth. You came from Alberta; you said 'Toronto's not so bad'. I took it as a compliment, but I couldn't think of a compliment back”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUnWPFUvfuU

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 119:
"YYZ" is an instrumental rock piece by Canada’s most popular power-trio ever Rush and, funny enough, one of the band's most popular pieces when played live as well (which may say something about what people really think of Geddy Lee’s voice).Rush drummer Neil Peart once said: “It is always a happy day when YYZ appears on our luggage tags! YYZ (pronounced YY Zed, of course) is the code for Toronto International Airport, and there’s nothing like coming back home. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdpMpfp-J_I

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 120:
Anarchist Winnipeg punk rock band Propagandhi penned this raging but poignant ditty about Canada's favourite sport, that of hockey, what else? The tune "Dear Coaches Corner" comes from a passionate hockey fan who wonders why this wonderful sport must be publicly linked to military strength and nationalistic grandstanding, mainly by the man who wears the funny suits. It starts off like this: “Dear Ron MacLean, Dear Coach’s Corner, I'm writing in order for someone to explain to my niece the distinction between these mandatory pre-game group rites of submission and the rallies at Nuremburg. Specifically the function the ritual serves in conjunction with what everybody knows is in the end a kids game." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAIUf_SYpwE

Week 23: September 25-October 1

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 121:
“Nail up the windows and close up the doors, Good Time Charlie’s is no more,” laments The Deep Dark Woods in the song “Charlie's (Is Coming Down)”, a tune about the demolition of the Plains Hotel, aka the Good Time Charlie's Pub in Regina, Sask., a place where one could go to see bands play and where many a youngster – correct age or not – was introduced to ‘real’ music. They ended up putting up some condos where the sweet music used to come from. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNTcLNxci48        

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 122:
Metal music isn’t known for phrases like: "Back home to Canada to see our famous geese!" That is unless the metal band behind such lyrics is Canadian. In this case, it’s the Toronto metal heads Anvil with the song “Flying”, a tune about jetting around the world to all kinds of different cities and countries, but at the end of it all, it’s “taxi the tarmac let’s go” back to where those famous geese also call home. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CofptnV94s

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 123:
Written in 1949, "The Black Fly Song" by Wade Hemsworth is a song about being tormented by black flies while working in the wilds of Northern Ontario. The song talks about the experiences Hemsworth himself had while accompanying a Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario crew surveying the Little Abitibi River to the determine the feasibility of erecting a dam, the Abitibi Canyon Generating Station. “And the black flies, the little black flies; always the black fly no matter where you go. I'll die with the black fly a-pickin' my bones; In North Ontar-eye-o-eye-o, in North Ontar-eye-o”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjLBXb1kgMo

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 124:
“And I'm peeling off the label as they peel a corner guard; Dance down the sheet to the tune of "Hurry, Hurry Hard"”. When the song “Tournament of Hearts” by The Weakerthans was penned, the intention was clear: to describe a scene where at the forefront is Canada’s love for curling, beer, winter and more curling. “Now the lounge is full of farmers for the 7:30 draw; teammates all left before they had to buy a round. When they pull the 50/50 and I've lost again I’ll go …” Because what else is there after the 50/50 draw? It’s classic Canadian moment. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYWkUeFYzl4

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 125:
Surely you’ve heard of the War of 1812, but do you remember what happened? In a nutshell: “And the white house burned burned burned down, and we're the ones that did it. It burned, burned, burned while the president ran and cried. It burned, burned, burned down and things were very historical, and the Americans ran and cried like a bunch of little babies yeah wah wah wah! In the war of 1812.” – or so The Arrogant Worms tell us in the song “The War of 1812”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AU2Zr8bI6T4

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 126:
The Frank Slide was a rockslide that buried part of the mining town of Frank, Alberta. Having taken place at 4:10 am on April 29, 1903, the horrid night would see over 90 million tons of limestone rock slid down Turtle Mountain in the Rocky Mountains, obliterating the eastern edge of Frank, the Canadian Pacific Railway line and the coal mine. It was one of the largest landslides in Canadian history and remains the deadliest, as it’s believed that up to 90 of the town's residents were killed, most of whom remain buried in the rubble today. The Rural Alberta Advantage song “Frank, AB” is about the episode in Canadian history, an ode to the people underneath all the rocks. “And under the rubble of the mountain that tumbled, I'll hold you forever”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otSHtSea1Yo

Week 24: October 2-8

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 127:
Prairie Oyster’s “Canadian Sunrise”, a song that tells us that no matter how bad things may get for those who live in the Great White North, tomorrow’s a new day. And when that sun comes up, it’s a good a time as ever to start anew new. “However rough the road, however dark the skies; Your frozen soul will melt like April ice; When a shot of gold hits your eyes; Canadian Sunrise”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuInLbVUOAM

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 128:
“It's the longest street in the world; with the most feet in the world. Another street where boy meets girl; on Yonge Street.” A major arterial route connecting the shores of Lake Ontario in Toronto to Lake Simcoe, up until 1999, the Guinness Book of World Records listed Yonge Street as being 1,896 km long, and thus the longest street in the world; this due to a conflation of Yonge Street with the rest of Ontario's Highway 11. This was actually false. The truth is Yonge Street (including the Bradford-to-Barrie extension) is actually 86 km long and in the song “On Yonge Street”, Gordon Lightfoot pays tribute to every single foot of it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drVQ3tsDA9A

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 129:
Because the NHL season kicks off tonight, and because hockey is a cornerstone of what Canada’s all about, this is Jane Siberry’s “Hockey”. “They rioted in the streets of Montreal when they benched Rocket Richard, it's true; Don't let those Sunday afternoons get away get away get away get away; Break away break away break away break away. The sun is fading on the frozen river; The wind is dying down; Someone else just got called for dinner”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxPEBW4o740

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 130:
 “Lefty” by Edmonton’s The Wheat Pool tells the story of the troubled, emotional lives of Lefty’s adult-aged children and their distant relations with their father and even among themselves. Lefty was distant, even absent. He was probably more troubled than anyone. He was a Canadian war veteran and who knows in what condition he was in. On the day of Lefty’s funeral, his children come together. It was time for some healing. “Those ashes, they’re in the ground. We left them in a Manitoba town”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5buW2wvhUQ

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 131:
The Moxy Fruvous song “King of Spain” is a fictional immigrant song about a man who was once king of his country, only to ended up living in Toronto, working at the Pizza Pizza, vacuuming the turf at SkyDome and being called up to drive the Zamboni for the Leafs. A true Canadian immigrant tale indeed; taking up multiple jobs just to make ends meet. “Now I eat humble pie.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpGV1jOqk4I

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 132:
Tom Cochrane’s “Life is a Highway” is nothing short of a Canadian classic that pays tribute to that all too common love for moving around. In fact, the song is probably best listened to while heading down that long stretch of highway. In conjunction with that, the song also pays tribute to “Vancouver's lights”; and why not? She sure is a beaut when she’s all lit up, Vancouver is. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3sMjm9Eloo

Week 25: October 9-15

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 133:
“I've been through the Rockies, I've seen Saskatoon; I've driven down the Highway 1, just hopin' that I'd see you soon; Cause I'm comin' home”, goes the tune “Comin Home” by City and Colour, a song about travelling about and always coming back to the Canada you know. “I've been through Nova Scotia, Sydney to Halifax; I'll never take any pictures, cause I know I'll just be right back; Cause I'm comin' home …” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTSx1qprbmc

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 134:
Drake, the guy who gave Toronto it’s new nickname “the 6” – this apparently due to the fact that TO’s area code is 416 and because at one point Toronto was broken up into six areas (Old Toronto, Scarborough, East York, North York, Etobicoke and York) – loves to rap about where he’s from. The tune “City is Mine” is one such example. “Yo, the city is mine (which one?), T-O-R-O-N-T-O, D-R-A-K-E that's me, you know how the story goes …” Yeah we do: bitches, bling and Toronto we think. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbU3gbASzmc

 CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 135:
“If there's a goal that everyone remembers, it was back in ol' 72. We all squeezed the stick and we all pulled the trigger, and all I remember is sitting beside you. You said you didn't give a fuck about hockey, and I never saw someone say that before. You held my hand and we walked home the long way, you were loosening my grip on Bobby Orr.” Those are the opening lyrics to The Tragically Hip tune “Fireworks”, a song that uses Paul Henderson’s historic goal ’72 Hockey Summit Series between Canada and the USSR and the love for our hockey heroes to explain how the little things we find important as carefree, irresponsible youth, become less important when a deeper connection to someone is come across; when stars get replaced with fireworks. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=San1NQSS1Rw

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 136:
According to Burton Cummings, The Guess Who member who came up with the lyrics for the song “American Woman”: “When I said 'American woman, stay away from me,' I really meant 'Canadian woman, I prefer you.'” Cummings’ explanation, no different from the song itself, is actually one big metaphor. “American Woman” is an anti-American song from a Canadian perspective, where the “American Woman” in the song is actually America itself; an America that the song’s narrator wants to distance himself from (as many Canadians do). “Don't come a-hangin' around my door; Don't wanna see your face no more. I don't need your war machines; I don't need your ghetto scenes. Coloured lights can hypnotize; Sparkle someone else's eyes. Now woman, get away from me; American woman, mama, let me be”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkqfpkTTy2w

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 137:
The Stan Rogers song “Free in the Harbour” deals with the primary consequence of the death of the cod fishery and whaling in Newfoundland, that consequence being the migration of Newfoundlanders to Western Canada, namely Alberta. “It's at Portage and Main, you'll see them again; On their way to the hills of Alberta. With lop-sided grins, they waggle their chins; And they brag of the wage they'll be earning. Then it's, "Quick, pull the string boys, and get the tool out; Haul it away! Haul it away!" But just two years ago, you could hear the same shout; Where the whales make free in the harbour.” … “Now they're Calgary roughnecks from Hermitage Bay”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbjEmEifZp4

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 138:
“In late September I drove across the prairie; the mountains behind me and the ocean beyond” is the opening lines to the Joel Plaskett song “Light of the Moon”, a song that places you in that driving all night to get to your destination in anywhere, Canada mode. “Through the night's deep abyss, flirt with the waitress in Sault Ste Marie; hear music and voices through static and hiss”. And even then there’s that all night place along the highway when the hunger kicks in. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7C2_5P8SByA

Week 26: October 16-22

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 139:
The narrator tells the story of “5 men on a wooden row boat capsized on an uncharted lake”. The narrator’s grandfather was among the men, but he “meet a tragic end” and “perished on that hunting trip. One man the lone survivor held on to that upturned boat. Weighted down by their heavy clothing the others would even float. This is the plot of the anguish filled song “November in Ontario” by The Skydiggers. “November in Ontario; Cold water and an early snow; 100ft from the water’s edge; They never even had a chance.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bwcIKCfInk

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 140:
On this the day of Gord Downie’s passing, we present to you a Tragically Hip song from the band’s very first EP dating back to 1987. “Last American Exit” was the bands second single ever, a song that marked the bands persona as 5 musicians that would forever be dedicated, first and foremost, to Canada, without ever selling out to the pressures that often come from south of the border. “I'm on the last American exit to the northland; I'm on the last American exit to my homeland; I'm on the last American exit to my last dance; They keep calling out my name, I shout it down.” Later in the song Gord sings: “Hope I make it, I know I'm going to make it somehow…” As we know now, that “somehow” would be by singing to Canadians about Canada. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjbFcglJYb8

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 141:
“Six” by Ghostkeeper is a song about family, Saturday morning pancakes, how Autumn pulls on our heartstrings, and about living in Canada’s north. It is also about growing up Métis which is what Shane Ghostkeeper and Sarah Houle, the two principal members of Ghostkeeper, are. “My home it's in my bones, but mostly it's the six of you that sticks with me, this mixed blood in us was just laughin' crying loving fighting living up in the north”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VispNE0pvBk

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 142:
“I hear the call from the suburbs down to the Plateau”. It’s the calling of Montreal to come join it in all its fun and frolic, the city that at the time of first European contact was inhabited by the St. Lawrence Iroquoians. Jacques Cartier became first European to reach the area now known as Montreal in 1535 when he entered the Iroquoian village of Hochelaga on the Island of Montreal. Seventy years later, Samuel de Champlain tried to create a fur trading post but the Mohawk of the Iroquois defended that it was their hunting grounds. The “missionaries that never went home” would conquer. “Ask the colonial ghost what they took and they’ll tell you that …You’re dancing on it. You’re dancing on it”, sings Rae Spoon in the song “Come on Forest Fire Burn the Disco Down”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYfVRI-aub0

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 143:
The members of The Grapes of Wrath grew up together in the town of Kelowna, B.C. Written at a time the band was already based in Vancouver, the song “Backward Town” is a reflection on their days of youth growing up in the Okanagan town of feeling claustrophobic and of wanting to get out, to then one day return and realize getting out was undoubtedly the best decision. “My old school is getting drunk on the town; don't think they'll ever get out. Go home just to realize why I had to get out.” Interestingly enough, even given the song’s not so positive reflection on the city, “Backward Town” has since become the official anthem of Kelowna. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_r5zXOnKio

Week 26: October 23-31

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 144:
The narrator has a dream; it’s a “Canadian Dream”, as is The Rheostatics song. The narrator’s dream is to cross the country; to go out west where Vancouver awaits. “When this winter freeze is done, come the springtime, I'll be gone; Traverse the grand prairies on a Greyhound bus”. It’s the youthful dream of a "youthful optimists" who will get by with a guitar on his back. “Perhaps next year … perhaps next year”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mles5y9LKI

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 145:
“There's a million stories in the naked dominion; coast to coast, the real Canadians...” sing Trooper in the song “Real Canadian”, a song about having a good time on “a hot night in a cold town” all across the land. “From the Malahat, to Kitimat, to Medicine Hat to Uranium City, From Thunder Bay, to Saint-Gervais, all the way to St. John’s, Newfoundland; The real Canadians...” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSg4TOXJ71Q

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 146:
Julie Doiron’s “Snow Falls in November” is the sweetest song about the romantic aspects of a cold, snowy Canadian winter day; the kind of day that keeps you indoors, from first morning light to the return of another long winter night, in the safety of all things warm. “Through the window we watch the snow, kids walking in snow pants. We don't go nowhere, not today, not tonight.” The season is just around the corner. “Watch the snow while night falls and stay here till November is through”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBExgM0NpM4

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 147:
Joel Plaskett’s “The Park Avenue Sobriety Test”, according to Plaskett himself, is the nickname a neighbour of his gave to a metal guardrail at the corner of Park Avenue and King Street in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia near Plaskett’s home. While the curve is not geometrically unusual and can be easily navigated by a conscientious driver, there have been several instances of impaired drivers mishandling the turn and smashing their cars into the guardrail. Successfully negotiating the Park Avenue Sobriety Test, therefore, means you’re probably sober. “This is the Park Avenue Sobriety Test It's a kick in the teeth, it's the hornet's nest”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qE98AGNAHvQ

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 148:
“Subdivisions” by Rush is a commentary on societal stratification through the pressure to adopt certain lifestyles. It describes young people dealing with a "cool" culture amidst a comfortable yet oppressively mundane suburban existence in single housing subdivisions. Anyone who does not obey social expectations is regarded as an outcast; the lyrics flatly describe a choice of "conform or be cast out”. Although this commentary could apply to pretty much any North American metropolis, the band drew inspiration from the lives of youth in suburban Greater Toronto, something illustrated in the song’s video with suburban scenes filmed in early 1980's Scarborough and the Don Valley Parkway, accompanied by scenes of downtown TO. “Any escape might help to smooth; the unattractive truth; but the suburbs have no charms to soothe; the restless dreams of youth.” 35 years after the song’s release, still relevant. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYYdQB0mkEU

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 149:
“Spread your tiny wings and fly away; and take the snow back with you where it came from on that day”, sings Anne Murray in here timeless classic “Snowbird”. Although it was Anne Murray who took the song to the world, it was Canadian singer-songwriter Gene MacLellan who composed the song while walking on a beach in P.E.I. and seeing in the distance migratory birds setting flight. The song contrasts the narrator's inability to leave the place of his/her heartache with the bird's ability to just up and fly away -- freedom. Of course many Canadians have taken the song to heart by they themselves becoming snowbirds, migrating every year to a sunny, southerly destination (most likely in the US) where they do not take the snow with them -- the Canadian snowbird. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peWwHTTKmVw

CinP150 for Canada150 – Song 150:
For the last 7 months we here at Canadians in Portugal have been offering up songs about Canada as a way of celebrating Canada’s 150 years of confederation. Today we offer up the last of 150 songs, what we think could possibly be Canada’s other national anthem – the one that points out “the best game you can name”. Yes, you guessed it: the “Good ol’ Hockey Game” by the legendary Stompin’ Tom Conners. From the first to the second to the third period, until “‘THE PUCK IS IN! THE HOME TEAM WINS!’ At the good old hockey game. And that’s 150. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YS3GQverRiQ

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