Join 3,440 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Songs that hearken Canada.
February 28, 2012 8:12 PM   Subscribe

Help me revel in the splendour of Canada. I'm looking for songs that reference Canadian provinces/territories by name.

I've seen this question but that focuses more on cities. I'm looking more towards songs that mention the names of all the Canadian provinces/territories.

I'm doing a year long project where each month has a component that refers to a separate province and getting stuck on finding names that touch me.

I've seen this link and, while it has a lot, some provinces seem to have only "Province Name Song" as a title. I'm looking for something more lyrical.

Think something that could sum up the atmosphere for that province. If it is doesn't have the name in it but references a landmark (not city) in that province that would be great too.

It can be old and traditional or brand spanking new. If you have a link so I could hear the song that would be great too.
posted by kanata to Media & Arts (44 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
 
In a certain sense, the Toronto Song by The Arrogant Worms sounds a lot like what you're looking for...
posted by jlibera at 8:15 PM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


More Arrogant Worms! The Last Saskatchewan Pirate!
posted by Pickman's Next Top Model at 8:23 PM on February 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


Stompin Tom references every one of the provinces in a number of songs.

Music Inspired By the Group of Seven by the Rheostatics is pretty awesome.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:26 PM on February 28, 2012


From that previous thread, I suggested "Saskatchewan" & "We Went West", both by the Rheostatics. The former isn't really about the province (it's about a guy on a sinking ship remembering his home on the prairies.) The latter, though, does a good job of musically describing a road tour through Western Canada.

Also, the song "Geographic Center of Canada" by The Wheat Pool might work for your purposes.
posted by Johnny Assay at 8:26 PM on February 28, 2012


And my Lucy died last summer
You ask me if I cried
Hell I'll show you tears
They're all over this ground
They're fallin' from these blue Alberta skies.

I'm not even a Due South fan and this song still gets me.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:33 PM on February 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Quebec: Gens du Pays -- Doesn't explicitly mention anything provincial but it is indeed the unofficial anthem of Quebec.

Nova Scotia: Farewell Nova Scotia -- This should work.

Newfoundland: Maybe I'se the By?

Ontario: A Place to Stand, A Place to Grow -- aka The Ontario Song. Cheesy? Yes. But apparently every Ontarian of a certain age has this song permanently burned into their brain.

Northwest Territory/Nunavut/Yukon: How about Northwest Passage?
posted by mhum at 8:36 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ian and Sylvia: Four Strong Winds

Think I'll go out to Alberta,
Weather's good there in the fall.

posted by bonehead at 8:44 PM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


I am not an Albertan, but I have a mushy spot in my heart for Paul Brandt's Alberta Bound.
posted by sillymama at 8:49 PM on February 28, 2012


All Hell for a Basement by Big Sugar is about unemployed labourers from Newfoundland travelling to Alberta to find work.

Haven't seen British Columbia mentioned above yet, but I seem to recall him mentioning BC in more than one song.. the album "Hair in My Eyes Like a Highland Steer" has many Canadian place-specific mentions if I recall (and as a bonus, his backup band is called the Hurtin' Albertans).
posted by wats at 8:50 PM on February 28, 2012


I'm particularly fond of Selina Martin's Saskatchewan (direct MP3 from her website).
posted by Flashman at 8:54 PM on February 28, 2012


PEI - Lester the Lobster or Bud the Spud? (everyone in PEI will want to kill me now)

Nova Scotia - definitely Farewell to Nova Scotia.

Newfoundland - Ode to Newfoundland or Rant and Roar
posted by hydrobatidae at 8:57 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh wait. Johnny Assay's mention of Stompin' Tom Connors suggests a good choice for the Yukon: Long Gone to the Yukon.
posted by mhum at 8:57 PM on February 28, 2012


Elliot Brood's Oh, Alberta! covers several provinces in one go.
posted by just_ducky at 9:03 PM on February 28, 2012


For Newfoundland, I'd recommend The Islander which also mentions Labrador ( and Quebec, though not entirely positively). If Newfoundlander is close enough for you, I'd probably go with The Ryans and the Pittmans, better known as We'll Rant and We'll Roar.
posted by peppermind at 9:05 PM on February 28, 2012


Another! Manitoba by Frank Black.

Joel Pasket has a couple songs that refer to specific 'landmarks' in Halifax/Dartmouth (The Khyber, The Marquee, the Dartmouth Ferry)
posted by hydrobatidae at 9:06 PM on February 28, 2012


In a certain sense, the Toronto Song yt by The Arrogant Worms sounds a lot like what you're looking for...

I thought that one was by Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie. I like their "Every OS sucks" a lot too.
posted by jb at 9:17 PM on February 28, 2012


Does anyone have anything for New Brunswick? That one seems to be hard to get.
posted by kanata at 9:20 PM on February 28, 2012


nthing Farewell to Nova Scotia for NS.

For Newfoundland, I'd have to go with Folk of the Sea - Come Home to Newfoundland

And more a sketch than a song, but too good not to mention:

Radio Free Vestibule - Looking for a job in Quebec
posted by pahalial at 9:22 PM on February 28, 2012


The B.J. Snowden song I liked to in that other thread mentions New Brunswick, at 2:10.
posted by hydrophonic at 9:27 PM on February 28, 2012


Huh, can't find it on Youtube, but Link Wray's "My Alberta" sure does it for me.
posted by jet_silver at 9:31 PM on February 28, 2012


You can look on all music too by province I guess. Here's a New Brunswick search.
posted by TheGoodBlood at 9:31 PM on February 28, 2012


There 's also The Encyclopedia of Music in Canada
posted by costanza at 9:32 PM on February 28, 2012


Corb Lund has a large number of songs that reference Alberta (nearly all of them), as well as some that reference Saskatchewan (Long Gone to Saskatchewan) and BC (Hurtin Albertan).
posted by jacquilynne at 11:54 PM on February 28, 2012


Summer Wages, all about ending up in BC.
posted by islander at 11:54 PM on February 28, 2012


Not the most flattering song, but it does mention Prince Edward Island, Manitoba, Ontario, and Alberta.
posted by Oriole Adams at 1:07 AM on February 29, 2012


One Great City by the Weakerthans.
posted by backwards guitar at 1:37 AM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I live in New Brunswick, have my whole life, and I can't think of a single son with our name in it. Kinda pathetic. :(
posted by gwenlister at 3:47 AM on February 29, 2012


Saskatchewan by les Trois Accords
posted by iona at 3:52 AM on February 29, 2012


There is a town in North Ontario...
posted by Meatbomb at 4:27 AM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thanks everyone. These all really help and will make my project a success.
posted by kanata at 4:44 AM on February 29, 2012


An alternative for Nova Scotia.
posted by troywestfield at 5:45 AM on February 29, 2012


Okay, I know it's on that list you posted and I know it's ON not NB, but...

The Black Fly Song

That animation is a Canadian classic (certain Canadians in this thread saw the opening the minute they saw the title, I'll bet). Plus as soon as I saw the title of your question it got stuck in my head, and since it's a fierce ear worm I decided to inflict it on the rest of y'all. Tell me with a straight face that it isn't in your head now too, I dare you.

black fly, the little black flies, always a black fly no matter where ya go, I'll die with a black fly pickin' my bones, in north ontar-i-o i-o, in north ontar-iii-oo...
posted by AmandaA at 6:42 AM on February 29, 2012


Alberta Breeze by Justin Rutledge. Not as "traditional" as many listed above (or as literal), but it's a stunningly beautiful song, so I couldn't bear to see it go unnmentioned!
posted by Dorinda at 6:53 AM on February 29, 2012


k.d. lang's heroine in the song Big Boned Gal is from northern Alberta (you just couldn't call her small!) Fun tune.
posted by Sublimity at 7:00 AM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


When in doubt, check Stompin' Tom - New Brunswick is mentioned by name in Bud the Spud and he also has a song called New Brunswick and Mary. I can't listen to it at work but it seems promising.
posted by hydrobatidae at 8:06 AM on February 29, 2012


All Hell For a Basement by Big Sugar. (Alberta)
posted by Nightman at 8:20 AM on February 29, 2012


OK, apparently I linked to some video about well testing, but the song is correct!

What an authentically Albertan post....
posted by Nightman at 8:24 AM on February 29, 2012


Geoff Berner singing (live, haven't checked the quality) No Tobacco, about BC's greatest export.
posted by Lemurrhea at 8:25 AM on February 29, 2012


The Rural Alberta Advantage - Frank, AB
posted by marais at 11:06 AM on February 29, 2012


"Highway 1 East" by John K. Samson is a three-fer:
So let this field of flax forclose on everything I own
And scratch Saskatchewan away
Make Manitoba paper dolls
Lift up a lie from Highway 1
To tie Ontario
Oh, wait for me
posted by Zozo at 11:57 AM on February 29, 2012


Found one for New Brunswick! It's one of my favourite artists, Julie Doiron off of a newer album I have not heard. The song is called "It's Nice to Come Home."

And I think of you in New Brunswick
I think of you in your little house
I think of you in New Brunswick
I think of you and your comfy bed
posted by to recite so charmingly at 12:27 PM on February 29, 2012


"Quebec" by Leif Vollebekk

I'm gonna pack my bags and I'm gonna go to Montreal
I'm gonna pack 'a' my bags and gonna head off to Montreal
I know a woman there, she's got a couch against the wall

That's it, I'm gonna take that bridge, it'll lead me to Quebec
I'm gonna pack my bags, take that bridge, it'll lead me to Quebec
Step onto that bridge I swear I ain't comin' back

posted by yqxnflld at 8:46 PM on February 29, 2012


How about Si j'avais les ailes d'un ange, je partirais pour Qu├ębec?

(1-2-3-4-5-6-7...damn, I love that song. I'm grinning right now.)
posted by tangerine at 1:21 AM on March 1, 2012


Gordon Lightfoot - Alberta Bound
posted by pink_mint at 7:54 PM on March 1, 2012


« Older What physical traits make a pe...   |  Phone died. Phone is also my a... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.