Songs that mention Canada
December 9, 2006 7:47 AM   Subscribe

What pop songs mention Canada, or a place or city in Canada?

I am making a mix CD, and would like to compile songs that mention Canada, or a city or town in Canada or even just a Canadian place.

I'm looking to create a really nice range on this CD - from Cadence Weapon's "Oliver Square" to Neil Young's "Helpless."

They don't have to be sung or written by Canadians, but it'd be nice.

What am I missing in between?
posted by beelerspace to Media & Arts (95 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
You have to include some Stompin Tom.
posted by josher71 at 7:50 AM on December 9, 2006


"My World" by Avril Lavigne is about Napanee, Ontario.
posted by cillit bang at 7:59 AM on December 9, 2006


"One Great City!" by the Weakerthans is about Winnipeg (specifically, hating it).
posted by jacobm at 8:02 AM on December 9, 2006


"The Last Saskatchewan Pirate" by the Arrogant Worms is quite funny.

Here's a cover (mp3) (published by author) of it.
posted by jellicle at 8:04 AM on December 9, 2006


"Hello City" by the Barenaked Ladies names several Halifax pubs circa 1990
"King of Spain" by Moxy Fruvous mentions Canada and working at Pizza Pizza
"Prairie Town" by Randy Bachman and Neil Young talks about Portage and Main
A Leonard Cohen song would be a good addition to the mix, too, but I'm blanking on which ones mention Canada. "Suzanne" is said to take place in Montreal, though.
posted by sueinnyc at 8:05 AM on December 9, 2006


The Tragically Hip have many stellar songs that reference Canadiana.

Wheat Kings
Bobcaygeon
38 Years Old
Fifty Mission Cap

I'll hit you with other tunes in a moment. This one is right in my wheel house.
posted by booner at 8:09 AM on December 9, 2006


Tom Cochrane's "Life is a Highway" mentions Vancouver's lights. (Oh, and he's Canadian too)
posted by madokachan at 8:10 AM on December 9, 2006


Canadian Idiot, by Weird Al Yankovic
Blame Canada, from South Park
posted by icontemplate at 8:11 AM on December 9, 2006


Off the top of my head:

Gordon Lightfoot, Canadian Railroad Trilogy (the great Canadian song, in my opinion)

Weeping Tile, Good Fortune

Irish Rovers, Farewell to Nova Scotia

Irish Descedants, Let Me Fish Off Cape St. Mary's

Tom Cochrane, Life is a Highway

Barenaked Ladies, Hello City (nothing explicit, but it's slagging Halifax), or The Old Apartment (references to places in Toronto)

or a hell of a lot of things by The Tragically Hip, a couple of the best for your purposes being Bobcaygeon and Wheat Kings (Thompson Girl would also work, but I don't think it's as good a song)

Stan Rogers, Northwest Passage and White Squall (Acadian Saturday Night would also work, again, in my opinion, not as good a song).
posted by Dasein at 8:12 AM on December 9, 2006


Sarah Harmer - Good Fortune (Parry Sound)
Emm Gryner - Almighty Love (Vancouver)
Pilate (aka Pilot Speed) - Into The West (Vancouver, though not directly)

And if you want variety...
Marillion - Blind Curve (Toronto)
posted by valleys at 8:13 AM on December 9, 2006


Another one not listed so far is "A case of you" by Joni Mitchell.
posted by trigger at 8:15 AM on December 9, 2006


Ah, also, Irish Descendants or Stan Rogers performing Barrett's Privateers.

And 38 Years Old, which booner mentions, is an excellent song.
posted by Dasein at 8:16 AM on December 9, 2006


There's a pop song about my tiny, backward hometown Napanee? That's hilarious.

I recall at the end of "Heart of Rock and Roll" by Huey Lewis and the News him naming off Toronto and Montreal.

Also, "I've Been Everywhere" by Johnny Cash mentions at least Ottawa, and maybe others.

And "A Case Of You" by Joni Mitchell also mentions Canada.

Maybe those aren't all pop-ish enough, but best I could do right now.
posted by Idiot Mittens at 8:16 AM on December 9, 2006


"I Miss New Wave" by the Matthew Good Band mentions Coquitlam, British Columbia.
"Mushaboom" by Feist mentions...well...Mushaboom, Nova Scotia.
"The Old Apartment" by the Barenaked Ladies mentions The Danforth, which is a neighborhood in Scarborough, which is now part of Toronto.

Lots of songs by Great Big Sea mention places in Newfoundland.
posted by oaf at 8:17 AM on December 9, 2006


"Great White North" by Bob and Doug Mackenzie (featuring Geddy Lee). Beauty, eh?
posted by mundy at 8:17 AM on December 9, 2006


The Christian Ska band Five Iron Frenzy recorded a nonsensical song called 'Oh, Canada,' which has nothing in common with the anthem apart from the name.

Sample lyric:
I want to live where yaks can run free
Where the Royal Mounties can arrest me!

posted by The Confessor at 8:20 AM on December 9, 2006


Crabbuckit by K-os mentions Yonge Street (Toronto)
posted by impactorange at 8:23 AM on December 9, 2006


"Rest of My Life" by Sloan.

One thing I know about the rest of my life
I know that I'll be living it in Canada

posted by merlinmann at 8:23 AM on December 9, 2006


Well, looking through my iTunes library, I find:
  • "Love This Town" by Joel Plaskett
  • "An American Draft Dodger in Thunder Bay" by Sam Roberts Band
  • "Polar Bears and Trees", "Saskatchewan", "We Went West", and "Majorca" by the Rheostatics
  • "The Collection of Marie Claire" and "Jolie Louise" by Daniel Lanois
  • "Ilfracombe" by Hawksley Workman
  • "The Rest of My Life" and "The N.S." by Sloan
  • "Fifty-Mission Cap", "Wheat Kings", "The Dire Wolf" and "Thompson Girl" by the Tragically Hip
  • "Fallow" by the Weakerthans
Of these, my faves are "The Dire Wolf" (Isle aux Morts, Newfoundland), "The Collection of Marie Claire" (Labrador), "We Went West" (most of Canada west of Ontario), and "An American Draft Dodger in Thunder Bay" (self-explanatory).
posted by Johnny Assay at 8:30 AM on December 9, 2006


"The Spirit of Radio" by Rush is about Toronto radio station CFNY
"Jane" by Barenaked Ladies is a play on the Toronto intersection Jane and St. Clair
"Runnin' Back To Saskatoon" by Guess Who references a certain Canadian city
"Prairie Wind" by Neil Young is all about his youth in Manitoba
"Comin' Home" by City and Colour mentions many Canadian provinces
"416/905 (T.O. Party Anthem) by Maestro is all about Toronto and the GTA
posted by booner at 8:30 AM on December 9, 2006


Coyote
posted by Meatbomb at 8:35 AM on December 9, 2006


And to second what Dasein said, two songs are so drenched in Canadiana your playlist won't be complete without them.

"Canadian Railroad Trilogy" by Gordon Lightfoot
"Northwest Passage" by Stan Rogers

Those two, a little Neil Young there, some Tragically Hip here, a sprinkle of The Guess Who, Rush and BNL and you're well on your way.
posted by booner at 8:36 AM on December 9, 2006


So small -- Jim Guthrie. Starts with "So small\ on a porch in Montreal".
This is the dream of win and Regine -- Final Fantasy. "Montreal may eat its young\ but Montreal can't break us down."
posted by louigi at 8:40 AM on December 9, 2006


Oh, and Leonard Cohen's "So long, Marianne" is about Montreal's Rue Marie-Anne.
posted by louigi at 8:43 AM on December 9, 2006


Greg MacPherson has a few songs:
- "Kingston": He refers to the prison in Kingston.
- "Slow Stroke" mentions "he's got a sister in Toronto
you got an old man out in "call me when you're drunk B.C." "
- "Company Store" mentions the Sydney Mines. "BURN IT DOWN BOYS!"
- "West St. James" mentions St. James in Winnipeg, and also Saskatchewan and Saskatoon.
- "Churchill" mentions... uh... Churchill.

The Weakerthans constantly reference Winnipeg. As already mentioned, "One Great City" is the most obvious of their songs for this. John K Sampson has repeatedly said this song isn't only about hating Winnipeg, it's about ambivalent feelings towards your hometown, about bad days and bad feelings that you sometimes have. Other songs that evoke Winnipeg: "Wellington's Wednesdays" talks about Albert St, as does "Pamphleteer". "Confessions Of A Futon-Revolutionist" talks about bombing City Hall, but does not mention Winnipeg by name. It also talks about killing an MLA, which is clearly a Manitoba reference. "Anchorless" talks about Southern Manitoba. "None Of The Above" talks about North Kildonan in Winnipeg. "This Is A Fire Door Never Leave Open" has clear references to Manitoba, but no explicit ones, as does one of my favorite songs "Left and Leaving".

I can recommend Clive Holden's entire "Trains of Winnipeg" CD. It's him reciting his (sometimes really excellent) poetry over music supplied by the Weakerthans and Christine Fellows.

Neil Young's "Journey Through The Past" mentions going back to Canada. "Don't Be Denied" is all about his youth in Winnipeg - "When I was a young boy, my mama said to me
your daddy's leavin' home today, I think he's gone to stay.
We packed up all our bags and drove out to Winnipeg."

I wouldn't be surprised if you found something in Leonard Cohen's lyrics. You'll find tons of references in the Tragically Hip - "Toronto #4", "Thompson Girl", "Bobcaygeon", "Wheat Kings"... there'll be tons. You might try to examine the lyrics of The Constantines, a great Canadian band. I love them, but I haven't paid enough attention to the lyrics. Hayden is very Canadian, but I'm not sure that he specifically mentions any cities. "Dynamite Walls" is all about driving through roads blasted through rock on the way up into Canadian National Parks. Beautiful song. Frank Black has a song called "Manitoba".
Nathan, the band, references Winnipeg / Manitoba / Canada constantly. Death Cab For Cutie mention Calgary in "I Will Follow You Into the Dark" - "You and me have seen everything to see from Bangkok to Calgary".

That's what I can think of with about 20 minutes of research in my music collection. Good luck!
posted by Jupiter Jones at 8:48 AM on December 9, 2006 [1 favorite]


Um. Rush? YYZ? Lakeside Park? Spirit of Radio?

Googling, it appears that another of their terrible self-indulgent goes-on-forever songs mentions crossing the River Dawn (Don) to get to Willow Dale. My eyes, they roll.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:51 AM on December 9, 2006


"Runnin' Back To Saskatoon," by The Guess Who
"Acadian Driftwood," by The Band
"Saskatchewan" par Les Trois Accords
"401," by Greg MacPherson (Lots of Canadian references in his stuff, embedded audio in the title link)
And mentioned already, but now with YouTubey goodness:
"One Great City!"YT by The Weakerthans

I shall return with more.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:51 AM on December 9, 2006


Saskatchewan, by Les Trois Accords.
posted by Cuke at 8:52 AM on December 9, 2006


Damn you for mentioning Nathan on MeFi before me, Jupiter Jones!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:53 AM on December 9, 2006


"Vancouver Divorce", on Gordon Downie's first solo album Coke Machine Glow.

(thanks Louigi, great video)
posted by Flashman at 8:58 AM on December 9, 2006


"The Toronto Song" and "The War of 1812", by Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 8:59 AM on December 9, 2006 [1 favorite]


"Winnipeg is a Frozen Shithole," by Venetian Snares, is a whole album about Winnipeg being a frozen shithole.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:01 AM on December 9, 2006


Wow, these are great. I'll make sure I publish the track listing here when I get done.

One I had forgotten that this thread reminded me of: Death Cab for Cutie's "Expo '86," a far I was coicidentally at. I had an plush Expo Ernie that I carried everywhere for years.
posted by beelerspace at 9:01 AM on December 9, 2006


"This Beat Goes On/Switchin' To Glide" - The Kings
"I'll Be You" - The Replacements
posted by SisterHavana at 9:03 AM on December 9, 2006


Lakeside Park by Rush, although it's unclear to me if that's a fictional location.
posted by jonson at 9:05 AM on December 9, 2006


This is driving me nuts! Sort of a piggyback question, but I remember a really funny song, maybe by Moxie fruvous or Bare Naked Ladies, and it is just a long list of Canadian cities that suck... Ten minutes of Googling is turning up nothing, the lyrics were along the lines of "And Winnipeg sucks, and Halifax sucks, and Vancouver sucks..." etc.

This would be perfect for beelerspace's list if anyone can point to it properly.
posted by Meatbomb at 9:06 AM on December 9, 2006


Toronto Tontos by Max Webster.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:08 AM on December 9, 2006


"All Hell For A Basement," by now-defunct Big Sugar, is about unemployed Newfoundlanders moving to "A heaven in Alberta" to work in the oil fields.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:19 AM on December 9, 2006


Sarah Harmer, "Escarpment Blues"
Rae Spoon, "Oil Rigs"
Johnny Cash, "Girl in Saskatoon"
Great Big Sea, "Yarmouth Town", "Boston and St. John's"
Corb Lund, "Hurtin Albertan"
Blue Rodeo, "Montreal"
posted by carabiner at 9:19 AM on December 9, 2006


I'm from St. Catharines, originally, and Lakeside Park is not a fictional location, it's definitely real -- the merry-go-round is still there, and it's still just five cents per ride (not ten cents, as it says in the song...).

Another song about a park in St. Catharines: Montebello Park by the Trews.

Coming Home by City and Colour (i.e. Dallas Green of... St. Catharines) references a few Canadian cities.
posted by ewiar at 9:20 AM on December 9, 2006


The Arrogant Worms have been mentioned, but certainly "Canada's Really Big" and "Forgive us, We're Canadian" are worth a mention, and pretty much all their songs are very canadian.
posted by Jeanne at 9:23 AM on December 9, 2006


Martha and the Muffins: "Suburban Dream" and "Nation of Followers" pop into head, but there are certainly more Canadian references in there.
posted by jet_silver at 9:25 AM on December 9, 2006


B.J. Snowden - In Canada

In Canada, folks treat you like a queen
In Canada, they never will be mean
In Canada, they treat you like a king
You'll feel welcome. It makes you want to SINNNNNNNGGGGG!

posted by hydrophonic at 9:27 AM on December 9, 2006


Joni Mitchell's "Raised on Robbery" is set in the Empire Hotel lobby, with the Leafs on the TV. Joni is openly Lesser North American, so it all points to the Empire Hotel being somewhere up there. I'd add her to booner's list of essentials, too, FWIW.
posted by ibmcginty at 9:27 AM on December 9, 2006


MeFi's very own Chococat has some great tunes with Canadian/TO references up on MeFi Music.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:29 AM on December 9, 2006


Ani DiFranco's song "To The Teeth" (about America's gun culture/industry)

And if I hear one more time about a fool's right to his tools of rage
I'm gonna take all my friends, and we're gonna move to Canada
And we're gonna die of old age
posted by bent back tulips at 9:31 AM on December 9, 2006


"Canada Disappears" by Number One Cup. Not a very catchy song, though.
posted by scody at 9:35 AM on December 9, 2006


It's not really "pop music" but a lot of rap references Toronto, see e.g. Baby Blue Soundcrew's Love 'Em All, and Kardinal Offishal's Bakardi Slang.

There's also a hilarious white rapper from out East, Classified. His song Welcome to the Maritimes is littered with Atlantic Canada references:

I'm from the East Coast of Canada, home of the bag pipe
Known for the fiddle players, beer and our keg price
Known for Alexander Keiths and the Donair
Home of the Mooseheads but I don't really go there
We pay a buck for a litre of gas and
Smokes cost $10 a pack and
We always mix our tobacco with weed, its just the way
it's always been, shit is natural to me
...
I don't even eat fish, shit I never tried lobster
Can't play the fiddle, and never was a logger
But I swam in clean lakes, and enjoyed cool breezes
But Halifax Harbour's like swimming in diseases
We only known for Anne of Green Gables,
Coal mines, The Bluenose and P.E.I potatoes
Maritimes, it's better then that

posted by ewiar at 9:36 AM on December 9, 2006


Oh, and, if you're really into obscurely Canadian topics, Blue Rodeo wrote a song about the freaking Meech Lake Accord of all things: Fools Like You.
posted by ewiar at 9:47 AM on December 9, 2006


Malajube - Montreal -40°C at least has Montreal in the title, but the lyrics are in French so I can't really tell if it references the city much in the song. Here's a link to the video on youtube.
posted by MadamM at 9:58 AM on December 9, 2006


Carly Simon, "You're So Vain"
Gordon Lightfoot, "Alberta Bound", and the aforementioned Canadian Railroad Trilogy
posted by Saucy Intruder at 10:03 AM on December 9, 2006


"Transcanada Highway" by the Boards of Canada (a Scottish electonica group)
posted by seawallrunner at 10:40 AM on December 9, 2006


more worms:
We'll be bowling in Moosejaw (yeah, yeah)
We'll be bowling in Hickton (yeah, yeah)
We'll be bowling in Gander (yeah, yeah)
And in the Kingston Township (yeah, yeah)
We'll be bowling Vancouver, bowling Saskatoon
Someday they'll even be bowling on the moon
The Moon is not yet Canadian, by the way, but with the Canadarm it's almost within reach.
posted by pracowity at 10:49 AM on December 9, 2006


Obscure, yet classic (if that's possible): Six Cylinder's "If you haven't been to Spuzzum (You ain't been anywhere)." From "Beyond Hope" (BCers will get it). Ca. 1980.

Ian Tyson: "Summer Wages" about Port Alberni.

Doug and the Slugs: Chinatown Calculation.
posted by Rumple at 10:59 AM on December 9, 2006


You need something in there from Quebec. Les Colocs' "La Rue Principale" is classic:

Dans ma p'tite ville on était juste quatre mille
Pis la rue principale à s'appelait St-Cyrille
La coop, le gaz bar, la caisse-pop, le croque-mort
Et le magasin général
Quand j'y retourne ça m'fait assez mal
Y'é tombe une bombe su'a rue principale
Depuis qu'y ont construit le centre d'achat...
posted by zadcat at 11:05 AM on December 9, 2006


Virtually the entire catalogue of Mark Robinson's (founder of Teen Beat) band, Flin Flon has song titles that are Canadian place names -- including the band. Swift Current is a great, danceable instrumental.
posted by one_bean at 11:13 AM on December 9, 2006


"Spadina Bus" by The Shuffle Demons
posted by vansly at 11:24 AM on December 9, 2006


Cold, Cold Toronto by Trooper, a Canadian band.
Cap in Hand by The Proclaimers mentions Saskatchewan.
Letter From America by The Proclaimers mentions Canada.
posted by lockedroomguy at 11:28 AM on December 9, 2006


Cano's Spirit of the North It's an instrumental, but the music is so evocative of Canada. Plus it's a great track.
posted by Neiltupper at 11:41 AM on December 9, 2006


Ok, another great one is the Great Lake Swimmer's "I Will Never See The Sun".
The chorus references Toronto streets:
I will never see the sun/ Spadina, St. George, Bay, and Yonge

It's a good song, and recorded in a Southern Ontario grain silo
posted by Flashman at 12:17 PM on December 9, 2006


Broken Social Scene, a Canadian collective, did "Canada vs. America"
posted by philsi at 12:29 PM on December 9, 2006


The Trews- Hollis and Morris (two streets in Halifax)
Carly Simon- You're so Vain (flew your lear jet up to Nova Scotia..)
posted by stray at 12:47 PM on December 9, 2006


Oh, and The Lumberjack song by Monty Python--"the mighty rivers of British Columbia"
posted by stray at 12:49 PM on December 9, 2006


Low have a song called Canada (on the album Trust):

I'm not scared of waking up
i'm not afraid of getting cut
'cuz you can't take that stuff to canada
you can't take it anywhere


Telepahasic Workshop by Boards of Canada mentions Canada, but it's in the context of a computery man saying the band's name, and easy to miss (it is totally ace, though, as are the band.)

Manitoba has an (electronica) song called 'Dundas, Ontario', which is probably one of the best songs ever, if you like that sort of thing.

There are surely more.
posted by Robot Rowboat at 12:53 PM on December 9, 2006


True Patriot Love - Joel Plaskett and the Emergency (not a place, but references "Oh Canada!")

Oh, Alberta -- Elliott Brood (references in order of first appearance are Alberta, Saskatchewan (rhymes with "...never meant no harm to any one..."), Manitoba, Ontario, Yukon, PEI, Newfoundland, North Dakota ("don't you know you don't belong in this song?"))

(I don't have links, but both are listenable on CBC Radio 3)
posted by girlpublisher at 1:21 PM on December 9, 2006


The mp3 blog Awesome Until Proven Guilty has a 10-post series on each of the provinces. The mp3s are gone, but the lists remain:
Canada - Intro
BC
Nova Scotia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Alberta
Newfie
PEI
Saskatchewan
Quebec
Ontario
posted by beelerspace at 1:27 PM on December 9, 2006


Ron Sexsmith: "Diana Sweets" - a song about a great little diner (now gone) on St. Paul Street in Ron's hometown, St. Catharines.
posted by davebush at 1:59 PM on December 9, 2006


Martina Sobara's "Bonnie and Clyde II" references Prince Edward County, and I believe she's Canadian.
posted by sarahkeebs at 2:26 PM on December 9, 2006


Marc Dery - Le Monde est Rendu Peace
posted by loiseau at 2:27 PM on December 9, 2006


the smugglers are from vancouver and are extremely proud of it. they did a song called, "vancouver, b.c.", another called "calgarians don't dance", and another called "canadian ambassadors of rock and roll".

their brothers of sorts, the evaporators' most recent album ripple rock is about pamela anderson's home town. (sort of.)
posted by kendrak at 2:36 PM on December 9, 2006


Canadian Gino Vanelli did a song that hit #4 in the US charts in 1978 called "I Just Wanna Stop":

For your love, for your love
When I think about those nights in Montreal
I get the sweetest thoughts of you and me
Memories of love above the city lights
posted by Jade Dragon at 2:38 PM on December 9, 2006


Rumple: I always thought Summer Wages was about Vancouver. Port Alberni has a Main Street with hookers and beer parlours too?
posted by timeistight at 2:54 PM on December 9, 2006


timeistight -- hhm,you may be right. I went from memory, and I was pretty sure I heard him sing a version in which the summer wages were made logging in Alberni, spent in Vancouver. But no mention of either, actually, in the lyrics I googled. Now I think, maybe I heard him interviewed and he made the Alberni connection.

Also. re: OP question: Spirit of the West: "I'm far too Canadian", and of course 'Boys of the North Shore' which is a fine drinking song naming the North Shore via a pub crawl:

Park Royal Hotel, The Rusty Gull, Square-Rigger and Queens Cross
We’d started out with eight good boys but half had gotten lost
For you’ll never keep the lads together when their eyes began to rove
So there was just the three of us that made it to Deep Cove

posted by Rumple at 3:21 PM on December 9, 2006


Meatbomb, the song you're thinking of is The Toronto Song that I mentioned. deadtroll.com.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 3:42 PM on December 9, 2006 [1 favorite]


Shellac "Canada" (from the album Terraform)

Allegedly, Steve Albini hates Canada. Can't imagine why.
posted by macdara at 3:44 PM on December 9, 2006


"The Lakes of Canada" by The Innocence Mission. On the album "Birds of My Neighbourhood"
posted by sann1657 at 3:46 PM on December 9, 2006


Seconding all the Joel Plaskett, but the other obvious song hasn't been mentioned yet: "Light of the Moon." The man has been all over the country several times over; this is one of his many songs about touring across Canada.
posted by chrominance at 4:00 PM on December 9, 2006


Oh, Left and Leaving! Beautiful instant tears.

Final Fantasy has a bunch: The CN Tower Belongs to the Dead, That's When the Audience Died ("Canada, Cana-daddy-doody-da"), and probably some others?!
posted by wemayfreeze at 4:08 PM on December 9, 2006


The Hidden Cameras have an album called Mississauga Goddam, after the Toronto suburb. And there's a title track. Great album!
posted by timnyc at 5:22 PM on December 9, 2006


I have no idea where you'd find this clip, but the cartoon Bobby's World had a gag, as follows:

Person 1: How do you spell "Canada"?
Person 2: C-eh?-N-eh?-D-eh?
posted by Alt F4 at 5:47 PM on December 9, 2006


Of Montreal, by the Stills (don't think that the word Montreal actually figures in the song though...)
posted by calico at 5:49 PM on December 9, 2006


Warren Zezon's "Hit Somebody! (The Hockey Song)" with David Letterman chiming in on the "Hit Somebody" part. It's awesome. Find it and listen to it somewhere.

"He was born in Big Beaver by the borderline
He started playing hockey by the time he was nine
His dad took the hose and froze the back yard
And Little Buddy dreamed he was Rocket Richard
He grew up big and he grew up tough
He saw himself scoring for the Wings or Canucks
But he wasn't that good with a puck

Buddy's real talent was beating people up
His heart wasn't in it but the crowd ate it up
Through pee-wees and juniors, midgets and mites
He must have racked up more than six hundred fights
A scout from the flames came down from Saskatoon
Said, "There's always room on our team for a goon
Son, we've always got room for a goon"

There were Swedes to the left of him
Russians to the right
A Czech at the blue line looking for a fight
Brains over brawn, that might work for you
But what's a Canadian farm boy to do?
What else can a farm boy from Canada to do?
But what's a Canadian farm boy to do?
What else can a farm boy from Canada do?"
posted by GaelFC at 6:19 PM on December 9, 2006


Jean LeLoup's "I Lost My Baby" not only mentions Ottawa, Hawkesbury and St. Foy, but is also bilingual [random youtube cover of the song]
posted by Cuke at 6:27 PM on December 9, 2006


Blue Rodeo's Western Skies is about wishing you were in the Alberta mountains instead of downtown Toronto. (Or at least I assume it's downtown, somebody on here probably knows where the 503 TTC runs...)
posted by arto at 6:46 PM on December 9, 2006


There is a Journey song ("Smalltown Boy?") that mentions South Detroit, which has to be Windsor.

Heard a Bruce Springsteen song recently about two brothers, one gone bad, who runs for the Canadian border at Windsor/Detroit.

Both of those might be better left for a mix of USians who don't know the first thing about where Canada is.
posted by QIbHom at 7:26 PM on December 9, 2006


West Hastings - Godspeed You Black Emporer!
posted by Vantech at 9:46 PM on December 9, 2006


Er, correction.. EAST Hastings
posted by Vantech at 9:47 PM on December 9, 2006


Ren & Stimpy's Royal Canadian Kilted Yaksmen.
posted by antifuse at 7:31 AM on December 10, 2006


Oooo- Jean LeLoup! Good thinking -- What about "Balade à Toronto"?
posted by girlpublisher at 7:34 AM on December 10, 2006


Joni Mitchell's "Raised on Robbery" is set in the Empire Hotel lobby, with the Leafs on the TV. Joni is openly Lesser North American, so it all points to the Empire Hotel being somewhere up there.

In fact, it's in Regina (at least the one she's referring to is.)

Also worth mentioning: Sonny James, "A Little Bit South of Saskatoon".

Ian and Sylvia, "Four Strong Winds" (covered by Neil Young, and more recently, the late Johnny Cash).
posted by evilcolonel at 10:32 AM on December 10, 2006


Not the most positive mention, but dang funny: "Americans" by Byron MacGregor:
Our neighbours have faced it alone and I am one Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them kicked around. They will come out of this thing with their flag high. And when they do, they are entitled to thumb their nose at the lands that are gloating over their present troubles. I hope Canada is not one of these. But there are many smug, self-righteous Canadians.
posted by jumble at 12:32 PM on December 10, 2006


Jann Arden, "Waiting in Canada" from Blood Red Cherry.
posted by RibaldOne at 6:16 PM on December 10, 2006


for songs "sung or written by Canadians," try k.d. lang's CD Hymns of the 49th Parallel. I don't recall which tracks specifically mention Canada, but the whole point of the album is to use songs written by Canadians and sung by a Canadian to evoke that sense of place that it sounds like you might be looking to attain.
posted by somanyamys at 7:30 AM on December 11, 2006


Some more:

Junkie Song - Be Good Tanyas - Vancouver - mentions the Skytrain etc.

English Bay - Blue Rodeo

Jolie Louise - Daniel Lanois (mentions Gatineau and Hamilton)

Elgin Avenue - I think this is about Elgin St in Ottawa

Just the Other Day - Jr. Gone Wild - "well I met her in Alberta..."

Toune d'Automne - Cowboys Fringants - mentions that the singer's sister has just come home from Alberta

Ces Temps-ci - Cowboys Fringants - Mentions Gatineau and Montreal

Long May You Run - Neil Young - about the death of his car outside Blind River, ON

Dragonfly on Bay Street - Ron Sexsmith - about Toronto downtown
posted by mikel at 9:12 AM on December 11, 2006


Here's the track list I came up with. I had to leave a lot behind (12 tracks max):

1. Final Fantasy, "CN Tower"
2. Cadence Weapon, "Oliver Square"
3. Elliot Brood, "Oh, Alberta"
4. Neil Young, "Helpless"
5. Rush, "Lakeside Park"
6. Stompin Tom Conner, "Sudbury Saturday Night"
7. Feist, "Mushaboom" (remix by K-OL)
8. BJ Snowden, "In Canada"
9. Jim Guthrie, "So Small"
10. Built to Spill, "Expo 86"
11. Gordon Lightfoot, "Alberta Bound"
12. The Weakerthans, "One Great City"

Feel free to email me at johnbeeler at google mail if you'd like this sendspaced.
posted by beelerspace at 7:03 PM on January 12, 2007


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