As you already know by now, today is our country’s 147th birthday (kind of has a Bilbao Baggins ring to it, eh?). So to help you continue with the celebrations, here’s another list of 10 iconic Canadian artists and tracks to get you through the day wherever you may be. But before the list, we would like to extend our thoughts to the people of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, who, if you haven’t already heard, have had to deal with torrential rains that have resulted in severe flooding the past few days. Have a safe and happy Canada Day wherever you may be.
Neil Young, “Coming Apart at Every Nail”
I knew I had to have a Neil Young song. I was impartial to “Unknown Legend” for really no reason other than it’s a great song. But Matt McCay had a better story – his son remembered the entire song by the time he was 4, and, therefore, this song has special meaning to him. It’s a great song, too, reflecting on the greatness of Neil Young.
Tom Cochrane, “Life is a Highway”
This one is for our friend Adrian, who, if you know him, openly admitted that he still taps his foot to this song, which is quite the confession. So Adrian, this is for you. And honestly, this is the quintessential driving song. Seriously, who hasn’t played this tune while on a road trip?
Gordon Lightfoot, “Sundown”
Ahhh, Mr. Gordon Lightfoot. So many great songs to choose from this remarkable songwriter, but Brian Coleman asked for this and he shall receive. The twanging of the guitar, that memorable chorus, and that gorgeous voice.
Loverboy, “Working for the Weekend”
Two people asked for it – our man Phil D and the folks at the Stewart Park Festival – so here you have it. Get dancing (or run). I admit it, it’s a catchy tune and I would be dancing to it if it was played. I’m not wearing a handkerchief around my neck, though.
Maestro Fresh Wes, “Let Your Backbone Slide”
Is there a more iconic, Canadian hip hop song than this one? It doesn’t matter if you were around to hear the track back in 1989 (like we were) or were born after, every Canadian knows this anthemic track. It’s still played in bars and clubs across the country, and it’s the perfect song for a Canada Day party.
The Tragically Hip, “Bobcaygeon”
My favourite Hip song is “Nautical Disaster”, but it isn’t exactly a Canada Day song. “Wheat Kings” could have been chosen because it shows both the flaws and greatness of our country. But “Bobcaygeon” was requested by three people – Michele Bigelow-Mizuguchi, Dave Brighton, and Kent Aitken – and for great reasons – an unexpected love song that only could be told by an iconic Canadian band. I admit it, it brings a tear to my eyes every time I hear it.
Arcade Fire, “Power Out + Rebellion (Lies)”
Have Arcade Fire been around long enough to be considered an iconic band? It’s debatable, but they’re arguably the biggest indie band in the world right now and they have been highly influential in music – one of the first massive indie successes of the last 12 years. The combo of “Power Out” and “Rebellion (Lies)” is the best one-two punch when performed live. Get off your bum and start grooving and singing with his iconic band (there I said it!). Oh, this one is for Amanda Storebo and Iain Cuthbert.
Grapes of Wrath, “I Am Here”
They’ve been touring again. Woohoo! Before there was Toad the Wet Sprocket and Gin Blossoms, there was this awesome – I mean AWESOME! – Canadian band. I’m going to lie down and just enjoy this song.
Spirit of the West, “Home for a Rest”
By now, you’ve probably had too much to drink or have been in the sun too long and need a rest. Or, this song might make you want to reach for the next beverage and get dancing. Regardless, no Canada Day would be complete without Spirit of the West’s anthemic and most successful song blaring from the speakers.
Stompin’ Tom Connors, “The Hockey Song”
Any list of iconic Canadian songs has to include this classic from Stompin’ Tom Connors (may he RIP). And who cares if it’s July – hockey is etched in our identity, our culture. We play it all year round, and it’s the one sport that brings a whole country together. So get out the plastic sticks and play some road hockey on Canada Day.
Well, it’s not quite a bonus track. It’s “Oh Canada!
Then again, it’s more a memorable moment from 2010, and the clip ends with our beautiful anthem as sung by thousands of Canadians across the country (thanks to Jean-Louis Nguyen for this clip). Relive the moment, celebrate our country’s birthday, and be proud to be a Canadian.
HAPPY CANADA DAY EVERYONE!!!
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