It’s the 146th anniversary of… Confederation. Everybody sing together.
I wasn’t going to resort to the great national media exercise that is the knee-jerk Canada Day (or, if you prefer, Dominion Day) list. But a raft of rather bizarre and hastily compiled lists published this week had me thinking that this nation probably deserves better. Here, then, compiled in haste, are a few short lists of proudly Canadian musical excursions. Enjoy!
List 1: Four defiantly Canadian album titles
Third Down, 110 to Go by Jesse Winchester
The celebrated draft-dodger’s 1972 release boasts what is surely the most outright Canadian title ever to make it to U.S. soil.
Born on the First of July by Chixdiggit
Yes, Calgary’s Chixdiggit. Feel free to give this 1998 disc a spin over the weekend; it still holds up.
Favourite Colours by The Sadies
OK, so the title is not particularly Canadian, but you just know those Good brothers chose it at least in part to reclaim the proper spelling of both words in the title.
Canadian Content by various artists
A rather obvious one, this Capitol Records compilation, but it kinda says it all. Anne Murray. Gene MacLellan. Pierre Lalonde. Heck, the label was even thoughtful enough to offer a warning that Lalonde’s song C’est mon Coeur qui chante clair, is “sung in French.” Makes you proud, it does.
Three distinctly Canadian band names:
Anal Chinook (Who can forget?)
Bruno Gerussi’s Medallion (Too bad the band sucked.)
Pierre LeBon et les Separa-twists (Bein oui!)
Three artists that could only have come from Canada:
A Tribe Called Red
Rock et Belles Oreilles
And finally, for your Canada Day enjoyment…
Across Canada in eight songs (a musical travelogue):
Canadian Railroad Trilogy by Gordon Lightfoot
Home Again in Newfoundland This Year by Dick Nolan
Going Down the Road by Bruce Cockburn
Excursion à Venise par Kate et Anna McGarrigle
This Ottawa Valley of Mine by Mac Beattie
Wa Wa Tey Wak by Andrew Balfour
Four Strong Winds by Ian & Sylvia (yes, or Neil Young)
Beautiful British Columbia by Alberta Slim