Mixtapes for Hookers

O Canada
June 13, 2009, 8:33 am
Filed under: lists, music | Tags: , ,


I had trouble sleeping last night, and I ended up blogging about Mpho again (this time on my other blog, where I hadn’t gotten around to mentioning her yet.) That led me to Wikipedia Martha and the Muffins’ Echo Beach again, because I couldn’t remember what year that song came out, and that in turn led me to this, a 2005 list of the 50 most essential pieces of Canadian music. The list was chosen by industry types and then ranked by listeners. And oh my God, if #2 isn’t, um, a big pile of #2.

1. Ian and Sylvia, “Four Strong Winds”
2. Barenaked Ladies, “If I Had $1000000”
3. Neil Young, “Heart of Gold”
4. Stan Rogers, “Northwest Passage”
5. The Guess Who, “American Woman”
6. Gordon Lightfoot, “Canadian Railroad Trilogy”
7. Joni Mitchell, “Both Sides Now”
8. Leonard Cohen, “Suzanne”
9. Joni Mitchell, “Big Yellow Taxi”
10. Gordon Lightfoot, “Early Morning Rain”

11. Bruce Cockburn, “Lovers in a Dangerous Time”
12. Stompin’ Tom Connors, “The Hockey Song”
13. Tom Cochrane, “Life Is a Highway”
14. Blue Rodeo, “Try”
15. The Band, “The Weight”
16. The Tragically Hip, “New Orleans is Sinking”
17. Bryan Adams, “Summer of ’69”
18. Bachman-Turner Overdrive, “Takin’ Care of Business”
19. Anne Murray, “Snowbird”
20. Sarah McLachlan, “Angel”

21. k.d. lang, “Constant Craving”
22. Spirit of the West, “Home for a Rest”
23. The Guess Who, “These Eyes”
24. Neil Young, “Rockin’ in the Free World”
25. Gordon Lightfoot, “Sundown”
26. Buffy Sainte-Marie, “Universal Soldier”
27. The Tragically Hip, “Courage (for Hugh MacLennan)”
28. Alanis Morissette, “You Oughta Know”
29. Bruce Cockburn, “Wondering Where the Lions Are”
30. Gilles Vigneault, “Mon Pays”

31. Trooper, “Raise a Little Hell”
32. Blue Rodeo, “Hasn’t Hit Me Yet”
33. Rush, “Tom Sawyer”
34. Hank Snow, “I’m Movin’ On”
35. Martha and the Muffins, “Echo Beach”
36. Men Without Hats, “The Safety Dance”
37. k-os, “Crabbuckit”
38. Rough Trade, “High School Confidential”
39. Sam Roberts, “Brother Down”
40. Paul Anka, “Diana”

41. Ron Hynes, “Sonny’s Dream”
42. Leonard Cohen, “Tower of Song”
43. The Crew Cuts, “Sh-Boom”
44. Parachute Club, “Rise Up”
45. Sloan, “Coax Me”
46. Maestro Fresh Wes, “Let Your Backbone Slide”
47. Ruth Lowe, “I’ll Never Smile Again” (performed by the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra)
48. Rush, “Fly By Night”
49. D.O.A., “Disco Sucks”
50. Wilf Carter, “My Swiss Moonlight Lullaby”

There’s some good songs–The Safety Dance! Angel! Universal Soldier!–although I would have gone with Pop Goes The World and Possession and Moon Shot instead, but whatever. Constant Craving is great, and I’ve always liked Sh-Boom despite kind of hating doo-wop music. There’s also a lot of songs (over half, actually) that I don’t know. And some terrible, terrible crap. Summer Of ’69? If I Had $1,000,00? American Woman? The Weight? Yuck yuck yuck yuck. Also, I have always thought that Rockin In The Free World is a ridiculous and terrible song.

Ian and Sylvia, on the other hand, are pretty delightful. I bought their Northern Journey album with no knowledge of who they were, just because I liked the record sleeve, and it’s really nice boy-girl folk. Northern Journey contains the original version of You Were On My Mind, written by Sylvia but made famous by We Five a year later. (Four Strong Winds is actually on an earlier album, which I’m not really familiar with.) The We Five version is a lot perkier than the original. Here’s the version you probably knew:

And here’s Ian and Sylvia’s:

1 Comment so far
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Everyone knows that the most essential Canadian song of all time is “Tired of Waking Up Tired” by The Diodes.

So, Good Day, eh?

Comment by Ed Slota

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