Generally, I’m not a big fan of lists, but here I go.
By no means is this a list of the “BEST” Canadian songs of all time. I intentionally skipped over the most obvious songs and people and just went with songs that meant something to me back in the day, and still tug at the heart strings. After all, music is far too subjective for little ol’ me to step forward with such a declaration. Instead I’m picking my favourite 5 songs written by Canadians. Feel free to argue or suggest others. Happy Canada Day folks!
5) “The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald” – The Rheostatics
I could have picked a dozen Rheostatic’s tunes and not even have scratched the surface of their repertoire. Still, how much more Canadian can you get having an awesome band cover Canadian legend Gordon Lightfoot. Let’s not even get started with the fact that Dave Bidini, (guitars & vocals) has written a book (On A Cold Road) on Canadian bands touring this great land of ours. Give it a read – and them a listen!
4) “Painted Ladies” – Ian Thomas
As a child I used to hear this song all the time and it never left me. As other people wanted to learn how to play “Heart Of Gold” as they started to learn guitar, I was trying my hand at “Painted Ladies.” There is something so ‘setting sun’ glorious and desperate about this song that catches me off guard every time I listen.
3) “Five Days In May” – Blue Rodeo
Five Days In July is definitely my favourite Blue Rodeo album, and “Five Days In May” my favourite song from them. It captures the mood of “Four Strong Wind” the desolation of “Helpless” and is just plain heartbreaking in its own right. Saw them play it at Fort York which also seems to me to be a cool ‘Canadiana’ thing.
2) “Bleed A Little While Tonight” – Lowest of the Low
Not only is it a great Canadian song, but it name checks the streets of my awesome city. So while the ‘Low’ have been on and off again over the last few years, Shakespeare My Butt... still has regular rotation on my stereo.
1) “Echo Beach” – Martha & the Muffins
Called a new wave band at the time Martha & the Muffins “Echo Beach” was anything but a genre hit. It was played on AM, FM, pop and rock stations throughout the world. This Martha & the Muffins song charted in Canada, Australia, the UK and even the US dance charts. It was a monster that was an instant classic to my 13 year old ears… and still remains so to this day. Hell, it even has a concert venue named after it on Toronto Island.