Canadian content

My closest friends will tell you there is nothing I like more than finding the right song with the right lyrics for the right moment and sharing it with them. 

Basically, I’m a mood DJ. If you’re sad, heartbroken, ready to quit (your job, relationship, Netflix account), I’ve got a song for that. If you’re in love, or need a reminder to love yourself more (than your job, the person who doesn’t text back, your Paramount Plus subscription), I’ll cue up a playlist of empowering tunes curated to move you through it all.

With Canada Day approaching, I decided it would be fun to create a musical playlist of 101 Canadian Classic tunes, all performed by a diverse selection of Canadian bands and performers, some living, some passed, but all responsible for putting Canadian content on the musical landscape. I stopped at 101 songs because that felt like a good number, but also, because, you know, I had other stuff to do.

In the end, my playlist showcased a broad spectrum of genres creating an interesting and diverse collection of musical styles, voices and decades of history. My favourites were those who celebrate Canadian stories, but honestly, some were just songs you’d jam too while drying the dishes. 

I covered as much of the landscape of my country as I could in 101 songs. I had everything from Teenage Head to Stan Rogers, to Kardinall Official and Aysanabee, to the Arkells and Drake, to Anne Murray (don’t knock Anne Murray. She needed me. If you don’t get that, stop reading this). 

My only rule was that no band, artist or rendition of a song appears twice. The only exception? The Tragically Hip got two slots on my list, because that band is deeply embedded in my Canadian soul. Sorry.

Then, I decided to share the playlist and invite friends to contribute to it. Add their favourites. It was meant to be collaborative and for the most part it was, except for the odd ones who flipped out because they didn’t see their favourite bands represented, meaning they missed my directions – and thus, the point, entirely. Sigh. 

And like a good Canadian, I’m sorry Justin Bieber didn’t make my cut, yet Carly Rae Jepsen did. I saw her at Riverfest and that woman has been on Broadway. That’s all the clout she needs. Call me maybe, indeed. The point was, someone else could add the Biebs, if they felt so inclined. It wasn’t personal. I assure you Justin doesn’t need to be on my list to help his career, eh? Just know that Stompin’ Tom made the list. He always will.

The point of the exercise, for those who understood the assignment, was simply to encourage my fellow Canadians to listen to, appreciate, share and celebrate the artists that are part of the mosaic of our nation’s culture. Our culture. Our voices. Our stories. 

My Canada is a place where it doesn’t matter what kind of music you like, so long as you don’t turn it up to drown out the voices of others. Evolve. Dance to your own beat. Express yourself, without suppressing others. Be open to other genres. Listen to new voices. Love what you love. Know it’s all divine. 

Yes, it’s a metaphor. Sorry, not sorry. Whatever music you’re playing this weekend, turn it up. 

Happy Canada Day, music fans.

WriteOut of Her Mind