Starting off the list are three songs from everyone’s favourite Canadian band The Tragically Hip. This band’s music has been dubbed “the soundtrack of our lives” and these three songs are perhaps the most Canadian of their catalogue.
“50 Mission Cap”
…and now let’s continue with other GREAT Canadian tunes.
Sloan – “The Rest of My Life”
Try not to sing along midway through to the lyrics “One thing I know about the rest of my life/I know that I’ll be livin it in Canada!”
Stompin Tom Connors – “The Hockey Song”
What better way to celebrate Canada than a song about Canada’s game?
Neil Young – “Helpless”
The song opens with “There is a town in North Ontario” and the rest of the song takes you there with poetic imagery. A fantastic song about Canada from a Canadian music legend.
Barenaked Ladies – “The Old Apartment”
This Steven Page-era offering from BNL with it’s references to areas of Toronto will make you reminisce about the 90s. Play this tune and show some love for this band who are recent inductees to the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.
Blue Rodeo – “Western Skies”
This offering from quintessentially Canadian band Blue Rodeo shows some love for the big sky out West. Although they are based in Southern Ontario, Blue Rodeo has made their career playing shows all across Canada and know this country well.
Sarah Harmer – “The Park Song”
She has one of the most melodic voices in music. Who could forget Sarah Harmer’s beautiful tribute to Gord Downie at this year’s Junos? She wrote this song in 2011 for CBC Radio 2 as part of the National Parks Project. A perfect tune to listen to around the campfire this weekend. We couldn’t find this song on Spotify to add to the playlist below, but you can check it out, here.
City & Colour – “Comin Home”
In this song, lead singer Dallas Green rhymes off places he’s been to in Canada, America and Great Britain proving that while it’s great to travel, coming home is even better.
Great Big Sea – “When I’m Up”
This song doesn’t contain any Canadian-specific references, but Great Big Sea is everyone’s favourite East Coast band and this is a tune to crank up, sing at the top of your lungs, stomp your feet and dance like you’re at a maritime kitchen party.
Randy Bachman – “Prairie Town”
Although not a BTO hit, it is still a great song composed by lead singer Bachman. The lyrics are very Canadian (if the title doesn’t give it away) and it’s one of those great fire-side tunes imagining the travels the band was making around Canada.
Tom Cochrane – “Life is A Highway”
This is essentially one of the most Canadian songs that has ever been written. Sure, there’s only the Vancouver lights reference, but really, what Canadian family hasn’t hit the highway and rocked out to this song? Be it on your way to your cottage, Canada’s Wonderland, zoo or museum, I call this an unofficial Canadian anthem. (And kudos to Tom for always personalizing the song to whatever town/city he is performing in)
K-OS – “Crabbuckit”
Maybe it’s the music video based out of Toronto. Or the reference to The Hip, or Yonge St. K-OS’s songs helped shine a light on an emerging crossover genre that helped to introduce another Canadian artist to the world.
Spirit of the West – “Home for a Rest”
In addition to being a crowd pleaser at many wedding, this song chalks up our Canadian loves of drinking, and “home”.
Joel Plaskett Emergency- “I love this Town”
Another fireside feel – Joel and his band share their story of being on this road. For some reason, the reference to town (outside of country music) seems very fitting for a Canadian song.
Sam Roberts Band – “The Canadian Dream”
Though the song title gives it away, Sam’s lyrics have you thinking about those cold winters that so many Canadian towns/cities are known for.
Tim Hicks – “Stronger Beer”
Tim’s entire song makes reference to the many differences between Canada and the US. Other than having stronger beer, hockey being “the only game” strikes a chord with many Canadians.
Ian & Sylvia Tyson – “Four Strong Winds”
The legendary hit by husband and wife duo speak of the great 4 seasons that we Canadians endure, while penning a very romantic image of the Canadian way of life.
Tanya Tagaq – “Frostbite”
Although there are no lyrics, Tagaq’s throat signing allows for various interpretations, but many agree that the Inuk throat singer has created a song that sounds like our cold winter’s. We couldn’t find this song on Spotify to add to the playlist below, but you can check it out, here.
Listen to most of it, here:
So, there you have it! A list of truly Canadian songs by Canadian artists to keep your Canada Day celebrations going this weekend.