Dave Pollard's chronicle of civilization's collapse, creative works and essays on our culture.
A trail of crumbs, runes and exclamations along my path in search of a better way to live and make a living, and a better understanding of how the world really works.



March 14, 2004

THE GREAT CANADIAN SONG CONTEST

Filed under: Our Culture / Ourselves — Dave Pollard @ 13:06
maple leafA few years ago, the late, great Peter Gzowski of the CBC asked his listeners to nominate the best Canadian songs of all time. He played many of the nominations on his show, and had a small panel that whittled down the nominations to a top ten list. I don’t recall all ten, but believe #1 was a Nova Scotian song called “Rise Again”.

I thought it might be interesting to try a blog version of the contest, so I’m inviting all Canadian bloggers, and all Canadian readers, to help me come up with a list of nominees. I’ll then circulate the list to any Canadian who wants to be a judge, and winnow it down, first to a list of 12 finalists, and then in a second ballot to a ranked list. If there’s sufficient interest I may try to get the CBC (possibly the program Sounds Like Canada) to air the final twelve, or even make a compilation CD. Whatever we come up will surely beat the hell out of the ghastly (Enter Your Nationality Here) Idol.

Here’s how to participate:

  1. To nominate or judge, you must be a Canadian citizen or resident.
  2. Nominations can be e-mailed to me, or posted in the comments thread below.
  3. To qualify for nomination, songs must be written and performed by Canadians, and refer at least peripherally to Canada (see examples below).
  4. If you want to be a judge, please notify me by e-mail or in the comments thread below by March 21. Judges must be willing to try to audition every song nominated. How you obtain or access copies is up to you.
  5. On March 28 nominations will close and a ballot of all nominees will be sent to everyone volunteering to be a judge.
  6. On April 11, I will tabulate all ballots received and publish the list of 12 finalists. Judges will have a week to rank the 12 finalists and the ranked list will be re-published, and publicized to interested Canadian media, on April 18.

Obvious nominees:

  • Canadian Railroad Trilogy and Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald (Gordon Lightfoot)
  • Snowbird (Gene MacLellan)
  • Mon Pays (C’est l’Hiver) (Gilles Vigneault)
  • Northwest Passage (Stan Rogers)
  • Canada centennial song (Bobby Gimby)
  • Four Strong Winds (Ian Tyson)
  • Something to Sing About (Oscar Brand)
  • A La Claire Fontaine (Traditional)
  • Rise Again (Leon Dubinsky)
  • Here’s a site with a lot of possible nominations.

My more obscure nominations:

  • Prairie Town (Randy Bachman)
  • Life is a Highway (Tom Cochrane)
  • Little Lambs (Marc Jordan)
  • Gavin’s Woodpile (Bruce Cockburn)
  • See the Sky About to Rain and Ambulance Blues (Neil Young)
  • A Case of You (Joni Mitchell)
  • Five Days in May or English Bay (Blue Rodeo)

I’m especially looking for more songs written by women, French-Canadian and Native Canadian songs.

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