March 11, 2009

Canadian Music: 49 Songs from North of the 49th Parallel

As I've noted a few times Canada has an array of talented musicians. Recently the CBC decided to ask what songs President Obama should listen to in order to understand what Canada is all about. (I pronounce it about, not a boot).

Obama's Playlist Revealed!

2-9Insert drum roll here! The top 49 pieces of music that make up Obama's Playlist are as follows.

The Top 49 (Listed by artist):

Arcade Fire - Rebellion (Lies)
Barenaked Ladies - If I Had $1,000,000
Beau Dommage – La complainte du phoque en Alaska
Ben Heppner - We’ll Gather Lilacs
Bruce Cockburn - Wondering Where the Lions Are
Buffy Sainte-Marie - Universal Soldier
Daniel Bélanger - Rêver mieux
Daniel Lanois - Jolie Louise
Daniel Lavoie - J'ai quitté mon île
Diana Krall - Departure Bay
Gilles Vigneault - Mon pays
Glenn Gould - Goldberg Variations
Gordon Lightfoot - Canadian Railroad Trilogy
Gordon Lightfoot – Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald
Great Big Sea - Ordinary Day
Harmonium - Pour un Instant
Ian & Sylvia - Four Strong Winds
James Ehnes - Barber Violin Concerto
Jesse Cook - Mario Takes a Walk
Joni Mitchell - Both Sides Now
Joni Mitchell – A Case of You
Karkwa - Oublie pas
k.d. lang - Hallelujah
Leonard Cohen - Democracy
Leonard Cohen - Suzanne
Malajube - Montréal -40°C
Marie-Jo Thério - Évangeline
Marjan Mozetich - Affairs of the Heart
Measha Brueggergosman - I’m Going Up a Yonder
Mes Aïeux - Dégénérations
Michael Bublé – Home
Moe Koffman - Swingin' Shepherd Blues
Neil Young - Rockin' In the Free World
Neil Young - Helpless
Oscar Peterson Trio - Hymn to Freedom
Oscar Peterson – Place St. Henri (from Canadiana Suite)
Parachute Club - Rise Up
Raymond Lévesque - Quand Les Hommes Vivront D'amour
Rush - Closer to the Heart
Sam Roberts - The Canadian Dream
Shad - Brother (Watching)
Stan Rogers - Northwest Passage
Stompin' Tom Connors - The Hockey Song
The Arrogant Worms Canada's Really Big
The Guess Who American Woman
The Tragically Hip - Wheat Kings
The Tragically Hip - Bobcaygeon
The Rankin Family - Rise Again
The Weakerthans - One Great City!

So there you have it, folks. Discuss, debate, celebrate as you will!


  1. Hi, to you Geoff at Mount Allison! I grew up in Amherst and had a few occastions to visit your campus although I attended Mount Saint Vincent University.

    I think the list is interesting but, being put together by the CBC, I wonder if it is truly representative of the Canadian population's choice. I suspect that the list might be a bit different if the audience had been a bit more diverse.

    I wrote a page about the playlist at and would be thrilled if you'd visit and leave your comments.