The Top 100 Canadian Songs of All Time?

musicOn Canada Day, 2007, I listed what I believed to be the top 100 Canadian songs of all time. It was a 1.5 month endeavour to assemble that list, and I was pretty proud of it.

A new book by Bob Mersereau has reignited this great debate. Bob lists the top 100 Canadian singles. Here's Bob's list. I've made the choices we agreed on bold.

1. The Guess Who — "American Woman"

2. Neil Young — "Heart of Gold"

3. The Band — "The Weight"

4. Bryan Adams — "Summer of '69"

5. Leonard Cohen — "Hallelujah"

6. Steppenwolf — "Born to Be Wild"

7. Gordon Lightfoot — "If You Could Read My Mind"

8. Bachman Turner Overdrive — "Takin' Care of Business"

9. Ian and Sylvia — "Four Strong Winds"

10. Anne Murray — "Snowbird"

11. Joni Mitchell — "Big Yellow Taxi" / "Woodstock"

12. Rush — "Tom Sawyer"

13. Blue Rodeo — "Try"

14. Tragically Hip — "New Orleans is Sinking"

15. Gordon Lightfoot — "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald"

16. Leonard Cohen — "Suzanne"

17. Tom Cochrane — "Life is a Highway"

18. The Guess Who — "These Eyes"

19. Gordon Lightfoot — "Sundown"

20. Sloan — "Underwhelmed"

21. The Band — "Up on Cripple Creek" / "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down"

22. Maestro Fresh Wes — "Let Your Backbone Slide"

23. The Diodes — "Tired of Waking Up Tired"

25. Rush — "The Spirit of Radio"

25. Crowbar — "Oh What a Feeling"

26. Rough Trade — "High School Confidential"

27. Martha and the Muffins — "Echo Beach"

28. Stampeders — "Sweet City Woman"

29. Arcade Fire — "Wake Up"

30. Barenaked Ladies — "If I Had $1,000,000"

31. Robert Charlebois — "Lindberg"

32. The Pursuit Of Happiness — "I'm an Adult Now"

33. Ugly Ducklings — "Nothin' "

34. Sloan — "Coax Me"

35. Rush — "Closer to the Heart"

36. Teenage Head — "Picture My Face"

37. Guess Who — "Shakin' All Over"

38. Five Man Electrical Band — "Signs"

39. Blue Rodeo — "Lost Together"

40. Ron Hynes — "Sonny's Dream"

41. Men Without Hats — "The Safety Dance"

42. Rheostatics — "Claire"

43. Lighthouse — "One Fine Morning"

44. A Foot In Coldwater — "(Make Me Do) Anything You Want"

45. Corey Hart — "Sunglasses At Night"

46. Loverboy — "Working For The Weekend"

47. Trooper — "Raise A Little Hell"

48. Parachute Club — "Rise Up"

49. Alannah Myles — "Black Velvet"

50. Terry Jacks — "Seasons in the Sun"

51. Malajube — "Montreal -40C"

52. Neil Young — "Cinnamon Girl"

53. Alanis Morissette — "You Oughta Know"

54. Feist — "1234"

55. Arcade Fire — "Rebellion (Lies)"

56. k.d. lang — "Constant Craving"

57. Neil Young — "Rockin' in the Free World"

58. Michel Pagliaro — "Lovin' You Ain't Easy"

59. Bruce Cockburn — "Lovers in a Dangerous Time"

60. Tragically Hip — "Bobcaygeon"

61. Joni Mitchell — "A Case of You" / "California"

62. The Demics — "New York City"

63. Bryan Adams — "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You"

64. Tragically Hip — "Ahead by a Century"

65. Blue Rodeo — "Five Days in May"

66. Hank Snow — "I'm Moving On"

67. Harmonium — "Pour un instant"

68. Steppenwolf — "Magic Carpet Ride"

69. Sloan — "Money City Maniacs"

70. Celine Dion — "My Heart Will Go On"

71. k-os — "Crabbuckit"

72. The Kings —"This Beat Goes on/Switchin' to Glide"

73. Neil Young — "Old Man" / "Needle and the Damage Done"

74. Jean Leloup — "1990"

75. Payola$ — "Eyes of a Stranger"

76. Blue Rodeo — "Hasn't Hit Me Yet"

77. Bachman Turner Overdrive — "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet"

78. Bruce Cockburn — "Wondering Where the Lions Are"

79. April Wine — "You Could Have Been a Lady"

80. Teenage Head — "Let's Shake"/ "Somethin' On My Mind"

81. Joni Mitchell — "Help Me"

82. Trooper — "We're Here For A Good Time"

83. Lighthouse — "Sunny Days"

84. Jean-Pierre Ferland — "Le petit roi"

85. Bryan Adams — "Cuts Like A Knife"

86. Stompin' Tom Connors — "The Hockey Song"

87. Tragically Hip — "Wheat Kings"

88. Gilles Vigneault — "Mon pays"

89. Spirit of The West — "Home For a Rest"

90. New Pornographers — "Letter from an Occupant"

91. Guess Who — "No Time"

92. Mashmakhan — "As the Years Go By"

93. Neil Young — "Hey Hey My My"

94. Paul Anka — "Diana"

95. Daniel Lanois — "The Maker"

96. The Spoons — "Nova Heart"

97. Beau Dommage — "La complainte du phoque en Alaska"

98. Ron Sexsmith — "Secret Heart"

99. Bryan Adams — "Run to You"

100. Wintersleep — "Weighty Ghost"

Pretty similar... I didn't have any French songs on my list, and opted for different Rheostatics, Feist and New Pornographers, but we're pretty close... especially in the top 25.

Heck, I'll save you a click and just reprint my list below.

The Tragically Hip - New Orleans Is Sinking

Neil Young - Helpless

The Band - The Weight

Joni Mitchell - Big Yellow Taxi

Gordon Lightfoot - Canadian Railroad Trilogy

Stan Rogers - Northwest Passage

Sloan - Underwhelmed

The Guess Who - American Woman

Leonard Cohen - Suzanne

Neil Young - Heart of Gold

Blue Rodeo - Try

Leonard Cohen - Hallelujah

The Tragically Hip - Courage

Barenaked Ladies - Brian Wilson

Cowboy Junkies - Misguided Angel

Arcade Fire - Wake Up

Gordon Lightfoot - Early Morning Rain

Neil Young - Rockin' In The Free World

Rush - The Spirit of Radio

The Guess Who - Share the Land

Blue Rodeo - Lost Together

Death From Above 1979 - Romantic Rights

Our Lady Peace - Naveed

Arcade Fire - Rebellion (Lies)

Blue Rodeo - Diamond Mine

Bruce Cockburn - Lovers in a Dangerous Time

Gordon Lightfoot - If You Could Read My Mind

Five Man Electical Band - Signs

Bachman Turner Overdrive - Takin' Care Of Business

Gordon Lightfoot - Sundown

The Guess Who - These Eyes

Blood, Sweat and Tears - Spinning Wheel

Hayden - Bad As They Seem

Neil Young - Cinnamon Girl

Ian and Sylvia - Four Strong Winds

Joni Mitchell - Woodstock

Rush - Closer to the Heart

Joni Mitchell - Both Sides, Now

Our Lady Peace - 4am

Maestro Fresh-Wes - Let Your Backbone Slide

k.d. lang - Constant Craving

The Tragically Hip - Bobcaygeon

Neil Young - Old Man

Dream Warriors - My Definition of a Boombastic Jazz Style

Sarah Harmer - Silver Road

Jeff Healey - Angel Eyes

The New Pornographers - Mass Romantic

I Mother Earth - So Gently We Go

Our Lady Peace - Clumsy

Joni Mitchell - The Circle Game

The Pursuit of Happiness - I'm An Adult Now

The Lowest of the Low - Henry Needs A New Pair of Shoes

Ashley MacIsaac - Sleepy Maggie

Robbie Robertson - Somewhere Down the Crazy River

Tom Cochrane - Big League

Rush - Tom Sawyer

Moist - Push

Billy Talent - Nothing To Lose

Rusty - Wake Me

The Northern Pikes - Teenland

Sarah Harmer - Basement Apartment

Sarah McLachlan - Hold On

The Tragically Hip - Wheat Kings

Sloan - Coax Me

Spirit of the West - Home For A Rest

Steppenwolf - Born To Be Wild

Crash Test Dummies - Superman's Song

Stars - Ageless Beauty

The Tragically Hip - Ahead By A Century

The Demics - New York City

Barenaked Ladies - If I Had $1,000,000

54-40 - I Go Blind

Bryan Adams - Summer of '69

The New Pornographers - Use It

The Watchmen - All Uncovered

Treble Charger - Red

Sam Roberts - Brother Down

Randy Bachman - Prairie Town

Sarah McLachlan - Angel

Tom Cochrane - Boy Inside The Man

Alanis Morissette - You Oughta Know

Skydiggers - I Will Give You Everything

Men Without Hats - Safety Dance

Rough Trade - High School Confidential

Hot Hot Heat - Bandages

Corey Hart - Sunglasses at Night

Loverboy - Working For The Weekend

Metric - Combat Baby

Rusty - Misogyny

k-os - Heaven Only Knows

Tokyo Police Club - Nature Of The Experiment

Stars - Your Ex-Lover Is Dead

Rheostatics - Record Body Count

Odds - Heterosexual Man

The Gandharvas - The First Day of Spring

The Diodes - Tired of Waking Up Tired

Feist - Mushaboom

Gowan - A Criminal Mind

Grapes Of Wrath - All The Things I Wasn't

Max Webster - A Million Vacations

Any glaring omissions from both lists?

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Comments (10 - click here to join in!)


Lotsa righteous thotz here...specially Mercereau's Top 5. Here's my problem: selection.
Feist is I Feel It All, Lightfoot is The Way I Feel or Sundown, and WHERE IS ALL THE BUFFY STE MARIE? New Porns Letter From An Occupant, as usual, west coast gets token appreciation, K'naan, Sum41 and mostly this century needs more BIG props. Arcade Fire is not enough. And BTW Tears Are Not Enough bricked We Are The World OVER!!!Bit of a problem from where I see it Mike. Respect still.

October 3, 2010 @ 6:06 PM



So happy to see Stan Rogers up near the top. ANY of his ballads are great Canadiana. ("The Mary Ellen Carter" and "Barrett's Privateers" are my favourites, but all are most impressive.)

No Andy Kim? Pity.

October 3, 2010 @ 6:50 PM

Ajax Mike

In retrospect, I'm surprised to see Echo Beach, Magic Carpet Ride and Crabbuckit missing from your list.

October 3, 2010 @ 6:55 PM


No Trooper on your list. No Stampeders on your list, and only one Stampeders and two Trooper on the first list. Also no Sean Hogan anywhere. Come on.

October 3, 2010 @ 7:49 PM


Saga, Wind Him Up
Doug & the Slugs, Making it Work
The Box, Must I Always Remember

October 3, 2010 @ 10:48 PM


No Broken Social Scene? 7/4 Shoreline, Almost Crimes, Stars and Sons, and the like - their chaotic yet structured sound makes for some of the most unique and wonderful sounds to ever be made in Canada.

October 3, 2010 @ 10:54 PM


after the Ont., B.C., and Que. omissions above:

from Alta - NEO a4, Say This to Me
from Nfld - Great Big Sea, Ordinary Day

October 3, 2010 @ 11:19 PM


I agree with Great Big Sea. Ordinary Day is a great song.

October 4, 2010 @ 9:20 AM


Definitely liked yours better! So many great songs were left off the other list -- Odds and Northern Pikes NEED to be included!!! Excellent choices!

October 7, 2010 @ 9:44 AM


Brutus- Ooh Mama Mama

Walter Zwol and the Rage- Darlin' I'll Be True

Queen City Kids- Dance

Scrubbaloe Caine- Feelin'
Good on Sunday

Roch Voisine- Helene

Fludd- Cousin Mary

The Fables- Heave Away

Robert Charlebois- Je T'aime Comme en Fou

Mood Jga Jga- Queen Jealousy

The Cooper Brothers- Rock and Roll Cowboys

Teaze- Sweet Misery

August 31, 2011 @ 7:54 PM

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