Top 100 Canadian Songs: The Definitive List

canadaIt's been quite the journey. We kicked off our quest to assemble the greatest Canadian songs in the history of the world back on May 15 and here we are, a month and a half later.

It's unlikely everyone will agree with all 100 choices, many great songs were left on the cutting room floor. This wasn't easy, but I tried to remain objective and take all suggestions to heart. As always, I'd love to read your comments, so don't be shy. Without further ado, here are the top 100 Canadian songs listed in order.

And happy Canada Day, eh?

  1. The Tragically Hip - New Orleans Is Sinking
  2. Neil Young - Helpless
  3. The Band - The Weight
  4. Joni Mitchell - Big Yellow Taxi
  5. Gordon Lightfoot - Canadian Railroad Trilogy
  6. Stan Rogers - Northwest Passage
  7. Sloan - Underwhelmed
  8. The Guess Who - American Woman
  9. Leonard Cohen - Suzanne
  10. Neil Young - Heart of Gold
  11. Blue Rodeo - Try
  12. Leonard Cohen - Hallelujah
  13. The Tragically Hip - Courage
  14. Barenaked Ladies - Brian Wilson
  15. Cowboy Junkies - Misguided Angel
  16. Arcade Fire - Wake Up
  17. Gordon Lightfoot - Early Morning Rain
  18. Neil Young - Rockin' In The Free World
  19. Rush - The Spirit of Radio
  20. The Guess Who - Share the Land
  21. Blue Rodeo - Lost Together
  22. Death From Above 1979 - Romantic Rights
  23. Our Lady Peace - Naveed
  24. Arcade Fire - Rebellion (Lies)
  25. Blue Rodeo - Diamond Mine
  26. Bruce Cockburn - Lovers in a Dangerous Time
  27. Gordon Lightfoot - If You Could Read My Mind
  28. Five Man Electical Band - Signs
  29. Bachman Turner Overdrive - Takin' Care Of Business
  30. Gordon Lightfoot - Sundown
  31. The Guess Who - These Eyes
  32. Blood, Sweat and Tears - Spinning Wheel
  33. Hayden - Bad As They Seem
  34. Neil Young - Cinnamon Girl
  35. Ian and Sylvia - Four Strong Winds
  36. Joni Mitchell - Woodstock
  37. Rush - Closer to the Heart
  38. Joni Mitchell - Both Sides, Now
  39. Our Lady Peace - 4am
  40. Maestro Fresh-Wes - Let Your Backbone Slide
  41. k.d. lang - Constant Craving
  42. The Tragically Hip - Bobcaygeon
  43. Neil Young - Old Man
  44. Dream Warriors - My Definition of a Boombastic Jazz Style
  45. Sarah Harmer - Silver Road
  46. Jeff Healey - Angel Eyes
  47. The New Pornographers - Mass Romantic
  48. I Mother Earth - So Gently We Go
  49. Our Lady Peace - Clumsy
  50. Joni Mitchell - The Circle Game
  51. The Pursuit of Happiness - I'm An Adult Now
  52. The Lowest of the Low - Henry Needs A New Pair of Shoes
  53. Ashley MacIsaac - Sleepy Maggie
  54. Robbie Robertson - Somewhere Down the Crazy River
  55. Tom Cochrane - Big League
  56. Rush - Tom Sawyer
  57. Moist - Push
  58. Billy Talent - Nothing To Lose
  59. Rusty - Wake Me
  60. The Northern Pikes - Teenland
  61. Sarah Harmer - Basement Apartment
  62. Sarah McLachlan - Hold On
  63. The Tragically Hip - Wheat Kings
  64. Sloan - Coax Me
  65. Spirit of the West - Home For A Rest
  66. Steppenwolf - Born To Be Wild
  67. Crash Test Dummies - Superman's Song
  68. Stars - Ageless Beauty
  69. The Tragically Hip - Ahead By A Century
  70. The Demics - New York City
  71. Barenaked Ladies - If I Had $1,000,000
  72. 54-40 - I Go Blind
  73. Bryan Adams - Summer of '69
  74. The New Pornographers - Use It
  75. The Watchmen - All Uncovered
  76. Treble Charger - Red
  77. Sam Roberts - Brother Down
  78. Randy Bachman - Prairie Town
  79. Sarah McLachlan - Angel
  80. Tom Cochrane - Boy Inside The Man
  81. Alanis Morissette - You Oughta Know
  82. Skydiggers - I Will Give You Everything
  83. Men Without Hats - Safety Dance
  84. Rough Trade - High School Confidential
  85. Hot Hot Heat - Bandages
  86. Corey Hart - Sunglasses at Night
  87. Loverboy - Working For The Weekend
  88. Metric - Combat Baby
  89. Rusty - Misogyny
  90. k-os - Heaven Only Knows
  91. Tokyo Police Club - Nature Of The Experiment
  92. Stars - Your Ex-Lover Is Dead
  93. Rheostatics - Record Body Count
  94. Odds - Heterosexual Man
  95. The Gandharvas - The First Day of Spring
  96. The Diodes - Tired of Waking Up Tired
  97. Feist - Mushaboom
  98. Gowan - A Criminal Mind
  99. Grapes Of Wrath - All The Things I Wasn't
  100. Max Webster - A Million Vacations

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Garden Songs

houseHave you noticed that all homeowners want to talk about these days is their garden? People are working on their garden, weeding their garden, watering their garden, it's all about their garden. Whenever someone asks me about my garden I break into Stone Temple Pilots' "Wicked Garden".

"Wicked Garden" is a cool tune, but I find "garden" songs are pound for pound amongst the best in the biz. Here's a sampling of garden songs from my collection.

  • Octopus's Garden - The Beatles
  • Secret Garden - Bruce Springsteen
  • The Sky Is A Poisonous Garden - Concrete Blonde
  • In The Garden - Elvis Presley
  • The Garden - Guns N' Roses
  • Garden of Eden - Guns N' Roses
  • I Build This Garden For Us - Lenny Kravitz
  • Water Your Garden - Luscious Jackson
  • Safe In My Garden - The Mama's and the Papa's
  • Gates to the Garden - Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
  • Garden - Pearl Jam
  • Garden of Serenity - Ramones
  • Wicked Garden - Stone Temple Pilots
  • Garden Grove - Sublime

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Music to Run By

runningI've pruned the original running playlist down to 20 songs. The prerequisite was having the word "run" or "running" in the title.

I'll burn these 20 to an audio CD for the carpool on Saturday.

  1. Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen
  2. On The Run - Sam Roberts
  3. Born To Run - k-os
  4. Running Down a Dream - Tom Petty
  5. Run To You - Bryan Adams
  6. Run - Collective Soul
  7. Run Runaway - Great Big Sea
  8. Runnin' Back to Saskatoon - The Guess Who
  9. No Distance Left To Run - Blur
  10. Runaway - Linkin Park
  11. Run Through The Jungle - Creedance Clearwater Revival
  12. Always On The Run - Lenny Kravitz
  13. Run - Snow Patrol
  14. Long May You Run - Neil Young
  15. Take the Money and Run - Steve Miller Band
  16. Time Running - Tegan and Sara
  17. Long Time Running - The Tragically Hip
  18. Runnin' With The Devil - Van Halen
  19. Run and Hide - The Watchmen
  20. Run To The Hills - Iron Maiden

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I Believe in Miracles

raptorsIt could all end tonight. What the Raptors need now is a miracle.

Here are songs in my collection with "miracle" in the title.

  • No Miracle, No Dazzle - Blue Rodeo
  • The Miracle of Music - Bob & Doug McKenzie
  • Waiting For A Miracle - Bruce Cockburn
  • It's A Miracle - Culture Club
  • Miracle of Love - Eurythmics
  • Miracle - Foo Fighters
  • Miracle Man - Ozzy Osbourne
  • I Believe In Miracles - Ramones
  • The Miracle - Queen
  • Miracle Drug - U2
  • It's A Miracle - Barry Manilow

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Hair Songs

scissorsI sense it's time. If not this afternoon, tomorrow... or Monday at the latest.

These ten hair songs from my collection will prepare me for the event.

  • Devils Haircut - Beck
  • Get a Haircut - George Thorogood & the Destroyers
  • Hairspray Queen - Nirvana
  • Hair of the Dog - Nazareth
  • Hair - The Cowsills
  • Long Brown Hair - Regina Spektor
  • Good Hair - OutKast
  • Black Hair - Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
  • I Cut Off My Hair - Regina Spektor
  • Black is the Color of My True Love's Hair - Nina Simone

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Songs With My Kids' Names in the Title

musicThere are some good songs with "James" in the title, and there are some good songs with "Michelle" in the title. What are my ten favourite songs with either "James" or "Michelle" in the title?

  1. Sweet Baby James - James Taylor
  2. My Michelle - Guns N' Roses
  3. Jimmy James - Beastie Boys
  4. Michelle - The Beatles
  5. Reuben James - Kenny Rogers
  6. St. James Infirmary Blues - The White Stripes
  7. James Brown Is Dead - LA Style
  8. Meet James Ensor - They Might Be Giants
  9. Sinking of the Reuben James - Woody Guthrie
  10. Michelle's Farm - Beastie Boys

James and Michelle

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Top Grossing Comic Book Films

moneyHere are the top grossing films based on comic books:

  1. Spider-Man - $403,706,375
  2. Spider-Man 2 - $373,585,825
  3. Batman - $251,188,924
  4. X-Men: The Last Stand - $234,362,462
  5. X2: X-Men United - $214,949,694
  6. Batman Begins - $205,343,774
  7. Superman Returns - $200,081,192
  8. Batman Forever - $184,031,112
  9. Batman Returns - $162,831,698
  10. X-Men - $157,299,717
  11. Fantastic Four - $154,696,080

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Diamond Songs

diamondsWatching "Blood Diamond" got me thinking about musical diamonds. Not Neil Diamond songs or Diamond Dave songs, but songs with Diamond in the title. And not "Black Diamond" by Kiss, "Diamonds on the Inside" by Ben Harper or "Diamonds Are Forever" by Shirley Bassey, but diamond songs that are in my collection.

Here they are:

  • Headlights Look Like Diamonds - Arcade Fire
  • Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds - The Beatles
  • Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds - The Black Crowes
  • Jack O' Diamonds Blues - Blind Lemon Jefferson
  • Diamond Mine - Blue Rodeo
  • Diamond Smiles - Bob Geldof and the Boomtown Rats
  • Diamond Dogs - David Bowie
  • Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds - Elton John
  • This Diamond Ring - Gary Lewis and the Playboys
  • Diamonds Is Forever - Jay-Z
  • Diamonds From Sierra Leone (remix) - Kanye West featuring Jay-Z
  • Diamonds From Sierra Leone - Kanye West
  • Ocean of Diamonds - Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time
  • Diamonds in the Mine - Leonard Cohen
  • Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes - Paul Simon
  • Shine on You Crazy Diamond, Parts 1-5 - Pink Floyd
  • Shine on You Crazy Diamond, Parts 6-9 - Pink Floyd
  • The 'Ol Diamondback Sturgeon - Primus
  • Diamonds and Pearls - Prince and the New Power Generation
  • Diamond Girl - Seals & Croft
  • Diamonds and Guns - Transplants

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The Top 102 Canadian New Rock Songs

musicAs previously mentioned, CFNY Edge 102 counted down the top 102 Canadian new rock songs of all time today. They just aired Underwhelmed seconds ago, so you're getting this awfully quick. I threw this together while watching the Leafs game and filled in the cracks with a little help from my friends.

  1. Sloan, Underwhelmed - One of my ten Canadian tracks, and it's a word!
  2. The Tragically Hip, New Orleans is Sinking - No brainer. You could see this coming a hundred miles away. It's another of my ten Canadian tracks, to top it off. Only one song could beat this one...
  3. The Demics, New York City - If they were going to celebrate a Canadian punk song from the late 70s, this is the one to celebrate because it's the best of the bunch. They were local, too.
  4. Arcade Fire, Rebellion (Lies) - Props to CFNY for putting Arcade Fire in the top ten, even if it's the wrong Arcade Fire song.
  5. Nickelback, How You Remind Me - I call bullshit.
  6. The Pursuit of Happiness, I'm An Adult Now - Now we're talking! I recently shared the video for this song. This is a band I have fond memories of and I included this song as one of my ten Canadian tracks.
  7. Billy Talent, River Below - The Billy Talent love-in continues...
  8. Spirit Of The West, Home For A Rest - I don't think you're allowed to listen to this song once you've graduated from university.
  9. Martha & The Muffins, Echo Beach - You knew this was coming. It had to be there, 'nuff said.
  10. AlexisOnFire, This Could Be Anywhere In The World - The ranking of this tune has clearly been inflated based on the fact it's a recent hit. Think back to when Bush's "Swallowed" was ranked the top video in the history of MuchMusic. I dig this tune though, and led off SLS16 with it.
  11. Our Lady Peace, Naveed - This is one of my favourite OLP song. It's true, you can look it up.
  12. Rough Trade, High School Confidential - These lists are always fairly predictable. Certain songs must be listed to prove it's not biased towards recent songs. High School Confidential is a fine tune, but should it be this high on the list? Of course not.
  13. Finger Eleven, One Thing - I call bullshit. "One Thing" was popular, and had mass appeal, but it's not Finger Eleven's best work and it doesn't belong in the top 102
  14. The Gandharvas, The First Day Of Spring - Great choice. I was just thinking about this song.
  15. The Viletones, Screamin Fist - I'm man enough to admit I didn't know this song. These lists need late 70s punk songs, and it seems The Demics and The Diodes weren't enough.
  16. Sam Roberts, Brother Down - After hearing the latest Sam Roberts album, my respect for this dude has soared. Brother Down is a fine tune that appeared on SLS8.
  17. Matthew Good Band, Apparitions - I knew Matt Good was going to be on this list somewhere, and this is probably their biggest hit. I once interviewed him.
  18. The Diodes, Tired of Waking Up Tired - I got to know this song when CBC radio was putting together their list of essential Canadian music. It's a neat tune, and you've got to pay respect to the pioneers, eh?
  19. The Tragically Hip, Wheat Kings - A truly beautiful, Canadian classic. I'm tearing up just writing about it.
  20. Alanis Morissette, You Oughta Know - Is this "new rock"? Maybe... but it's the only tune of hers that might qualify as such.
  21. Barenaked Ladies, If I Had $1000000 - This one is from that yellow tape and therefore worthy. I'm surprised it's not higher.
  22. Lowest Of The Low, Eternal Fatalist - I recently shared this one. Shakespeare My Butt still rulez!
  23. Pure, Anna is a Speed Freak - I hadn't heard this one in years. It's great!
  24. The Extras, Circular Impression - If you listened to the most recent Humble & Fred podcast, you heard me request this song.
  25. Blue Rodeo, Diamond Mine - I'm always surprised when they play Blue Rodeo on 102.1. I wrote about that, and the fact this is my favourite Blue Rodeo song, right here.
  26. Tea Party, The River - It's my favourite song from a band I never really liked.
  27. Teenage Head, Let's Shake - Good shite... classic.
  28. Death From Above 1979, Romantic Rights - I'm happy to hear this one up there. It's recent, but it's awesome. In fact, it was my second favourite song of 2005.
  29. Moist, Push - Here's the Moist song I was waiting for...
  30. Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet, Having An Average Weekend - This song will forever be loved for it's promise a hilarious Kids in the Hall episode is forthcoming.
  31. Treble Charger, Red - Everybody's favourite Treble Charger song belongs on this list.
  32. Three Days Grace, (I Hate) Everything About You - Hmmm, this one is debatable. If a Three Days Grace song had to be ranked this high, I suppose we're lucky it was this one.
  33. Men Without Hats, The Safety Dance - Many forget this one is Canadian. It's one of the better 80s tunes, but is it "new rock"?
  34. Odds, Eat My Brain - Speaking of Canadian videos that featured cameos from other Canadian artists, the video for this tune had cool appearances by Junkhouse and The Pursuit of Happiness.
  35. I Mother Earth, One More Astronaut - Other IME songs should have been ranked ahead of this one.
  36. Payolas, Eyes Of A Stranger - I hear this one all the time on my Oh What A Feeling albums, and it always takes me back.
  37. Neverending White Lights, The Grace - Again, this song is sweet and all but experienced a higher than appropriate ranking because it's so fresh.
  38. Econoline Crush, All That You Are - I knew these guys were going to make the top 102. My favourite factoid about them is the fact their band name comes from a Neil Young lyric.
  39. Doughboys, Shine - I was hoping the Doughboys would break through, and this is probably their best song.
  40. Bedouin Soundclash, When The Night Feels My Song - I call bullshit. This song doesn't belong in the top 102.
  41. City And Colour, Save Your Scissors - This dude is all over the top 102, isn't he? We've got him with Alexisonfire and Neverending White Lights. Enough is enough!
  42. Blue Peter, Don't Walk Past - Do I know this song?
  43. The Tragically Hip, Fifty Mission Cap - How can I complain about a Hip song about Bashin' Bill?
  44. Sloan, Coax Me - Great selection. Nobody will complain about this one.
  45. 54-40, Ocean Pearl - It's easy to forget these guys, but they were so damn consistent. Hit after hit after hit, and I rarely think about them.
  46. Our Lady Peace, Clumsy - I'm cool with this.
  47. Rusty, Misogyny - Yay, Rusty! We were just talking about them.
  48. Parachute Club, Rise Up - Sadly, I only think of that damn McCain's commercial now. I know the song meant something to this city, but kids today are only thinking about frozen pizza.
  49. Sum 41, Pieces - I beg to differ.
  50. Arcade Fire, Neighborhood #3 (Power Out) - All of Funeral could have made this list.
  51. Spoons, Nova Heart - This is another song I know from the Oh What A Feeling collection.
  52. Billy Talent, Devil In A Midnight Mass - CFNY hearts Billy Talent.
  53. New Pornographers, Mass Romantic - Great selection.
  54. Northern Pikes, Teenland - I am so glad this song made the list. In primary school I used this song for an independent study project while in the gifted program. True story...
  55. K-OS, Crucial - I'm a little surprised this song made the list, even though I dig this dude.
  56. 54-40, Baby Ran - Just to repeat myself, this band was solid and quite under appreciated.
  57. Vital Sines, Collage - Don't laugh, but I'm pleading ignorance.
  58. Nickelback, Someday - I call bullshit.
  59. Sum 41, Fat Lip - I suppose this song had to be here.
  60. Breeding Ground, Happy Now I Know - I don't know this tune, do I?

  61. Metric, Dead Disco - Ahead of Combat Baby? No way, Jose.
  62. The Tragically Hip, Bobcaygeon - You'd better believe it.
  63. Chalk Circle, April Fool - This was my first concert!
  64. Our Lady Peace, Starseed - This list was going to be heavy on the OLP and Hip because they couldn't ignore the staples.
  65. I Mother Earth, So Gently We Go - My favourite IME song, for what it's worth.
  66. Dream Warriors, My Definition Of A Boombastic Jazz Style - I'm very happy they didn't forget the Dream Warriors. I loved this album from King Lou and Capital Q from Jane and Finch.
  67. Sarah McLachlan, Possession - Ya gotta respect the queen of Canadian new rock.
  68. Tea Party, Temptation - I'm calling bullshit on this one.
  69. Images In Vogue, Lust For Love - One of my favourite 80s songs!
  70. Sloan, The Other Man - Sloan's all over this list, and rightly so.
  71. 54-40, One Gun - This was the first song I ever heard on MuchMusic on the first day it fell to our cable tier.
  72. Rheostatics, Record Body Count - These guys never really broke, but every critic adores them.
  73. Sam Roberts, Where Have All The Good People Gone - Nice choice.
  74. Grapes Of Wrath, All The Things I Wasn't - Brilliant selection. I loved this tune.
  75. Skinny Puppy, Testure - Not my cup of tea.
  76. Mobile, Out Of My Head - I'll pass, it's too poppy and too recent.
  77. Nickelback, Photograph - Bullshit!!!
  78. B. B. Gabor, Nyet Nyet (Soviet Jewelry) - I'm pleading ignorance.
  79. Three Days Grace, Animal I Have Become - Nice try 'NY, this ain't the Thursday 30.
  80. Hot Hot Heat, Bandages - I'm glad Hot Hot Heat made the list.
  81. Jane Siberry, Mimi On The Beach - I must confess to never liking this song. I know I'm supposed to, but it bores me to tears.
  82. The Tragically Hip, Locked In The Trunk Of A Car - It's better for us if you don't understand.
  83. Big Wreck, That Song - My brothers hated this song, but I always like it. It seems I'm not alone!
  84. Trans-X, Living On Video/Vivre Sur Video - I'm pleading ignorance.
  85. Watchmen, Stereo - I miss these guys.
  86. Limblifter, Ariel Vs. Lotus - I hadn't heard this one in a while. It's nice, but I don't think it's top 102-worthy.
  87. Pukka Orchestra, Might As Well Be On Mars - I think the Edge was short on 80s music. Cool video, tho.
  88. Hayden, In September - Wasn't I just writing about Hayden? I love this song.
  89. Strange Advance, Worlds Away - I'd have preferred We Run.
  90. The Forgotten Rebels, I'm In Love With The System (Not Myself) - I get it. You have to acknowledge our punk scene from the late 70s if you're going to recognize Nickelback's Someday. It's still not a fair trade.
  91. The Weakerthans, The Reasons - I caught these guys in the summer and this song was a highlight. When they recreate this list in five years, the Weakerthans won't make the cut.
  92. Barenaked Ladies, Be My Yoko Ono - Our first BNL song and a CFNY favourite, I'm surprised it's not ranked higher.
  93. Chalk Circle, This Mourning - This was my first concert!
  94. Billy Talent, Try Honesty - How many Billy Talent songs made the top 102?
  95. illScarlett, Heaters - Even though I really dig this tune, only time will tell if it belongs on a list like this. I suspect it doesn't.
  96. Pursuit Of Happiness, Hard To Laugh - From the awesome Love Junk, this was a great single.
  97. I Mother Earth, Not Quite Sonic - Three tunes from IME is just a little too much. At least replace this one with Levitate.
  98. Tea Party, Save Me - No way, how can we have three Tea Party songs and only one Moist song?
  99. Rheostatics, Claire - I'm a little surprised another Rheostatics song beat out this one.
  100. Delerium, Flowers Become Screens - Zzzzzzz.
  101. Death From Above 1979, Black History Month - The first of two DFA1979 songs, it's too bad they're now defunct.
  102. Our Lady Peace, Superman's Dead - A great start to the list, OLP had a major hit with this tune.

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Pretty Penny

moneyThe Desjardins Group says we're better off without the penny. Whether the penny stays or goes is up to Jim Flaherty, our minister of finance. Personally, I wouldn't miss it.

I found five songs in my collection with penny in the title. Here they are, in order of preference.

  • Pennyroyal Tea - Nirvana
  • Penny Lane - The Beatles
  • Pretty Penny - Stone Temple Pilots
  • Lucky Penny - Regina Spektor
  • Penny Lover - Lionel Richie

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