Corby's Orbit

Corby's Orbit
Listening in All the High Places illustration by John Kricfalusi

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Our 17 Best Canadian Songs For Canada 150

Illustration: Joni Mitchell's Shine by Paul Corby

This is the 1,000th post on my blog. It has been a labour of personal music-drenched luxurism for seven years now, giving me opportunities to quicken and align with the prisms of positive creativity that shimmer in an orbit around our planet-bound ear-hearts. With intimations of othernesses beyond us all, beyond even the musicians who bring these masterpieces to ground, we charge up on a free energy beyond definition that outlives time and transcends space.

" Music “says” things about the world, but in specifically musical terms. Any attempt to reproduce these musical statements “in our own words” is necessarily doomed to failure. We cannot isolate the truth contained in a piece of music; for it is a beauty-truth and inseparable from its partner. The best we can do is to indicate in the most general terms the nature of the musical beauty-truth under consideration and to refer curious truth-seekers to the original. "~  Huxley

I undertook, early in this year of Canada's 150th, to collect my great Canadian songs. These selections, significant to my mind's ear, mean to outrank your typical category of list, (usually featuring the admirable Four Strong Winds / American Woman team playing big-ass touch tag with Snowbird and The Circle Game). In the interest of furthering Huxley's Beauty-Truth enigma, I have resisted posting those traditional show-ponies and even my own personal deep cuts. So, with regrets, The Wheat Pool, Susan Aglukark, Feist and a hundred other worthy candidates are not included here either. Greatness, you know, is not uncommon in Canada.

My selections are for the most part still pretty well-known. Although the wrinkly and seditious significances of a few of these tunes have been pressed out of play by the C-Bestiary and their well-mannered serious satellites, there are still some global hits here. All six of our household deities (Joni Leonard Buffy Gordon Neil and Bruce) are included, but not with their characteristic chart champs. Rather, the hymns and manifestos that they conceived to effect perspectual metamorphosis in matters of history, social justice and spiritual growth are celebrated here. Curbing a national tendency toward the pompous, I have included songs of bright confidence and severe truthing, infused with the communal jubilation of clear-sighted younger writers, and woke Maritimers.

(No francophone artist is represented, sorry, simply because I don't understand the language well enough to assess the organic worth of, say, Ferland, Harmonium or Capitaine Nô. Maybe someone with better knowledge will represent).

I plan to play all of these consecutively on my show of Friday the 30th of June. I will probably succumb to terminal goosebumps. Please join me then, or watch for the podcast on Mixcloud. 

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