Songs from Canada: British Columbia
Updated: Feb 2
A few months back I posted a blog of songs all from small-town Ontario. Now I've decided to take that theme cross-country and tackle British Columbia! While the "small-town" was a bit lost this time around (turns out a lot of people have written about Vancouver, some of the other areas are few and far between), I managed to round up eight solid jams about the province I think you guys will love!
Read about each one or just dive head first into the Spotify playlist.
1. Big Wave Goodbye- Said the Whale
Said the Whale hail from Vancouver and there's no shortage of homage to their hometown in their catalogue of music. They've tangled with themes of both pride and shame for their city but in "Big Wave Goodbye", the band shows a whole lot of heart and nostalgia for the old girl. According to this interview, "Big Wave Goodbye" is about leaving the beloved hometown for lengthy tours and bigger things.
2. Fallen Leaves- Billy Talent
"Fallen Leaves" is about the grittier side of Vancouver- the downtown east side, known for its high levels of drug use, poverty and crime. This song tells the story of a heroine addict leaving his troubles behind in search of one more hit, and soon forgotten.
3. Pine for Cedars- Dan Mangan
Ok! One more shout out for Vancouver, then we'll move along here. Dan Mangan's "Pine for Cedars" describes a love for his city and now-wife. He shouts out to spots around his neighbourhood and pines for a love and a home.
4. The Luxury- The Tragically Hip
Golden, B.C. gets a shout out in The Tragically Hip's "The Luxury", an old banger from Road Apples. Referencing The Golden Rim Motor Inn found in Golden's Rocky Mountains, "The Luxury" is a swanky little diddy rarely heard in the catalogue of radio-hit jams from the Hip. It's definitely worth checking out and zoning out to.
5. My British Columbian Home- Stompin' Tom Connors
Of COURSE Stompin' Tom is on this list! Stompin' Tom has pretty much crushed it when it comes to telling his story through a Canadian kaleidoscope and he has songs about, well, everywhere. Weirdly enough, this song is on Spotify yet the lyrics aren't to be found on most lyric websites. Speaking of a town by the railroad tracks that Tom said goodbye to for fortune and fame, he sings "I'm dreaming of when/ I'll be there again/ in my British Columbian home." While the name of the town isn't dropped, you can picture loads of small towns scattered across the rail line in B.C. that would fit perfectly with this motif.
6. Hoodoo- The British Columbians
How could a band called the British Columbians not have songs for their namesake? They couldn't. The British Columbians have been on hiatus since November 2013 but in the time they were around, they created some pretty rad tracks about B.C. The track Hoodoo has a bluesy, southern rock vibe that I can't really get enough of. For those who don't know what a hoodoo is a sort of cone-shaped rock formation that is common in the mountain ranges of B.C. and incredibly cool to look at. While they're not really describing a hoodoo in this song at all, the shout out to their native land is evident in this track and many others.
7. Kootenay Mountains- James Gordon
The Kootenays are an absolutely gorgeous part of British Columbia scattered with lakes and surrounded by mountains so it's no wonder that somebody wanted to write a song about them! This track by James Gordon is one of many tracks written about Canada by this long-time singer songwriter.
8. Last Parade- Matthew Good
Matthew Good's track "Last Parade" is right off his album Vancouver, named for his hometown (I know I said I was done, but one more shout out for Van City). For Good, the whole album notes the change he saw in Vancouver while living there, a change he did not see as positive. Check out this interview to see what I mean. That being said, it's one killer song full of anger and emotion.
What are your thoughts? What did I miss? Let me know in the comments!
Peace, love & history.