Written on June 29, 2011 – 6:27 am | by Jaxon Hallahan
The road trip. As timeless a tradition as roads and trips on said pathways, and a rite of passage for every couple, friendship or family, who want to truly gauge their compatibility.
Of course, the most important component to any road trip is the music. The songs or the setlists that accompany any road trip have the ability to make or break relationships (thank you Gordon Lightfoot, ABBA and Neil Diamond for the many back seat stabbings you invariably prevented) and give your mind something else to ponder (see above, re: stabbings).
With that in mind, perhaps we could offer our services to the newly married royal couple who will be heading to Canada for a whirlwind nine-day visit, which includes stops in Ottawa, Yellowknife and Calgary.
So here, now, is a road-trip playlist, a mixtape fit for a future king and queen as they see our country from the back of a bulletproof station wagon:
“Oh Canada” by Kathleen Edwards:
What better introduction to our country and our capital could you hope for than this powerful and bitter tribute from Ottawa’s finest daughter? And on the birthday of our nation, too? “It’s not the lack of a sense, it’s called ambivalence.” Pretty sure they’ll think the same thoughts after being welcomed by our milquetoast prime minister.
“Sudbury Saturday Night” by Stompin’ Tom Connors:
No, sadly, the Royals won’t be going to Sudbury during this visit (as strong as the lure of a giant nickel must be to people who have travelled the world and have had the opportunity to see the greatest sites man and nature have to offer). But they should at least know all that they’re missing. Um. Bingo. And getting stinko.
“The Canadian Dream” by Sam Roberts:
As the pair makes their way to Montreal, an introduction to that city’s best rocker is in order. Also, there’s something pretty cool about the idea of members of the monarchy singing loudly along with the lyrics: “S-O-C-I-A-L-I-S-M is here to stay, S-O-C-I-A-L-I-S-M is the only way.”
“I Just Wanna Stop” by Gino Vannelli:
They need to know about our dark past. And our collective shame.
“Crown of Love” by The Arcade Fire:
A haunting song from the Quebec chamber-pop band that’s also a reminder that there’s no greater pain than when the love you once felt in your heart for someone withers and dies. Hey, it is their honeymoon. Call me a romantic.
“True Patriot Love” by Joel Plaskett and the Emergency:
Another painful breakup song, this one from East Coaster Plaskett as the pair wing their way to Charlottetown. But this playlist doesn’t have some kind of theme being imposed or some antilove agenda. It’s on the list because it’s a pretty great pop song. And it mentions our national anthem. And stuff.
“After the Gold Rush” by Neil Young:
A timeless song about the beauty of Mother Nature (and smoking her, probably) from one of this country’s and the planet’s finest songwriters. It’s a fitting tune to serenade the Royals with as they head to the pristine, untouched wilderness that is the Northwest Territories. Except for those pipelines. And drilling rigs. And open-pit mines.
“Alberta Bound” by Gordon Lightfoot:
Another classic from another national treasure. As they travel down to Wild Rose Country, Gord’s golden pipes will let them know what they’re in for.
“The Rodeo Song” by Gary Lee and Showdown:
A fitting tribute to Gaye Delorme, who passed away Thursday night, is the inclusion of this ribald classic which the late songwriter wrote and Showdown popularized. No. Hopefully it won’t be 40 below and they won’t need that heater in the truck.
But they are off to the Greatest Outdoor Show On Earth. So…
“Calgary (We Are Not All Cowboys)” by Transit:
Sorry, Stampede. But they need to know. And what better way for them to learn than from the local hip-hop artist who has proudly embraced some of the more progressive and less yokel things this city has to offer.