Songs About Vancouver

Vancouver from Spanish BanksOver at Metroblogging Vancouver, Jeffery has assembled a top-five list of songs about Vancouver. My favourite on the list is “Vancouver Divorce” by Gordon Downie, from his under-appreciated first solo album:

Gordon Downie’s first solo album sort of got lost in the fact that he was also releasing a book of poetry to go with it, which is about as far away from the hockey arena venues of his day job in the Tragically Hip as you can get. When it stays on track though Coke Machine Glow is a really good album, or rather it has good songs.

That album features a number of good songs, including “Canada Geese”, “Lofty Pines” and the terrific “Chancellor”.

There are some other good suggestions in the comments, but to both the commenters and Jeffery’s shame, they omitted a classic song full of Vancouver place names: “The Crawl” by Spirit of the West.

The Gaelic romp details a drunken pub crawl across Vancouver’s North Shore, from the Troller in Horseshoe Bay to The Raven in Deep Cove. I see some folks recently replicated the crawl’s path in an epic bike ride.

I also remembered an obscure hockey song, entitled “What’s Wrong With Lumme?” by Glenn Ford and The Piers. I suppose that vaguely counts as ‘about Vancouver’, doesn’t it?

10 comments

  1. There is a Vancouver collection in iTunes Canada in their iTunes Essentials collection. Who knew there were so many songs about Vancouver.
    There are similar collections for Toronto and Montreal.

  2. One song not on the list which deserves a mention is ‘Vancouver’ by the late lamented Jeff Buckley.

    I’m not sure what references there actually are to the city in the lyrics, but somebody that knows the city better might be able to spot them….

  3. I am a proud owner first edition signed copy of Gord’s chapbook which i managed to misplace right after getting it – not finding it for 3 years.

    After reading the poems and lyrics, was amazed to see how he put some of them to tune. I agree that the work is vastly underrated and uniquely Canadian – more in the tradition of Leonard Cohen or (dareisay) Gord Lightfoot than the Hip’s stadium rocking contemporaries. Wish he’d tour solo sometime.

    In the meanwhile, I admittedly have used s few Coke Machine Glow tracks and words here and there in the Postcards from Gravelly Beach podcast and there is a episode of Choogle on from the small Hip shows at the Commodore earlier this year.

  4. take a listen to “vancouver” sung by molly zenobia, written by catman cohen

    i found it at last.fm

    what a beautiful stirring song! it makes me want to move back to vancouver

  5. Charming. Thoughtful. Spiritual. Relaxing.

    Listen to Vancouver City song by InnerLife Project, featuring Linda Ganzini.

    We’re also releasing music video on YouTube.

    Oh, Providence you brought me here
    I need you to embrace and hold me tight
    Through days and nights Oh, memories
    I am on a quest to find myself and precious love

    Walking down your magic streets
    Meeting twilight at the Bay
    I feel like I belong in here
    I breathe new hope you gave my life
    Vancouver City

    Oh, Providence you guide me through
    I’ll face the trials while I’m seeking You
    Through days and nights Oh, loneliness
    Don’t touch my heart and mind
    Don’t touch my heart and mind

    Taking skytrain to the Quay
    Walking under starlight dome
    I feel like I belong in here
    I breathe new hope. You’ve become my home
    Vancouver City.

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