February 20, 2008

Around the World: Canada

Oh Canada - one of the first countries that I'm more familiar with, and one that I've visited several times, and hope to in the future. Bordered by the United States to the South (and a little to the North), Canada is often relegated to the US's lesser cousin - something that's completely false. Canada is a wonderful country, with a rich history, and currently, one with an economy that’s doing really well. It used to be that the US dollar was a lot stronger up there, but recently, it’s done an about face, with the Canadian dollar matching the US dollar. Canada was first colonized by Europeans with the Vikings, but by the 15th and 16th centuries, exploration parties from the British and French arrived. The country was given up by the French after the seven years war, and the country was formed to its current state in 1867, and severed governmental control from the UK in 1982, although Queen Elizabeth II is still considered the head of state.

This was the first country that we've come to where I've really had to sit down and think about what group or singer best represented the country. Due to proximity, there’s a lot of music that’s shared between the US and Canada, and thus a lot more variety when it came to selecting one. I picked Gordon Lightfoot, from Ontario. Lightfoot has been singing and writing since the 1960s, gaining greater prominence in the world in the 1970s with a number of songs. For me, it’s a sound of nostalgia, as my parents listened to Lightfoot extensively when I was young, and I’ve started listening to him a lot more in the last couple years. He’s also one of the artists that I’ve seen in concert, when he came to Vermont when I was in high school.

Canadian Railroad Trilogy – Gordon Lightfoot

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