Saturday, April 22, 2006

Original Song #25: You're Canadian

Apologies for the extremely light blogging of late. I was on one long business trip and just got home after 12 days in central Ohio. Oh my. Is it ever good to be back. I won't go into the details here, but it brings to mind this song I wrote a year ago. It's a light-hearted response to that all-American semi-rhetorical question - the one that so many of my fine United States friends have a very hard time getting their heads around: "Why wouldn't any foreigner want to be American?" If you still don't get it after reading below, that's okay. You probably have to be Canadian (perhaps even Quebec-Canadian) to completely understand. Just know that I'm happy being a Canuck, and particularly, a Montrealer, and it's nothing against your fine (but troubled) nation.


You're Canadian

Big deal
You’re Canadian
Travel anywhere in the world at a whim
They treat you extra nice
You’re not American
They take it on first blush that you’re polite

But since you asked me
What matters most, I’ll tell ya:
I wanna be
Playing pickup hockey on an outdoor rink in St-Henri
I wanna be
Sipping IPAs on the terrasse at a Brasserie
I wanna be somewhere I’m free

Big deal
You’re multicultural
Too many syllables and what does it get you?
So what if Sikhs
Can wear their turbans
While they’re working on the job in the RCMP?


So I’m glad
I’m Canadian
Even though the winters are truly atrocious
Cause just surviving that
Taught us tolerance
You can't make it alone; pioneering ain't an option

But since you asked me
What matters most, I’m thinking:
I wanna be
Playing pickup hockey on a frozen pond in Randboro, yeah
I wanna be
Swimming in a clear lake at a Gatineau cottage, yeah
I wanna be
Watching the parade in Montreal on St Paddy’s Day
Don’t wanna be
Stuck under the heel of the zealots in the GOP
I wanna be somewhere I’m free

- 30 -


eteba said...

glad to see you back home safe and sound.Did you visit Rock Hall of Fame.

ivan said...

With respect for bilingualism, complexity and all:
Yeah, you're free all right.
Just don't light a cigarette. Or offer a correction to political correctness.
I think they've done the job on you, pal.

Mel said...

Central Ohio is only marginally better than Central Indiana, or Central a helluva lot of states. Someone was recently telling me about a Canadian they knew who had just become a US citizen, and my first response was "Why?".

The reason, of course, that most Americans think we're the end-all, be-all of nations is that most of us have never been outside the country, and even fewer of us have lived outside the country. So as a nation, we tend to be very susceptible to nationalist propaganda. Not that anything bad's ever come of that.

Scott in Montreal said...

Hey Mel, you're from Kittery Point? My family used to vacation at the Birch Knoll Cabins near Ogunquit every year through my childhood. Driving through upstate VT and NH, through the logging towns like Bethel and on down to Gray was what I took America to be defined as. Southern Maine is my second home. Is Brown's still the best ice cream? Have they been able to save Ogunquit from the rampant over-commercialization that was happening in the 90s? Man I miss it sometimes.