Saturday, February 20, 2010

O Canada / If: Transitional Songs

There's always more on the list of possibilities than we have time to post. And I generally avoid the end-of-theme omnibus approach if I can. But since there's a few songs on my playlist which fit both incoming and outgoing themes, it seemed generally beneficial to tout who I could while I had the chance.

Jann Arden: If It Be Your Will

First, one Canadian singer-songwriter covering another - convenient, as Susan posted the Webb Sisters' version of this just last month, and you've surely heard the Leonard Cohen original. "Pop vocalist" Jann Arden can get syrupy, but I think the slow ballad americana she adopts on otherwise mediocre popstar Cohen tribute Tower of Song makes for a surprisingly effective twist of sentiment in comparison to the other versions we've heard.

The Spinney Brothers: If I Were Your Brother

Second, a bluegrass band I saw just last weekend, whose titular core members are still going strong after being together since infancy. Yes, they have bluegrass in Canada. And the Spinney Brothers are among the best the north has to offer.

Bruce Cockburn: If I Had A Rocket Launcher
[unpurchaseable; original here]

Third, a solo acoustic version of Bruce Cockburn's pro-Contra anthem, recorded in 1990 for an in-studio radio thing. I wrote about the song way back in May 2008, as part of our 1984 theme, so I won't bother going over the lyrical anger again, but the song bears repeating, and not just because the links on the original post are long gone.

Barenaked Ladies: If I Had $1,000,000

And finally, the silliest Barenaked Ladies anthem around - the debut album original version, because I'm a purist, though the live version on Rock Spectacle is worth owning, too. Complete with Canadian references to something called Kraft Dinner, which us States-ians know as Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.

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