The Big Canadian Music Book – eBook Download
“A wonderful resource for elementary teachers. It will enhance the
music or the Canadian studies curriculum across the grades.”
– CM Magazine (published by the Manitoba Library Association)
This 59 page book includes the music charts, lyrics and background notes for all 40 songs in the entire Canada Is For Kids music collection, from all three volumes of the corresponding CDs. The CDs are available for purchase online, and are also downloadable as mp3 files.
Songs included in this collection are:
- SOMETHING TO SING ABOUT – Oscar Brand – Travel from coast to coast with this famous ballad
- LITTLE TREES – Michael Mitchell – Michael wrote this song for Sesame Street. It tells about the important job each of us has, to give young trees a chance to grow up to be big trees.
- I’SE THE B’Y – Traditional – The people of Newfoundland are fun-loving people who create wonderful songs about their everyday life. One of their most famous songs tells the story of a fisherman who goes out to catch fish and take them home to his wife, Liza. They have a unique way of talking in Newfoundland and sometimes use words and phrases that you would never hear anywhere else in the world.
- THE ISLAND – Kenzie MacNeill – The people of Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia have adopted this song as their official song. It tells of their unique heritage as well as the hard life that they endure. Due to unemployment, many of their people have had to go to the mainland or to the United States to find work, but they continue to love their island home.
- FAREWELL NOVA SCOTIA – Traditional – Written just after the First World War, this is a song about being prepared to defend our country. It is the official song of Nova Scotia.
- V’LA L’BON VENT – Traditional – This song is over 300 years old and was sung by the Voyageurs and Coureurs de Bois who roamed throughout Canada when it was a new nation. Such songs kept up their spirits when they had to paddle for up to 18 hours a day, and it also helped them to keep the oars working in rhythm, making everyone’s work easier.
- CANADA IN MY POCKET – Michael Mitchell – This song describes the significance of the symbols found on some of our Canadian coins.
- THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND – Woody Guthrie – Many of us think that this is an original Canadian song. The truth is that this is an American song which described the things that made the writer proud of his country. About 20 years ago, a Canadian singer discovered the song, changed some of the words to describe Canadian places and we have been singing it here ever since.
- LOG DRIVERS WALTZ – Wade Hemsworth – This song, which you might have seen on a TV music video, tells the story about the fine dancing skills which loggers were supposed to have as a result of their need to be light-footed when working logs down Canadian rivers to saw mills or to open water.
- LADY FRANKLIN’S LAMENT – Traditional – The fateful search for the Northwest Passage.
- ALBERTA BOUND – Gordon Lightfoot – Here’s a song which is popular among cowboys, cowgirls and other Albertans.
- THE BLUENOSE – Michael Stanbury – Several years ago, the famous schooner Bluenose sank in the Caribbean. The people of the Maritimes thought that she deserved to be remembered so they built the Bluenose II. Today, she takes visitors to Nova Scotia on sailing trips.
- FLY HIGH – Michael Mitchell – During the early 1900’s, bush pilots were the lifeline that kept many northern communities alive during times of bad weather or illness. The spirit of the early Canadian aviators lives on today in those who travel into space.
- CANADA IS – Steve Hyde & Eric Robertson – This song tells about what this country stands for, our hopes for the future, and the way we welcome people from all parts of the world to share this land with us.
- WE’RE ALL LOOKING FOR A DINOSAUR – Michael Mitchell – Michael wrote this song for a segment of the children’s TV program Sesame Street. The dinosaur bones that are constantly being found in and around Drumheller, Alberta inspired it.
- BLACK FLY SONG – Wade Hemsworth – The folks who live in North Ontario dread the time of year when those pesky black flies begin to swarm.
- LITTLE OLD SOD SHANTY – Traditional – Pioneer life on the prairies was never easy, and often very lonely. This song tells about the dreams of one such ‘sod-buster’.
- LAND OF THE SILVER BIRCH – Traditional – A paddling song with a more aboriginal perspective.
- COAL TOWN ROAD – Allister MacGillivray – Years ago when people went down into coal mines, they were often accompanied by pit ponies which hauled up the heavily laden coal cars. The poisonous dust that caused the premature death of so many miners also invaded the unprotected eyes of the poor ponies and many went blind as a result.
- AU CHANTE DE L’ALOUETTE – Traditional – This Acadian version of a traditional song tells about talking birds, able to communicate with humans, especially girls.
- HEADED FOR CANADA – Allister MacGillivray – The tale of one of the many immigrants who sought a better life in Canada.
- MAPLE SUGAR TIME – Michael Mitchell – Michael wrote this about a favourite Eastern Canadian pastime – gathering up the maple syrup and having fun at a traditional cabane a sucre.
- JACK WAS EVERY INCH A SAILOR – Traditional – Newfoundland people know how to tell a tall tale, especially when it comes to fishing stories. This is one of their more famous ones.
- RED RIVER CART SONG – Anonymous – A tale of the pioneers who trekked to Edmonton along the Calgary Trail.
- WATER – Michael Mitchell – There is more fresh water in Canada than in any other country. But we should never take it for granted.
- WHERE THE COHO FLASH SILVER – Lloyd Arntzen – Each morning, west coast fishers head out in search of those famous silver fish, the Coho salmon.
- UN CANADIEN ERRANT – Traditional – Written after the Mackenzie-Papineau rebellion of 1837, when several rebels were hanged, exiled, or fled to the U.S.
- I LIKE WALKING IN THE WOODS – Michael Mitchell – Woods are a great place to escape to and let both your feet and imagination wander.
- DONKEY RIDING – Traditional / Additional lyrics by Michael Mitchell – The ‘donkey’ referred to in the song is not of the animal variety but rather refers to the crane or mechanical system used to hoist cargo between a ship and the dock
- THE KETTLE VALLEY LINE – Ean Hay – From the 1880s to the 1930s, it was common practice for labourers to travel throughout North America riding on the roofs of trains, even though it was both dangerous and illegal.
- COME TO CANADA – Michael Mitchell / Michael Becker – Canada is a land of immigrants. It’s a unique characteristic of being Canadian that we all share.
- THE ALBERTA NEWFOUNDLANDER – Michael Mitchell – For a while (and maybe still today) the city of Fort McMurray, Alberta was nicknamed ‘Fort McNewfie’ because of the large numbers of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who moved there.
- LES RAFTSMEN – Traditional – This lively song was a favourite of the French-Canadian woodsmen in the nineteenth century. “Bytown” was the original name for the city of Ottawa, and “Outaouais” was the Indian name for the Ottawa River.
- TELL US A STORY OR TWO – Michael Mitchell – Michael decided to piece a few lymerics together into a song that features some unique ‘Canadianisms’.
- BIG WET RODENT DAY – Michael Becker / John Acorn – A tribute to our most revered rodent and national symbol.
- LET ‘EM RUN (The Ballad of the Yukon Quest) – Michael Becker / Michael Mitchell – The Yukon Quest, held every February, is the Olympics of sled dog racing and the ultimate test of these magnificent teams.
- RATATAT-TAT – Michael Becker/Michael Mitchell/John Acorn – Nature is a wonderful teacher, but it can play tricks on your senses if you don’t pay attention!
- FIELDS OF ROCK AND SNOW – Traditional tune/ lyrics by James Gordon – A beautiful but poignant song about the life of some immigrant farmers in North Ontario in Canada’s early days
- AH! SI MON MOINE VOULAIT DANSER – Traditional – The title is a play on words. “Moine” means both a spinning top and a monk. To encourage him to dance, the monk is offered, in fun, first a hood or cap, then a rosary, etc.
- WINTER, SPRING, SUMMER AND FALL – Michael Mitchell – Living in Canada, you never get bored with the weather. So, why not dedicate a song to our ever changing seasons?