iHeartRadio 150: Songs 100 to 76
In its first 150 years, Canada has created a massive — and impressive — collection of music that is distinctly its own.
From coast to coast to coast, indigenous stories set to music and traditional maritime shanties resonate as much as contemporary rock ballads and pop anthems.
From Paul Anka to Zappacosta, Canada has given the world artists as diverse as the country itself. Many have conquered the globe, others have found that success at home is enough.
It is impossible to come up with a list of only 150 memorable Canadian songs. For each one you can name, there are 10 others just as worthy.
In celebration of Canada’s 150th, iHeartRadio asked its hosts and station music directors across the nation — as well as fans — to name their top songs by Canadian artists.
The result is a genre-blurring collection of tracks. Not all of the songs on the list were written by Canadians, and not all will be familiar to everyone — but each of them has earned a place in our hearts.
Like Drake, we started from the bottom.
Click here for Songs 125 to 101
Click here for Songs 150 to 126
Stay tuned as we reveal the complete list, 25 songs at a time, leading up to Canada Day.
100. Anne Murray - “Snowbird”
This Canadian classic was recorded by artists like Elvis Presley, Loretta Lynn and Bing Crosby but it was our own Anne Murray who made it famous when she released it as a single in 1970. The song was written by Gene MacLellan, who was born in small-town Quebec, raised in Toronto, and spent his latter years on PEI.
99. Great Big Sea - “Ordinary Day”
“Ordinary Day,” a signature song for Newfoundland’s Great Big Sea, celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. The feel-good track was written by Alan Doyle and Séan McCann.
Alan Doyle told iHeartRadio:
“I was so happy when ‘Ordinary Day’ struck a chord with people right away. Myself and Sean McCann wrote it with the intention of having a song about Newfoundlanders’ optimistic attitude in the face of hard times. I thought it would be a cool thing if we could write a contemporary song with Shanty references like the ‘Wey Hey Hey’ chorus and have people from all over the place sing along with it. When folks from all over the country jumped aboard and started singing right along with us, I thought it was not just cool moment for Great Big Sea but for Newfoundland traditions as well.”
98. Blue Rodeo - “Lost Together”
The title track from the Toronto band’s 1992 album features the vocals of Greg Keelor, backed by Jim Cuddy. The song’s about love, plain and simple. “Your love's all I need,” it goes. “And if we’re lost, then we are lost together.”
97. k.d. lang - “Constant Craving”
Written by Alberta-born k.d. lang with Toronto’s Ben Mink, “Constant Craving” is not only a great song but a perfect showcase for lang’s incredible voice. Released on her 1992 album Ingénue, the song won a Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
96. Avril Lavigne - “I’m With You”
Featured on Avril Lavigne’s debut album Let Go in 2002, “I’m With You” was a change of pace from the smash hit “Complicated” and “Sk8er Boi.” Not only was the ballad a hit, it earned a pair of Grammy nominations.
95. Shawn Mendes - “Mercy”
Ontario’s Shawn Mendes put out “Mercy” in the summer of 2016 and later included the track on his album Illuminate. He has said the song isn’t necessarily about a girl. “I like to picture it as pleading for mercy for my career,” he explained. “I just want to say ‘Hey, have some mercy on me – just let me rest for a second.’ That’s the crazy nature of being someone who creates music, and I think that song kind of expresses all that emotion and anger behind loving something so much.”
94. Nickelback - “Photograph”
“Photograph” comes from Nickelback’s fifth studio album, 2005’s All the Right Reasons and was a No. 1 hit in the U.S., UK and at home in Canada. The band has said the song is about memories of their hometown of Hanna, Alberta.
93. Robbie Robertson - “Broken Arrow”
Robbie Robertson, formerly of The Band, included “Broken Arrow” on his 1987 self-titled solo debut. The track was covered in 1991 by Rod Stewart.
92. Chromeo - “Jealous (I Ain’t With It)”
Funky Montreal duo Chromeo (David Maclovitch and Patrick Gemayel) crafted this groovy track for 2014’s White Women. The song could be heard on an episode of Dancing with the Stars and was used in a Mazda commercial.
91. The Weeknd - “I Feel It Coming”
Toronto’s The Weeknd collaborated with Daft Punk for “I Feel It Coming,” which appears on his latest album Starboy. Co-writers include Canadian-born Martin McKinney and Henry Walter. Like a lot of The Weeknd’s songs, it’s about sex. "Tell me what you really like / Baby, I can take my time,” he sings. "You just got to let me try / To give you what you want."
90. Les Colocs - “La rue principale”
This 1993 song came from the ‘90s Montreal-based band Les Colocs, which was fronted by André “Dédé” Fortin, who died in 2000 at only 37.
89. Bedouin Soundclash - “When the Night Feels My Song”
Toronto reggae-ska band Bedouin Soundclash enjoyed big success in 2004 with this song, which appeared on their second album, Sounding a Mosaic.
88. k-os - “Crabbuckit”
Born Kevin Brereton, k-os is the Toronto rapper-singer behind this infectious single from the 2004 album Joyful Rebellion. It went on to become the first hip hop song to win Single of the Year at the Juno Awards. (Keep an eye out for Nelly Furtado in the video.)
87. Classified - “That Ain’t Classy”
Nova Scotia rapper Classified included “That Ain’t Classy” on his second studio album, Handshakes and Middle Fingers, in 2011.
86. Arkells - “Oh, The Boss is Coming!”
Juno-winning Hamilton, Ont. band Arkells released “Oh, The Boss is Coming!” in 2008. “There's no room for error / So beware / When your ass is on the line,” the songs goes. “I've yet to witness / Much forgiveness / In this business.”
85. Kim Mitchell - “Go For a Soda”
Hailing from Sarnia, Ont., Kim Mitchell was the voice of Max Webster from the mid-‘70s to early ‘80s before he launched his solo career. “Go For A Soda,” which he co-wrote with ex-Max Webster partner Pye Dubois, was his breakout hit. With lines like: “Might as well go for a soda / nobody drowns and nobody dies,” the song became an anti-DUI anthem — although Mitchell has said that was not his original intention.
84. Arcade Fire - “Rebellion (Lies)”
Montreal-based Arcade Fire came from the band’s 2005 debut album Funeral. It charted in several countries, showed up in television shows, and was included on a number of music publication’s “best of” lists.
83. Finger Eleven - “Paralyzer”
The first single from this Burlington, Ont. band’s fifth album, Them vs. You vs. Me, in 2007. It was featured on several television series and earned the group a performance spot on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
82. Simple Plan - “Perfect”
Before Hedley, One Direction and Ed Sheeran recorded songs called “Perfect,” Montreal’s Simple Plan put out theirs. Featured on their 2003 debut, No Pads, No Helmets...Just Balls, the song was written by the band with former Frozen Ghost frontman Arnold Lanni. The song was a hit at home as well as in the U.S. and Australia.
81. Amanda Marshall - “Everybody’s Got a Story”
Toronto singer Amanda Marshall used “Everybody’s Got a Story” as the title track of her third album in 2001. “It's the human condition that keeps up apart,” Marshall sings. “Everybody's got a story that could break your heart.”
80. Rascalz feat. Checkmate, Kardinal Offishall, Thrust and Choclair - “Northern Touch”
This hip hop single, which came out in 1998, was an important collaboration at a time when black music wasn’t getting much love north of the border. The track samples "Everything Good to You (Ain't Always Good for You)” by U.S. funk group B.T. Express.
79. Big Sugar - “If I Had My Way”
Toronto blues rock group Big Sugar, fronted by Winnipeg-born Gordie Johnson, put “If I Had My Way” on their 1996 album Hemi-Vision.
78. The Guess Who - “These Eyes”
Think of iconic Canadian music and you can’t help but think of The Guess Who, whose long list of hits includes this 1968 song from the album Wheatfield Soul. Written by Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings, the track includes a line that rolls easily off the lips of so many Canadians: “These eyes have seen a lot of love but they're never gonna see another love like I had with you.”
77. Paul Piché - “L’escalier”
Montreal folk-rock singer Paul Piché put out “L’escalier” (“The Staircase”) in 1980. Nine years later, journalist Laurent Saulnier described Piché’s sound as "an original mixture of French song, American rock, and Quebec folklore.”
76. Jann Arden - “Good Mother”
Calgary’s Jann Arden wrote “Good Mother” with Bob Foster for her 1994 album Living Under June. The song’s video earned a Juno Award. Arden has said she was surprised by the lasting appeal of “Good Mother.” She said: “I close every one of my shows with ‘Good Mother,’ I have for years. I see people just waiting for it. ‘Good Mother’ will always be in the set."