21 votes

What are some great songs from your homeland?

Inspired by the @culturedleftfoot post.

Try providing links, and, if you feel that your country is too big for this exercise to make sense, feel free to limit your choices to your region, state, city or even neighborhood!

Definition of Homeland (adapted from Wikipedia):

A homeland is the concept of the place where a cultural, national, or racial identity had formed. It can also mean the country of nationality, the place in which somebody grew up or lived for a long enough period that shaped his or her cultural identity, the place in which one's ancestors live for generations, or the place that one regard it as home.

29 comments

  1. [2]
    skybrian
    Link
    Great topic idea! I'd like to ask that that people post a shorter list, and maybe say something about why you like each song? Otherwise I'm going to pick a few at random.

    Great topic idea! I'd like to ask that that people post a shorter list, and maybe say something about why you like each song? Otherwise I'm going to pick a few at random.

    7 votes
    1. mrbig
      Link Parent
      That's awesome, yeah. I'll update my list with genres at least.

      That's awesome, yeah. I'll update my list with genres at least.

      4 votes
  2. [2]
    grahamiam
    Link
    Kentucky-related songs: Kentucky Route Zero soundtrack - "You've Got to Walk", "Long Journey Home", "Too Late to Love You", "I'm Going That Way", "The World is not My Home" Nappy Roots' "Good Day"

    Kentucky-related songs:

    Kentucky Route Zero soundtrack - "You've Got to Walk", "Long Journey Home", "Too Late to Love You", "I'm Going That Way", "The World is not My Home"

    Nappy Roots' "Good Day"

    5 votes
  3. [2]
    benoliver999
    Link
    Born in France, Charles Aznavour for some reason is what takes me back there. La Boheme, Emmenez-moi Lived in Sheffield for ages, no one listens to Pulp anymore because it's played to death, but...

    Born in France, Charles Aznavour for some reason is what takes me back there. La Boheme, Emmenez-moi

    Lived in Sheffield for ages, no one listens to Pulp anymore because it's played to death, but they still sound great. Common People, Disco 2000

    5 votes
    1. Adys
      Link Parent
      France here as well. Among the classics, Brassens' "La ballade Des gens qui sont nés quelquepart", Edith Piaf's "Mon manège a moi" are two of my favourites. The 80s and 90s had the wonderful...

      France here as well.

      Among the classics, Brassens' "La ballade Des gens qui sont nés quelquepart", Edith Piaf's "Mon manège a moi" are two of my favourites.

      The 80s and 90s had the wonderful Claude François with eg. Alexandrie Alexandra and Cette Année La (whose Melody has been copied and remixed a ton of times in recent disco), and of course Renaud for the past 40 years with Dans Mon HLM, Manhattan Kaboul (A song about 9/11), Des que le vent soufflera, Les bobos (one of my favourites).

      More recent, and I'm going to see him live this month, is Oldelaf. Le Café (watch the YouTube clip!), Les Mains Froides, Le Cheval a Bascule and Le Monde est Beau are my top picks from him. Oh and Kleenex, a song composed only of brand names, depicting someone's life from birth to death.

      All these songs are highly lyrical and you have to understand French to understand what makes them great imo.

      4 votes
  4. [7]
    aphoenix
    (edited )
    Link
    I'm from Canada, eh. The most popular music of my homeland is probably music you've heard hundreds of times - Neil Young, Rush, Joni Mitchell, Bryan Adams, The Band (the weight!), The Guess Who,...

    I'm from Canada, eh. The most popular music of my homeland is probably music you've heard hundreds of times - Neil Young, Rush, Joni Mitchell, Bryan Adams, The Band (the weight!), The Guess Who, Alanis, Avril, Jann Arden, the Barenaked Ladies... I could go on, but it seems like one of our main exports is talented people with mass appeal. It's probably indistinguishable from mainstream American music. There are a few bands or artists that feel like they are quintessentially Canadian though, and I'd like to bring up a few of them. There will be nothing particularly insightful or surprising on this list for any Canadian readers.

    The Tragically Hip

    Thanks for everything Gord Downey, and rest in peace. I was never a big Tragically Hip fan; I know a lot of their songs, but I never went out and bought the albums. I'd sing along on the radio. I caught a couple of their shows, and they were good but not great. But it's hard to say that there has ever been a more Canadian band than the Hip. There's something Gord and the boys that makes you understand that they've gone out for a two-four in their flannel in a pickup truck, and that they'd stop and help you if you had a flat, and that they drank bad double-doubles from one of our other national brands, and that they were good and honest and polite and nice. The Hip was just, in every way, Canadian to the core, and that never changed over time. Despite the fact that I wasn't a big Hip fan, I recognize that they are a national treasure, and I fully understand why they are iconically Canadian.

    Here's two hip songs that I like.

    Ahead by a Century

    Bobcaygeon

    Spirit of the West

    Canadians are, I think, generally acknowledged as nice and polite people, but we're rowdy and we go out and get drunk and we sing loudly and badly. You can get a group of Canadians rowdy, drinky, and singing badly with this phrase: "You'll have to excuse me, I'm not at my best." Almost every Canadian will respond with "I've been gone for a month, I've been drunk since I left." Spirit of the West was one of the best bands to see in person. John Mann, the lead singer, was electrifying, the music was great, and the crowd was full of energy. Here's a couple:

    Home for a Rest

    Venice is Sinking

    Old but Gold Honourable Mentions

    Stan Rogers - He's not as popular with the under-40 crowd, but you can usually get older Canadians singing by starting "O the year was 1778" and they'll come back with "How I wish I was in Sherbrooke now!" One of the most Canadian moments I've ever had in my entire life was standing on a Halifax pier with several friends, rowdily singing the entirety of Barrett's Privateers. Barrett's Privateers (I'm singing this now under my breath - how could you not love this line: "She'd a list to the port and her sails in rags And the cook in the scuppers with the staggers and jags")

    Gordon Lightfoot - Another Canadiana staple is "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald." It's an ode to a famous shipwreck on Lake Superior; it tugs at your heartstrings, the stately pacing, the almost keening quality of some of the instrumentals. It's worth a listen, though it's notably a #1 hit in the US as well (from 1976 though). The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

    Out fer a rip

    Last - a guilty pleasure. Just out fer a rip are ya bud?

    As this is the pinnacle of Canadian Circlejerkery it needs no real explanation of why I like this. I find it hard to conceive of not liking it.

    The Final Edit - Chris Hadfield!

    An actual Canadian Hero who is as classy as he is talented; I think you'd be hard pressed to find a living Canadian icon as beloved as Chris Hadfield. He did science experiments, he sang, he taught us lots of things, and he's got a glorious moustache. Here he is with the Barenaked Ladies Chris Hadfield and Barenaked Ladies | I.S.S. (Is Somebody Singing), notably not on planet earth while singing live together. The song itself is fairly "meh" but what an achievement.

    3 votes
    1. [2]
      rogue_cricket
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I'm a fellow Canadian and an avowed Maritimer, and I'd like to add a couple things that I feel are emblematic of the Maritimes specifically. :) Great Big Sea Probably the most famous folk...

      I'm a fellow Canadian and an avowed Maritimer, and I'd like to add a couple things that I feel are emblematic of the Maritimes specifically. :)

      Great Big Sea

      Probably the most famous folk musicians out of the East coast. A lot of East coast culture comes from Celtic and Scottish influence and you can certainly hear it here. A lot of their tracks are basically souped-up shanties and heavily feature traditional Celtic fiddling, drumming on the bodhrán, and a button accordion.

      Their biggest hits are Ordinary Day and When I'm Up, but here's a fun cover of R.E.M.'s End Of The World. And for extra culture points, here's them doing a funny traditional song about an Irish-style wake called The Night Paddy Murphy Died.

      Natalie MacMaster

      Natalie MacMaster plays Cape Breton style fiddle music and is one of my favourite folk artists - she is fantastic to watch. Here is her TED talk - she plays a few pieces, and she talks a bit about the culture of Cape Breton as well. The part where she talks about kitchen cèilidhs or kitchen parties rings really true for me even outside of Cape Breton.

      To me, when she plays, it almost sounds like someone speaking Gaelic or fiddling with an accent, haha. Another thing I enjoy about the style is that the dancing/foot-stomping is incorporated strongly into the music. (Here is an example by an Acadian band from PEI using amplifiers for their foot tapping!)

      Random Other Maritimers

      Joel Plaskett - Featured on Letterkenny! Haligonian. He does a lot of Very Canadian and has that Tragically Hip-ish alt-folk-rock Canadian sound - here's True Patriot Love. His most famous track is Fashionable People. He is awesome live, I always go if I have the chance.

      Lisa LeBlanc is from my province of New Brunswick. She sings in Acadian French, English, and, as with many francophones in the province, often kind of both at the same time. Her genre is described as "trash-folk" which is absolutely fantastic, but she also does a lot of bluegrass-y stuff. Here's "Aujourd'hui, ma vie c'est d'la marde". "Today, My Life Is Shit".

      I think it's also worth bringing up the musical Come From Away, which is about Gander, Newfoundland - a small Newfoundland community that helped people whose flights were diverted due to 9/11.

      PS: I also feel like someone should bring up Céline Dion but it won't be me

      2 votes
      1. aphoenix
        Link Parent
        I considered adding in Great Big Sea, but as I said in another comment lower down, my comment was getting unruly! They're amazing and also iconic Canadian musicians. Everyone else on your list is...

        I considered adding in Great Big Sea, but as I said in another comment lower down, my comment was getting unruly! They're amazing and also iconic Canadian musicians.

        Everyone else on your list is great too, and the musical is especially worth checking out.

        Aside: New Brunswick is one of three provinces I've never been to (the others being Newfoundland & Labrador and PEI), and I'm rectifying that during vacation time this summer! Is there anything that you think is a must-visit for people coming to your province? For context, I'll be going with my wife and three kids, who range in age from 5 to 14.

        2 votes
    2. [4]
      cfabbro
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Excellent post. You covered most of the Canadian classics I was going to mention, and the new classics as well (out fer a rip! & Hadfield). 👍 Though I personally prefer the live version of...

      Excellent post. You covered most of the Canadian classics I was going to mention, and the new classics as well (out fer a rip! & Hadfield). 👍 Though I personally prefer the live version of Barrett's Privateers from One Warm Line, and Hadfield's cover of Space Oddessey. And Rush's Tom Sawyer and Closer To The Heart are definitely worth including links to IMO.

      2 votes
      1. [3]
        aphoenix
        Link Parent
        Have you ever seen a more 70s Canadian bunch of guys? I listened to this, after having just listened to this song twice in the last hour and singing it half the time. Is there a better Canadian...

        the live version of Barrett's Privateers from One Warm Line,

        Have you ever seen a more 70s Canadian bunch of guys? I listened to this, after having just listened to this song twice in the last hour and singing it half the time. Is there a better Canadian song? I can't think of one. Something in this just resonates deep inside of me. Goddamn, I love Stan Rogers.

        Hadfield's cover of Space Oddessey is much better than Is Somebody Singing, but there's something about two iconic Canadian institutions (Hadfield and BNL) working together that I loved. Despite the "meh"-ness of the song itself. Maybe part of it is that my younger daughter wants to be an astronaut when she grows up and her hero is Chris Hadfield, and she also loves BNL (rather - she loves when I play BNL songs for her on my guitar).

        I missed Anne Murray in my roundup of iconically Canadian Artists, but I made an edit and called it "Final Edit" so I can't go back. :\

        1 vote
        1. [2]
          cfabbro
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          I'm a huge BNL fan too, so I totally understand why you picked that one. Also, fun fact: BNL played at my highshool in the 90s because we managed to donate the most food for a Provincial food...

          I'm a huge BNL fan too, so I totally understand why you picked that one. Also, fun fact: BNL played at my highshool in the 90s because we managed to donate the most food for a Provincial food drive with that as the top prize... although admittedly we kinda cheated, since the Loblaws CEO's son went to the school, and so his dad had a bunch of trucks deliver dozens of pallets of canned food to the school for the event. ;)

          Is there a better Canadian song? I can't think of one.

          Maybe The Hockey Song from Stompin' Tom? Or perhaps NFB's Log Driver's Watlz or Blackfly? Those are about the only other ones I can think of that might come close.

          I missed Anne Murray in my roundup of iconically Canadian Artists

          Rita MacNeil too. But I won't hold it against you. ;)

          1 vote
          1. aphoenix
            Link Parent
            I remember that contest! Also fun fact - I had a half paragraph on Stompin' Tom but then i realized I was going crazy with the length and effort I was putting into a comment that basically just...

            I remember that contest!

            Also fun fact - I had a half paragraph on Stompin' Tom but then i realized I was going crazy with the length and effort I was putting into a comment that basically just you were going to read. The Hockey Song and Tilsonburg (my back still aches when I hear that word) were the songs that I was picking for him, and I was going to start talking about how he started multiple record labels...

            Those are all solid choices for greatest Canadian songs as well. They're all top tier.

            2 votes
  5. [3]
    Kuromantis
    (edited )
    Link
    MC Guimê - País do futebol (No I'm not kidding. Genre is Brazilian Funk, something which I can't really compare to anything else tbh.) Racionais MCs - A vida é desafio (Brazilian rap? Like...

    MC Guimê - País do futebol (No I'm not kidding. Genre is Brazilian Funk, something which I can't really compare to anything else tbh.)

    Racionais MCs - A vida é desafio (Brazilian rap? Like hip-hop, but longer and with slower lyrics. I'm not very familiar with music genres.)

    4 votes
    1. [2]
      mrbig
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Racionais MC's is musically very similar to old-school rap. Hip-hop fans will have no trouble feeling these beats. It's very powerful and socially conscious too. As a black dude, listening to...

      Racionais MC's is musically very similar to old-school rap. Hip-hop fans will have no trouble feeling these beats.

      It's very powerful and socially conscious too. As a black dude, listening to Racionais almost hurts sometimes. Too fucking true.

      Diário de Um Detento is a classic of Brazilian music, poetry, literature, whatever you want. Mano Brown is a genius.

      I never heard MC Guimê before. I'm getting old hahaha. That's a fine song, but I can't say I found it particularly noteworthy.

      Emicida is my favorite Brazilian rapper.

      2 votes
      1. Kuromantis
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        Admittedly I'm not too knowledgeable on Brazilian culture or even the idea of 'culture' in general. I found the song to be a good example of Brazil/São Paulo mainly because it just talks about the...

        I never heard MC Guimê before. I'm getting old hahaha. That's a fine song, but I can't say I found it particularly noteworthy.

        Admittedly I'm not too knowledgeable on Brazilian culture or even the idea of 'culture' in general. I found the song to be a good example of Brazil/São Paulo mainly because it just talks about the stuff we do despite being piss poor. Admittedly it's a pretty wholesome song, which makes it feel pretty old to me.

        2 votes
  6. [4]
    skybrian
    Link
    I don't know how to interpret "homeland", but I'll use this as an excuse to post a couple popular polkas from my parents' and grandparents' generations: Who Stole the Kishka? - LynnMarie (a modern...

    I don't know how to interpret "homeland", but I'll use this as an excuse to post a couple popular polkas from my parents' and grandparents' generations:

    Who Stole the Kishka? - LynnMarie (a modern version that I like)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shPMcuoqgqg

    Pennsylvania Polka - Frank Yankovic
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JI0-qjvq1I

    I didn't pay much attention to polka until I took up accordion later in life; I was more a Weird Al and Rush fan.

    I Think I'm a Clone Now - Weird Al Yankovic
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vFGKHzY_38

    Rush - The Spirit of Radio
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPBinohXHLc

    4 votes
    1. AnthonyB
      Link Parent
      Well it's been 25 years, but now I finally learned the name of that song in Groundhog Day.

      Well it's been 25 years, but now I finally learned the name of that song in Groundhog Day.

      3 votes
    2. [2]
      mrbig
      Link Parent
      I love the clean and vibrant style of singing and arrangement. It's so earnest and heartwarming. I discovered Levans Polka as part of a yodelling binge some time ago, when I was trying to...

      Who Stole the Kishka? - LynnMarie (a modern version that I like)

      I love the clean and vibrant style of singing and arrangement. It's so earnest and heartwarming.

      I discovered Levans Polka as part of a yodelling binge some time ago, when I was trying to understand the origins of a vocal technique Buddy Holly employed — a brief yodel used to convey emotion. You can see that in Peggy Sue.

      So I have a passing familiarity with the genre.

      2 votes
      1. sandaltree
        Link Parent
        I have to represent a bit here and say that Levan is a common mispelling of the song; it's actually called Ievan polkka. I'm glad it has found it's way to you :)

        I have to represent a bit here and say that Levan is a common mispelling of the song; it's actually called Ievan polkka. I'm glad it has found it's way to you :)

        2 votes
  7. [3]
    monarda
    Link
    I think line singing will always touch me profoundly and remind me of and make me long for "home." I'm an atheist now but this singing can still make my soul long for a god. Picture a holler and a...

    I think line singing will always touch me profoundly and remind me of and make me long for "home." I'm an atheist now but this singing can still make my soul long for a god. Picture a holler and a cemetery and the sound of my people singing this: The Day is Past and Gone it resonates through the hills and everyone not at the cemetery is on their porch adding their voice. That was the scene for my great aunt's funeral. We sang most of our songs in church in this style too.

    3 votes
    1. [2]
      mrbig
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      That's a beautiful song, thank you for sharing. What is the context? Is this in America? I never heard the term "line singing" before. Is it similar to lining out? In The Future of an Illusion,...

      That's a beautiful song, thank you for sharing. What is the context? Is this in America?

      I never heard the term "line singing" before. Is it similar to lining out?

      In The Future of an Illusion, Freud associated religious sentiment with the undistinguished "oceanic" feeling we might have had when we were babies — before we dissociated the external world from our own individual perception. Religion — as well as art — provide ways to relive this feeling.

      From that perspective, it's only natural that religious singing can move an atheist. In your case, there's also nostalgia and the longing for a sense of community.

      I'm a believer myself but wanted to give an answer that might be useful for an atheist.

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        Comment deleted by author
        Link Parent
        1. mrbig
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          If you're interested, The Future of an Illusion is short (more like a long chapter than a book) and quite an easy read.

          If you're interested, The Future of an Illusion is short (more like a long chapter than a book) and quite an easy read.

          1 vote
  8. calm_bomb
    Link
    So, I'll start with a short story: I watched the TV series Beforeigners two weeks ago and I liked the soundtrack for it, but at the end of each episode I was struck by one instrument I was hearing...

    So, I'll start with a short story: I watched the TV series Beforeigners two weeks ago and I liked the soundtrack for it, but at the end of each episode I was struck by one instrument I was hearing and the playing style seemed familiar, so I watched the score at the end and managed to see that it was indeed what I thought: a caval (or kaval), a type of flute used in Romanian folk music. So I went on facebook and asked the artist (who is Norwegian) and he confirmed he played the caval and his inspiration was Romanian folk music.

    So, one of the most recognizable music in Romanian folk is the "doina" and it's often accompanied with a caval and sounds like this: Old drafting song. It's usually a sorrowful type of music, and it's very improvisational. It sounds different from region to region, but at the same time sound very similar.

    Also, hearing the tune in the TV series, I instantly thought of one of the greatest rock bands in Romania, Phoenix, which used the caval (and other traditional instruments) in their music. Here's the instrument used in their song Strunga. Also by Phoenix I love Nunta / The wedding which I used as the intro song to my own wedding.

    3 votes
  9. intuxikated
    (edited )
    Link
    I am from India, as you probably already knew India has more than couple of dozen official languages. My native language is Malayalam mostly spoken in the south indian state Kerala. Some Malayalam...

    I am from India, as you probably already knew India has more than couple of dozen official languages. My native language is Malayalam mostly spoken in the south indian state Kerala. Some Malayalam songs I recently liked..

    3 votes
  10. Staross
    Link
    Switzerland, not many to chose from, it's some kind of jazz with very experimental vocals : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PubJ7TVRCME

    Switzerland, not many to chose from, it's some kind of jazz with very experimental vocals :

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PubJ7TVRCME

    2 votes
  11. mat
    Link
    I shall interpret 'homeland' to mean 'home city' because otherwise there's far too many choices in the UK. And with that in mind... Hot Pink by Lets Eat Grandma, one of their less experimental...

    I shall interpret 'homeland' to mean 'home city' because otherwise there's far too many choices in the UK. And with that in mind...

    Hot Pink by Lets Eat Grandma, one of their less experimental tracks but still very much their sound. Jenny and Rosa have been making music together since they were toddlers, but as they reach their late teenage years/early 20s they're really starting to come into their own. They feel very local to me. They're not loud or brash about what they do, just quietly creative and a bit different, which is very much how the city feels too.

    Somewhere Else by Sink Ya Teeth. Currently the biggest local band going (inter)national. Getting lots of airplay on BBC radio, they're a nice post-punk/synth/shoegaze sort of sound.

    2 votes
  12. NoblePath
    Link
    much of the catalog of dolly parton or warren haynes’ allman bros.

    much of the catalog of dolly parton or warren haynes’ allman bros.

    1 vote