What songs were written about Vancouver, BC?


Every big city has an anthem. New York has at least three fights for the top spot (although few will truly contend for Sinatra’s classic).

But ask Vancouverites to name this town’s most iconic song and they’ll be hard pressed to agree, assuming they can name one at all. Matthew Good wrote a song literally titled “Vancouver’s National Anthem” (as part of the Vancouver album), but does he really have to win on a technicality?

A music writer told me recently that the Village People’s ‘YMCA’ was written in Vancouver and it made me think of other songs that could be inspired by Vancouver, not just by local artists but international ones as well. Thus was born the ultimate Vancouver playlist. We’ve opened up the music and anthem settings to include any vaguely musical piece available to listen to on the internet that mentions Vancouver. Currently the list is 71 strong but will continue to grow as we learn new songs or new music is released. There are the usual suspects with Tegan and Sara, said the whale, and the Zolas make a few entries from local bands that have become acclaimed out of town—Dan Mangan and the japandroids also.

Writing this list also drew my attention to the Pigeon Park reference in Billy Talent’s “Fallen Leaves”, a song I’ve listened to dozens of times but had absolutely no idea it was about. of Vancouver. I also learned that Death Cab for Cutie wrote a song called “Expo 86”.

We recently asked readers of our daily newsletter for song suggestions and a few people mentioned the historic Mushroom studios which were based in Vancouver before moving to Toronto in 2010. Between 1966 and 2006 the building saw dozens of musical projects high-level artists who have created many surprising Vancouver-related songs, including the score of Superior gun.

There are also parody entries on this list—”The Kingsgate Mall Tribute” which I first heard on CFOX and rap Save On Foods that fellow journalist Brendan Kergin found to name a few. There’s a surprising amount of raps that have been written about random parts of Vancouver like the “SkyTrain” rap by Emotion and All Stars at low pressure.

We know of a Portuguese Vancouver rap that exists but we haven’t been able to find it, so if anyone knows what it’s called, please let us know. Did we miss anything else?

  1. “Vancouver, baby!” by Behind the Sapphire
  2. “Robson Girl” door Mac DeMarco
  3. “Big Wave Goodbye” by Said the Whale
  4. Kingsgate Mall Tribute” by Ian Boothby and Vicky Van
  5. “West Van Girl” by The Awkward Stage
  6. “Vancouver” by Reckless Kelly
  7. “The Vancouver Song” by tree lines
  8. Blue Rodeo’s “English Bay”
  9. “Expo ’86” by Death Cab For Cutie
  10. “Expo in British Columbia” by The Spores
  11. “Fallen Leaves” by Billy Talent
  12. “Summer Wages” by Ian Tyson
  13. “Vancouver” by Jeff Buckley
  14. Main & Broadway by Cub
  15. “Touch of the North” by Rascalz ft. Kardinal offishallpush, checkmate, Choclair
  16. “Vancouver” by Joey Lau
  17. “Vancouver” by Genesis
  18. “Vancouver BC” by The Smugglers
  19. “City of Vancouver ’71” by Rolf Harris
  20. “Vancouver’s National Anthem” by Matthew Good
  21. バンクーバー (Vancouver)” by superfly
  22. “Commercial Drive” by The Gruff
  23. “Hell” by Tegan and Sarah
  24. “The Remedy” Tegan and Sarah
  25. “Vancouver, a night as a other” by Aut’Thing
  26. “Vancouver (Richards on Richards)” door They Might Be Giants
  27. “Vancouver” a song and album of the same name by Speedwell Sanson
  28. “Vancouver (Instrumental)” door Violent Femmes
  29. “Vancouver Girl” by Svavar Knutur
  30. “Tropical Rainstorm” by Doug and the Slugs
  31. “Chinatown Calculation” by Doug and the Slugs
  32. “Doldrums” by Elbow
  33. “Wreck Beach/Totem Park” van The Zolas
  34. “Effort” by Blue J
  35. “Time Zone” by Blue J
  36. “At the top Granvilleby Peach Pit
  37. “Back to Vancouver” by funboy Five
  38. “The Town You Live In Is Ugly” door Young and Sexy
  39. “The Pine for the Cedars” by Dan Mangan
  40. “East Vancouver Rockers” by japandroids
  41. “False Creek Change” by Said The Whale
  42. “Black Day in December” by Said The Whale
  43. “Vancouver Blues” by Tim Hus
  44. “Commercial Drive” by Low Pressure All Stars
  45. “Vancouver BC” by Team Orca
  46. “Rock Deep (Vancouver)” door Heart
  47. “Vancouver Divorce” by God Downie
  48. “The bridge has come tomblin‘ By stompin‘Tom Connors
  49. “The Crawl” by Spirit Of The West
  50. “Sovereignty” by japandroids
  51. sky train” by Emotion and low pressure All Stars
  52. “Vancouver BC” by Curious Hands
  53. “The Wrong Side of the Country” by Old Man Luedecke
  54. “2010” by Said the whale
  55. dump truck” from Blind Melon
  56. “Vancouver Shakedown” by Nazareth
  57. “Vancouver, BC” by Vic Vodka
  58. “East Van Girls” by Twinkling Stars
  59. “Canadian Boyfriend” by All Girl Summer Fun Band
  60. “Vancouver” by Anamanaguchi
  61. “Vancouver” and “Vancouver (Remix)” by Donae’o ft. Blanco (original) and Kwesi Arthur, frenzy Harami (remix)
  62. “Ayahuasca” by Vancouver Sleep Clinic
  63. “Flow Vancouver” by Shanty Boy
  64. “Miss Me” by Grandphone Vancouver
  65. Jubab” by Vancouver Shullai
  66. “Vancouver Time” by Leif Vollebek
  67. “Roll in EastVanby Money Hungry
  68. “Vancouver” by Raz Fresco
  69. “Vancouver x Ice drippy” by Xapp
  70. “Vancouver” by Ligia Oancea
  71. “Save-On-Foods #940 Vancouver Produce Rap” by Miguel Cruz
  72. Cordoba” by Limb lifters

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