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They'll be humming more than O Canada! for Obama

Helpful Canadians compile a discography for the First IPod

President Barack Obama will make his first international trip this week, visiting our neighbors to the north in Canada. On Feb. 19, 2009, he'll board Air Force One for the 75-minute flight from Washington, D.C. to Ottawa, Ontario. First Lady Michelle Obama is not expected to accompany him during the brief working trip. But a custom car will transport the president during his visit. The Toronto Star reports that a specially made bulletproof limousine developed by GM in Detroit has been airlifted in for the event.

I'm assuming that President Obama will receive a much warmer welcome than President George Bush did during his 2004 Canadian capital debut, where large numbers of protesters awaited the POTUS. Canadians seem to be fond of our country's new CEO, and their national media is all over his upcoming visit. I recently spent six days on a music cruise in the Caribbean featuring mostly Canadian musicians (Barenaked Ladies, Sarah McLachlan, Great Big Sea). With the prospect of warm weather and homegrown music, it was no surprise about one-third of the cruisers on board were also Canadians. But I was a little surprised at the overwhelming thumbs-up I received when asking their thoughts about our new president. The Canadians I spoke with were downright giddy about the new leader in the White House, and laughed when I told them I could finally remove the maple leaf stickers that have adorned my luggage for the past eight years.

Before the inauguration of Barack H. Obama as 44th president of the United States, Canada's CBC Radio 2 invited its listeners to nominate and vote for their favorite "49 Songs From North of The Parallel" to welcome President Barack Obama. From Jan. 5-16, 2009, Canadians helped select the top 49 Canadian songs that would "best define our country to the incoming President Barack Obama." More than 130,000 votes were cast for the final list of songs, which includes a variety of genres and lyrics in both English and French. They nominated, they voted and here are the winners.

I don't know if President Obama has any of these , but in honor of Thursday's visit, he should at least download a few. 49 Songs From North of the 49th Parallel

Affairs of the Heart: Marjan Mozetich

American Woman: The Guess Who

Barber-Violin Concerto: James Ehnes

Bobcaygeon: The Tragically Hip

Both Sides Now: Joni Mitchell

Brother (Watching): Shad

Canada's Really Big: Arrogant Worms

The Canadian Dream: Sam Roberts

Canadian Railroad Trilogy: Gordon Lightfoot

A Case of You: Joni Mitchell

Closer to the Heart: Rush

Degeneration: Mex Aieux

Democracy: Leonard Cohen

Departure Bay: Diana Krall

Evangeline: Marie-Jo Therio

Four Strong Winds: Ian & Sylvia

Goin' Up a Yonder: Measha Brueggergosman

Goldberg Variations: Glenn Gould

Hallelujah: k.d. lang

Helpless: Neil Young

The Hockey Song: Stompin' Tom Connors

Home: Michael Buble

Hymn to Freedom: Oscar Peterson Trio

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

J'ai quitte mon ile: Daniel Lavoie

Jolie Louise: Daniel Lanois

La complainte du phoque en Alaska: Beau Dommage

Mario Takes a Walk: Jesse Cook

Mon pays: Gilles Vigneault

Montreal -40c: Matajube

Northwest Passage: Stan Rogers

One Great City: The Weakerthans

Ordinary Day: Great Big Sea

Oublie-pas: Karkwa

Place St. Henri (from Canadiana Suite): Oscar Peterson Trio

Pour un instant: Harmonium

Quand les hommes vivront d'amour: Raymond Levesque

Rebellion (Lies): Arcade Fire

Rever mieux: Daniel Belanger

Rise Again: The Rankin Family

Rise Up: Parachute Club

Rockin' in the Free World: Neil Young

Suzanne: Leonard Cohen

Swingin' Shepherd Blues: Moe Koffman

Universal Soldier: Buffy Sainte-Marie

We'll Gather Lilacs: Ben Heppner

Wheat Kings: The Tragically Hip

Wondering Where the Lions Are: Bruce Cockburn

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald: Gordon Lightfoot

Sue Frause is a Whidbey Island freelance writer and photographer. You can reach her at sue@suefrause.com.

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