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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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