Thursday, November 4, 2010

"My Home Town" - Jordan Burnell

When a song is written about a place, it instantly transforms that place into somewhere magical. The Tragically Hip did it for the sleepy, Ontario town of Bobcaygeon, CCR did it for Lodi, The Guess Who did it for Saskatoon, and now Jordan Burnell has done it for Thunder Bay, Ontario. 

I'm not originally from T-Bay, (That's what all the cool kids call it), but I did live and go to school there for several years, and I like to think of it as an extension of my much smaller hometown. Thunder Bay is a small city in North Western Ontario nestled on the shores of Lake Superior. There are a lot of things that T-Bay is not, but one thing it is, is downright gorgeous. Lakes, mountains, trees, - the scenes you usually only see on the Discovery Channel, that's what T-Bay is known for.

Burnell has produced an amazing hip hop anthem lyrically, musically and visually. I’m a graduate of the Broadcasting Television program at Confederation College, and there is one thing that has become apparent to me; The people that grew up in NWO (North Western Ontario, son) have a ridiculous amount of drive and talent. With limited resources and the encumbrance of being geographically isolated, T-Bay has managed to spit out some solid home-grown talent. Matt Popowich of Westfort Films has produced a stunning cinematic celebration of all that is T-Bay. "My Home Town" takes some of Thunder Bay's local stories and landmarks and puts them out there for the world to see.

As someone who grew up in the area it's a nice reminder of home. If you're from T-Bay you'll get every single reference in this song, and if you're not - you'll probably learn something new. Burnell shouts out to the fact that T-Bay marks the spot where famed Canadian, Terry Fox, ended his cross Canada run for Cancer. That T-Bay was the place where Neil Young first met Stephen Stills who later went on to form the infamous Crosby, Stills and Nash. That T-Bay boasts the most pro hockey players per capita. He also throws reference to local landmarks like The Hoito, Silver Islet and the legend of The Sleeping Giant.

The combination of Burnell's rapping mixed with samples from "Hometown" Glory" by Adele, makes this song extremely catchy. It's apparent Burnell put a lot of thought into writing this song, and in an interview with Joe Fiortio of the Toronto Star,  Burnell says that it took him awhile to write the lyrics, because he was "nervous, and didn't want to misrepresent my city." He has since went on to receive success and recognition through his song, and is currently waiting on a record deal. So Good luck Jordan, and thank you for giving Thunder Bay some of the recognition it deserves.

From the Norwest is the

There's all different
From man made lakes,
to land flat as Finnish

Somewhere off the
trans-Canada highway
I stay with pride as
big as our crime rate

Just across the
bridge, we got a

Our hobbies are
hockey and getting
off of malted hops till

we can barely walk
and i don't know
Terry Fox, but I can
show you where he

On ice skates we hold
it down for Canada,
with the most pro
hockey players per

Nowadays it seems

that's all that we talk
that's just the way it is
when we walk around
this hockey town

Standing at the top
of Mount Mckay
feeling proud to say,
that I'm from
Thunder Bay 

(Pre chorus)

Now, from Current River

to Westfort
and everywhere in
I wanna hear my whole
city sing with


Round my hometown,

memories are fresh
Round my hometown,
memories are fresh
Round my hometown,
memories are fresh
Round my hometown
Round my hometown

Shhh.. can I have

some peace and quiet
for the sleeping giant
and the people that
are still diving down in
silver islet

the mosquitoes

they're still a bitin' at
the mission island

you see these people
smiling but please
keep in mind, it's...
where people rely on
paper mills to pay
their bills
work their whole life
and their jobs
unstable still

I know it isn't fair, but

start giving cheers
Cause we're still living
here, still sipping
crystal beer
standing outside till
our toes feel numb
just waiting till that
cold chill comes

The same place Steve
Stills met Neil Young
You can still hear them
in your ear drums
Superior by Nature

you might think it
sounds cliche,
but me I just think it sounds "T-Bay"

(Pre chorus)

Now, from Current River
to Westfort
and everywhere in
I wanna hear my whole
city sing with

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