Canada's Really Big (idea)
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A song written by The Arrogant Worms, noded with permission as described on their node.
Sometimes it ain't easy being the northerly (nor southerly, come to think of it) neighbour of what still is the strongest superpower in the world. It's like being the younger sibling of the brilliant student, the prom queen, the bastard-but-popular jock, the all-around perfect kid. They're there shining by every conceivable objective measure, while you languish in the shadow of second place. You're doing ok, but they are doing better. Sometimes it's enough to drive you mad with jealousy.
That's ok though. Consolation is just around the corner. We've got the bigger one. During the reckoning hour, when push gets to shove, all niceties and so-called objective measures go out the window. All bets are off. They've got the stronger army? So what, we're huge. Prosperous economy? We're still bigger. Beautiful landscapes and natural resources? Pshaw, we see your Sweden with our Ontario and raise you Nunavut. Size trumps all.
I have fond recollections of the first time I heard this song. I distinctly remember it was in the chill September, when the memory of summer still tender wrought nostalgia upon our souls. Three North Americans we were, strolling across the streets of Montréal, and two of us were feeling a little displaced. The United Statesian girl was pining for the firey landscapes of her native New Hampshire, so beautiful this time in year. The Montréal urban autumn scenery was but a poor substitute for the Great Appalachian Outdoors. Right about now, her family would be outside picking wild nuts. Why was she stuck in a horrid and dirty little city where everyone spoke funny French or at best English with a French accent?
The Mexican, on his part, had not yet quite adapted to the Canadian and Quebecker lifestyle and social interactions. He was for the first time starting to feel the cold, to feel people start withdrawing into themselves in order to conserve warmth for the months ahead, and he was feeling lonesome. Why can't these Canadians be as warm and welcoming as people were back south of the border? Why couldn't these hosers have any tasty food here? Why in tarnation was he there?
Our Canadian friend just listened quietly to our misadjustments. When it seemed that we had vented what we had to say, he modestly adjusted his toque, and without breaking step, for it is a marching song after all, he deftly sang in a clear baritone the following tune:
When I look around me, I can't believe what I see
After that, the girl and I could do nothing but admire in quiet awe the sheer magnitude of the land we found ourselves in...