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Locals Tell Us Their Favourite Nova Scotian Tunes

(Illustration by Jessie McLaughlin)

Nova Scotia is a province steeped in a rich musical history. This is the land of kitchen parties, ceilidhs, and university students cheerfully belting out all nine verses of Stan Rogers’ “Barrett’s Privateers” in a crowded pub. 

Every Nova Scotian, whether born-and-raised or recently arrived, must have a favorite Nova Scotian song. The Barnacle asked a few Lunenburg County locals with connections to the world of music what their favorite Scotian tracks were.

Listen to these tracks:

Name: Mike LaLeune
Music connection: Interim general manager of LAMP
Favourite track: “Joe LeBlanc” by Ronald Bourgeois
Why the tune matters: “The song is about a man who leaves his home and his love to seek a better life in the city, but ends up feeling lonely and nostalgic for his roots. The song evokes the tragic expulsion that caused the deaths and displacement of thousands of the Acadian people in 1755.  It reflects the resilience and pride of the Acadians who survived this ordeal and preserved their culture and identity until today.”

Name: KJ Jackman
Music connection: Chorister in Capella Regalis (and 2nd grade student at Bluenose Academy)
Favourite track: “Away from the Roll of the Sea” by Allister MacGillivray
Why the tune matters: “My favourite song is Away From the Roll of the Sea. I love that song because I get to sing it with so many other people! Singing is what makes me happy!”

Name: Janice Rahme
Music connection: Co-host/Co-founder of FUN Ukulele Jam
Favourite track: “Song for the Mira” by Allister MacGillivray
Why the tune matters: “My personal favourite is Song for the Mira, written by Allister MacGillivray and made popular by Anne Murray. This song has lovely lilt and very descriptive lyrics: ‘Can you imagine a piece of the universe…. soft summer nights…’ Song for the Mira takes me to this place!”

Name: Corey Thorpe
Music connection: Lead guitarist of Caribou Run
Favorite track: “Shut In” by the Beauts
Why the tune matters: “When Dalliance came out just a few weeks before the Covid-19 pandemic I was immediately hooked. Shut In, specifically, carries a sense of poignancy suitable to the surreality of the time and offered companionship amid the strangeness that has endured with me since.”

Names: Molly MacLellan, Olivia Chaput, and Angela Churchill
Music connection: Staff members at Lunenburg Folk Harbour Society
Favourite track: “Lunenburg Moon” by Terra Spencer
Why the tune matters: “Our current favourite Nova Scotia song is Terra Spencer’s dreamy Lunenburg Moon. This song paints the picture of all of the things we love about living in Lunenburg. The video takes you to some of our favourite spots around town with Terra as your guide.”


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