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Canadian in Berkeley: Songs about California

Posted By Jennifer Fei On Apr 8, 2012 @ 3:04 pm In Sandbox,The Specials | Comments Disabled

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At the beginning of every Canadian’s American Dream is a cheesy song about California.

We’ve compiled a short and sweet playlist for all to enjoy: whether you are out-of-state/international and can empathize with this never-ending California fascination, or a born-and-raised, in need of a refreshing sense of appreciation for the Golden State. Running commentary, free of charge, is included.

1. Dani California (Red Hot Chili Peppers) – “California, rest in peace…” and while you’re doing that, we are happy to continue lounging around on your beaches and grow avocados on your soil. Call us if you need anything.

2. California (Phantom Planet)Bet you always wondered what the OC’s theme song was called and who it was by. “California! Here we come!” People liked this song so much that they made ANOTHER song out of it [1]. We’re still trying to figure out what Natalie Portman has to do with it…

3. California Girls (Van Halen)Our parents like this Beach Boys cover a lot more than the Perry version, mostly because “girls” is spelled correctly. “I wish they all could be California …” but then who would be left for us to make fun of?

4. Beverly Hills (Weezer) – “Bev-er-ly Hills… that’s where I want to be!” Gotta love mainstream and generic to jazz up the repertoire.

5. Cali, Cali, Cali (Alyssa Bernal) - For the Youtubers out there. Apparently, hitting the record for the number of “Cali”s sung in one song was one of the goals of this music production team.

6. Hotel California (Eagles) – Many of us don’t know any other word in the song. But when the chorus comes on… in unison, and with great passion: “Welcome to the Hotel California!” (Whatever that means).

7. Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair (Scott McKenzie) – Finally, a Norcal-specific song. Too many un-appreciative and facepalm worthy California visitors arrive in San Francisco thinking Hollywood is a half-hour drive away. In all cases, don the floral hair accessories to be on the safe side.

8. California Love (2Pac) – “We keep it rockin’!” Even good ol’ Oakland gets a shoutout. We dare you to play this at the next party you attend – do it for the Bay.

9. American Boy (Estelle featuring Kanye West) We had to include this one. Which international student HASN’T listened to this song without even a small hint of fantasizing about an American boy (er, man) to sweep them off their feet? We know we have. Bonus points: This song references the San Francisco Bay AND L.A. … but on second thought, maybe because they oh so conveniently rhyme. Shucks.

10. California Gurls (Katy Perry)Exactly when California became synonymous with Candy Land, we’re not really sure. Thanks to this most recent anthem, the word “popsicles” will never be the same, and same goes for Snoop Dogg’s reputation.

And of course the California Fight Song [2] is a given, since it always should be the all-time main tune in our hearts and in our minds: “California through and through!” Happy Golden State Dreamin’! For us internationals, time is always more precious than it seems in the moment.

Image source: Jennifer Fei, Daily Cal

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[1] made ANOTHER song out of it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9SN96v1Mec&ob=av3n

[2] California Fight Song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPsoBZaxPkI

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