Exodus of the Year

Content warning: lyrics contain a cussword.

Today on my circuitous look back at a few decades, we’re on to the 2010s and today’s random selection is by a group formed in the first year of that decade.

Royal Canoe is an alternative pop band whose members come from my city, Winnipeg, Canada, and the neighbouring city of Steinbach. Some of its members were previously in the local band The Waking Eyes.

I’ve never seen a Royal Canoe show and only know a little about them, though I know a few of their songs. I recall that in 2018, they advertised a concert in conjunction with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (they teamed up to perform Beck’s Song Reader project, a book of songs Beck Hansen wrote in 2012). it sounded like a very creative and compelling show, but I had a commitment booked for the same time, so I had to give it a pass.

And in 2016, I saw an article reporting that their touring trailer, with CAD 90,000 in instruments and gear, was stolen in Laval, Quebec. To supplement insurance, fans and other supporters took to an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to help them keep on the road, and they only had to cancel one gig.

Okay, on to today’s song choice. I like to find the meanings of songs, but some are a mystery…

“Up in my room, working it out
Trying not to make a sound
Chasing another arrow of light
It’s always the same somehow

Flat on my back, afraid to admit
That I’m getting older now
It’s calling you out, calling you out
Calling you out at night

Shaking in the cold oh so gallantly
The advantage of withholding your honesty

Most of my friends got the f*ck out
In the exodus of the year
It’s just me and you in dim winter light
Straining ourselves to hear
Those three stupid words, I haven’t said
While calling you out at night

Shaking in the cold oh so gallantly
The advantage of withholding your honesty
Shaking in the cold oh so gallantly
The advantage of withholding your honesty”

“Exodus of the Year,” by David “Bucky” Driedger, Matt Peters, Matt Schellenberg.
Lyrics retrieved from Lyrics.com.

“Exodus of the Year” may be about looking at one’s life in the context of what friends have done with their lives and, sometimes, the need to separate from them to feel free to pursue personal directions that peer pressure would smother. I can certainly relate to having felt that at times in my life. And following those passions—or as the late American writer, philosopher and professor Joseph Campbell (1904-1987) named it, “following your bliss”—can make one feel alone and left out in the cold, at least until plans start coming together and creative seeds begin to sprout.

This song has a catchy melody, and the instrumentation and production make it an enjoyable four minutes of music. The official video for the song, created by Winnipeg-born experimental filmmaker Matthew Rankin, uses visual effects to give the represented sites a barren, vintage look that is, honestly, a bit jarring, as a lifelong resident. though those places depicted definitely do exist. (There are also many beautiful spaces here and a vibrant arts, entertainment and sports scene, so if you never have, you should come to visit!)

“Exodus of the Year” comes from Today We’re Believers (2013), Royal Canoe’s second full-length album.

Now you know a little about why this is my Song of the Day for Today. Thanks for joining me here. Please enjoy the official video from the Royal Canoe YouTube channel:

With my best wishes,


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