Saturday, August 10, 2013

Liona Boyd — The Toronto Song! Cheese or Magic?

There’s been some harsh criticism levelled at Liona Boyd’s newly released tune celebrating our city, The Toronto Song!, premiering at the start of this year’s Taste of the Danforth festival.

Torontoist calls the treacly melody “bizarre.” Spacing magazine describes it as “maybe the most soul-less piece of schlock ever produced.” Other online commenters use the adjectives surreal, embarrassing, lame, and awful.

I say, stuff it, haters.

Liona Boyd: so in love with Toronto
Boyd’s work here is so earnest I can’t bring myself to dislike it; my usual jaded cynicism is defeated by the video’s wholesome sincerity. Yes, the song is hokey and saccharine. But that’s how these songs are supposed to be.

It’s meant for families and tourists. It’s meant to welcome strangers and embrace us all.

Compare past songs with similar intents, and you’ll find they share a penchant for wide-eyed boosterism:
Even Let’s Go to the Ex, which has that catchy jingle, is super corny.

Just like these other 'anthems', Boyd’s song reflects a certain time and place, and conveys a relentlessly enthusiastic perspective about Toronto. And perhaps one day we’ll look back and laugh together.

Listen to: Liona Boyd being interviewed about the song on 680 News (To download: right-click --> save as; MP3)

See also: Ed Keenan’s reaction.

Bonus links