Beyond The Uniform

Chris Hadfield teams up with brother to sing about Canadianisms

“We wear Sorels in winter while plugging in our cars. We eat the holes from doughnuts, we love nanaimo bars. ”

These are just some of the distinctive features of Canada that Dave Hadfield picked up on for his song “In Canada.” Attempting to come up with the “most Canadian music video ever,” Dave teamed up with his brother, retired Canadian Armed Forces personnel and astronaut, Chris Hadfield.

“My dad had challenged me to write a song about Canada years earlier…that percolated in my brain for years. In 2013 I got the general idea for this song, and it’s probably  not as reverent as my dad had hoped, once I had the structure and idea for it I just started looking around at my fellow Canadian and coming up with the little Canadianisms that we understand and that mark us to each other as Canadians,” said Dave.

Dave started writing the song a year before it was released on Canada Day 2014.

Instead of using the typical clichés like Mounties, igloos and the CN Tower, Dave looked for more realistic Canadianisms things like Canadian tire money and Hockey Night in Canada.

Not long after writing the song, Dave visited Chris’ cottage and noticed a pile of logs with a painted red maple leaf on the ends created by Chris’ son. These logs became the backdrop of the music video.

In just a matter of days, the Hadfield brothers, their friends and family all came together to create a montage styled video, both Chris and Dave providing the vocals for the song.

This wasn’t the first time the two had collaborated musically, Dave says the brothers have always shared their love of music. Some of the music from Chris’ recently released album Space Sessions: Song from a Tin Can, songs from his time in space, were a collaborative effort between the brothers.

The song “In Canada” had 1,000,000 hits in just three days after being posted on YouTube and to-date has 2.1 million views.

Dave says there’s only one negative comment he’s heard.

“The only critical comment that I’ve seen is the reference to ‘milk comes in bags.’ People say ‘hey our milk doesn’t come in bags.’ So if that’s the only critical response, I’m pretty happy,” laughed Dave.



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Mishall Rehman

Originally from Atlanta, GA, Mishall is a freelance journalist pursuing her passion for writing in her new homeland Canada. She currently lives in Trenton, ON with her husband.

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