Difference between revisions of "Canon"

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Upper Canon:  
Upper Canon:  
*Swing, Swing (06.2)
*Swing, Swing
*All My Life (05.2)
*All My Life
*American Pie
*American Pie
Lower Canon:  
Lower Canon:  
*Numa-Numa (05.2)
*Every Time We Touch (06.2)
*Every Time We Touch
*Istanbul (Not Constantinople)
*The Cha-Cha Slide
*The Cha-Cha Slide
*Cotton-Eyed Joe
*Cotton-Eyed Joe
*Stairway to Heaven
*Stairway to Heaven
*Stacy's Mom

Revision as of 18:54, 22 October 2007

The Canon is a list of songs that are traditional and played at each dance (or every other dance, etc.). The list varies by site.

Sites not listed below may or may not have well-defined Canons. If you know yours, add it! However, American Pie is played last at every CTY dance at nearly every site, except for a new tradition at Skidmore Session 1.


At Lancaster, the Canon is divided into two sections: the "Upper Canon," (aka "High Holy") which is played at every dance, and the "Lower Canon," half of which is played at each dance (though the Lower Canon is generally not played at the final dance, but is instead played during lunch and dinner (usually a 5/4 split) the day of the final dance). Since Lancaster holds dances every Friday and Saturday, as well as the final Thursday, this means that each Lower Canon song is heard once each weekend.

The Upper Canon songs are generally played (not consecutively) in the reverse of the order shown here (i.e. Bizarre Love Triangle is first). The last four songs of the dance are (in order): Stairway to Heaven, a non-Canon song, Forever Young and American Pie.

Upper Canon:

Lower Canon:

History of the Canon

The first definitive Lancaster Canon had come into existence by 1987, defined as the songs Rock Lobster, Oh L'Amour, Bizarre Love Triangle, Time Warp, Forever Young, and American Pie. The name of "Canon" had not yet been applied. By 1989, all of these songs were being consistently played.

In 93.1, the RA DJs screwed things up by omitting some important songs at a dance on the first weekend. The following Monday, students circulated a petition demanding that the DJs play Bizarre Love Triangle, Rock Lobster, It's the End of the World As We Know It, Forever Young, and American Pie at every remaining dance, without fail. The word "Canon" was still not applied to this list.

Between 1994 and 1995, the Digiclan and LLRT, after lengthy online discussions, finalized the Canon, cutting it down from a list of over 50 songs. By 1996, all of the fourteen modern Canon songs except for Tunak Tunak Tun had appeared.

Every few years, there is a vote at Lancaster to put more songs on the Canon. Recent votes (in 2000 and 2003) did not add any new songs, though the High/Low status of some songs slightly changed. A vote 05.2 decided to keep "James Brown Is Dead" as part of the canon and add Daler Mehndi's "Tunak Tunak Tun" to the canon one year after kids from First Dietz Hall made a CTY-Lancaster-specific dance (modeled after Daler Mehndi's music video).

It is also under much speculation whether or not the Dr. Mario Dance will also enter the Lancaster Canon. A vote will be held in Session 1 of 2008 to determine its final status.

Other Songs

Raving is very popular at Lancaster. Aside from James Brown is Dead, at least one techno/raving song is played at each dance, usually Darude's "Sandstorm". During 06.2, a new rule was instated at Lancaster that banned string raving (and also lying on the ground after dark). This angered some students, especially since nobody was officially told that the PDA rule on hand-holding from the previous session had been lifted. Protests were planned; however, Rachel (Jesus) worked with Alexa, a onemore, to work with the site director to lift the ban. String raving is now still allowed, with the restriction that it is only done during designated raving songs, and only on the hardtop in front of the speakers.

Aside from the Canon, commonly played songs/dances include the CTY Shuffle, the Numa Numa Song (Dragosta Din Tei), Cotton-Eyed Joe, the Cha-Cha Slide, and Sandstorm.

For many years, beginning with Amish Dan, and later encouraged by Nixon, Van Morrison's "Brown-Eyed Girl" was proposed as a canon song, but this vein of thought quickly died after Nixon's departure.

Completely unrelated to Canon, but also very important, is the song The End of the Tour which is always the last song played at the Electric Tree after the Passionfruit.

The song "Mr. Brightside" by the Killers is almost always played between Stairway to Heaven and Forever Young, especially in 07.2. Also at 07.2, Mr. Brightside was commonly accepted to be a slow dance.

Also, we love Iris!

"And I don't want the world to see me
'Cause I don't think that they'd understand
When everything's meant to be broken
I just want you to know who I am!"

"You're the closest to heaven that I'll ever be, and I don't want to go home right now."

Protest Example (05.1)



The Canon at Carlisle is over four hours long, and therefore is never played in its entirety. The songs are arranged in order of holiness.

The full list is too long to place here. See Canon:CAR.


I would appreciate it if someone would contact the copyright owner for this page and ask for permission to appropriate the material. Otherwise, we could just paraphrase the information ourselves. Also, perhaps someone should verify to see if the information is current.

This list was primarily compiled by Jon Good ('97-'00), a cult figure among Skidmore CTY students.

High Holy Canon

  • American Pie - Don McLean
  • Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin
  • Forever Young - Alphaville
  • Nightswimming - R.E.M.
  • I'll Make a Man Out of You - Mulan (SESSION 1 ONLY)
  • Tunak Tunak Tun - Daler Mendhi
  • Istanbul (Not Constantinople) - They Might Be Giants
  • Cotton-Eyed Joe - Rednex
  • Sandstorm - Darude


  • It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) - R.E.M.
  • My Sharona - The Knack
  • Blister in the Sun - The Violent Femmes
  • Brown Eyed Girl - Van Morrison
  • Birdhouse in Your Soul - They Might Be Giants
  • The Time Warp - Rocky Horror Picture Show
  • Cecilia - Simon and Garfunkel
  • In Your Eyes - Peter Gabriel
  • Love Shack - The B-52's
  • American Music - The Violent Femmes
  • Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana
  • Ice Ice Baby - Vanilla Ice
  • U Can't Touch This - MC Hammer
  • Copacabana - Barry Manilow
  • YMCA - The Village People
  • Build Me Up, Buttercup - The Foundations
  • Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen
  • I Don't Want To Miss A Thing - Aerosmith
  • Hallelujah - Rufus Wainwright

New addition 06.1 - I'll Make a Man Out of You. Is considered to be the only song that is High Holy Canon AND an Afterdance. Applies to Session 1 only and only after the last dance.

New addition 06.1 - Let it Be. However, instead of singing "let it be", you sing "synergy", in honor of Bill.


Note: If someone could sort out the ones that aren't played second session, that'd be great.

Official Canon

by RA Brendan (Loudonville 2006 Session 1 and 2)

As RAs, we got official CTY Canon CDs from ResLife to play at the dances. This is what was on them, for the curious (note that it's slightly different from the (I would assume) student-compiled list).

Upper Canon (every dance)

Played at every dance/official real canon:

In particular these last four played in this order as the last four songs:

Lower Canon

(on a 2nd CD, RAs had the option of playing some or all of these songs, but they weren't required)

  • Hallelujah - Rufus Wainwright
  • Sandstorm - Da Rude (de facto Canon)
  • Come On Eileen - Dexy's Midnight Runners
  • Dragosta Din Tei - O-Zone (de-facto Canon)
  • In Your Eyes - Peter Gabriel
  • Sell Out - Reel Big Fish
  • Forever Young - Alphaville
  • Piano Man - Billy Joel
  • I Want You To Want Me - Cheap Trick
  • Cotton-Eyed Joe - Red-Nex
  • Heaven - DJ Sammy
  • It's Raining Men - The Weather Girls
  • Don't Stop Belivin' - Journey
  • Cecilia - Simon and Garfunkel
  • Build Me Up Buttercup - The Foundations
  • Buddy Holly - Weezer

These are other people's incomplete lists, could be cleaned up or compiled into something:


Canon but not always played:

Traditions but not Canon:

  • The Freshmen - The Verve Pipe
  • Leaving on a Jet Plane - Peter, Paul, and Mary
  • One More Chorus - Battlefield Band


  • Fight For Your Right - The Beastie Boys
  • Origin of Love - Hedwig and the Angry Inch
  • I Touch Myself - Divynls (not played LOU 05.1)
  • Here's to the Night - Eve 6
  • I'm the Only Gay Eskimo - Corky and the Juice Pigs
  • Paradise City - Guns N' Roses
  • It's My Life - Jon Bon Jovi
  • Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life) - Green Day
  • Cupid's Shuffle - Cupid


  • Buddy Holly in LOU 05.1 was revived at the last dance, but was not very popular
  • Sandstorm is, in the opinion of the Law and Politics B Session 2 2006, Fast-Paced High School Chemistry Session 1 2006, and Mathematical Logic Session 2 2006 classes, Canon.
  • Baby Got Back may not be true Canon.
  • Thank you to everyone continuing One More Chorus. I was afraid it died after 2005.
  • In Cotton-Eyed Joe, the tradition is to turn 90 degrees with each Cotton Eyed Joe dance.
  • Siena is the only site where people do not chant "Die, Die, Die, Die, Live, Live, Live, Live..." during American Pie.

(Most of the people were chanting in LOU 06.1 and LOU 07.1, but this has apparently stopped in LOU 07.2)

Los Angeles

Played at every dance:

  • American Pie - Don McLean
  • Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin
  • The Time Warp - The Rocky Horror Picture Show
  • It's the End of the World (And I Feel Fine) - R.E.M.
  • Istanbul (Not Constantinople) - They Might Be Giants
  • Sandstorm - Darude
  • In Your Eyes - Peter Gabriel (edited from "some songs")
  • Dragostea Din Tei - O-Zone
  • Baby Got Back - Sir Mixalot
  • Cotton-Eyed Joe - Rednex
  • Forever Young - Alphaville

Some of these songs are played at some dances and not others:

  • Leaving on a Jet Plane - John Denver
  • Thriller - Michael Jackson
  • Brown-Eyed Girl - Van Morrison
  • Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen
  • Love Shack - B-52's
  • Blister in the Sun - Violent Femmes
  • Cha Cha Slide (remix)- Casper
  • Nightswimming - REM
  • Birdhouse in Your Soul - They Might Be Giants
  • Hallelujah - Rufus Wainwright
  • I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing - Aerosmith
  • Don't Stop Believing - Journey
  • You Shook Me All Night Long - AC/DC
  • I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) - The Proclaimers
  • I Believe in a Thing Called Love - The Darkness
  • YMCA - The Police
  • Tunak Tunak Tun - Daler Mehndi
  • Kernkraft 400 - Zombie Nation

Interestingly, some of the High Canon songs at other sites are not played here.

Mulan's I'll Make a Man Out of You is a highly traditional song sung at this site, but it is not played at the dances.


Upper Canon:

  • Swing, Swing
  • All My Life
  • American Pie

Lower Canon:

  • Numa-Numa
  • Every Time We Touch
  • The Cha-Cha Slide
  • Cotton-Eyed Joe
  • Stairway to Heaven