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

Sites not listed below may or may not have well-defined Canons. If you know yours, please add it! "American Pie," however is played last at every CTY dance at every site. The exception involves a new tradition at Skidmore Session One in which "I'll Make a Man out of You" is played after American Pie at the last dance. Newly established sites, particularly those outside of the United States, tend to fail to play the Canon.

[Note that the Canon is similar to that of the dances at TIP (Duke University's gifted summer program), especially as every dance ends with American Pie[1], and disputes occur over which camp had the songs first as they both began in the same summer]



At Lancaster, the Canon is divided into two sections: the "Upper Canon" or "High Holy Canon," which is played at every dance, and the "Lower Canon," half of which is played at each dance, although the Lower Canon is not played at the final dance, but is instead played during lunch and dinner, a 5/4 split the day of the final dance (In recent years, half is played at lunch while half is played at the final dance). Since Lancaster holds dances every Friday and Saturday, as well as the final Thursday (known canonically as Friday, since Dances can't happen on Thursdays), this means that each Lower Canon song is heard once each weekend.

The playing of the Lower Canon at lunch began in 2004 at the suggestion of RA Jeremy Orosz, who thought this system would allow for a night dance that was not comprised completely of Canon so less traditional students would have a wider selection of music. In 2006, half the Canon songs were moved to dinner because, due to the staggered lunch schedule, no student would be able to hear all Canon songs just at lunch.

The Upper Canon songs are played (nonconsecutively) 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," "Mr. Brightside," "Forever Young," and "American Pie."

Here is a playlist (still in the works!) of LAN.2 Canon (all):

High-Holy Canon

Upper Canon

Lower Canon

Unofficial Canon

  • Hooked on a Feeling - David Hasselhoff -
  • Juliet - LMNT - (it should be noted that many canon songs from other sites (like this one) are treated as canon.)
  • Come On Eileen - Dexys Midnight Runners - (Typically Rocky Horror cue song)
  • Finale - Madeon - (Last Dance)
  • For Baltimore - All Time Low - (Last Dance)
  • You Make My Dreams - Hall & Oates - (Rave circle cue song)
  • Sandstorm - Darude - (Rave canon)
  • Raver's Fantasy - Tune Up - (Rave canon)
  • Istanbul (Not Constantinople)- THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS
  • Technicolor - Madeon - (Last Dance Rave Canon) (First Session Only)
  • Long Live - Taylor Swift

History of the Canon

Supposedly, the modern Canon began the first year CTY started (at St. Mary's in 1980/1981, theoretically; however, this may mean the first year of Lancaster, 1982), when the staff, who enjoyed American Pie, decided to play it at a dance. The students enjoyed it and transferred it to the following session, after which it was played in the following years as well. Multiple former students confirm that American Pie was played at Lancaster dances in 1983 and almost certainly in 1982. After 1983, it spread to other CTY sites as well as Duke TIP.

There was a clear Canon as early as 1985 (note that Lancaster was opened in 1982), which included "Rock Lobster," "The Time Warp," "Shout" (Isley Brothers), "Louie Louie," "Good Lovin'" (Rascals), and -- of course -- "American Pie." By 1988, students expected others certain songs at every dance, too (i.e., "No One is to Blame," "Mony Mony" (Billy Idol), "Boys Don't Cry," "Forever Young," "Summer of '69," "Twist & Shout," "Bizarre Love Triangle"). Though the name of "Canon" had not yet been applied, by the mid-1980's these songs were already played at every dance.

In 1987 and 1988, a group of RAs mocked these songs, especially "American Pie." Their behavior reached its nadir when, in 88.2, they convinced the RA DJs not to play "American Pie" at all at one of the later dances. Scores of students refused to leave the dance area -- the end of quad in front of the Marshall-Buchanan porch. A student housed in Dubbs turned his stereo speakers to point out his room's windows and played the song as loud as he could. As the students heard this, they moved under his window and sang loud enough to make up for the size of his speakers. In 93.1, the RA DJs again 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" and "Dr. Mario" 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 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 has since been removed from First Session Canon in 22.1 due to cultural controversy.

Year Event
07.1 The song “Mr. Brightside” by the Killers used to be played between “Stairway to Heaven” and “Forever Young,” especially in 07.1. Mr. Brightside typically involves a giant mob dancing up and down in the center, with the present Jack Flash holding a light (usually a podpoi) over the sea of reaching hands. This tradition continues to this day at most sites.
08.1 "Rock Lobster" was voted out of the First Session Canon. The next night, "Dr. Mario" was voted into the Lower Canon by a 53% percent majority (the vote to include "Dr. Mario" only would have been conducted had "Rock Lobster" been removed first). "Dr. Mario" remained Lower Canon on a one-year trial basis due to the slim majority. At the last dance of 08.1, "Rock Lobster" was played one final time as part of the Canon (but it was played during 09.1). At the end of 09.1, "Dr. Mario" was voted and secured into Canon to be enjoyed by generations of CTYers to come. As for Session 2, "Rock Lobster" remains a part of the Canon while "Dr. Mario" is not considered to be.
16.1 A vote was held to officialize Iris, Always, I'll Make a Man Out of You, Anna Sun, and the Pokemon Theme Song. All five songs were voted in by a majority by the campus. This vote was held again in 16.2, and the songs became canon there as well.
22.1 “Tunak Tunak Tun” was removed from First Session dances and quad time due to complaints about cultural disrespect. The pop song is an international hit and has no real cultural meaning in India, but the Lancaster dance was perceived as mocking Hindu culture and was subsequently discontinued.

Protest Example (05.1)

Other Songs

Raving is popular at Lancaster. Aside from "James Brown Is Dead," at least one techno/raving song is played at each dance, often Darude's "Sandstorm" or "Every Time We Touch." Also, the song "You Make My Dreams" by Hall & Oates is played at all dances immediately before the rave song.

As of 2016, Technicolor has been played as the last dance rave circle song for session one and as been tradition since 2019. This is partly due to session one only being allowed One song per rave circle and Technicolor is 6 minutes long allowing for a longer rave circle. The song also happens to be great.

Aside from the Canon, commonly played songs/dances include the CTY Shuffle (AKA Ice Cream), the Numa Numa Song ("Dragosta Din Tei"), "Cotton-Eyed Joe," the "Cha-Cha Slide," the Pokemon Theme Song, "Sexyback" (usually directly following BLT and accompanied by an [optionally] pantsless macarena line), "I'll Make a Man Out of You", and "Sandstorm."

Unrelated to Canon but also important is the song "The End of the Tour" which is always the last song played at the Electric Tree after the Passionfruit.

Year Event
06.2 A new rule was instated at Lancaster that banned stringraving (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, then-Jesus, and Alexa, a onemore, worked with the site director to lift the ban. The string raving ban was changed to a restriction: that all raving be done on the hardtop. However, by the following year, the restriction had been lifted or ignored by administration.
10.2 The theme song for the video game "Robot Unicorn Attack" (Always by Erasure) was played at the last three dances, following an activity of the same name. During the song, students gallop in a circle with their index fingers to their foreheads to represent unicorn horns. This carried on into both sessions of 2011. Some students playfully acted like stars from the game, which the unicorns have to dash through. That part of the song has fallen out of practice.

As a result of a student-led effort in 10.2, Caramelldansen was played on the 3rd and last dances. During this song, students replicated the dance from the video itself. This was also repeated at these same two dances in 11.2.

11 The administration banned students from performing "Sweet Transvestite". Session One students switched to "Over at the Frankenstein Place" before making a final change to "Hot Patootie". Session Two performs "Science Fiction/Double Feature".
13.1 The song ['Finale'][2] by Madeon was played at the last dance due to the lyrics "Your last chance, your last summer, your last dance, beat to your own drummer...brace yourself for the grand finale". This tradition has been continued at every Thursday dance as of 19.1.


The Canon at Carlisle is over three hours long and is therefore 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.

Saratoga Springs (Skidmore)

Saratoga Springs has 4 dances per session, one on each of the first two Fridays, a short 45 minute - 1 hour dance on last Wednesday, then of course one on the last Thursday. High holy and upper canon are played at every dance, while lower canon is played at least once a session. Some lower canon is reserved for the final dance on the final Thursday only (i.e. Wavin' Flag) with the majority having a special dance going along with it or being slowdance songs), so they could be considered special in their own way.

This list was primarily compiled by Jon Good ('97–'00), a cult figure among Skidmore CTY students. For 2011.2, Canon was updated and reshuffled with general agreement to be made into CDs

High Holy Canon

Upper Canon

  • Tunak Tunak Tun - Daler Mendhi
  • Istanbul (Not Constantinople) - They Might Be Giants
  • Sandstorm - Darude
  • Ravers Fantasy - Manian
  • It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine) - R.E.M.
  • Blister in the Sun - The Violent Femmes
  • Time Warp - Rocky Horror Picture Show
  • Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen
  • Tong Hua - Guang Liang (Session 1)
  • Iris - Goo Goo Dolls
  • Dragostea Din Tei - O-zone
  • Bulletproof - La Roux
  • Poker Face - Lady Gaga (Session 2): a tribute to Lady Gaga, former Session 2 CTYer
  • Mr. Brightside - The Killers
  • Ghostbusters - Ray Parker Jr.
  • Ravers In The UK - Manian
  • Sweet Caroline - Neil Diamond
  • Hallelujah - Rufus Wainwright

Lower Canon

  • Everytime We Touch - Cascada
  • Cotton-Eyed Joe - Rednex
  • Pokémon Theme Song - Pokémon (Upper Canon Session 2; played at the last dance, although not in SAR.13.1)
  • Baby Got Back - Sir Mix-a-Lot
  • Blame It On The Boogie - Jackson 5 (Session 1)
  • What Makes You Beautiful - One Direction
  • Call Me Maybe - Carly Rae Jepsen
  • Never Gonna Give You Up - Rick Astley (Played in the middle of Canon songs sometimes as a joke to Rick Roll students.)
  • I Love It - Icona Pop
  • Wobble - V.I.C (with accompanying group dance)
  • Brown Eyed Girl - Van Morrison
  • Colours of the Rainbow - TuneUp! V. ItaloBrothers
  • Shut Up and Dance - Walk The Moon (Session 1)
  • House of Gold - Twenty One Pilots (Session 1)
  • Riptide - Vance Joy (Session 1)
  • Move Your Body - Beyonce (Session 1)
  • Uma Thurman - Fall Out Boy
  • Low - Flo Rida (ft. T-Pain)
  • Build Me Up, Buttercup - The Foundations
  • Come on Eileen - Dexy's Midnight Runners
  • Hips Don't Lie - Shakira ft. Wycleaf Jean
  • Cha Cha Slide - Mr C The Slide Man
  • Wavin' Flag (Original Version) - K'naan

Dead Canon

These songs were considered lower canon but have fallen out of play, at least for second session.

  • In Your Eyes - Peter Gabriel
  • James Brown Is Dead - L.A. Style
  • Stand - R.E.M
  • Particle Man - They Might Be Giants
  • Y.M.C.A - Village People
  • Ice Ice Baby - Vanilla Ice
  • I Kissed A Girl - Katy Perry
  • Tiny Dancer - Elton John
  • Get Low - Lil' Jon
  • Love Shack - The B- 52's
  • Cecilia - Simon & Garfunkel
  • Let It Be - The Beatles
  • Buddy Holly - Weezer
  • American Music - The Violent Femmes
  • My Sharona - The Knack
  • Everybody - Ingrid Michaelson
  • Teach Me How to Dougie - Cali Swag District
  • It's Raining Men - The Weather Girls
  • Wake Me Up - Avicii
  • Smells like Teen Spirit - Nirvana
  • Gold Digger - Kanye West (ft. Jamie Foxx)
  • Birdhouse in Your Soul - They Might Be Giants

Recent Additions

  • 06.1: "I'll Make a Man Out of You." It is considered to be the only song that is High Holy Canon AND an Afterdance. This tradition applies to Session 1 only and only after the last dance.
  • 06.1: "Let it Be" However, instead of "Let it Be", "Synergy" is sung in honor of Bill. Session 2 also plays the song, but does not have the synergy tradition.
  • 08.1/2: Pokémon Theme - Pokémon
  • 08.1: Come on Eileen - Dexy's Midnight Runners
  • 09.1: Tong Hua - Guang Liang (Michael Wong). This was the song sung by Peter Yang, the 2008 emperor, at the 08.1 talent show and is now played at the Session One dances in memory of him.
  • 09.1: I Kissed A Girl - Katy Perry, Mr Brightside - The Killers, and Blame It On The Boogie - Jackson 5 have been added to the Lower Canon.
  • 10.1: Raver's Fantasy was added as a Nevemore-only Rave at the third dance.
  • 10.1: Some Canon was switched to Lower Canon and vice-versa.
  • 10.1: Tiny Dancer - Elton John has been added to the Lower Canon.
  • 11.2: Poker Face officially made canon
  • 11.1: Nevermore only rave is just whatever one or two songs the nevermores want to glowstick to each dance. Must still have one song to let any student glowstick for though.
  • 12.1: Mike Schilling created the Bulletproof dance, which is played once at every dance (as of 13.2)
  • 13.1: Some lower canon moved to upper canon
  • 13.2: Bulletproof was officially added to Upper Canon and Everybody (Ingrid Michaelson), and Wavin' Flag (K'naan) added to Lower Canon.
  • 16.1: Shut Up and Dance With Me, House of Gold, Riptide, Uma Thurman and Move Your Body were added to Lower Canon due to being played at all the dances in 15.1 and 16.1


Baltimore's official canon list is included in the Book of Love, which is passed down through the royalty. The following is the current list of official canon at Baltimore. Admin: Please see notes on canon.:

High Holy Canon

High Canon

  • Don't Stop Believing - Journey
  • Sandstorm - Darude
  • Cha Cha Slide - Casper C
  • Come On Eileen - Dexy's Midnight Runners
  • Iris - The Goo Goo Dolls
  • Tunak Tunak Tun - Daler Mendhi

Middle Canon

  • Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen
  • Wobble - V.I.C.
  • For Baltimore - All time low
  • Cotton Eye Joe - Rednex
  • Istanbul (Not Constantinople) - They Might Be Giants
  • I'll Make a Man out of You - Mulan
  • Time Warp - Rocky Horror Picture Show
  • Stacey's Mom - Fountains of Wayne
  • Bad Romance - Lady Gaga
  • Can't Hold Us - Macklemore
  • Sweet Caroline - Neil Diamond
  • Blister In the Sun - Violent Femmes

Lower Canon

  • Nightswimming - R.E.M.
  • How Far We've Come - Matchboxtwenty
  • Fireflies - Owl City
  • Anna Sun - Walk The Moon
  • Closing Time - Semisonic
  • Somewhere Only We Know - Keane
  • Everytime We Touch - Cascada
  • Dragostea Din Tei (Numa Numa) - O-zone
  • King of Africa - The Lion King
  • Satisfaction - Benny Benassi
  • Pokémon Theme Song
  • Long Live - Taylor Swift
  • Heartless or the hills - The Weekend
  • Cruel Summer - Taylor Swift

Notes on playing Canon

  • All high holy songs MUST be played at every dance. The two "sway songs" (Forever young and Stairway to heaven) should preferably be separated with one playing mid dance instead of both at the end
  • At least 3 high songs must be played at each dance. 4 would be nice.
  • At least 3 middle songs must be played at each dance.
  • At least 3 low songs must be played at each dance.

  • The songs "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)," "Cotton Eye Joe," "Tunak Tunak Tun," "Fireflies," "Time Warp" and "Iris" are not required but are of particular traditional value. It is preferable that they are played at some point over the course of the session. It should be noted that Tunak Tunak Tun is frequently played at every dance.
  • The songs "Everytime we touch," "How far we've come," "For Baltimore," "Satisfaction" and "Sandstorm," are raving songs. It would be nice if at least one of these can be played in each dance.
  • Heartless or the hills and Long live are very recent songs so it would be nice if you could give them a shot at some point.

  • If you are to have an hour of time to play canon at the dance and most sub-holy songs are just under 4 minutes long, there should be room for a safe 15 songs to be played. if there's more time, there's more time. Stick to the basic guidelines above and all should go to plan.

The student-run Traditions Committee, formed in 10.2, made many of the previously unofficial canon into a formal canon list at Baltimore which was then, in 13.2, copied down into the [first Book of Love].

Note: Swaying a flashlight or a torch during Fireflies and Forever Young is a site-specific tradition, so please help keep it going. Also please do the choreography for certain dances.


These songs are not canon but frequently played

  • Cupid shuffle - Cupid
  • Low - Flo Rida & T Pain
  • You Belong With Me or Love story - Taylor Swift (of which the latter is former canon)
  • I Kissed a Girl - Katy Perry
  • Party In the USA - Miley Cyrus
  • Baby - Justin Beiber


During 10.2, Sandstorm, Satisfaction, Everytime We Touch, The Cha Cha Slide, and Cotton Eye Joe were played at all the dances. Tunak Tunak Tun and Istanbul (Not Constantinople) were also played at all three dances, and it was speculated that Canon status could soon be achieved. There was also a large group of students pushing for the theme song from the original Pokemon series, which was played at two of the dances in 09.2 and all three dances in 10.2, to become Canon. There was speculation that the student-ran Traditions Committee, formed in 10.2, would be making a set Canon the next year.

Sandstorm and Cotton Eye Joe were played at all 3 dances during 11.2.

Wobble was played at all dances in 18.1. Firework by Katy Perry was played at 18.2's fourth and final dance. The lyrics were replaced by screams of "Plastic bag" by the students, a tradition that started at Carlisle.

Loudonville (Siena)

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

List compiled 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:

  • Blister in the Sun - The Violent Femmes
  • Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen
  • Istanbul (Not Constantinople) - They Might Be Giants (banned 2005.1 because running around holding hands is too dangerous)
  • Baby Got Back - Sir Mix-a-lot
  • Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana
  • Birdhouse in Your Soul - They Might Be Giants
  • Like A Prayer - Madonna
  • I Will Survive - Gloria Gaynor
  • Love Shack - The B-52's
  • The Time Warp - The Rocky Horror Picture Show
  • Brown Eyed Girl - Van Morrison

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

  • Nightswimming - R.E.M.
  • It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine) - R.E.M.
  • Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin
  • American Pie - Don McLean

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
  • Dragostea 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 Believin' - Journey
  • Cecilia - Simon and Garfunkel
  • Build Me Up Buttercup - The Foundations
  • Buddy Holly - Weezer


Canon but not always played

  • Wonderwall - Oasis
  • In My Life - The Beatles

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 unpopular.
  • "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.
  • Siena traditionally does not chant, "Die, Die, Die, Die! Live, Live, Live, Live..." during "American Pie" because of a student who committed suicide during session one year. At Session One, however, many students, perhaps from other sites, have adopted the chant as new tradition.

Los Angeles (LMU)

LOS Canon is becoming smaller and smaller every single year with the departure of veteran RA's, and the installment of RA's who don't give a crap about tradition. The Canon has not been formalized, and there is much disagreement about what constitutes Upper, Lower, or even Canon status. Pretty much the only songs you can count on hearing at a LOS dance are Sandstorm (for the ravers, although it usually gets cut off), End of the World, I'll Make A Man Out Of You, Everytime We Touch, Wobble, Stairway to Heaven, and American Pie. Interestingly, some of the Upper Canon songs at other sites are not played here.

Upper Canon

Lower Canon

  • Don't Stop Believin' - Journey (accompanied by CTYers taking out their phones, turning on the flashlight, and waving it)
  • Make a Man Out of You - Mulan Soundtrack (with movements)
  • Cotton-Eyed Joe - Rednex
  • Cha Cha Slide (remix)- Casper
  • Blame it on the Boogie - Jackson 5
  • Wobble - V.I.C (with accompanying group dance)
  • Original Pokemon Theme Song - Jason Paige
  • Crank That (Soulja Boy) - Soulja Boy
  • Cupid Shuffle - Cupid (with accompanying group dance)
  • Danza Kuduro - Don Omar
  • Bailando - Enrique Iglesias
  • Time Warp - The Rocky Horror Picture Show
  • Iris - The Goo Goo Dolls
  • Never Gonna Give You Up - Rick Astley
  • Hips Don't Lie - Shakira
  • Can't Hold Us - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
  • Forever Young – Alphaville
  • Party in the USA - Miley Cyrus

Songs that are commonly played (unofficial canon)

  • Turn Down for What - DJ Snake and Lil' Jon
  • Broccoli - D.R.A.M.
  • Panda - Desiigner
  • Low - T-Pain and Flo-Rida
  • All Star - Smash Mouth

"Forgotten" Canon

  • Nightswimming - R.E.M.
  • Istanbul (Not Constantinople) - They Might Be Giants (conga line song)
  • Caramelldansen - Caramell

Note: Stacy's Mom is played often at the dances, and some consider it sub-canon, and others do not. Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-a-Lot was formerly considered lower canon, but is reported to have been banned by the administration in 09.2 after parent complaint. It was not played in 2010.

In 14.1 (and possibly other sessions), Bailando was regarded as canon thanks to the Salsa Dancing weeklies and Let It Go was played near the end of every dance. Also, a riveting performance of All of Me at the Talent Show led to it being played after Stairway to Heaven at the last dance, meaning that it could become canon in future years. Out of all the lower canon, only Make a Man Out of You (every dance), Forever Young (last dance), Everytime We Touch, and the Cha Cha Slide (every dance) was played. This flow of new canon and loss of old canon likely signals a new era for LOS canon.

In 17.2, Forever Young was never played at any of the dances, much to the disappointment of the few returners and nevermores. The traditions at LMU during 17.2 were slowly dying off because barely anyone cared about them.

Tunak Tunak Tun is slowly getting more popular at LMU.


High Holy Canon

(In order, starting with "All My Life")

  • American Pie - Don McLean
  • Swing, Swing - All-American Rejects
  • Forever Young - Alphaville
  • All My Life - JoJo & K-Ci

Upper Canon

  • Piano Man - Billy Joel
  • Iris - The Goo Goo Dolls
  • Don't Stop Believin' - Journey
  • Mr. Brightside - The Killers
  • Forever Young - Alphaville
  • Take Me Home, Country Roads - John Denver (This was added to canon by Nevermores Matt Hom and Matt Hua in 16.2 with CTY-inspired lyric changes, with the approval of SRA John. It is unknown if this song will continue as canon in 17.1 and beyond. Note: Limited to 16.2)
  • Tunak Tunak Tun - Daler Mehndi
  • Sandstorm - Darude (Poi/rave song)
  • The Cha-Cha Slide - Casper & The Live Platinum Band (with group dance)
  • Cotton-Eyed Joe - Rednex

Lower Canon

  • Cupid Shuffle - Cupid (with group dance)
  • Stacy's Mom - Fountains of Wayne
  • Radioactive - Imagine Dragons
  • Thinking Out Loud - Ed Sheeran
  • Turn Down for What - DJ Snake and Lil' Jon
  • Wobble - V.I.C. (with group dance)
  • Never Gonna Give You Up - Rick Astley

Dead/Dying Canon

  • Everytime We Touch - Cascada
  • Here (In Your Arms) - Hellogoodbye
  • Build Me Up Buttercup - The Foundations
  • Hey There Delilah - Plain White T's
  • Dragostea Din Tei - O-Zone

It should also be noted that thanks to the departure of RAs who were present for the founding of CAA Easton, many of the lower canon songs (notably Dragostea Din Tei, Everytime We Touch, Here In Your Arms, and especially Hey There Delilah) are rarely, if ever played. Sob.

It should be noted that Hey There Delilah was in fact played for the first time in three years at the last dance of 11.2, right before All My Life.

Hey There Delilah and Dragostea Din Tei were brought back in 16.1 and 16.2.

Lower Canon is played at least once per session. Upper Canon is played at every dance, and the top six (Stairway to Heaven, Mr. Brightside, Forever Young, Piano Man, Iris and Don't Stop Believin') are always played in some order as the last six songs before the High Holy Canon begins.


High Holy Canon

  • Mr. Brightside - The Killers (Per Request of Dom, the Engineering and Design instructor)
  • Iris - The Goo Goo Dolls
  • Forever Young - Alphaville
  • Stairway To Heaven - Led Zeppelin
  • American Pie - Don McLean

Other Canon

  • Wobble - V.I.C.
  • Hips Don't Lie - Shakira
  • Gasolina - Reggaeton Club
  • Cotton Eye Joe - Rednex
  • Payaso de Rodeo - Caballo Dorado


As Princeton is a relatively new site, canon is not quite official yet. The following songs were played at some or all of the dances, and the canon list is mainly a melting pot of songs played at other CTY sites. Princeton does seem to have a high holy canon, though, as Forever Young, Stairway to Heaven, and American Pie were always played at the end of the dances, in that order.

High Holy Canon

  • Forever Young - Alphaville
  • Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin
  • American Pie - Don McLean

Other Canon

  • Mr. Brightside - The Killers
  • Nightswimming - R.E.M.
  • Tunak Tunak Tun - Daler Mehndi
  • Istanbul (Not Constantinople) - They Might Be Giants
  • Sandstorm - Darude
  • Cupid Shuffle - Cupid
  • In Your Eyes - Peter Gabriel
  • Iris - The Goo Goo Dolls
  • Pokémon Theme - Pokémon
  • Build Me Up Buttercup - The Foundations
  • Cotton-Eyed Joe - Rednex
  • I'll Make a Man Out of You - Mulan
  • Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen
  • Every Time We Touch - Cascada
  • Poker Face - Lady Gaga
  • Ghostbusters - Ray Parker Jr.
  • Don't Stop Believin' - Journey

Great Barrington

The Great Barrington, due to its unique status as the language immersion site, had unique canon for each course, and did not take part in traditional CTY Canon such as American Pie.


This is the list of the canon of the Spanish course at Great Barrington.

High Canon

  • El Tiburón - Proyecto Uno
  • La Bamba - Los Lobos
  • Aserejé - Las Ketchup

Low Canon

  • Como La Flor - Selena
  • Suavemente - Elvis Crespo
  • Oye Como Va - Santana
  • A Dios Le Pido - Juanes
  • La Camisa Negra - Juanes
  • La Gasolina - Daddy Yankee
  • Waka Waka (Esto Es Africa) - Shakira


Hawaii doesn't really have a canon, but it does follow a few precedents from other sites. The last three songs at every dance are Forever Young, Stairway and American Pie. Other than those, I'm not sure if there even is a playlist.


Seattle, being a new site, does not have a canon other than American Pie. Quentin's hall established The Final Countdown as canon in 2015, but it was only played once in 17.2 (at Casino Night). The dance music is whatever's popular at the time of the session.


The canon at CTYI is different. It is important to note that canon is not a word in the CTYI lexicon. The songs are considered "Ever Present Songs" that are played at every disco. These songs include:

  • Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana
    • Banned after 08, but still remains spiritually in the canon. Several years later it returned and has been played at every disco since.
  • Y.M.C.A - The Village People
    • It's fun to stay at the CTYI... People spell CTYI with their arms rather than YMCA during the chorus
  • 500 Miles- The Proclaimers
    • Everybody forms a conga line
  • Pokemon Theme Song
  • Grease Medley
  • Street Spirit (Fade Out) - Radiohead
    • During this song, everybody lies on the floor and holds their hands through the air above them, swirling patterns
  • Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen
    • Everyone stands in a circle and two people will perform an interpretive dance inside the circle.
  • Iris - Goo Goo Dolls
    • Everybody finds a partner to dance with
  • Gay Bar - Electric Six
  • American Pie - Don Mclean
  • We Will Rock You
  • Mr. Brightside - The Killers

Frequently played songs

  • Teenagers
  • The Bad Touch
    • Not been played at any of the 2023 discos but got quite the reaction when it was played
  • I Don't Feel Like Dancing
  • Cascada - Everytime we Touch
  • Boney M. - Rasputin


The canon at Stanford is similar to all other California sites and can be found here[3]

Note: In the years coming up to its closure after the summer of 2016, Stanford had no canon whatsoever other than American Pie.


During American Pie there is the customary "Die, Die, Die, Die, etc." chant, but the other sayings during the song vary by student, as many say phrases from the other sites they have been to. At the end of each dance, RAs shout "Go home, nobody loves you!" However, students, unlike at Lancaster, do not reply with "We love you!" After the DIE, DIE... chant, students at most sites shout, "ORGY!" and RAs respond with "NO ORGIES!" At SAR, veterans scream "F*ck that Lancaster sh*t!" at whoever does the "ORGY!" shout. In Baby CTY, for obvious reasons, the chant is often changed. At many campuses it becomes:


At Easton Baby CTY, the original chant is used, but without the "orgy". At Bristol Baby CTY, the original chant is used but "sex" becomes "fun" and there is no "orgy".