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Entertainment: 'Home for a Rest' voted British Columbians' favourite song by a local artist, beats 'Call Me Maybe'

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In a nail-biting vote, British Columbians on Twitter voted 'Home for a Rest' by folk rock group Spirit of the West as the province's favourite song by a B.C. artist, with 'Call Me Maybe' by Carly Rae Jepsen ranking second. 'Home for a Rest' got 50.9 per cent of the votes on a Twitter poll organized by CBC B.C. reporter Justin McElroy. © Alec Watson and Ethan Miller/Getty Images In a nail-biting vote, British Columbians on Twitter voted 'Home for a Rest' by folk rock group Spirit of the West as the province's favourite song by a B.C. artist, with 'Call Me Maybe' by Carly Rae Jepsen ranking second. 'Home for a Rest' got 50.9 per cent of the votes on a Twitter poll organized by CBC B.C. reporter Justin McElroy.

A staple of weddings and karaoke nights in B.C. has beaten out a pop megahit beloved by the queer community, as Home for a Rest by Spirit of the West was voted the favourite song by a B.C. artist over Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen.

More than 100,000 votes were cast on Twitter over a week and a half during the #bcsongbracket, run by none other than CBC B.C.'s resident ranker-of-things, municipal affairs reporter Justin McElroy.

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It was a photo finish on Tuesday, with Home for a Rest edging out Call Me Maybe by less than two per cent of votes cast. More than 20,000 votes were cast in the final round alone.

Home for a Rest was produced in 1990 by folk rock band Spirit of the West, who are originally from North Vancouver. The song is considered a classic of Canadian music, and details a rowdy drinking session in London, England.

Jepsen's 2011 hit Call Me Maybe, from her EP Curiosity, was produced in Richmond. The song about flirting with a stranger catapulted the singer — originally from Mission in the Fraser Valley — into international stardom.

"There's this real sense of identity and linkage towards these bands and these songs, which has been fun to see," McElroy said.

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"[It's] partly a fun distraction, but partly a thing that just links us all together and has been a joy to watch people debate about it through the last week."

The Twitter poll was thorough, with over 700 nominations considered and meticulous seeding conducted to determine the 32-song bracket.

Songs were separated into "Classic" and "Modern" sections, with the year 1995 serving as the cut-off point between the two categories.

Geoffrey Kelly, one of Spirit of the West's founders and co-writer of Home for a Rest, described the win as "heartwarming."

"Considering the song is 33 years old now and it still has this resonance with folks … it's really uplifting," he told Gloria Macarenko, host of CBC's On The Coast.

"I think Justin did a terrific job of including so many different styles of music … so kudos to him for organizing this whole wonderful thing."

Kelly describes his biggest triumph of the bracket as Home for a Rest beating out Baby Beluga, the 1980 children's song by entertainer Raffi, who moved to B.C. in 2008.

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Baby Beluga had something of a fairytale run through the bracket, beating out established hits like Summer of '69 by Bryan Adams, Making It Work by Doug and the Slugs, and We're Here for a Good Time by Trooper.

"It was really cool to include a kid's song, especially an iconic one like Baby Beluga. It was lovely to have that balance the field," Kelly said.

The song was frequently given a boost in votes by Raffi tweeting about it — a phenomenon also seen on the final day, with Call Me Maybe co-writer (and Marianas Trench lead vocalist) Josh Ramsay's tweet leading to a rush of votes for Call Me Maybe.

But ultimately, the nostalgia swirling through the flutes in Home for a Rest beat out Jepsen's toe-tapper.

McElroy has promised to "do it again soon."

Here's a look at the list of runner-ups:

  • 5th: I Will Remember You by Sarah McLachlan.

  • 4th: Baby Beluga by Raffi.

  • 3rd: I'm Like a Bird by Nelly Furtado.

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