Tag Archives: raghu lokanathan

Don’t Spend It Honey by Corin Raymond and the Sundowners

I witnessed something strange, heartwarming, and uniquely Canadian at the Tranzac on Wednesday night. I was there with friends from out-of-town to see night two of a two night engagement by Cameron House legends Corin Raymond and the Sundowners.
Corin played almost exclusively covers of unknown, little-known, and near-forgotten folk artists and was recording the concerts to make a live album as a preservation effort of sorts.
The concert was great, Corin is a born storyteller, weaving stories from the road and stories about the songs in and around the music. He kept us engaged for the whole three hours and twenty-one songs that the band played that evening.
Highlights included “Little Byrd”, “Change”, and the Ragho Lokanathan-penned “I’m a Fucking Genius” and “Caledonia”. Then there’s the song that makes the whole thing worth writing about, “Don’t Spend it Honey”.

Don’t Spend it Honey!
Not the Canadian Tire Money!
We’ve Saved It So Long! x2
Jolly Scotch Bonnet,
It’s Got the Cute little Scotsman on it,
We’ve Saved It So Long! x2

…Goes the chorus. Apparently, when Raymond and Co. would play this song at the Cameron house, regulars would throw the individually worthless paper bills at the band, which is kind of a fun gimmick. The game changer came when Corin found out that the studio at which he was going to record his covers album accepted Canadian Tire money at par. This provoked the singer to set up a website, http://www.dontspendithoney.com, and encouraged fans to pay for their concert tickets, in part at least, with Canadian Tire money. He started receiving donations from across the country, from young and old, from fans, and from people who heard about the project from the Globe and Mail or This Hour Has 22 Minutes. He managed to raise a staggering $1500 by the end of the second concert in Canadian Tire money alone: not bad, considering that the largest denomination is two dollars.
So now the song itself. It’s a typically folky three-chorder, with clever but forgettable verses. The chorus is killer though, the kind of sticky pop melody that worms its way through your brain for days. For me, I’ll always remember it as the last song that a Toronto mainstay played at a celebratory and vindicating concert. Give it a listen. It’s not for everyone – you kinda had to be there.

Watch it here courtesy of Now Toronto.


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