Jane Siberry was a quirky, arty, and from my chair highly talented, Canadian performer who achieved some notoriety on the 1980s, particularly for the song Mimi on the Beach, an almost cinematic piece that sounded equal parts Cyndi Lauper and Joni Mitchell, and posed the unforgettable question to the title character: was it going to be “the Great Leveler or the Great Escape?”. She could display wonderful melodicism in songs like Calling All Angels, or One More Colour, giddy infatuation in I Muse Aloud, and humour, as in Everything Reminds Me of My Dog in which, indeed, everything reminders her of her dog, Einstein, the smiling guy on the subway, guys in bars, the lot.
Map of the World (Part II) is my favourite, with its lyrics that evoke scenes of Toronto – the “perfect perfect lawn” just has to be the vast lawn out in front of the Manulife headquarters, maintained like a putting green, and the “golden office tower”, which is just a cliff the sun is setting on, must be Royal Bank Plaza, with its gold-tinted windows. She even seems to anticipate the collapse of the Soviet Union, years before it happened, seeing “shadows in the spaces where the faces of the Kremlin used to be”. There’s an exhilaration to the song, captured perfectly in this wonderful piece of performance art: