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Updated: Wed, 23 Jul 2014 09:22:33 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Rod Stewart to open Commonwealth Games with Canadian-written song



Award-winning Canadian singer, songwriter and producer, Marc Jordan, (© R)

Award-winning Canadian singer, songwriter and producer, Marc Jordan, (R) will be on hand at Celtic Park to see his worldwide hit, Rhythm of My Heart, performed by Rod Stewart at the opening ceremonies of the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images/CBC News

A catchy tune with Canadian roots will help open today's 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. 

Most people probably think the song Rhythm of my Heart was written by the 69-year-old rock singer who made it popular -- Rod Stewart. But the wordsmith behind the 1990 recording is a Canadian: Toronto-based songwriter Marc Jordan.

"It's an amazing feeling when one of your songs has a life beyond," says Jordan. "It's like a child going out into the world. They say a billion and a half people are going to be watching. That's a lot of people!" 

Jordan says the song, which was written in 1983, was initially inspired by his father's collection of Maritime folk music.

The chorus came into his head as he was playing the piano one day.

According to Jordan, it has an anti-war sentiment because of global unrest in the 1980s. The song sat on the shelf for several years before Stewart recorded it.

Jordan is in Glasgow to watch Stewart perform the song during the Games opening ceremony, which is being broadcast by the CBC and streamed live on CBCSports.ca at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Rhythm of my Heart has been popular in Scotland since it was released, partly because Stewart has Scottish roots. Jordan, who had never visited Glasgow before, says he was asked to change a few verses and part of the melody to better reflect the host city and its streets.

"I Google-mapped it! I looked for areas and I pulled out street names. Just from Google maps, I flew over the city and I got a feel for it," said the songwriter. "I made a few changes and it all came together."

Jordan has also written for other major artists including Cher, Josh Groban, Joe Cocker and Diana Ross.

"Songwriters are in the background for sure," says Jordan, who splits his time between Toronto, Nashville and L.A. "I'm totally fine with that. It's not about me. Songwriting is something between the listener and the song so I'm happy to be in the background."

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