I’ve had a love/hate relationship with The Tragically Hip for the past decade and a bit. Perhaps hate is too strong a word…more like violent dislike. I made a completely rational (ha!) decision to stop liking a band that I spent much of my college years and beyond listening to, all on the strength of two songs that I didn’t like (Poets and Butts Wiggling if you’re scoring at home).
I was an idiot.
I’ve spent the last few months since Gord Downie’s announcement wondering how I could be such a dumbass. I mean, Depeche Mode and Muse and even David Bowie all have songs I don’t like as much as others, but I’d never entertain the thought dropping them from my musical rotation.
See what I mean about being an idiot?
Tonight, like most of Canada, I will tuning in to the CBC to watch their final show. I’m thankful the national broadcaster is preempting the freaking Olympics to share this event with the country. We all need a chance to say goodbye to this amazing band.
When I heard Jack Layton had died, I referred to him as a love letter to Canada with heartbeat. The Tragically Hip ARE Canada’s heartbeat. With apologies to The Guess Who and Rush, I can’t think of a band who means more to Canada than The Hip, and I don’t know that any band will, could or even should fill that void.
Thank you for everything, gentlemen.
For what it’s worth, my top 7 Hip songs are Bobcaygeon, Grace Too, Locked In The Trunk Of A Car, Wheat Kings, Nautical Disaster, Ahead By A Century and Long Time Running.
Enjoy the show, Canada!