Monday, October 23, 2017

Gord Downie

When I first heard these lyrics 'He said I fabulously rich, c'mon just let's go, she kind of bit her lip, jeez I don't know', I was hooked.

That was the summer of 1995 and the band was Tragically Hip, a group out of Ontario, Canada.

The album was 'Day for Night' and I played that tape so much that it warped. I rewound that first track 'Grace, too' over and over until I knew every little bass tweak and vocal nuance that Downie made  coming down to the end. There were no lyrics at the end but Downie was sort of, well, it's hard to describe unless you listen to the song. He wasn't saying 'Yea, or Awww' or anything audible for that matter, but somehow the song has so much intensity at the end. Not to mention it was so bloody groovy.

I just fell in-love with that song, the album and the band after that.

I bought a few more albums and they unofficially became my summer Canadian fling. There was something gritty and easy-going about them and I loved Downie's lyrics and his way of just saying words almost as if he was having a conversation with me, the listener.

My one regret is that I never saw them live.

My heart broke last year when I found out he was diagnosed with cancer, and like so many music lovers, musicians and Canadians all around the world, we all felt a huge sense of loss when Gord passed away on October 17th, 2017.

So many great musicians have left us over the past few years and while I shudder to think of who we're left with, I know one thing for sure, Gord Downie's musical legacy will forever live on.

It is a huge loss for the Hip, it is a huge loss for Canada. Gord Downie will forever be one of the great Canadian songwriters. And though it will never ease the pain for your family, I just wanted to say 'thanks so much for the music, Gord, may you rest in peace and may God be with you on your next journey'.

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