It’s been a very long and emotional week for music lovers across Canada and beyond. The news of Gord Downie’s terminal brain cancer left all of us in shock. I’m not Canadian, but anyone who knows me knows that I might as well be. I bleed red and white. My cubicle at work is wall-to-wall Canadiana. I care as much about the political climate in Canada as I do my own country. If I could live anywhere in the world, it would be Kingston, Ontario. The Canadian national anthem makes me tear up every time I hear it. I love hockey, the Harm (Sarah Harmer), and the Hip.
Though it’s tough knowing that this is the end for the Hip, and the end for Gord, I know fans everywhere are trying to focus on all the band gave Canada over the years, and how many lives they’ve touched. And everyone is grateful to Gord for spending his precious time left with us, his fans.
To celebrate Gord, I’m devoting this edition of the Friday Five exclusively to the Tragically Hip. It was tough to narrow it down to five songs, because there are so many that are pure poetry, and so many that capture the history and beauty of Canada. But these are my favorites, and two tracks (“Now For Plan A” and “The Lookahead” — the videos for these are actually like short films) feature my favorite singer-songwriter, Sarah Harmer.
1. “Now For Plan A”
In your face, the endless patience / The fleeting nature of life on display
It was in Bobcaygeon, I saw the constellations / Reveal themselves one star at a time
Courage, my word / It didn’t come, it doesn’t matter / Courage, it couldn’t come at a worse time
4. “Nautical Disaster”
I had this dream where I relished the fray / And the screaming filled my head all day
5. “The Lookahead”
You weigh a snowflake / The glamour of the sky / Descending / Past perfect eyes