I’m old enough to remember when Gordon Lightfoot wasn’t old. He’s one of those Canadian songwriters that some love, some hate. My father in the former category, my father-in-law in the latter. Lightfoot once wrote a song called “Did She Mention My Name” where he lyrically wonders about a love from days gone by. I’m not sure if he is talking hockey or not but I’m going to assume so when he asks the question “Is the home team still on fire, do they still win all their games?” because it just fits for me. After I left Peterborough, hearing this song often made me think of the Pete’s, because from my youth, they were a perennial contender.
Category Archives: music
Soccer has been called The Beautiful Game and I have no axe to grind with that. It is a beautiful game. Elegant in its simplicity- two teams, two nets and a ball if you’re unschooled in the finer aspects as I am.
However, on the day that Stompin’ Tom passed on, I’d like hockey to receive it’s due in a similar way. I believe no more wonderful description of hockey has been put into words and song than his line from The Hockey Song where he describes it as “The best game you can play”.
I cannot say I was a lifelong Stompin’ Tom fan, and really only became familiar with the song in my adult life. However, when my kids were young, we played all his good ones to them at night after bath time and created some great memories in the process. With hockey being a fairly important topic around this house, The Hockey Song was one of those go-to songs when we wanted a tune to put a smile on our faces.
Here’s to Stompin’ Tom and may his hockey song play eternally in rinks across Canada.
As a big Tragically Hip fan, this song is one of my fav’s. Barilko of course, is the stuff of legend, made more so by the tragedy that ended his life so quickly after him reaching such a wonderful pinnacle of sport at such a young age. Imagine scoring the overtime winner against the Hab’s in the Stanley Cup finals as a member of the Leafs.
Big League, a great hockey song by Tom Cochrane, is a sad one if you listen to the lyrics. A young player’s life cut short by a drunk driver and based on a true story. The word have always resonated with me because I have always loved playing hockey outside. Hearing the ice crack, the romance of someone making it out of “a cold northern town”.
Cochrane’s description of how the song “was born” is really cool. One pass. The perfect pass. It’s a beautiful thing on the ice and a beautiful way to write a song.
As I sit and ponder my next post, itunes playing in the background, serendipity flips me a perfect saucer pass and lands Stompin’ Tom’s classic in my queue. “The puck is in, the home teams, the good ‘ol hockey game”.
I believe he was absolutely right when he said “the best game you can name is the good ‘ol hockey game”.
“If there’s a goal that everyone remembers,
It was back in ol’ 72
We all squeezed the stick and we all pulled the trigger
And all I remember was sitting beside you
You said you didn’t give a fuck about hockey
And I never saw someone say that before
You held my hand and we walked home the long way
You were loosening my grip on Bobby Orr”
Fabulous tune from the Tragically Hip about a cool time in Canada and in some young hockey player’s mind / heart.
Here’s a great story about two great Canadian musicians and hockey. My neighbour told this one over dinner a couple of years back. This neighbour knew someone who was friends with Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip and Downie apparently plays goalie. So, this story comes from Downie to a friend who is also a friend of my neighbour. Not exactly Pulitzer-journalism but this is just a hockey blog so get over it.
There was some occasion where Downie was involved in a game where Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo was also playing. One of the other players on the ice, who was new to the group, recognized Cuddy but didn’t recognize Downie. At the end of the game, as they were making their way off the ice, this person skates over to Downie and asks if that’s really Jim Cuddy. Downie confirms it is and the other guy says something to Downie about how cool it is to have just played a game with a famous Canadian music man, having no idea who Downie was.
Goalies eh? Life behind the mask is a life of anonymity.
A buddy sent me the audio of this song several years back. This live rendition just polishes the apple a bit. While I’m not advocating Canada set the bar too low from a cultural perspective, don’t get your hopes up that this is going to help us win many points from an artistic flair perspective on the international stage. (But if you learn the words, you may come to appreciate it’s a great song 🙂
From the March 2012 end-of-season WOHL Symposium at the Central.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, who to the best of my knowledge never played hockey, once said something along these lines: “Men don’t quit playing because they get old, they get old because they quit playing.”
On that note, a bunch of hockey playing buddies and myself who are not quite willing to get old just yet are heading to Montreal this weekend for the second year in a row to keep on playing. I’m looking real forward to this, as much as I did any tournament I attended as a kid as last year’s event was a blast.
Stevie Nicks of Feetwood Mac crooned that “Players only love you when they’re playin'”. Hmmmm….I got nuthin’ here. I don’t think she ever played hockey either.