truemane
 member, 2103 posts
 Firing magic missles at
 the darkness!
Thu 19 Oct 2017
at 21:09
RIP Gordon Downie
In the early hours of October 17th, the lead singer for the Canadian rock band the Tragically Hip succumbed to the aggressive brain cancer he'd been battling for over a year. We had been expecting this ever since they announced his terminal illness last year, and been dreading it as the band embarked on one final, glorious, amazing, apocalyptic cross-country tour in direct defiance of cancer and fate and declared to the world one last time: we are here; we are you; we are Canadian.

It's hard to describe to non-Canadians what Gordon Downie, and the Tragically Hip, meant to us. Year after year they were there, reflecting our own triumphs and our own fears back at us, growing in stature and resonance until they were almost the avatar of all things Canadian. And the fact that they never really found any recognition outside of our borders almost seemed by design. As though they were ours, and only ours. That, somehow, in a country almost defined by its lack of a national identity, they became our voice. HE became our voice. Somehow, whether he was singing about Bobcaygeon or New Orleans, about universal pain or conspiracies in small towns, when he sang, he sang for all of us.

He was our Whitman, our Twain, our Dickens. He took all the dishwater-mundane things we think and feel about ourselves and coalesced them into electrifying, unifying images that would mark the years of our lives like pencil marks on a childhood doorway. There may be better bands, better singers, better lyricists, Canada may have brighter stars in its firmament, but somehow, Downie was Canada's heart: our big, messy, open, kind, gentle, angry, passionate, complex, contradictory, confused, determined, idealistic heart. He was big in all the ways Canada is big, and small in all the ways we're small.

The music remains. And the music will remain, passed from the mouths of mothers and fathers to the ears of daughters and sons, but all the same, a piece of us is gone now. Love the Hip, hate the Hip, but Canada, and in fact the world even if they don't know it, is a darker place now all the same.
ShadoPrism
 member, 1133 posts
 OCGD-Obsessive-Compulsive
 Gamer-Disorder
Thu 19 Oct 2017
at 23:15
RIP Gordon Downie
In reply to truemane (msg # 1):

Did you write that truemane ? It was wonderfully done and a very touching epitaph for an obviously great entertainer.
truemane
 member, 2104 posts
 Firing magic missles at
 the darkness!
Thu 19 Oct 2017
at 23:48
RIP Gordon Downie
In reply to ShadoPrism (msg # 2):

I did. And thank you. He meant a lot to me.

This message was last edited by the user at 23:50, Thu 19 Oct.

fmu78
 member, 44 posts
Fri 20 Oct 2017
at 11:35
RIP Gordon Downie
I agree with ShadoPrism. Well done.

I had never heard of them but I'm listening now.
phoenix9lives
 member, 942 posts
 GENE POLICE!  YOU!
 GET OUTTA THE POOL!
Fri 20 Oct 2017
at 12:01
RIP Gordon Downie
Very well written.  One can see how much his music meant to you.  I felt the same way about Tom Petty, however I have not taken the time to put it so eloquently; his music got me through some tough spots in life.
I think I will try listening to them as well.  Perhaps they will gain a fan Stateside.