October 17th marks the third anniversary of the passing of one of Canada’s most beloved figures & The Tragically Hip front man, Gord Downie.

The Amherstview, Ontario native was born February 6th, 1964 sharing his birthday with a few legendary names: Bob Marley, Axl Rose & Rick Astley. We’re thinking February 6th should be a national holiday! Do you agree?

Are you actually Canadian if you don’t like hockey and The Hip? We learned geography from Gord (notably where the hundredth meridian is which is way better than the 99th meridian), how bad it would be to end up locked in the trunk of a car, we learned what ‘Road Apples’ are (horse manure!)…but we are still searching for that place that serves $1.50 beers!? We also learned to be passionate about what you do with your life, stretch your comfort zone, and be a positive change in the world.

We wanted to celebrate Gord Downie by sharing our favourite songs, quotes and facts about this national treasure. By the way, can we please rename the silver dollar to the ‘Silver Downie’ and put his face on it?

Gord’s Guilty Pleasures

Gord’s guilty pleasure was the Bee Gee’s. “You know, it’s not a band that you’re supposed to [like], but God, I love them.” he said in the documentary ‘Long Time Running’. We do too Gord.

Did Gord have stage freight?

Gord was asked on The Hip’s farewell tour about his new shiny suits, which was a drastic departure from his usual attire. Many feel these outfits matched his personality & stage presence though, so no one complained. These outfits were for show, but also a stronger attitude. Gord described his new stage attire as: “Elvis ’74” — they acted like armour. “I felt cool up there ’cause I was usually afraid.”

Gord Downie … the actor?

Did you know Gord & the boys made a couple cool guest appearances which you might have seen? Downie was in ‘Men with Brooms’, in which The Tragically Hip play a curling team. He was harassed once while eating a bologna sandwich at a singles dance on an episode of the Trailer Park Boys, plus appeared in their movie ‘The Big Dirty’, alongside Alex Lifeson (RUSH) where they’re playing a pair of police officers. (Check out that ‘stache!)

 

Jason Barr (The Biggs & Barr Show)

My favorite Hip song is ‘Scared”, off of Day for Night.? I don’t know why.? I just like it.? Maybe because it is?ballad and I am a super sensitive kind of guy that is in touch with his feelings.? Maybe I like being scared, or scaring other people.?Boo!

 

TJ Connors

Big songs that get some radio play, “Looking for a Place to Happen” or “Locked in the Trunk of a Car” or “Three Pistols”.  

Midway popular: “700 Ft. Ceiling” / “Nautical Disaster” / “Fiddler’s Green”

Other cuts: “Greasy Jungle” / “Long Time Running” / “Lonely End of the Rink”

Favourite Hip memory: BIG Music Fest in Bobcaygeon. Watching them perform “Bobcaygeon”, in ‘caygeon, under the stars. Unreal. Was pouring rain earlier in the day, rained throughout Sam Roberts’ set, stopped as the Trews were going on, then turned into a perfect night on Pigeon Lake…only downfall was the traffic leaving, took hours for 20,000 people to file out of that quaint little town.

 

Amy Volume

My fave hip song is “It’s a Good Life If You Don’t Weaken”. I was honestly not a huge Hip fan until I moved AWAY from home. I was working in Alberta (further away from Hiptown/Kingston, ON) – furthest I’ve ever been from MY home (small town Ontario) and I took great comfort in the lyrics of their songs. I’ve always liked this one because it sounded a little mysterious, a little eerie and uneasy, with this very?powerful message of staying strong. Gord plays it so cool in his haunting vocals then belts it out, unleashing the power of his soul and his words.

It’s such an under appreciated tune. My absolute favourite.

 

Cosmo

Favourite Song: “Bobcaygeon”

The ultimate slice of Canadiana. Also the most beautiful song.

Heather

My favourite Tragically Hip song is the first one I (think) I ever heard: “Blow at High Dough”. When I was a kid, I grew up with only two channels – TVO and CBC. So when we sat down to watch TV together, it was whatever was on either one of those channels. On CBC, Rick Mercer had a show called ‘Made In Canada’ and “Blow At High Dough” is the opening theme song to it. So every time the song came on with the tile screen, it gave me a sense of pride. Like hell yeah Canada is home to a lot of amazing, talented people.  I had no idea at the time that it was the Hip and honestly forgot about it for years after the show finished and we got a DVD player. Then one day I was in my buddy’s car in Toronto, and my friend asked if I had ever heard of Canadian sweethearts The Tragically Hip. I said no, so he put in a CD and told me “Well if you grew up watching CBC then you MUST have heard this one at least” – and “Blow at High Dough” came on. It was like the stars aligned and for the first time ever I heard the whole song all the way through. It was a touching moment that gave me a wave of nostalgia and ultimately I think that is what the Hip represent to me and a lot of other fans. Fond memories and warm thoughts of better days.

 

We miss you every day Gord. Share your favourite The Hip/Gord Downie songs and memories with us on Facebook.

 

 

 

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