It was with heavy hearts we gathered ’round in the Geeks & Beats newsroom Wednesday to share memories, this time of our beloved Gord Downie.
Let’s be honest, ok? We knew the diagnosis was grim. We knew his passing was inevitable. But… did we? Did we believe it was ever actually going to happen?
The magic he and The Tragically Hip brought to the stage, in words and music and dance — didn’t we all think maybe, just maybe, that same magic would save Gord? Give him — us?– more time? Even the atheists and agnostics among us wished for a miracle.
So here we are, once again, gathering to remember, to share, to swap stories and songs and memories. Share yours below. Let Gord and the Hip bring us together once again.
A big thanks to the whole G&B newsroom for their suggestions.
“38 Years Old” — ‘They mostly came from towns with long French names, but one of the dozen was a hometown shame’
“Bobcaygeon” — ‘Could’ve been the Willie Nelson, could’ve been the wine’
“Courage (For Hugh MacLennan)” — ‘There’s no simple explanation for anything important any of us do’
“Ahead by a Century” — Lyrics from this song became a rallying cry during the Man Machine Poem tour. ‘No dress rehearsal, this is our life.’
“Long Time Running” — ‘It’s been a long time running, well worth the wait.’
“Scared” — ‘Now there’s a precious few that can prove at the root this is all nothing but cold calculation’
“Nautical Disaster” — ‘Anyway, Susan, if you like, our conversation is as faint as a sound in my memory, as those fingernails scratching on my hull’
“Little Bones” — ‘ I can cry, beg and whine to every rebel I find just to give me a line I could use to describe’
“Darkest One” — ‘Where the wild are strong and the strong are the darkest ones’
“The Last Recluse” — ‘I jumped on board, turned around to wave goodbye, you were already on your bike riding with my bike by your side’
“Wheat Kings” — ‘Let’s just see what tomorrow brings’
“Springtime in Vienna” — ‘We’ll live to survive our paradoxes’
“Poets” — ‘Don’t tell me that they’re anti-social, somehow not anti-social enough’
“New Orleans is Sinking” — ‘I had my hands in the river, my feet back up on the banks, looked up to the lord above and say hey, man, thanks.’
“In A World Possessed by the Human Mind” — ‘Everything is quiet, a little super dangerous, in the shadow of the law and with colours of justice’
“Twist My Arm” — ‘Do I want to? With all that charm? Do I want you? Twist my arm.’
“Coke Machine Glow,” a poem from the book of the same name:
Coke Machine Glow
Here we are on the highway.
Here we are on the road.
Here we are in the parking lot’s Coke machine glow.
Here we are in the bedroom
Here we are in the bed.
Here we are beside each other
“Grace, Too” — ‘Armed with will and determination and grace, too.’
Editor’s note: It was tempting to use footage from ‘Grace , Too’ from the Kingston show in August 2016. I decided against it because that moment… you know the one… is still too raw.