Covers, my word: Bands take on the Hip

REUTERS/Fred Greenslade

While it didn’t necessarily start when news of Gord Downie’s illness was announced, covers of Tragically Hip songs certainly have flourished since then.

And why not? These are wonderfully written songs, complete with skilled storytelling and great compositions that feel like stepping into the lives of fully formed characters just waiting to step up to the mic and sing.

These are more than just songs to sing with buddies around the campfire. These are more than just party songs. They’re also more than words and melodies to reflect back a multifaceted and flawed and wonderful nation. There are 13 albums full of wisdom and poetry, nuance and light, love and loss and all things that make life complete.

Here’s an admittedly incomplete of 10 of the best Hip covers from artists across the nation, with one extra for good measure. Let us know in the comments which ones you’d add.

Scott Helman, Bobcaygeon from Phantom Power

Hey Rosetta!, Ahead by a Century, from Trouble at the Henhouse

Alert the Medic, Grace, Too, from Day for Night

Barenaked Ladies, Chancellor, from Coke Machine Glow, a Gord Downie solo album 

The Trews, Fireworks, from Phantom Power

Arkells, My Music @ Work, from Music @ Work 

Sarah Harmer and Jim Creeggan, Morning Moon, from We Are the Same

The Stereophonics, Blow at High Dough, from Up to Here

Amos the Transparent, Gift Shop, from Trouble at the Henhouse


USS, Something On, from Phantom Power

Dan Mangan, Nautical Disaster, from Day for Night


Of course, if you want a more complete playlist you can set and forget for four hours, go to the Strombo Show’s incredible tribute to the Hip for the band’s 30th anniversary, originally aired on January 1, 2017. It’s a gift.

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