The Tragically Hip is a little band out of Kingston, Ontario. I first heard their music in the late 90’s on a CBC comedy titled “Made in Canada”. “Blow at High Dough” played during the closing credits each episode. Around since 1984, The Hip had managed, over the years, to become a Canadian treasure.
Their folk/rock/bluesy music was driven by the songwriting and vocals of Gord Downie, who, to me, had a real Michael Stipe kind of vibe going on. In 2015, when Downie was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, the band did one last tour of Canada. The band’s final concert took place in their hometown of Kingston, and was broadcast live by the CBC, on television, radio, and streamed on the internet.
There is a documentary, “Long Time Running” which follows the band through their last tour and final concert. It took several sittings to make it all the way through, it was so beautiful yet heart-wrenching.
Blow at High Dough – This is the song that got me stuck on The Hip. The title was a phrase that Downie’s grandmother used to say. It meant basically, “don’t get ahead of yourself”.
Ahead by a Century – Things our grandparents knew and taught us, they really were “ahead by a century”. Stuck in the past when you significant other is living in the present, they’re “ahead by a century.
Bobcaygeon – A song about racism and homophobia.
Ahead by a Century – Finale – This was all of Canada during the final song of the final concert.