When the colour of the night

We all knew this day was coming, but I’m still so so sad. Gord Downie wove in and out of the soundtrack of my life from the time I was 13 and heard Blow at High Dough for the first time. I was hooked for life.

I’ve seen The Tragically Hip in concert more than any other band. The first one cut short when my then-boyfriend got thrown out by security. The last one in California where we were surrounded by ex-pats and most of the Anaheim Ducks hockey team.

Gord taught me to be fiercely proud of our country, our unique history and collective conscience. I love how he never caved to pressure to be more “relatable” to the international audience, but instead continued to write songs about our geography and history, our national tragedies and triumphs. Our stories.

For years after Phil and I got together, he refused to listen to their music, pushing back against their popularity with the notion that liking The Tragically Hip was just sheep mentality, something everybody just did, and he didn’t want to be a sheep. Then one day he actually listened to them. Actually listened. I don’t remember if it was a song about hockey that won him over. I’m thinking more likely it was Bobcaygeon. But he wasn’t too proud to admit that he’d been wrong, and that day they won his admiration and his loyalty too.

When we were living in California and overseas, Gord’s music kept us connected to home.

Thanks Gord for being the constant companion and the national scribe to all our important moments.

I’d love to hear your memories, or your favourite song. Share with us in the comments so we can smile and honour his memory together 💕 . I’ve posted one of my faves in the comments. Play it LOUD.

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