You might be asking, why is this on a sports website. Well, since their formation, The Tragically Hip have become one of the country’s most iconic rock groups. Their music is littered with patriotic lyrics, tons of references to Canada and sports. In today’s blog we take a look at some of the song that have referenced hockey or have been used at sporting events.

50 Mission Cap – The song references Bill Barilko and the Toronto Maple Leafs. It even includes the lyrics “Bill Barilko disappeared that summer. He was on a fishing trip. The last goal he ever scored. Won the Leafs the cup. They didn't win another till nineteen sixty-two, the year he was discovered.”

The Lonely End of the Rink – This could be a love song, a breakup song, or a song paying homage to winter and or hockey. You can find lyrical references to sweet dekes, a frozen lake, snowy gloom, and my favourite, "Oh to join the rush, as the season builds". CBC's Hockey Night in Canada brilliantly used the song as their opening montage for the 2006-07 NHL season.

Courage – A song that has no real sports references in it but has been heard at countless hockey games over the years. HNIC in Canada even used it in the opening of the show with their usual montage to promote the game with the iconic song in honour of Downie after he was diagnosed with the brain tumor.

Fireworks – The song references the 1972 Summit Series between Canada and Russia with the lyrics “If there’s a goal that everyone remembers, it was back in old ’72. We all squeezed the stick, and we all pulled the trigger.” The Hip would play this song at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics to help celebrate the Canadian Women’s hockey team winning the gold medal over the US.

When the Hip played what was their final 10-city tour ever with Downie, fans got the chance to hear those iconic lyrics live one more time as they supported Downie. Just as sports can take your mind off what is going on around you for a few hours, so can music. For those hours Downie was on stage with his bandmates performing in front of the fans his cancer was an afterthought.

Many athletes, teams, media personalities and even leagues took to social media following the announcement of Downie's death to pay tribute to him.

The COURAGE of Gord Downie and his music will leave a lasting impression on Canadians for years to come.

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