An Open Letter to The Tragically Hip

Posted: August 18, 2016 in Canadian Music, New Music, Rock
Tags: ,

Dear The Tragically Hip,

Thank you.

You are the quintessential Canadian band, who sticks to their roots and proudly represents Canada in the best ways possible. You even titled an entire song after a small cottage country town, which speaks volumes about how much you love your country. You’re a spokesperson for our nation, and a vital part of both our music history, and the future of Canadian music. The final show of your current tour will be played in your hometown of Kingston, Ontario, and broadcast/streamed on so many stations/sites because that’s how important you are to Canadian culture.

You’ve never sold out. Even after phenomenal success in Canada, you didn’t seek validation from anyone else. You may not be as famous outside of Canada, but that never seems to have bothered you. Canadian comedian Rick Mercer stated in an interview, that he attended a Hip show in California, but everyone there was Canadian. US fans were unable to get tickets – that’s how much reach you have, that’s how much Canadians understand you and feel understood by you.

You’ve been the soundtrack to so many people’s lives (including my own,) because your lyrics are meaningful and real. You wear your hearts on your sleeves, unafraid to be vulnerable with your words. Not to mention, your songs often have much deeper meanings, and are more layered and complex, than apparent on a first listen. Your music has taught many of us – intentionally or not – so many things, including how to feel more than just what’s on the surface.


You know how to rock out. Since your 1989 debut Up to Here, to 1991’s Road Apples; from 1996’s Trouble at the Henhouse, to 2000’s Music @ Work, you’ve penned 13 solid albums, and never disappointed. Your music has evolved with time, but you’ve always stayed true to your music and who you are as musicians. Your music is such a significant part of so many lives, it’s hard to imagine a time when it didn’t exist: I can’t imagine a world where there’s no upcoming Hip album.

Gord Downie: your courage is admirable and you are the definition of true character. You have an incurable brain tumour, yet you decided to tour across Canada to promote your latest album Man Machine Poem. Your unapologetic attitude is both inspiring and contagious. You’re even donating part of the ticket proceeds to the Sunnybrook Foundation, because it’s the nicest and the most Canadian thing you can do.

You move people, in every sense of the word. I was lucky enough to experience you guys live on this tour last week, and Gord’s off-the-charts-energy only proved how one person/band, is able to touch thousands of people with their art alone. Everyone was in high spirits, because you were; everyone was dancing, because you were. Everyone was enjoying their last time with you, because you were enjoying your last time with them. Believe me when I say: your fans are better off for having known you (even if it’s only through your music.)

Thank you for bringing us all together; thank you for everything.



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