The Tragically Hip is a Canadian band that has written the soundtrack of a nation for 30 years. The front man, Gord Downie, is a poet who through words conjures up memories of cottage life, first loves, Canadian histories, mysteries and grace.
A few months ago, Gord announced that he had been diagnosed with incurable brain cancer. And he would say good-bye to his fans with a 15-date final tour.
This past weekend, the country stopped in its tracks. The national television network, CBC, aired the final concert in the band’s hometown live and commercial-free. The country’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, was among the thousands of fans inside and outside the venue, along with countless others watching from coast to coast. In pubs and on backyard decks. In stadiums and in parks. All for one tragically hip man.
It was a flashbulb memory for a country. The answer to the question, “Where were you when?” will be shared for years to come.
And the reason it touched so many? It’s the bravery. The authenticity. The lyrics.
Gord sings, “I saw the constellations reveal themselves one star at a time.”
“No dress rehearsal, this is our life.”
“I’ve got to go. It’s been a pleasure doing business with you.”
He was Canada’s Shakespeare. He lived his dream.
At the final concert he shared that thirteen people attended the band’s first concert.
Well, a nation attended its last.
Gord once said, “I have no illusions of the future. Or maybe it’s all illusion. I don’t know. I’ve always been ready for it.”
God bless you Gord Downie. For your courage, your grace and your unbelievable storytelling. We will never forget The Tragically Hip. #InGordWeTrust