|This site's simple goal is to provide
information about songs recorded or performed by The Tragically Hip between 1985 and 2010 which are
not available on their official releases. The information here will never be
100% accurate or complete, but with the help of readers it's getting there.
Thanks for all of your contributions and compliments!
The songs are arranged in chronological order, according to when The Hip
started playing them or when Gord began to sing them. Outside projects of Hip
members are also listed. If you want to understand the way the page works, pay
attention to the colour-coding: red means cover,
green means unreleased Hip original,
blue means work featuring a Hip member
and purple indicates an
artist who performed with The Hip. Anything in
italics was played as a mid-song jam, rather than on its own. Confused?
Here are some examples:
Got it? Good. You can hear selected songs by clicking the Play Song link beneath their description. Many of these songs, and the subsequent discussion and debate, are available
through the friends of AMAD:
Please don't hesitate to
drop me a line with any
corrections or additions you may have.
This e-mail from JB was so full of valuable insight, that I'm just going to post it here in its entirety. Thank you JB:
I can add some insight to the Early Years section, having been to probably 50 or 60 shows between 85-88.
If you want to find any cover songs the Hip did in those days all you had to do was get the early records of the Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds, The Animals, The Pretty Things, etc. - basically any of the first wave of British Invasion bands (and the Monkees). BUT, the Hip usually only covered the songs that their idols covered, rather than playing the early originals by the same. So if you check out the first three or four Stones albums you'll find about a dozen songs the Hip did regularly. Talkin' Bout You, Route 66, Suzie Q, Little by Little, Walking the Dog, Down Home Girl, etc.
Similarly, go through the Yardbirds catalog and you'll find quite a few Hip standards from the Early Years [including Train Kept a Rolling, which Gord will always attribute to Johnny Cash, but they took it from the Yardbirds] - I Wish You Would, Certain Girl, Her 'Tis, Boom Boom, Baby Please Don't Go and more.
Not to say they wouldn't do original artist hits - crowd favourites Off the Hook, and For Your Love [written by Graham Gouldman, and the cause of Eric Clapton leaving the Yardbirds] were requested a hundred different times a night. And once in a while you'd get Honky Tonk Women, 2000 Light Years from Home, among others.
In your list I see Big City listed as an original. This is a Pretty Things cover and was written by Alan Klein and Jimmy Duncan in the mid 60s. Also you have Night Calls Out - this song was actually Night Comes Down by The Mickey Finn originally released in 1965. Little by Little was taken from the 1st Stones album.
For the original songs - If She's Seventeen was actually titled It's Snowing (don't ask me why). Also you can add (I'm an) Alternative Guy, and Straight Down to Hell both of which were played in early to mid 86 [along with Baby Blue Blood, Heart Attack Love, It's Snowing, Evelyn, and All Canadian Surf Club to start getting their original material into the sets].
There's one important item that should be added to the list of covers. In 85 and 86 there was one song that had to be played every night, and occasionally the requests were so numerous that they'd play it twice in the same night - the Bedrock song from the Flintstones (Twitch Twitch). Probably Bobby arranged that after watching a whole lot of cartoons. It was a thing to behold. Sometimes Gord would introduce it as "a song by the Stones - the Flintstones that is...".
And for the record, before Paul joined the band they used to play Cold Shot by Stevie Ray Vaughan. This seems hard to imagine now, but it worked.
|Cover played in full:
|Cover played/sung during jams:
||I Can Only Give You Everything
|Hip original played in full:
||Get Back Again
|Hip original played/sung during jams:
|Work by another artist, featuring Hip
||The Right Thing
|Artist who performed with The
Early Years (1985-88)
(Quality recordings: Copperpenny Restaurant, Kingston, 1985. Grand Central, Ottawa, Fall 1987. Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto, July 15 1988. Barrymore's, Ottawa, October 1988)
All time great contributor to this site, Shane Kroeker, sent this my way. It's a live recording of The Tragically Hip in Renfrew, Ontario from 1987.
Elias McDaniel song recorded by the Yardbirds and the Who. Performed by the
Hip at the Copperpenny Restaurant in 1985.
Wish You Would: Billy Boy Arnold song
first performed by the Yardbirds. Performed by the Hip at the Copperpenny
Restaurant in 1985.
Baby Blueblood: One of the earliest Hip originals, as by the time of the 1985 Copperpenny
show, they'd been "doing it for quite a while." Sample lyric: "You can't
maintain your champagne tastes on my beer salary."
Psychedelic Ramblings of Rich Kids:
Recorded in 1985 for a radio contest, when the "fifth Hipster" was not Paul
Langlois but rather saxophonist Davis Manning of "Live Between Us" graffitti
These Arms of Mine: Otis Redding song performed by the Hip at the Copperpenny Restaurant in
Cold Shot: A Stevie Ray Vaughn track. (Thanks JB).
Heart Attack Love: Previously thought
by fans to be called Contact Love, its true title makes sense in
light of Gord's declaration that it is "about a very old man in love with a
very young girl." Performed at the Copperpenny Restaurant in 1985, at the
Horseshoe Tavern on 07/15/88 and at Barrymore's in October 1988.
Big City: this is a Pretty Things cover and was written by Alan Klein and Jimmy Duncan in the mid 60s. (Thanks JB) Performed at the Copperpenny show: "Big city ain't quite big enough for me."
Velvet Underground song written by Lou Reed. Only available Hip cover
version is the 1985 Copperpenny show.
Night Calls Out: Slowly building blues number actually called Night Comes Down and written by The Mickey Finn in 1965. (Thanks JB) Performed at the Copperpenny show:
Written by Don Covay & Ronnie Miller and recorded by the Rolling Stones.
Covered by the Hip at the Copperpenny. Sample lyrics: "Have mercy / Have
mercy, baby / Have mercy / Have mercy on me / And if you leave me baby /
Girl, if you put me down / I'm gonna drag myself to the riverbank / And jump
overboard and drown"
If She's Seventeen: Sax-driven ballad, performed at the Copperpenny Restaurant in 1985. Jeffrey Barrett adds that this was actually titled "It's Snowing."
Reformed Baptist Blues: One of the
band's original five songs, played often until 1988, and brought back in
1991. A song, according to Gord, "for anyone who goes to church
Treat Her Right: Roy Head song covered by many other bands too. Performed by the Hip at the
Copperpenny Restaurant in 1985.
(I'm an) Alternative Guy: Played in early to mid 1986. (Thanks JB).
Straight Down To Hell: Played in early to mid 1986. (Thanks JB).
Nuclear BBQ: A song from the May 26, 1986 demo tape, recorded in Toronto, by the eventual producer of the EP: Ken Greer. The tape included early versions of Up To Here numbers, as well as a few of the songs performed at the 07/15/88 Horseshoe show. Greer's demo tape was recently sold on e-bay for $290 US. (Thanks to Shane Kroeker for bringing the tape to my attention)
Leather Man: Another song from the May 26, 1986 demo tape, recorded in Toronto.
It Came Around: A track from the 1986 Greer demo tape.
I'm Okay: A song from the May 26, 1986 demo tape, recorded in Toronto.
On The Shelf: Another discovery from the 1986 Greer sessions.
Running For Your Life: Early song
written by Gord Sinclair. Last appeared in 1988.
Waltz For Juliet: Early acoustic
song. Last appeared in 1988. Gord D: "A song about a buddy of ours who's in
prison back in Kingston. Probably the only reason being for the love of a
Wait So Long: Fantastic blues-rock number written by Gord Downie
and Paul Langlois in late 1987. Gord sings some of "Wait So Long" during "Little Bones" on the 1998 Much Music special: "Something On." Only available full version is from Barrymore's in
Ottawa during late 1988.
Raining Hearts of Fire: Only
available version appears on the 07/15/88 show at the Horseshoe Tavern in
Hailstone Hands of God: Only
available version appears on 07/15/88.
Road Runner: Bo Diddley cover. Only
available version appears on 07/15/88, where it is often mislabeled Back
Little By Little: Only available
version appears on 07/15/88. A Rolling Stones number. (Thanks JB).
She's Got What it Takes: Only
available version appears on 07/15/88.
It's So Easy: Only available version
appears on 07/15/88.
Susie Q: Dale Hawkins song which CCR
made famous. Played until 1988.
Baby Please Don't Go: Muddy Waters
tune, also recorded by John Lee Hooker and many others. The version that
likely influenced the Hip was probably by Them (featuring Van Morrison).
Played until 1988.
2,000 Light Years From Home: Rolling
Stones song. The Hip's version interspersed it with the Doors'
The Changeling. Played until 1988.
To Cry About: Mary Margaret O'Hara Cover. Driven by Davis Manning on saxaphone. Gord later performed a live version with The Rheostatics for a radio special. (Thanks to Shane Kroeker)
Third Stone From The Sun: Chris of hipfans.com points out that this Jimi Hendrix number can be heard during "2,000 Light Years From Home" on the "Eat Me Completely" compilation.
Down Home Girl: Played on 7/15/1988 at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto, Ontario. A song written and originally performed by The Coasters, it was later covered by The Rolling Stones and Nazareth. (Thanks to Shane Kroeker and Dana)
Good Morning Little Schoolgirl:
Sonny Boy Williamson song made famous by the Grateful Dead and the Yardbirds.
Played until 1988.
Gloria: Them (featuring Van Morrison)
song. Played until 1988.
Times Are Passing Us By: Road Apples
outtake, also played live in 1988.
Train Kept A Rollin': Blues classic
written by Tiny Bradshaw/Lois Mann/Howie Kay and first made famous by Johnny
Burnette and The Rock 'n' Roll Trio, when it was released on Coral Records
in 1956. The Hip version, played until 1991, owes more to the Yardbirds
(with Jeff Beck) reworking in the 1960s.
New Orleans Is Sinking: The Big One was played in 1988 before it's "Up To Here" release with this extra verse: "So we roll down the road to Sloppy Joe’s/Mixing time with bottles of beer/And rock and roll to a fading radio station/I guess the last folk go right here/My memory is muddy/What’s this river that I’m?/If New Orleans Is Sinking/Man,
then I don’t wanna swim."
A Certain Girl: Long time Hip Head Steve Corrigan saw The Hip play this Yarbirds song at the Great Hall on the campus of Laurentian University in the fall of 1988. Lyrics
Bedrock Twitch Twitch: Flintstones related tune which Gord would often credit to the famous cartoon family. Thanks to JB for this awesome file circa 1986, Davis Manning and all:
Many other unknown songs: Numerous covers played in the early days
are recorded only in hazy memories, and numerous originals, if they were
recorded at all, are now either lost to the ages or safely locked away.
Up To Here Sessions and Tours (1989-90)
(Quality recordings: Spectrum, Montreal, April 11 1990. Ontario Place, Toronto, June 22 1990)
Get Back Again: Gorgeous ballad written by Gord Sinclair, played often in 1990. It was eventually recorded for Road Apples, but never released. A fan
it was brought back every once in a while, and even played live on the radio
in 1992. Last played in Kingston in February, 1995. Among diehard Hip Heads, it remains the most requested of the unreleased material, and is perhaps the most deserving of a release.
Eat Me Completely:
Some versions of the June 22, 1990 Toronto bootleg carry this title, taken from
a mid song rant Gord delivered during "Train Kept A Rollin" at the Ontario Place
Forum: "She looked so good/She looked so good/And she was really smart/So she
looked good and she was really smart/She used to write books/She used to sit beside me with the night light on/While
I was going to bed after 14 beers/And she'd write books by the light of the moon
and her night light/I'd say "honey, go to sleep"/She would say "no, I'm
documenting your life and I'm going to sell it for millions and millions of
dollars/And I said "well... perhaps you could start with this five syllable
Crack My Spine Like A Whip: Song
played often as an opener during 1990/91. Gord D.: "This is a song about a
woman with determination and strength, over my dead body."
It's Just As Well: Played often in
1990. (Thanks Bill Bruijns for the file).
Green Eyed Lady: Sammy Kohn from The Watchmen e-mailed to tell me that while he and his bandmates were opening for The Hip during this tour, the boys often worked this Sugarloaf tune into versions of "It's Just As Well." Thanks Sammy.
I'll Make Love To You Anytime:
J.J.Cale song, played occasionally in 1990/91. In Montreal, on 04/11/90,
Gord changed "I ain't no fish / I ain't no bird in the sky" to "I was born
in the water / And raised in the sky".
during numerous shows in 1990/91. One bootleg (mistakenly) calls it My
Skeleton. Eventually recorded for Road Apples, but never released.
The Luxury: Lyrics from The Luxury were introduced at 1990
shows, including the Misty Moon show taped by MuchMusic.
Road Apples Sessions and Tours (1990-91)
(Quality recordings: Road Apples outtakes; "Demos and Live Stuff." Roxy and Elsewhere (Killerwhaletank & Double Suicide are on this disc. 05/03/91) Hengelo, Netherlands, May 24 1991. Fisherman's Paradise. April 1991, XRT Chicago radio broadcast.)
Anchor On A Thread: Road Apples
outtake. One bootleg calls it Brand New World.
Scathed: Road Apples outtake. One
bootleg calls it How Long.
Not So Necessary: Road Apples
outtake. One bootleg calls it Just Not Necessary.
Montreal: Road Apples outtake. Played live during 1991 and only once since. The lyrics resurfaced a lot during "Courage" on the Canadian
leg of the Henhouse tour in 1996 ("The snow is so merciless/Poor old
Montreal"), it was then unexpectedly played in Montreal on the 2000 "Evening
With" tour. It was inspired by the murders of 14 women at the Ecole
Polytechnique in Montreal on December 6, 1989. One bootleg (mistakenly)
calls it Don't You Worry.
Geneviève Bergeron (born 1968), civil engineering student
Hélène Colgan (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
Nathalie Croteau (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
Barbara Daigneault (born 1967), mechanical engineering student
Anne-Marie Edward (born 1968), chemical engineering student
Maud Haviernick (born 1960), materials engineering student
Maryse Laganière (born 1964), budget clerk in the École Polytechnique's finance department
Maryse Leclair (born 1966), materials engineering student
Anne-Marie Lemay (born 1967), mechanical engineering student
Sonia Pelletier (born 1961), mechanical engineering student
Michèle Richard (born 1968), materials engineering student
Annie St-Arneault (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
Annie Turcotte (born 1969), materials engineering student
Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz (born 1958), nursing student
Play song live from Montreal 12/7/00
Original recording via Youtube
If You Lived Here: Road Apples
outtake. Lyrics resurface fairly often in performances of Wheat Kings and
A Cat Named Little Bones:
During the intro to "Little Bones" on the Road Apples tour, and as recently as
the 2004/05 IBE tour, Gord ranted about a "teeny tiny cat" named Little Bones.
Sometimes she was a Calico cat, sometimes she was trying to save the world, but
most references ended with Gord franticly calling the name of his feline friend.
(Thanks to Shane Kroeker)
Shout It From The Housetops:
Lyrical piece that was sung often during the Road Apples tour. It can be heard
during "Three Pistols" on the Roxy bootleg. Some of the lyrics eventually made
their way into "Springtime In Vienna" five years later: "Anything you whispered
in my ear in the closet/I'll shout it from the housetops"
The Wish: Gord Downie
provided vocals for this track on Mae Moore's 1991 "Bohemia" album. (Thanks
Never Worked That Hard: Road Apples
Seven Days: Bob Dylan song. Played in
Hengelo, Netherlands on 05/24/91 on the occasion of Bob's 50th birthday.
At The Hundredth Meridian: A recording of the 5/24/91 show
in Hengelo reveals Gord's fascination with the name of the place: "Hengelo,
Hengelo / My back still hurts when I say it slow". By August, Gord had the
lines "I remember Buffalo / I remember Hengelo" in place, and the entire
song was played in the fall of 1991.
Pigeon Camera: The Hengelo show fell on road manager Dave
Powell's birthday, and Gord sang an impromptu song about Dave's childhood in
Thunder Bay. Though none of the lyrics were retained, the themes of the song
were spying and incest-- two unlikely themes which would come back later in
Pigeon Camera. The last lines of the monologue were lifted from "Don't
Want to Know" by John Martyn, more lately covered by
Blackie and the Rodeo
Frogman: Played during New
Orleans is Sinking in 1991/92. Fictional story about Gord working as a
police frogman when he's not on stage performing with the band. Some similarities to the Killerwhaletank rant. One version has Gord discovering a family in a submerged car playing cards.
Double Suicide: Probably the best known of Gord's rants, made famous by the Roxy and Elsewhere bootleg. Performed during Highway Girl. Received huge exposure for an unreleased song on Southern Ontario radio stations such as 97.7 HTZ FM in St Catherines and Q 107 in Toronto. Requested Rant
This is an absolute must listen. Do it while youtube still permits you: Highway Girl Double Suicide.
Killerwhaletank: Yeah, we've
all heard this one. The Roxy version was released as a promo single, and
found its way onto many bootlegs. Slightly different versions appear during
other 1991 shows. Requested Rant
Leaving The Country: Another popular "Highway Girl" interlude. Requested Rant
Locked In The Trunk of a Car: Lyrics partly derived from the
famous Double Suicide monologue which can be heard during "Highway Girl" on "Roxy And Elsewhere." Eventually played on its own.
Bone Marrow Transplant: Another well-known monologue from 1991.
Fifty Mission Cap: On New Year's Eve 1991, Gord's monologue
during New Orleans is Sinking contained the Bill Barilko section of this
Looking For A Place To Happen: At the Hengelo show in 1991,
and probably at others before the recording of Fully Completely, Looking for
a Place to Happen was played with slightly different lyrics.
Fully Completely Sessions and Tours (1992-93)
(Quality recordings: Swinging on a Star, CBC Radio, 1992. Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto, April 18 1992. Kumbaya Festival, Ontario Place, Toronto, September 5, 1993.)
You See Details: Fully Completely
outtake. The title eventually morphed into a line from "Thugs", but there
are no other similarities between the two songs. In fact, lyric wise, it has
more in common with "An Inch An Hour" and it is the source of the "scary band" in that song. The only recorded live performance
was 4/18/92, but Gord sang some lines during jams in 1995/96. It was reworked into the Phantom Power outtake "Bumblebee"
Down By The River: Hip Head Shane Kroeker discovered that on the "April 26th, 1993 show at (I believe) the Roxy in Los Angeles, CA, Gord recites the lyrics from Neil Young's "Down By the River" in an eerie fashion as an intro to New Orleans Is Sinking. "Down by the river... I shot my baby..."
Radio Show: Fully Completely outtake. Played live during 1992, with the lyrics reappearing during jams in 1996. A 1995 studio version of the song was featured on the bands website in March of 2006.
Blonde Solid: Fully Completely
outtake whose lyrics were inspired by a painting Gord saw. Played live on
4/18/92, and brought back during jams in 1996-99.
Edelweiss: Austrian tune made famous in "The Sound of Music". Gord has entertained the crowd with it more than once.
Baby Ran: A 54-40 song played in 1992 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the British Columbia band. A clip was shown on Much Music's 54-40 special. (Thanks Casey)
Crocuses: Played during "New
Orleans is Sinking" sometimes in 1992.
Diana, Goddess Of The Hunt:
Played during "New Orleans is Sinking" at least once in 1992.
Murray McLaughlin song
played by Murray, Gord D. and Paul on CBC Swinging on a Star program, 1992.
Sara Craig song. Played
by Sara, Gord and Paul on Swinging on a Star, 1992. Written by Barry Reynolds and originally recorded by Marianne Faithfull in 1979. (Thanks Darin Addison).
This Coke Machine Glow poem's first recorded appearance was as a rant
during At The Hundredth Meridian in Montreal, July 25, 1993. Said to have been
inspired by the true story of a Japanese exchange student who was killed after
he entered a house while trick-or-treating in the United States.
Gord often entertained the crowd with this theory, proposing that collective
finger wigglin' could "make landscapes emerge." He famously led an ARA audience
in a mass wigglin' captured on the Heksenketel tour video. It was sometimes
combined with a "laminar flow" rant about whales moving through the water. The
wiggle concept went on to appear in the lyrics of two Day For Night numbers;
Emergency and Impossibilium.
Filles Du Roi:
Stories about the French orphans sent to create the Canadian nation were popular
in 1993. A well known version appears on Heksenketel at the end of Fifty Mission
Cap. "Filles du Roi/Daughters of the King/We're here to populate the nation/So
don't give me so much grief!"
Nautical Disaster: Took shape in the early summer of 1993. A complete version, played during New Orleans is Sinking
and recorded during Another Roadside Attraction, was released as a B-side.
Fire In The Hole: On one promo single, this song
accompanied Nautical Disaster in the middle of New Orleans is Sinking.
Thugs: A rough version was played in early 1993, and by ARA
in July and Kumbaya in September of that year, it was played on its own.
Land: Daniel Lanois song recorded by
the participants of ARA ´93. The verse sung by Gord is the genesis for
"Freaked" but it's unclear whether these lyrics ("Water's not the
purity...") were written by Daniel or by Gord. This song got some airplay,
and a video (with Gord at his bushiest) was shown on MuchMusic.
Hey Maria: Gord Downie joined
Andrew Cash and his band to play this Cash song at the Kumbaya festival in 1993. Lyrics
Limelight: Rush cover tune recorded and presented to the members of Rush. Dana discovered this response to a bootleg request in an old "Tales From The Hip" newsletter: "Well, the only full copy was given to our friends in the mighty Rush. So unless you can give them a call and ask to borrow it, it won't be available."
Day For Night Sessions and Tours (1994-95)
(Quality recordings: Glastonbury and Elsewhere, 1995. Day For Night Demos And B-sides. ARA '95 Markham, Ontario. Pink Pop Festival, June 5, 1995.)
Grace Too, Thugs, Nautical Disaster
version 1 & 2, Scared and Titanic Terrarium: Day For Night demos
recorded with different musical arrangements and tempos. Available on the DFN
Pascal's Single Cause: During the end of "Locked In The Trunk Of A Car" Gord would sometimes sing a variation of Pascal's famous
phrase: "All man's misery stems from a single cause/My inability to remain
quietly/Sit still/Yeah, Pascal, he'd tell y'all to sit still now."
Bow Down To The Will of My Pants: Another "Locked In The Trunk Of A Car" ad-lib of varying length. A short version can be heard on "Glastonbury and Elsewhere."
Bonus Glastonbury track
A Penny More: Shane Kroeker pointed out that Gord was singing this little ad-lib as the band played out Nautical Disaster during the DFN Tour. "Lovers/No one Compares to you." Found on Disc 3 of Let's Gather Round the Fan.
Courage For Winston Churchill:
During the now famous 1994 show in Glastonbury, UK, Gord introduced Courage and
dedicated it to the legendary PM. He also said the song was about “our holiday
on the beaches of Dieppe” and then recited a line from the previously performed
Nautical Disaster. This is the origin of the misinterpretation of Nautical as a
song about Dieppe. It is probably, like most Hip songs, born of many roots, but
Gord has said that the maritime mishap in question is the sinking of the
Bismarck and not the infamous Canadian campaign of
World War II.
Nazi Artist: Beginning on this
tour Gord would sing or rant about Eva Braun, Hitler's mistress, or Leni
Riefenstahl, Hitler's propaganda film maker, lamenting the fact that Hitler
didn't make better choices: "You shoulda dedicated your life to art!"
Speedy So Hard Done By: Up-tempo version of the Day For Night song, it ended up a session
100 Years Old (a.k.a. Win-Win Situation): Introduced in 1994, and often used as an ending to Pigeon Camera.
Apartment Song: Played in the middle of New Orleans is
Sinking in late 1994.
Purple Paint (a.k.a. Cowboy Coffee): Since it was introduced in 1995, it has rarely been heard in its
entirety, but Gord will often belt out a choice couplet, like "Drop the
grounds in the boiling water / Shot of cold water, and drop the grounds" or
"In a portage, miscommunication / As we paddle on that purple paint /
Drifting away on the golden shoulders / Drifting away on that purple
Fear: Introduced in 1995,
played both at the end and in the middle of songs such as Scared,
Inevitability of Death, and At the Hundredth Meridian. Expanded into the
poem Align on Coke Machine Glow.
Freaked: Took shape in 1993,
when Gord sang "Tell us everything you'd like us to know / I'd rather know
something about everything..." and "Water's not the pee / Water's not the
purity / It's the life of the mind / And the melody of panic". By the time
the Day For Night Tour rolled around, Freaked was getting played in the
middle of New Orleans is Sinking, often together with Cookie Factory and
Ahead by a Century, with the "water" lines replaced by the "sugar" lines.
The line "If you're freaked, I'm fucked / I love you that much" was brought
back in 1996, but was changed to "If yer freaked, we're fucked" when the
song reappeared in Coke Machine Glow as a poem titled San Leonardo.
Log Jam: Played during the
Canadian leg of the Day For Night arena tour during "New Orleans is
Sinking." About a logger who has to pick a log jam in a river. As he sang,
Gord walked from monitor to monitor at the front of the stage, trying to
keep his balance on the "logs".
Gradual Obsolescence: Beginning on the Day For Night tour, and for years afterwards, Gord would intro Scared; or sing during its conclusion: about a lighthouse keeper or door-to-door salesman whose services were no longer needed. 1996's "Live Between Us" features the salesman as seen from the buyers perspective, and "Scared" from the 1998 Sausalito radio show begins with Gord saying "they're phasing my job out, Ma."
The Lighthouse Keeper: This curmudgeonly old fella busted free from the gradual obsolescence rants and was featured on his own during performances of "Nautical Disaster."
The lead singer from Blues Traveller played his harmonica during "Fight" as part
of ARA '95
Take Me In Your Hand: Gord Downie and
Ron Sexsmith joined
The Rheostatics to perform this track from the Rheo's 1994 album "Introducing Happiness." (Thanks Shane Kroeker)
Swamp Jam: "A one-off jam recorded by Mark Howard at Kingsway in New Orleans during the Day For Night sessions" is how Gord Downie described it when it appeared on the bands website in 2005. An instrumental song, it was used more than a decade after its creation as backing music for Downie's poem; "We Are The Next Us." (see also IBE sessions)
Cookie Factory: There used to
be one in the west. Sometimes, there's also a bookstore in the east. Played
during early 1995, and brought back occasionally since then. The guitar riff
was resurrected for Sharks, and in the Coke Machine Glow book, a
cookie factory was considered as a possible gift for "the woman who gives
everything" in Gift Advice.
Ahead By A Century: Played very often in early 1995. Once
the band knew it would be a radio single, Gord changed the lyrics from the
original "dirty version." By the time Another Roadside Attraction rolled around, the lyrics as we know them
today were in place.
Dirty version lyrics
Flamenco: Another song whose lyrics were tried out during
Summer Side Of Life:
Gordon Lightfoot song. Played during 1995 Another Roadside Attraction shows,
with John Mann, Geoffrey Kelly, and
Linda McCrae of
Spirit Of The West joining the Hip on stage. Gord would later sing it during jams. (Thanks Casey)
Play "Summer Side Of Life" Jam (Thanks to Helmet Rocks for the file)
Play "Summer Side Of Life" All Star Band from ARA (Thanks to Ian C for the file)
Smile And Look Away (a.k.a. Sucker List): Played often during At the Hundredth Meridian in 1995. Abandoned after
Another Roadside Attraction in July. The "eclectic choice" verse became part
of Don't Wake Daddy, and the "sucker list" line was used in the Coke
Machine Glow poem It Might Be Moot.
Past: A 1995 jam which
included many lines that subsequently ended up as lyrics for 700 Ft.
Ceiling, Springtime in Vienna, and especially Don't Wake Daddy. One version contained the "interstate brickface"
line which would find a home in Vapour Trails some three years later. Reworked
into the poem Typewriting on Coke Machine Glow.
Butts Wigglin: Developed in late 1995. The title, thrown
around often by Gord ("Mr. Butts Wigglin on the guitar!") seems to be an
inside joke which has nothing to do with the song.
Sherpa: In August 1995, Sherpa was tested during New
Orleans is Sinking, and quickly brought out to be played on its own.
Put It Off: Played during New Orleans is Sinking and At the
Hundredth Meridian in late 1995.
Daredevil Reprise: Day For Night outtake, a slow, moody and melodic version of "Daredevil." An instrumental version was often played before "Daredevil." It was popular during the 2000 tour and made a return in 2004. Sometimes confused with "Hiccups," which later preceded "Daredevil" on some Henhouse gigs.
Dante: Day For Night outtake, available on the DFN Demo's bootleg.
McLachlan provided backing vocals on this Day For Night track which was released
on a benefit album for the 30-Hour Famine project.
Springtime In Vienna and Giftshop: These two Trouble At The Henhouse tracks began regularly appearing on setlists as The Hip performed in the fall of 1995. Their respective music and lyrics remained largely unchanged upon their release one year later. Lyrics
Trouble At The Henhouse Sessions and Tours (1996-97)
(Quality recordings: Clarington; 07/13/96. Buffalo; 11/26/96. Washington; 9:30 Club. Darien Lake; 7/30/97. Barrie; 08/02/97. 1997 release: "Live Between Us")
The "Live Between Us" Covers List -What is Gord singing on LBU?
Escape Is At Hand For The Travellin' Man: With
ever-changing lyrics, this was played during New Orleans is Sinking during
the American Henhouse tour, and became known to fans as "Best Friends". By
the Canadian leg of the tour in late 1996, the song was played on its own as
"Stereo", although Gord still sang the "Idle Conversation..." coda as "Pale
as a light bulb..."
Cara's "Stereo" lyrics
Chagrin Falls: The distinctive guitar line to this song has
been around for quite awhile and was played quite often on the Henhouse
tour. In the widely-circulated 5/29/96 show, for example, the band plays it
during At the Hundredth Meridian while Gord sings "Peel back the onion skin
/ To reveal the embryo within". By 1997, Gord had added the lyrics, singing
them on their European tour and during the surprise NxNE show in Toronto.
Poets: Another one which was around, lyrically, since the
beginning of the Henhouse tour, with lyrics changing until the very end.
Flying Jenny: Gord Sinclair and Gord Downie helped out on this
Linda McRae album in 1997. (Thanks Tommygun)
Bad Time To Be Poor: Rheostatics cover played in 1996, during New Orleans is Sinking and Nautical Disaster. Lyrics
Temple: Hip superfan Casey Routly points out that it is indeed this Jane Siberry tune which Gord broke into during Nautical Disaster on "Live Between Us." Gord also sang part of the Rheostatics "Bad Time To Be Poor." Lyrics
Chantilly Lace: Big Bopper song played in 1996, during New Orleans is Sinking.
Trophy Salesman: Played
occasionally in 1996, usually during New Orleans is Sinking.
I Can Only Give You Everything: Them (featuring Van Morrison) song, played often in jams, 1996-99. Returned during 2004 IBE tour
Every Irrelevance: Gord Downie
song. Gord sang this with the Rheostatics during a CBC Realtime show, and
the Hip played with it during jams on the Henhouse and Phantom Power tours.
The lines "Catharsis / My arse is / Capable of more flush / Adolescence / In
essence / Is all about trust" appeared on Live Between Us, and the
whole song was eventually released on Coke Machine Glow.
Play Gord and the Rheostatics
Hiccups: Originated out of the Daredevil Reprise. It was often played as its own
song as the Henhouse tour progressed, though it still always preceded
Antares: Written as backing music for Kurt Browning's skating routine. Later released on an ice skating music compilation.
China Girl: Gord sang more than a few lines from this David Bowie song during New Orleans is Sinking on "Live Between Us." Thanks to Opiated for filling me in. Lyrics
Ashley McIssac: Ashley joined the
band on stage in Barrie, Ontario and added his fiddle to "Wheat Kings" as part
of ARA 1997. (Thanks prz and patiodweller)
Into Temptation: North Carolina's jet flyin',
limosine ridin', kiss stealin', wheelin' and dealin' son of a gun (Whooooooooo!)
Chuck Owens notes that it is in fact this Crowded House tune which Gord is
singing during "Twist My Arm" on Live Between Us. "Into temptation/Knowing full
well." The song is on their 1990 album "Temple Of Low Men."
Nothing To Worry About: A popular
lyrical device which later partially returned as part of 2000's "Under The
Stars" rant. The 1996 "Live Between Us" version was structured like this: "I was
going round your town/I was on my way down/I was picked up by a friend/He said:
'man I know you've come to some kinda dead end'/Oh lord I can swear there's a
bend/I can swear there's a place where all those bits are commending(?)/And you
can never be too dependant/And every
one around you's smiling/Every
one around you's stylin'/But
you've got nothing to worry about/Nothing to worry
about." Scott Davis hears the line as "I can swear there's a place where all
those bits will be mended?" It sounds like he is saying "mended" and the
line fits really well into the whole healing/salvation theme."
No More Rubbernecking: Everybody
slows down to take a look. Gord ranted about rubberneckers during this and other
tours. The "Live Between Us" version blends in with a Cold War theme: "Get you a
reconnaissance sweep/Can't do a reconnaissance sweep/Undercover/Catch you a
kinda Cold War stiff/Nothing you can't handle/Nothing you can't see/No more
rubber necking now/No more rubbernecking." (Thanks Dana)
The Heater: Dale Fedorek pointed out that Gord was singing this Mutton Birds song during "At The Hundredth Meridian" in 1997.
Don't Worry Baby: Gord sang "Don't worry baby, everything will turn out alright" from this Beach Boys tune during New Orleans Is Sinking on "Live Between Us." Thanks to Schaggs.
Imagine: Gord sang the "Nothing to live or die for/No religion too" lyric from John Lennon's legendary song during Grace, Too on "Live Between Us." Thanks to Opiated.
60 Seconds: Short lyrical piece Gord sang at the end of "Springtime In Vienna," it can be heard on the "Glastonbury and Elsewhere" bootleg, as well as "Live Between Us," and is still around today. "Only one can hear... Only 60 seconds on the dial... And that takes a while."
All Your Friends Are Gone: Short lyrical piece Gord sang at the end of "Scared." It can be heard on "Live Between Us," and during the Hip's 1998 acoustic radio show in Sausalito, California. Lyrics seem to change slightly with each performance, but it's built around: "All your friends are gone/No, they're out there on your front lawn."
Empty: Lyrical piece Gord sang at the end of "The Luxury" and "Springtime In Vienna." It can be heard on "Live Between Us." Sometimes coupled with "All Your Friends Are Gone." It's pace and style changed, depending on when it was sung, but the lyrics remained largely in this structure: "...know so much... this empty hall/There's an empty smell/And the curtains swell/And it's hard to tell/If there was anyone here at all."
Save The Planet, Vapour Trails and Membership: These three Phantom Power tracks began regularly appearing on setlists in Europe and North America as The Hip toured in 1997. Their respective music and lyrics remained largely unchanged upon their release one year later. Lyrics
Phantom Power Sessions and Tours (1998-99)
(Quality recordings: Bill's Bar Boston; 1998. Hamilton; 02/18/99 Mississauga; 02/19/99 Toronto; 12/31/99, 01/01/00 Woodstock '99. "Something On: The Tragically Hip" Much Music Special, July 7, 1998, London)
Acoustic "Something On"
Bumblebee: Phantom Power session
outtake whose bridge contains a reworking of You See Details. Many of the
lyrics were incorporated into Sailboat on Coke Machine Glow.
The Vegas Strip: Phantom Power
session outtake: "In the darkest deep/Germany/Looked like the Vegas Strip".
Also includes a line shared with Save the Planet ("Murmurs in the mist") to
rhyme with the '97 ARA slogan: "Let the enemy not exist". Some of the lyrics
ended up as the basis for the poem of the same name in Coke Machine Glow, and some of the music was reworked into "The Dark Canuck".
Poets Plus: From the
time "Poets" first appeared in full during the surprise 1998 Camp Trillium
benefit gigs, it has been accompanied by two ad-libs which you could set your watch by. After singing the "doin' some final accounting" lyric, Gord will
sing the "Black Death" plague inspired: "bring out your dead!" When the song's
lyrics are complete, you can be sure Gord will summon memories of some
distant swim class as well as Spielberg's JAWS: "Swim honey! Swim honey! Not to me! Not
to him! Just swim! Not because there's a fifteen foot dorsal fin closing in...
The Burning Church: Made famous when Gord performed it during Woodstock '99, this tale of a gospel choir trapped in a burning church showed up often during the Phantom Power tour. It re-appeared in 2004.
Jet: Shane "All Ears" Kroeker and the Hipbase hordes noted
that Gord sang lyrics from this Wings song during jams on the Phantom Power
Tour. It can be heard on the Dec '98, Milwaukee Modjeska Theatre show. "With the
wind in your hair of a thousand laces/Climb on the back and we'll go for a ride
in the sky/And Jet, I thought the major was a little lady suffragette/Jet, whooo"
Mr. Hussein: The man who would
eventually give "The Bastard" its tabla sound, played his unique instrument with
the band during the encore at Wetlands, NYC, July 25, 1998. (Thanks eriehip)
Father's Sad Song: This song appeared on the Rheostatics 1999
album "The Story Of Harmelodia." The lyrics were written by Gord Downie. (Thanks
Tied To A Rocket: Bobby Baker performed on this
1998 Hell Billy's record. (Thanks Dana)
Rheostatics song often sung by Gord as the coda to Nautical Disaster. Heard
as early as 1995, but most often during the Phantom Power tour.
Lofty Pines: "It's too hot to
sleep / Let's gather round the fan / We can't do nothing about the heat /
Let's just do what we can" sings Gord in this jam which was played often
during the summer of 1998, and occasionally since then. It was played on its
own only once, at the Wetlands Preserve in New York, when Gord Downie, Paul,
and Johnny played it while technical problems were being fixed. "If we only
had nothing to say / If only we'd done nothing that day" seems to be a
reference to the limousine which crashed while bringing several Detroit Red
Wings home from a Stanley Cup party in 1997. Released on Coke Machine
Glow. The Lofty Pines Motel, which is referenced in both the jam and the Downie solo release, is a real motel in Ontario's cottage country.
Blackflies (a.k.a. Not That Isolatable): This song, also introduced at the beginning of the Phantom Power tour,
was never really developed, and was for the most part ignored until the 1999
Canadian tour. Released on Coke Machine Glow.
SF Song (a.k.a. I Think It Was):
Debuted in San Francisco on July 27, 1998 as more of a monologue or a rant
than a song, and repeated occasionally during the Phantom Power tour. The
Marlboro ad Gord saw on the back of the bus (pictured below) was a parody ad
used by the California Department of Health Services, along with
anti-tobacco groups. Eventually released on "Coke Machine Glow."
Play Song (Thanks to Helmet Rocks for the file)
Insomniacs Of The World, Good Night: The line "Insomniacs of the world unite / Insomniacs of the world
goodnight" first appeared in late 1996, and was further developed during the
Phantom Power tour (1998/99). Often preceded by a few choice lyrics from the
Joni Mitchell song This Flight Tonight
("Star bright, star bright / You've got the loving that I like"). The
band played around with it during a few tunes but in the end it was performed mostly
spoken-word on Coke Machine Glow.
Play "This Flight Tonight" Ad-lib (Thanks to Helmet Rocks for the files)
Elaborate (a.k.a. Toronto #2):
That's the verb, not the adjective. Appeared in September 1998 and toyed
with throughout the Phantom Power tour. Released on Coke Machine Glow.
Sweet City Woman: Gord sang lyrics from this Stampeders song, most often the "sweet, sweet city woman" chorus, during the end of "Bobcaygeon."
Starpainters (a.k.a. Into Thin Air): Features an anesthesiologist of ever-changing gender. First appeared
in September 1998, and it hasn't changed much since then. Some of the lyrics
were incorporated into Freak Turbulence, and the whole thing appeared on
Coke Machine Glow.
Play Song (Thanks to Helmet Rocks for the file)
Play Song (Thanks to Helmet Rocks for the file)
High School Days: Gord ranted about running into a girl he hadn't seen since high school during At The Hundredth Meridian.
Bonus "Something On" Much Music Track
The Never-Ending Present:
About waiting for a bus? Surfaced in September 1998 and played throughout
the Phantom Power tour. Released on Coke Machine Glow.
Songwriters' Cabal: This one
got its debut in August 1998 and was played a little less often, but made
it, slightly changed, into the Coke Machine Glow book as I Stand
Before the Songwriters' Cabal.
Play Song (Thanks to Helmet Rocks for the file)
Pink Moon: Nick Drake song added to the end of Ahead by a Century by Gord Downie, on
and off since the Henhouse tour. Gord began singing Drake's "Fly" in the same spot during 2004. Significantly, "Stay" was called "Drakes"
in early setlists. The original lyrics: "I saw it written and I saw it say /
Pink moon is on its way / And none of you stand so tall / Pink moon gonna
get ye all / And it's, yes, it's a pink moon / Pink, pink, pink, pink pink
The Hellfire Club Sessions: Johnny Fay played drums on this 1999
Mahones record, he also co-produced the album. (Thanks Opiated)
Over The Neptune/Mesh Gear Fox: Guided By Voices number performed during New Orleans Is Sinking at the March 12, 1999 Vancouver show. (Thanks Marty Williams)
Woodstock '99 and New Years in Toronto: That hot July day in Rome, NY, and the New Years Eve '99 and New Years Day '00 concerts in Toronto, were loaded with references to future releases Music@Work and Coke Machine Glow. Notable rants performed mid song at Woodstock included portions of The Bear, Vancouver Divorce and Lake Fever. Toronto heard much of the same, including Lake Fever played in full for the first time.
Play Song (Thanks to Helmet Rocks for the file)
Play "The Bear" Rant (Thanks to Helmet Rocks for the file)
Music@Work Sessions and Tour (2000-01)
(Quality recordings: Ottawa; Corel Centre 12/06/00. Montreal; Molson Centre 12/07/00 (quality sucks, but it's the only modern version of "Montreal") Chicago; 06/13/00. San Francisco; The Filmore 10/25/00)
Chris and Kate:
Every song performed during the 2000 "An Evening With The Tragically Hip" tour
is in some way unique thanks to the vocal contributions of
Kate Fenner and the
keyboard work of Chris Brown. The duo first served as the opening act for a few
shows, before being incorporated into The Hip's double-set stage show. More than
simply backing the band on stage, Kate and Gord traded verses on songs such as
"Scared" and "Sherpa," while Chris provided melodic intros to songs like "Tiger
The Lion" and "Giftshop." Brown also played keyboards on Music@Work.
Flamenco featuring Chris and Kate
The Mystery Of The Hipwreck: As early as summer 2000, a studio-recorded instrumental version of Gordon Lightfoot's "The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald" began appearing on file sharing sites such as Napster, Kazaa and their descendants. The cover was credited to The Tragically Hip. A version of "The Wreck" does not appear on any album demos, it was never performed live in its entirety by the band until 2006, and nobody seemed to know why it was labeled a Hip song. I e-mailed the band in June of 2005, and they confirmed that The Tragically Hip have never recorded a version of the legendary Lightfoot number. Though I did receive another e-mail message from the band which read, "if it sounds like us, then it's us."
Clientele: Lyrics which usually appeared during New Orleans Is Sinking on the "Evening With" tour. "They have wonderful clientele/Giant high ceilings/just like a big old hotel."
Microphone Mechanic: Rant which appeared during Grace, Too in various cities, including Vancouver and Montreal during the "Evening With" tour. The Vancouver version went like this: "I'll have to find myself a microphone mechanic/I don't know if there's any here that I know/But I know your work/I can look it up on the web/Get all of your particulars/What's the last thing that you said?/Of course it felt good/Look under the hood..."
Play Song (Thanks to TLB Tony for the file and lyrics)
It Makes No Difference: Mike Borgida points out that during the January 1, 2000 show, Gord can be heard referencing The Band: "I was watching a video bootleg of the January 1 Hip show at the ACC in Toronto and was surprised and really excited to hear Gord introduce New Orleans by saying, "This song's called Acadian Driftwood." I've heard Gord introduce songs under all kinds of wild and bogus titles before, but being a huge fan of The Band (Acadian Driftwood appearing on their 1975 release "Northern Lights - Southern Cross") my ears perked up. Later in the song, after a tribute to Greg Moore (Contact), Gord sings several verses of The Band's "It Makes No Difference" - a beautiful and devastating song about lost love. Gord does a great Rick Danko impression when he struggles to hit the high notes and delivers a moving rendition of the song. Throughout the New Year's Day 2000 show Gord is borrowing rants from Coke Machine Glow. The Band references are perhaps motivated by his poem: "The Band, Upstate" which talks about Rick Danko and Richard Manuel... he must have been listening to them around then."
Vanishing Points: Paul Langlois provided some strong guitar work during this track from Chris Brown and Kate Fenner's 2000 album "Great Lakes Bootleg." (Thanks Casey)
Too Close To The Sun: Gord Sinclair played bass on this track from
David Usher's 2001 album "Morning Orbit." (Thanks Tommygun)
Dusty Road: Gord would sing this tale of a salesman on a country road at the end of "Scared." "It's just clinging to the air/We don't get many visitors up here/That's why the road acts so shy/The dust clings to the air/As the door-to-door salesman walks back down the dusty road/The road acts like it's never had a visitor here/I won't apologize for the road/And the trail it left behind/She musta left a real impression/On that old dusty road's mind." Four years later, "Mean Streak" would become home to the "dust clings to the air" lyric.
Sarah Pinette: Ms. Pinette added the subtle but sensational cello work to the studio versions of "Tiger The Lion" and "Toronto #4."
Berlin: The man from Los Lobos, who contributed his various musical talents to Music@Work, also produced the album as well as 1998's Phantom Power. He would later join the band on stage at the House Of Blues in Chicago, playing sax during "So Hard
Done By" on the IVL tour. He pulled the same duty when The Hip played Darien Lake back in '97.
Kanata in Uncle Jim's Car: Gord told this story during "Grace, Too" in Kanata, Ontario, December 6, 2000: "I went down to Struggletown, and Hazeldean and all over the Ottawa Valley it seems. You've got your Hudson's Bay blankets, and it's not even a joke. Almost every one of ya drinks, and every one of ya smokes... How'd the story start? How did he start the story with something like: 'I drove out to Kanata in my uncle Jim's car.' He said 'you know where Leeno's used to be?' I said: 'no, dad, I don't. I don't know where Leeno's used to be.' -'Well, you take the road north where Leeno's used to be. You know that on-ramp that used to go up and around behind the old Elm tree.' -'No dad, I don't. I just want to know how to get there! I don't want no lesson in history! C'mon dad! The concert's at 8! I can't wait! Please, please, give me the keys!' and I jumped the front gate."
Money City Maniacs: Gord sang lyrics from this Sloan song, most often: "When he awoke his/Body was covered in Coke fizz;" during New Orleans Is Sinking.
Tonight's The Night: Gord was fond of singing the chorus to this Neil Young song at various points during concerts. When Downie briefly toured in support of Coke Machine Glow in 2001, he and his band performed the song in full. A version of the "tonight's the night" lyric made its way into In Violet Light's "All Tore Up."
Under The Stars: contained some of the "you've got nothing to worry about" lines Gord sang during "Grace, Too" on "Live Between Us." Usually appeared near the end of "Grace, Too" on the "Evening With" tour. "There's no need for any of you to be afraid/You might think about giving up/Just sitting alone under the stars/And everyone around you's thinking/And everyone around you is smiling/You've got nothing to worry about/No need to worry about it."
Gust Of Wind: Gord took to singing these lyrics as the band played out Giftshop. "A gust of wind/The windows rattled/The curtains blew/Knocked over the mantle(?)/I was keeping on the window sill/Especially for you"
Saboteur: A song heard frequently on the "Evening With" tour, usually during ballads or "Daredevil Reprise." Lyrics varied but always concluded with "The nocturnal shush of the saboteur." Lyrics eventually made their way into "Willow Logic" on Gord's 2003 release "Battle Of the Nudes."
The Right Thing: Gord Sinclair played bass guitar and received a writing credit for this song which appears on Tom Wilson's 2001 release "Planet Love."
Silver Road: Gord Downie provided backing vocals as the rest of the Hip played this
Sarah Harmer song when it first appeared on the 2001 "Men With Brooms" soundtrack. Sarah opened a few Hip shows during the summer of 2002, and was always joined on stage by Gord for a duet.
Oh Honey: Technically not
"unreleased", as it came out on the Men With Brooms soundtrack.
In Violet Light Sessions and Tour (2002-2003)
(Quality recordings: Toronto; 02/20/02. Ottawa; 07/11/02. Chicago; 07/16-17-18-19/02. Amsterdam; 11/07/02. Edgefest DVD; 09/06/03)
Problem Bears: In Violet
Light outtake released as a bonus track through The Hip Club. Lyrics
Forest Edge: In Violet
Light outtake released as a bonus track through The Hip Club. Lyrics
Ultra Mundane: In Violet
Light outtake released as a bonus track through The Hip Club. Lyrics
Harmer: Sarah joined the boys on stage for Wheat Kings in Ottawa in July of 2002. (Thanks Casey for jogging my memory)
Bisetti: Another hombre from Los Lobos, a master of percussion, who
helped out during the House Of Blues Chicago gigs. (Thanks cferneyh)
Heart And Crime: Tommygun points out that Gord Downie contributed his skills to this 2002 album by
Julie Doiron. Julie provided the backing vocals on selected Music@Work studio tracks.
If I Had A Hammer: Gord Downie recorded this Pete Seeger and Lee Hays song for "Peace Songs II." He also performed the song live as part of an anti-war concert at Barrymore's Music Hall in Ottawa during the 2003 Juno Fest.
Life Is For Getting: Most popular reoccurring rant of the IVL tour. The "life is for getting/Life is forgetting" and "night is forgetting/Night is for getting" rants often appeared during "At The Hundredth Meridian" and became longer as the tour went on. Lyrics eventually found their way into "Vaccination Scar" from IBE, and the theme was transformed into the IBE bonus track: "Night Is For Getting." Gord Downie and the Country of Miracles recorded "Night is For Getting" in 2010.
Joe: Played at Edgefest, September 6,
2003 in Barrie, Ontario as well as the warm-up shows (Most notably the surprise Whistler gigs) leading up to the In Between Evolution release and tour. Released as
"Goodnight Josephine" on IBE.
Another Edgefest and Whistler song, eventually released as "You're
Everywhere" on IBE with a different first verse and altered chorus. Began with the lyrics: "When it comes to country/Are you in? Are you out?" The lines "A ballroom/Hanging for you" were eventually replaced by "You're there/You're everywhere."
Black Day In July: Gordon Lightfoot
cover produced for the 2003 tribute album "Beautiful." The song, critical of racial division in the modern U.S. and the resulting 1967 Detroit riot, is said to speak from the perspective of someone watching Detroit riot from across the river in Windsor, Ontario.
The Bridge: Gord Sinclair appears on this 2003 album by Shaye.
The Streets Where You Live: Gord Downie contributed vocals to this Buried Heart Project for the benefit of the women of Vancouver's downtown east side.
Gord Downie And The Country Of Miracles: Gord Downie's side project performed Neil Young's When You Dance I Can Really Love, and Tonight's The Night, Creedence Clearwater Revival's Fortunate Son, and Bob Dylan's Going, Going, Gone, Nobody 'Cept You and If You Gotta Go, Go Now (thanks Andrew Patriarche) during their 2003 tour.
On The Farm:
Rant often heard during "Grace, Too," among others, which featured lyrics that
found their way into IBE's "Mean Streak." "On the farm they don't tell ya
anything in advance/And it's just so hard to ask/I was thinking about that as a
hay wagon rolled by/And a bunch of guys rolled past/The bottom's of their boots
touching the top of the grass." "Mean Streak" lyrics "You'd swear, you'd swear"
and "It's the way the dust clings to the air" (which had been around since
"Dusty Road" in 2000) often appeared in this rant, or as part of another
Bear: This piece of campers logic would eventually find its way
into IBE's "The Heart Of The Melt," changed slightly to reflect a shark attack.
Downie would often sing "I don't need to outrun the bear/I just need to outrun
you" in the middle of "At The Hundredth Meridian."
Evolution Sessions and Tour (2004-2005)
(Quality recordings: Wasaga Beach DVD; 07/11/04, Cleveland; 09/19/04, CTV's Juno Awards Broadcast; 04/03/05, CTV's Live 8 broadcast; 07/02/05, livedownloads.com; Ottawa and London releases from November of 2004, and the Toronto release from July, 2004)
Here Come The Tits: An entirely improvised song which Gord began to sing during the accelerated jam the boys played during “At The Hundredth Meridian” in Wasaga Beach, Ontario on July 11, 2004. Inspired when a woman, perched on some guys shoulders, removed her bikini top and drew attention (including Gord’s) away from the stage. Gord surveyed the beach, the water slides and the breasts, and came up with this funny and surprisingly structured song right off the top of his head. Wasaga was one of those incredible shows where every element of the Hip's appeal came together in one spot. If you don't have the DVD from Chris or Shannon yet, get it. Lyrics
Fighter Fighter: Unreleased IBE track
about the Lords Resistance Army in Uganda. Played live at the Odeon Theatre in September of 2004. During the IBE studio/warm up sessions, the band billed themselves as "The Fighter Fighters" for some surprise gigs. Lyrics
Night Is For Getting:
Released as IBE bonus track. Gord would often sing long "Life is
forgetting/Life is for getting" rants during "At The Hundredth Meridian"
during the 2002 In Violet Light tour. The rant was the basis for this song and also made its way into the lyrics
of "Vaccination Scar."
Fly: A big thanks to Corby Hart in Kelowna for clueing me into the fact that Gord was singing the first verse of this Nick Drake song at the end of "Ahead By A Century" during the November/December 2004 arena tour.
O Canada: Gord and Joel Plaskett performed the Canadian national anthem prior to The Hip's 2004 Canada Day show in Toronto. Downie also sang the anthem before that years Major League Baseball All Star Game in Houston, Texas. The band would later take part in a mass singing of the song as part of 2005's "Live 8."
Microphone Stand: Downie took to ranting about his microphone stand and its desire to leave him to pursue its own musical career. Often, the rant would centre around the fact that the stand was nothing without Gord. Seems to have been heard at every single show on the 2004 summer and fall tour. "Where do you think you're going?/You're just a microphone and a microphone stand/I'm a full grown man/Quit acting like a man/You think you can go it alone?/Well let's just see if you can/I'll give you yer day/Let's hear what you gotta say"
We Are The Next Us: Gord Downie read part of this poem during the bands April 3, 2005 induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. Shortly afterwards, a full length version appeared on the bands website. The poem was set to the music of "Swamp Jam:" an unreleased Day For Night number.
Play Song. Thanks to Corby Hart for the file
On Time: Most versions of "Courage" from this tour included Gord giving 'Courage' hell for being late. "Where were you!/If my name was Courage, I'd want to be on time!/Courage, he's a heck of a guy/But he's never on time." Both Ottawa shows included stories of 'Courage' wasting his time with politicians, both at the UN and on Parliament Hill. Wasaga Beach included specific references to being "45 minutes late," which is roughly the amount of time which passed between the boys scheduled start time, and the moment they literally pulled up to the stage in a minivan.
Freddie Mercury: Throughout 2004 and 2005, a rant featuring a line from Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," and referencing that bands legendary lead, emerged during a few songs, most notably; Poets: "Seventy days to cross the ocean/Seventy nights when no one's gunna hear you fall/Like Freddie Mercury/I sometimes too wish I'd never been born at all." It appeared twice during The Hip's July 2 "Live 8" performance in Barrie, Ontario. Corby Hart notes that migrants travelling from Bohemia (modern day Czech Republic/German border region) often took about 70 days to cross the Ocean. The Concord, originating in Rotterdam, launched from London in 1683 and landed in Philadelphia (Germantown) 76 days later.
Keep On Rocking In The Free World: The Hip have twice participated in this
Neil Young song as part of a mass performance during a benefit concert. In 2001, the band was joined on stage by their fellow acts during "Music Without Borders" for Afghan relief. In 2005, the song closed the Canadian edition of "Live 8." Gord looked humbled to be sharing a stage with
Bruce Cockburn and Neil himself. During the '05 edition, Downie and Young shared a microphone during the songs first verse.
Strippers Union Local 518: Rob Baker's side project performed a few Hip tunes, such as Small Town Bringdown and Putting Down as well as Odd's covers Someone Who Is Cool, It Falls Apart and Make You Mad during their 2005 tour.
Radio Plays: Paul Langlois produced the first
Hugh Dillon Redemption Choir album in 2004. He also performed backing vocals for this track.
Gord Sinclair co-produced and performed on James McKenty and The Spades
album "Burning On Fumes." Gord also played bass guitar during this song with The
Spades at the "Across The Causeway" charity event on September 12, 2004 in
Kingston. (Thanks hipfan57)
Aykroyd: Elwood Blues has joined the band on stage playing harmonica
a few times, most notably during "Locked In The Trunk Of A Car" in Kingston on
Sept 12, 2004 and during "Poets" as part of Live 8 in Barrie on July 2, 2005.
A song released as part of the 2005 Greatest Hits package in November, 2005. It
was played live for the first time in Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland and
Labrador on July 16, 2005. It also made an appearance during the Hip's opening
gig for The Rolling Stones on September 3, 2005 in Moncton, New Brunswick.
Tired Of Waiting : Gord took to singing the chorus from this Kinks song during "Little Bones" on the IBE tour. It can be heard on the London livedownloads.com show
For As Long As It Takes: Gord sang about
options: "You could write/You could think/You could have sex/You could leave your jewelry in a bowl beside the bed/You could stare out the window/Down the
lawn to the lake/For as long as it takes" during the fall of 2004. A
year later, these lyrics appeared as the opening verse to "The New Maybe"
Aside: Patrick Johnson pointed out that Gord was singing this Weakerthans song during the bands Juno Awards performance: "leaning on this broken fence/
between past and present tense/and I'm losing all those stupid games/that I
swore I'd never play"
Love Is To Keep It All In: During the late summer and fall of 2004, Gord would provide his opinion on love: “Keep it all in/Dissuade away/Keep it all in/Love is to keep it all in.”
It's Love: Lyrics which made their way into a few songs, most notably Lake Fever, during the 2004 arena tour. Seemed nearly fully formed on New Years Eve in Hamilton. "It's love, drink till ya drop/In front of the wrong hotel room door/It's love, drink till ya drop/till ya drop everything yer doin and what yer doin it for"
Love Is A Curse: Gord began
singing these lines during the latter part of the IBE tour. During the summer,
he'd sing: "I'll come back and marry you, I do, I do" at the end of "Bobcaygeon."
By the Fall, he'd added: "This is as bad as or worse/This is as bad as or
worse/Oh, love is a curse/Oh, love is a curse/I've been part of the full brunt
of the force/I've been the devil of darkness' horse/And this is as bad as or
worse/Oh, love is a curse/I've been interpreted and shrunk/I've been touchless as a drunk/And this is as bad as or worse/Oh, love is a curse." This became "Love Is A First" on 2009's We Are The Same. (Thanks fingernailsonhull)
Lead With Your Heart: Yet another love themed ad-lib which would usually appear as the band closed concerts with "Blow At High Dough." Sometimes, Gord's shouts of "Lead with your heart!" would be followed by one of the other "love" rants listed above.
Blackstone's Constitutional Criticism:
Just when you thought Bono or that
Coldplay guy were the most well read lead singers in rock, Gord goes and
references British constitutional criticism. Blackstone wrote: "Parliament can
do everything but make a woman a man and a man a woman." In Ottawa, during the
November '04 show, Gord ranted: "That's why they call it Par-la-ment, yeah, they
want a man to be a woman and to be a first mate, and a disappointment and then
be a woman again."
Hallelujah: Gord Downie covered this
Leonard Cohen classic for the soundtrack of the film "St. Ralph."
New Orleans Is Beat/Nautical Disaster Medley: In tribute to the victims of Hurricane Katrina, Gord performed a few
fitting lines from "New Orleans Is Beat" over the murky and reflective intro to
Nautical Disaster during The Hip's September 3, 2005 gig in Moncton.
The Glove Hand: On December 14, 2005, Mav was nice enough to grant Lance, Chris and I an audience with Gord. He spoke to us about playing hockey in the morning... his reflexes came in handy that night. During the show, the guy beside me asked "does Gord smoke?" I said "Yeah, think so." So right in the middle of a song, this guy hurls a cigarette in Gord's direction. Downie pulls the most incredible Patrick Roy glove save of all time and snatches the cigarette out of mid air between his fingers. Our entire section gave out a cry of "OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH!" like you hear at hockey games... or rap battles on TV (snap! you got schooled!) Gord looked right at him, then at me, with a look of "damn right. I caught it with my bare friggin' hands." The Completist can take over from here: "then Gord proceeded to deliver the rest of a killer Flamenco, pretending to take drags off the cigarette like he used to years ago..."No one drags me anywhere." He finished off the song only by walking the cigarette over to the edge of the stage and placing it in my hand as I leaned inward between the 2 stage monitors. So my wife asks this morning why I had a smoke on my night table... and just shook her head when I told her." Photos of "The Glove Hand" are over in the Hipstories section.
Going Going Gone: A Bob Dylan song, performed on December 14, 2005 at The Phoenix in Toronto. I asked Gord about a trip he, Sam Roberts and Sarah Harmer had made to Sick Kids hospital that morning. Gord told me about being affected by the young children who probably won't be there next year... as the boys covered "Going Going Gone" on stage, watching Gord emote his way through the song, it was hard not to think of his earlier comments.
The Man Comes Around: Played in tribute to Johnny Cash on December 14, 2005 in Toronto.
Powderfinger: This Neil Young song was played as the grand finale at The Phoenix in December of 2005. The boys were joined on stage by Matt Mays, Sarah Harmer and her band, Danny Michel, The Sam Roberts Band, and Dave Hodge (yes, that Dave Hodge.)
World Container Sessions and Tour (2006-2007)
(Quality recordings are available via hipbase.com and hipfans.com.)
Pretend: Played for the first time at The Windsor Arms Hotel on Queen Victoria's birthday, 2006. The Hip played it as part of an acoustic set after being awarded honorary fellowships from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Released in the Fall of 2006.
The Lonely End Of The Rink: Debuted in Vancouver at the Commodore Ballroom on May 26, 2006. Played again the following night during the already legendary George, WA show as The Hip took the stage after a hail storm. Released in the Fall of 2006.
The Drop Off: Debuted during the Vancouver, BC show on May 26, 2006. Released on "World Container" in the Fall of 2006.
Fly: Debuted during the Vancouver, BC show on May 26, 2006. Released in the Fall of 2006 on World Container. Includes many of the lyrics from the 2004 "Freddie Mercury" rant: "Seventy days to cross the ocean/Seventy nights when no one's gunna hear you fall/Like Freddie Mercury/I sometimes too wish I'd never been born at all."
Yer Not The Ocean: Debuted during the Toronto, Ontario show at Fort York on June 24, 2006. Released on "World Container" in October of 2006.
C'mon Everybody: An Eddie Cochran song, performed on December 13, 2006 at The Phoenix in Toronto. It returned as an encore during the 2007 World Container tour.
Queen: David Bowie song as performed by the boys during the 2006 Holiday Jam on December 13, 2006 at The Phoenix in Toronto.
It Makes No Difference: The Band cover, performed on December 13, 2006 at The Phoenix in Toronto. The song was also played as an encore during World Container tour.
On A Night Like This: Performed on a night like that in Toronto, during December 13th's Holiday Jam. A Bob Dylan original. It returned as an encore during the 2007 World Container tour.
Summer Side Of Life: This Gordon Lightfoot song was played as the grand finale at The Phoenix in December of 2006. The boys were joined on stage by Matt Mays, Sarah Harmer, Buck 65, Sam Roberts, and Kathleen Edwards. It was also played during the 2007 World Container tour as an encore.
Fiddler's Green: Although not unreleased, this song, for personal reasons, remained unperformed for over fifteen years. It returned as a regular feature on the World Container tour.
Microphone Stand Redux: While 2004 saw many a bitter battle between Gord and the mic stand, 2007 witnessed the ugly confrontation. Gord murdered the mic stand, repeatedly. Often, after breaking the stand down, sometimes by unscrewing its parts, other times with sheer snapping force, Gord would twirl a long remaining piece like a baton. In Boston, on April 20th, he handed broken portions of the stand to the crowd. One lucky spectator received the base, to which Gord screamed: "It all starts at the base! It's eleven pounds of tender, loving, care!"
"What Has Nationalism Brought You?": Also in Boston, in response to some his raucous fellow Countrymen up front, Gord gave an anti-nationalism rant before the encore. It included the line: "What has nationalism brought you? Nothin! Don't say you're better than anyone else!" Downie's distaste is explained in the Exhibit Hall.
Like A Rolling Stone: The World Container tour also marked the return of the cover song. The band usually played a cover as the second song of every encore. This Bob Dylan song was a crowd favourite in Ottawa on February 2, 2007.
Walking On The Moon: During "Meridian," in Ottawa on Feb 2nd, Gord laid down on stage and gave himself a hot-towel facial. He then proceeded to break down the microphone stand and twirl it like a baton (with an amazing amount of skill). As Gord wow'd the crowd, the boys played this song by The Police.
Do You Feel Like We Do: This Peter Frampton song was busted out during "At The Hundredth Meridian."
Queen Bitch: A World Container tour cover song. It was played during an encore. A David Bowie original.
Powderfinger: A World Container tour cover song. It was played during an encore. A Neil Young original.
I Can Only Give You Everything: A World Container tour cover song. It was played during an encore. A song originally performed by Them and Van Morrison.
Four Strong Winds: A World Container tour cover by Ian Tyson. Dale Fedorek pointed out that Travis Good of The Sadies joined the boys on stage for this song in Lethbridge, Alberta.
2000 Light Years From Home: A World Container tour cover song. It was played during an encore. A Rolling Stones original.
Somethin' Else: An Eddie Cochran original played as an encore on the World Container tour.
Atlantic City: A Bruce Springsteen original played as an encore on the World Container tour in, where else?, Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Going, Going, Gone: A World Container tour cover song; played during an encore. A Bob Dylan original.
Six Days On The Road: A World Container tour cover song. It was played during an encore. A Dave Dudley original.
Train In Vain: A Clash original played as a World Container tour cover.
The Weight: A song originally written and performed by The Band.
Big Yellow Taxi: A Joni Mitchell original played in Peterborough, Ontario.
Hang On To Yourself: A World Container tour cover song. It was played during an encore. A David Bowie original.
Lust For Life: The Iggy Pop number, busted out in London, Ontario on February 5.
Nautical Disaster: This song returned to its roots on Feb 5th in London; being played amidships during "New Orleans Is Sinking."
Picture My Face: A song by Hamilton band Teenage Head. It was played in their hometown during the encore on February 6.
Diamond Dogs: Another David Bowie song that made it into the World Container tour encores. Played in Toronto on February 7.
Can't Explain: By The Who. Played in Buffalo 03/09/07
1979: By The Smashing Pumpkins. Played in Buffalo 03/10/07 and Chicago on 05/11/07
End Of The World As We Know It: By REM. Played in Atlanta 03/13/07
Substitute: By The Who. Played in Houston 03/09/07
Tush: By ZZ Top. Played in Dallas 03/16/07
Train Kept A Rollin': By Tiny Bradshaw, Howard Kay and Lois Mann. Played in Denver 03/19/07
Suspicious Minds: By Elvis Presley. Played in Las Vegas 03/21/07
Mr. Soul: By Neil Young. Played in Anahiem 03/23/07
Hollywood: By Concrete Blond. Played in Los Angeles 03/24/07
If You Gotta Go, Go Now: By Bob Dylan. Played in San Fancisco 03/26/07
Don't Worry Baby: By Los Lobos. Played in Portland 03/28/07
Jumping Jack Flash: By The Rolling Stones. Played in Seattle 03/29/07
Black Day In July: By Gordon Lightfoot. Played in Detroit 04/12/07
Metal: By Iggy Pop. Played in Detroit 04/13/07
Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald: By Gordon Lightfoot. Played in Cleveland 04/14/07
Burn On: This Randy Newman number was sung during the introduction to Daredevil in Cleveland on April 14. (Thanks to David Schneider)
Child Of The Moon: By The Rolling Stones. Played in South Burlington, Vermont 04/16/07
Tax Man: By The Beatles. Played in South Burlington, Vermont 04/17/07
I Want You: By Bob Dylan. Played in Clifton Park, New York 04/18/07
Is This Love: By Bob Marley. Played in Boston 04/20/07
Rudy Can't Fall: By The Clash. Played in Hampton Beach 04/21/07
The Last Time: By The Rolling Stones. Played in Lancaster 04/22/07
Johnny Appleseed: By Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros. Played in New York 04/24/07
The Magnificent Seven: By The Clash. Played in New York 04/25/07
Dead Flowers: By The Rolling Stones. Played in Philadelphia 04/28/07
Young Americans: By David Bowie. Played in Washington, D.C. 04/29/07
Helter Skelter: By The Beatles. Played in Indianapolis 05/10/07
Surrender: By Cheap Trick. Played in Chicago 05/12/07
Bastards Of Young: By The Replacements. Played in Minneapolis 05/14/07
Come Together: By The Beatles. Played in Madison 05/15/07
The Shape I'm In: By The Band. Played in Cleveland 05/16/07
Street Fighting Man: By The Rolling Stones. Played in Erie 05/18/07
Papa's Got A Brand New Bag: By James Brown. Played in Towson 05/19/07
Sleeping Sickness: Gord Downie provided the second verse to this City and Colour song released in 2008.
We Are The Same Sessions and Tour (2008-2010)
(Quality recordings are available via hipbase.com and hipfans.com)
Skeleton Park: We Are the Same sessions B-side offered as an exclusive track for Telus Mobile music users.
Play song (Thanks to Shane Kroeker).
The song references Skeleton Park in Kingston, Ontario and the Rideau Canal which runs from Kingston to Ottawa, Ontario.
Hush: We Are the Same sessions B-side offered as an exclusive track for pre-ordering the album on iTunes.
Play song (Thanks to Shane Kroeker)
Jim Bryson: Jim brought his considerable skill along to every show on this tour. The excellent Ottawa musician played keyboards and generally made things more awesome.
Kathleen Edwards: Kathleen appeared on stage with The Hip during this tour. As usual, she got the dough, but Jim got the glory.
Jennifer Baichwal: Jennifer is a visual artist and film maker of immense talent and notoriety. Her work appeared above and behind the band on screens and displays during the Fully Completely Anniversary and Man Machine Poem tours. She and Gord Downie are fellow Lake Ontario Waterkeepers. Remember that lightening storm during a break in the Man Machine Poem Tour? That was Jennifer's work.
Edward Burtynsky: Edward is a world famous photographer who has showcased his work in major exhibitions from Vancouver to Paris. His work accompanied many songs on the big screens during the Fully Completely Anniversary and Man Machine Poem tours. He and Gord Downie are fellow Lake Ontario Waterkeepers. Remember that footage of a Chinese iron factory during the Man Machine Poem tour? That was Ed's work. Ed flew from Vancouver to Toronto to take in one of the Toronto shows on the MMP tour. I was lucky enough to stand next to him. The man knows his Hip. Check out his work here.
All non-lyric content and Hip photographs © 2016 Stephen Dame
Lyrics are the property and copyright of The Tragically Hip.
Lyrics are provided for reference, education and personal use only.