June 3, 2016 3:47 pm
Updated: June 3, 2016 3:54 pm

11 Canadian references from Tragically Hip songs

The Tragically Hip, from Kingston Ont., have been singing about the Canadian experience since the early 1980s.


WINNIPEG — Nothing gets more Canadian than a room full of Tragically Hip fans singing along to the song, ‘Wheat Kings.’

The Tragically Hip are one of the most iconic Canadian bands to ever hit this country. Their lyrics reference everything from the disappearance of Toronto Maple Leafs’ player Bill Barilko to David Milgaard’s wrongful conviction and the beauty of the prairie skies.

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It’s no wonder tickets for the band’s farewell tour sold out within minutes across the country Friday morning.

READ MORE: Tragically Hip tickets in Winnipeg sell out immediately, already on resale on StubHub

In May, the band’s frontman, Gord Downie, 52, announced he has terminal brain cancer, but still plans to play with the band for one last tour. In honour of this, Global News has compiled a list of the best Canadian references in Tragically Hip songs.

READ MORE: Gord Downie and The Tragically Hip: Honouring the Canadian band’s best music

“If there’s a goal that everyone remembers. It was back in old ’72.”

50 Mission Cap
“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 ’til 1962, the year he was discovered.”

Wheat Kings
“A nation whispers ‘we always knew that he’d go free’.”

Locked in the Trunk of a Car
“They don’t know how old I am, they found armour in my belly from the 16th century, conquistador, I think.”

The Bear
“I think it was Algonquin park; it was so cold and winter dark. A promised hibernation high took me across the great black plate of ice.”

At The Hundredth Meridian
“Where the great plains begin. At the hundredth meridian.”

“That night in Toronto, with its checker board floors, riding on horseback and keeping order restored.”

The Hard Canadian
“What’s a windswept face, the elusive presence of the sun, to the hard Canadian?”

Thompson Girl
“Thompson Girl walking from Churchill. Across the icy world with polar bears it’s mostly uphill.”

38 Years Old
“12 men broke loose in ’73 from Millhaven Maximum Security; 12 pictures lined up across the front page. Seems the Mounties had a summertime war to wage.”

The Darkest One
“From thin and wicked prairie winds come in, it’s warm and it’s safe here and almost heartening.”


© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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