The Loss of a Canadian Icon; Gord Downie - Author Elizabeth Eckert

The Loss of a Canadian Icon; Gord Downie

If you are like me, you grew up with the voice of Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip booming from every speaker you had. He was there with me when I had my first kiss, when I first found love, when I experienced my loss, when I dabbled in singing myself, and when I evolved in this world, he evolved with me.

Just a few weeks after the loss of the famous, iconic, and inspirational Tom Petty, our hearts take yet another stab. We feel pieces of our childhoods have been taken away, our musical religion corrupted with sorrow.

Music speaks to us, it tells us a story we relate to and elicits feelings that are deep, private, inspiring, jaded and mystical. It unites us, our diverse natures become one with a common love for a band like the Tragically Hip and Gord Downie. He spoke to us during our best and worst times. His words are interwoven in countless moments of our lives. His songs replay memories and emotions. Somehow, for 30 years, Gord Downie and the Tragically hip, have spoken directly to us abstractly, fully, and completely.

Through Gord Downie’s words we saw the world differently. His poetry filled a void, completed us, sparked curiosity, inspired creativity and took us away on his journey. We cried with him, dreamt with him, laughed with him and grew because of him. Through his commitment to his family, his band-mates, his Country and his advocacy, he became and will forever be one of the most charismatic, poetic, exceptional icons of our Country, our homes and our hearts.


In 1984 The Tragically Hip began.

1987: The Tragically Hip 1989: Up to Here 1991: Road Apples 1992: Fully Completely 1994: Day for Night 1996: Trouble at the Henhouse 1998: Phantom Power 2000: Music @ Work 2001: Coke Machine Glow (Solo album) 2002: In Violet Light 2003: Battle of the Nudes 33 (Solo album) 2004: In Between Evolution 2006: World Container 2009: We Are the Same 2010: The Grand Bounce 8 (Solo album) 2012: Now for Plan A 2014: And the Conquering Sun (Solo album with the Sadies) 2016: Man Machine Poem 2016: Secret Path

In 2016, Gord Downie and The Tragically Hip gave the world a most precious gift… a goodbye. They toured Canada, showing inconceivable perseverance to give us the lyrics and music that have carried us for more than three decades. We were given a chance to bid farewell to a man and a band who leave behind a color-less void. The world has now changed with the loss of Gord Downie but we will remember him and carry his legend with us, to be passed to our children, their children, and Gord Downie and The Tragically Hip will live forever.

We will find resolve and peace within his memory and legend left behind. And we will smile and rally-on for Gord Downie as he did for us.

I give a heart-felt condolence to Gord Downie’s family, the band and fans everywhere.

Tell me how this loss has affected you? How were you introduced to The Tragically Hip?


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