Wheat Kings

Sometimes my head has too many thoughts.

Today’s song holds more than just a nice melody for me. In a lot of ways, what it is about is a reminder of why I do the work that I do, and why it is important to do it well. If you google “David Milgaard” (the inspiration – what a terrible designation – behind the song), you can probably divine more than a hint of what I do. The why is a complicated mix of ‘I like it’ and higher values and the feeling that I can do something to make the world a little… better, I suppose. Or something that makes me feel useful on a daily basis. Anyway, here’s your music:

The Tragically Hip is a strange kind of band, they’ve been around since the 1980s and they really sunk deep into the Canadian consciousness. They were certainly a fixture of the music world in the 1990s and early 2000s. I don’t know if they ever tried (too hard), but they never made it big outside of Canada. Within Canada, though, hoo boy. Everyone knows them, but that doesn’t mean they necessarily like them. They have a very unique style that doesn’t always feel accessible. It’s taken me years to grow into my appreciation of their music, and they certainly have a rich collection of Canadiana that touches on stereotypes and themes and very specifically Canadian subjects, even though their songs that I do like are definitely among my favourites. Their lead singer, Gord Downie, is a whole other kettle of fish. He did their farewell tour 2 years ago (he was diagnosed with a brain tumour and was given about a year, he walked on later that same year) and it was one of the biggest things to happen in recent Canadian cultural history. Not least because in his final months he addressed the subject of residential schools (I’m a bit out on a white dude saying so much without hearing about him giving First Nations people a voice of their own, but I can’t say he did wrong). We’ll be hearing more from the Tragically Hip in the future.

In any case, enjoy the music. I have a very social weekend ahead of me and it’s tangling with new stuff at work that makes me feel out-of-step but has many possibilities for personal and professional development. I hope to recover soon. :)


  1. voyager says

    It took me a while to grow into The Tragically Hip, too. There’s still a lot of their music that isn’t exactly my taste, but some of their stuff blows me away. Like this song.
    Gord Downey was quite a poet and their music reflects that. He was deeply connected to the First Nations Community and wrote a combination of graphic novel with movie and music to tell the story of Chanie Wenjack who died while trying to escape from residential school in Ontario. Downey was given highest honors by the First Nations community before his death. He was given a Lakota name (Wicapi Omani, meaning “walks with the stars”) and a traditional blanket and an eagle feather by the Chiefs Assembly in front of the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (Global News)Blue Rodeo gave a concert on the last day of The Hip’s farewell tour and they had a huge screen brought in so they could check in on the other concert. They stopped playing several times to listen and comment.
    I hope your weekend goes smoothly and that you find some time for self-care.

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