I was surfing the net yesterday, stumbled across a website, and spent waaaaaay too much time browsing all of its content. Actually that's a misleading statement; I still have to browse the exhibit hall and some of the reference shop. The site is hipmuseum.com - A Museum After Dark: The Myth and Mystery of The Tragically Hip. It has oodles of information for almost every single Hip song, released and unreleased alike. I found a gem I had to share. It's called We Are The Next Us. According to the hipmuseum, Gord Downie read part of this poem during the band's April 3, 2005 induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. Shortly afterwards, a full length version appeared on the band's website. The poem was set to the music of "Swamp Jam": an unreleased Day For Night number.
I suggest reading along as you listen to it, so right-click this link, choose Open in New Window, and keep reading for the lyrics...
We Are The Next Us
(The time occupied by the action is an afternoon and one night.)
I don’t know who comes up with this shit
but, I wish they’d stop saying;
‘it’s not the band I hate, it’s their fans’
You can’t hate “fans”.
You must narrow your hate
You can’t hate huge, hate sprawling, hate the wild,
unfocussed hate hates itself,
pick your victims. specialize
find the good n’ unaffiliated, the heir-not apparent, the everyday outcast,
the weirdo with the heart of gold, infiltrate the hoser elite.
Find the ribs-showingest rock n roll stray dog
That ever pushed melodious air
howling against vivisection in the uncompartmentalizeable
and, then hate
or go to a show - look down your row.
the lights are on - find people you know.
There’s AnthemSinger standing with his arm
and Ol’Quintessential listening to HigherThanACBCGuest say;
“I haven’t read them, but I understand them.”
And there’s BrainOfAToaster (he knows when things are done)
next to that girl, CradlingHerKeyCard, whispering,
“this might be my last show, come.”
Check it out! There’s HoldStill and Gently - together again for the very first time.
next to ColderValues, next to FeaturelessButFree.
Hey, even TheEmperorHasNoHook is here and IDon’tWannaTalkAboutItHowYouBrokeMyHeart, she’s here too.
Go to a show. Look down your row
While the lights are on
find people you know:
to GoesWithoutSaying and
OverTheRadar points out
Go to a show.
Music Lovers under a full moon in trust
It’s not the band you like it’s their sea of hate you don’t trust
you’re in the right place
Author a killing.
employ carelessness, greed
wait til the hate’s flowing
then hate like the wind
take hate’s hate and do it better
make hate retire - go soft
catch bats til you feel better
try and catch them aloft
don’t hate fans it makes ya sound like a fuckin fascist, or worse -undiscerning.
No one likes indiscriminate.
you won’t get laid with those politics
that said. Lets go backstage! See what’s hateable there.
The band is preparing - lost in thought,
relearning, “How To Get Lost” and
“Where To Appear, Where to Never Appear”
hoping to return to the birthplace of the word
where winning sentences hang from trees
where no one is too cool to move
or too slow to get out of their own way.
The crew is moving on water
Tributarily spring-run-off fed rapids they’re paddling
deliberately, quietly, fur-traders not missionaries
they run God’s Instrument through the Devil’s Amp for chrissakes
they bring the Peace If Peace
is any good at all
it’s because of them,
and if it isn’t, well, it was working before.
a shadowy figure stands alone with a notebook
writes then underlines;
- I fucked Paul McCartney
- Put teen ennui back in ‘tsunami fatigue’
- Penned Relentlessly Apt…
- Forgot DarklyNurturedDream
deep in conversation,
It’s Picasso (Canadian) and Matisse (Canadian)
- ‘Giving is where the pleasure is in this business.’
- ‘That’s when can you see what this business can do’
- ‘When everyone in this business is together- whoa - I’d like to be you’
they organize relief in a heartbeat
they can stand in a canoe
lets move UN to the Halifax, let's move Superior to the moon.
Hey there’s Andrea, the dancer
and a poet named Ken.
Their nametags say, ‘Muse’
they are Somebody’s Someone Somewhere then
waving to the Canadian Arc
they’re gonna do something
together one day
A thing about a country that
found itself in its
art found its way
It’s getting time - it’s getting close (go to your seats)
a part in the night where’s the love of my life?
kiss me, ‘thank you for this’
kiss me ‘I won’t be myself without you’
kiss me, It’s time, to reach you the way you reach me
Out in the emptying lobby, a lonely Waterkeeper is late setting up his booth.
A kid, who is interested, says, ‘here, let me help you.’
Here’s an explosion
an explosion inside
the just before music sound (the sound of just before music)
kindnesses, sweetnesses shoot up
and shower back down
The listeners have spoken, and it’s,
We all have our moments
get the success we deserve
We must look at each other
(it’s failure that takes nerve)
make eye contact, shake hands
Like the greats before us
let us cry into the curtains
and then go on stage
The band’s plugging in (they intend to stay)
The singer strides to the microphone
Yells (rock voice) ‘Thank you!’ as if to say
‘For giving us our start!’
and ‘This one’s for Neil!’
and ‘Have a great Augusta, Craig!’
And then we start
now you can hate