Monday, September 21, 2009

Music Munday: Canadian Musical Gords

Hello readers of The Written World! Chris from book-a-rama here hijacking Kailana's blog today. When K asked people to host a Music Munday, I quickly said yes. Then I realized that I would have to come up with something. I thought about discussing Canadian music that I liked and while looking around came to the conclusion that there are a lot of Gords in Canadian music. What's up with that? Why is the name Gord or Gordon so popular? I don't know that many... wait, there was.... and.... okay so maybe it is a popular name in this country.

So I thought I'd highlight a few of Canada's musical Gords.

When I met my husband, I was surprised at his music collection. He has a large number of classic rock, punk, alternative, and blues CDs. A lot of stuff I had never heard of before. He introduced me to a Canadian band called Big Sugar. At first, I wasn't that impressed but I have come around.

Gordie Johnson once headed the now disbanded group. One of my favorite songs is "All Hell for a Basement". The song title has a literary connection. Rudyard Kipling made this comment about Medicine Hat, Alberta and it's natural gas reserves as he travelled through Canada:

"This part of the country seems to have all hell for a basement, and the only trap door appears to be in Medicine Hat. And don’t you ever think of changing the name of your town. It’s all your own and the only hat of its kind on earth."

What does that have to do with the song title? The song is about an out of work Newfoundlander who struggles with the decision to go west "where they've got all hell for a basement" for work and whether he will regret that decision later. I like the lyrics because as a Atlantic Canadian, I have had friends and family go work on the Tar Sands of Alberta leaving everything they know behind.

Big Sugar did not make many videos and there isn't one for All Hell For a Basement but this dude used it in his YouTube video about well testing.

Next is Gordon Downie from the great Canadian band The Tragically Hip. I grew up listening to these guys. In Canada they are rock gods but not so popular everywhere else.

So The Tragically Hip did make videos but most have the embedding disabled. I hate that. Here's an ancient version of New Orleans in Sinking from Up To Here (1989) though. It was dropped off many radio playlists right after Katrina. What does the song mean? I dunno.

I can't talk about Canadian Gords of music without mentioning Gordon Lightfoot. He wrote a crazy amount of songs. Recently, he's been plagued with health problems but in this 1974 performance he looks and sounds great! Sundown is my favorite Lightfoot song.

I hope you liked this post about Canadian Musical Gords!


  1. Awesome! And don't forget the Barenaked Ladies album Gordon. The liner notes are filled with famous Gordons.

    Gord Downie is a genius. That is all.

  2. Haha I never even realized that, how funny!

  3. Raidergirl- I remember that!

    Vanessa- I noticed it when I was looking around for this post. lol!


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