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Where are you, Bernie Taupin?


 

For all the talk of the Hockey Night in Canada theme being the “second national anthem” (or is it the third?), it retains a notable deficiency in that regard: lyrics. To my knowledge, since it was first written 40 years ago, no words have ever been added to it. 

Granted, the words to the first anthem are no great shakes, even if I could remember when to sing “far and wide” instead of the old “stand on guard.” And true, it would be kind of a kick to hear 17,000 fans singing, in unison, “dum ba-DUM ba-dum, dum ba-DUM ba-dum.” But really, isn’t it time we gave this “anthem” some words?

The task is complicated by the absence even of  a standardized version of the tune — the CBC has teased and tugged it into various forms over the years, adding sound effects here or altering the mix there, with different passages being used depending on whether it was being played off the top, at intermission or under the credits. There was even a disco rendition, as I recall, though the experiment was mercifully short-lived.

Nevertheless, a canonical version might be assembled out of the following three parts:

First, the intro

Dum, ba-DUM, ba-dum

Dum, ba-DUM, ba-dum

(Louder)

Dum, ba-DUM, ba-dum

(Still louder, with an overlay of high-pitched horns)

Dum, ba-DUM, ba-dum, dummm….

Second, the verse:

Ba-dum, ba-dum, dum, DAHHH! 

Ba-dum, ba-dum, dum, DA-dahhh! 

Ba-dum, ba-dum, dum, DAH, DAH-ba-dum

DAH, DAH, ba-dum, DAHHHH!

(Repeat.)

Then things calm down a bit for the bridge:

DAH, dum, DAH, dum, DAH-ba-dum,

DAH, dum, DAH, dum, DAH-ba-da,

DAH, dum, DAH, dum, DAH-ba-dum —

DUM! DUM! DUM! DUM! DUM-DUM-DAHHHH!

Then once more with the verse and we’re done.

I challenge readers to hang some lyrics from that framework. You needn’t bother with the intro  — no one sings the riff from “Satisfaction,” after all. But then — well, to get you started, here’s what the song’s writer, Dolores Claman, might be thinking these days:

I’m going to CTV!

I’ve had it with the CBC!

They wouldn’t pay me what it was worth —

What I gave birth to:

 

The Hockey Night theme song!

The one we can’t quite sing-along!

But hum as generations of

Canadians do!

 

It’s got no words, but

Plenty of punchy brass, and

Just when you’re starting to get

Used to it —

KICKS! YOU! IN! THE! FRIGGIN’ ASS!

 

The Hockey Night theme song!

The one we can’t quite sing-along!

But hum as generations of

Canadians do!

Possibly you can do better.

UPDATE: Whoops — some Calgary radio station has apparently taken a whack at it. Sample line: “I won’t remember who won the game or even my own name soooooon!” 


 
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Where are you, Bernie Taupin?

  1. The attempts at onomatopoeia (ba-dum, ba-dum) all strike me as equivalent to a fridge falling down the stairs.

  2. William Watson would be more convincing if he could spell Sidney Crosby’s name properly!

  3. Ralph Benmergui made up lyrics to the (former) HNIC theme years back for a “Benmergui Live” bit. I thought they were pretty funny. They included something like:

    It’s hockey night in Canada
    It’s hockey night in Canada

    Chase the-uh puck
    up and down the ice
    yeah!

    LOL

  4. I think we should change the antem to the theme from Corner Gas.

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