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A collection of memorable song lyrics written by Gord Downie and his bandmates

Gord Downie performs at WE Day in Toronto on Wednesday, October 19, 2016. Downie, the poetic lead singer of the Tragically Hip whose determined fight with brain cancer inspired a nation, has died. He was 53. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
October 18, 2017 - 5:50 AM

Gord Downie's lyrics shone attention on Canada's history, neglected social problems, legal injustices, and the stories of small-town Canadians.

Here's a collection of memorable lines from Tragically Hip songs and Downie's solo projects:

"First thing we'd climb a tree. And maybe then we'd talk. Or sit silently. And listen to our thoughts. With illusions of someday, cast in a golden light. No dress rehearsal. This is our life.

— "Ahead By a Century" off "Trouble at the Henhouse"

"One afternoon, four thousand men died in the water, here. And five hundred more were thrashing madly, as parasites might in your blood. Now I was in a lifeboat designed for ten and ten only. Anything that systematic would get you hated. It's not a deal nor a test nor a love of something fated. The selection was quick, the crew was picked in order. And those left in the water, got kicked off our pant leg. And we headed for home."

— "Nautical Disaster off "Day For Night"

"We don't go anywhere. Just on trips. We haven't seen a thing, we still don't know where it is."

— "Long Time Running" off "Road Apples"

"See my sister got raped, so a man got killed. Local boy went to prison, man's buried on the hill. Folks went back to normal when they closed the case. But they still stare at their shoes when they pass our place."

— "38 Years Old" from "Up to Here"

"There's no simple explanation. For anything important any of us do. And yeah the human tragedy, consists in the necessity, of living with the consequences, under pressure, under pressure.

— "Courage (For Hugh Maclennan)" from "Fully Completely."

"In his Zippo lighter, he sees the killer's face. Maybe it's someone standing in a killer's place. Twenty years for nothing, well that's nothing new. Besides, no one's interested in something you didn't do."

— "Wheat Kings" from "Fully Completely."

"Bill Barilko disappeared, that summer. He was on a fishing trip. The last goal he ever scored won the Leafs the Cup. They didn't win another until 1962, the year he was discovered."

— "Fifty-Mission Cap" from 1992's "Fully Completely."

"The secret rules of engagement, are hard to endorse. When the appearance of conflict, meets the appearance of force."

— "Grace, Too" from 1994's "Day For Night.

"Words are blanks. Words are ghosts. Words are God. Words don't make the rain go."

— "Don't Let This Touch You" from Downie's solo project "Secret Path"

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News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

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