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Friday, January 15, 2010

Rush Night In Canada

It has been a long time (more than 15 years), since I've regularly watched hockey. In fact, I can likely count, on one hand, the number of times in the past 10 years when I've watched a full NHL game. It's not that I don't like hockey, it's that I've moved away from the habit of following a few different teams, or actually being able to sit in front of a television for several hours straight.

I can imagine when Alexander gets a bit older, I'd love to take him to a real live game.

But when I was younger, CBC's Hockey Night in Canada was one of my favourite things to watch, and the theme music (The Hockey Theme) is something that still gets my blood pumping at full throttle. From the broadcast's opening with the phenomenal music, to Coach's Corner, with Don Cherry and Ron MacLean, Hockey Night in Canada has long been a staple of Canadian culture, like Tim Horton's.

Interestingly, this theme, often referred to as Canada's 2nd National Anthem, is likely one of the most recognizable songs across our country. When legal issues regarding the licensing of the song meant it had to come off the air in 2008, there was quite the uproar about it. I wonder if people would have been as passionate if they tried removing our actual National Anthem (O Canada).

All you have to do is quickly mention the music from Hockey Night in Canada and people can immediately start humming the music from it. You only need to hear a few bars to immediately recognize it and get that all consuming feeling through to your bones. Talk about a powerful song.

In fact, when The Hockey Theme written by Dolores Claman, was substituted, even though the new music used was perfectly fine, it still didn't get my heart racing the way the original theme did.

Last night, The Hockey Theme, as recorded by Neil Peart (drummer and lyricist for Rush) debuted. You can read a bit more about it here and here.

The drum set Neil used when performing/recording the song was decked out with the logo's of 30 NHL teams. He was also wearing a custom hockey jersey (RUSH 3).

How wonderful that my favourite musician now has a part of the re-boot of one of my favourite pieces of music.

Here's a video clip of the song from TSN -- a wonderful segment featuring Neil as well as action shots of hockey and its fans.

Ahh! There's that wonderful Rush I used to get when I tuned in to CBC's Hockey Night in Canada. I can't wait to share this new song with my son, who is already a fan of Rush (the opening from 2112 being one of his favourite pieces of music).

Thanks, Neil.

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