Three great songs from the criminally overlooked Tragically Hip

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The Tragically Hip were huge in Canada for decades. Most of the rest of the world never learned to figure out just how great a band they were, however. That's not the band's fault, though. The blame is on those who couldn't take the time to listen.

The Tragically Hip were iconic in Canada with tours that would sell out in minutes. They are fourth-biggest selling group ever in Canada and released a number of excellent albums over several decades. Maybe Candians just really are smarter than other people?

Here are some notable quotes about the band you will soon be listening to on high rotation. From the show Letterkenny, "In the words of arguably the greatest Canadian rock band of all time, The Tragically Hip, 'It's a good life if you don't weaken.'"

The Tragically Hip should be more important to you

And from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after the death of Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie from brain cancer in 2017. Well, I am not going to write the words. Just watch the video. I mean, how special do you have to be when the leader of your country is sad because you've lost a band member?

"Grace, Too" (1994)

This article isn't a long expose of everything about the Tragically Hip. They have far too rich of a history to simply try to parse into a few hundred words. You can find a history here if you want. I just want you to know a few songs then you can listen to the depth of the band's excellence on your own. But if you watched Saturday Night Live on March 25, 1995, then you would have seen them introduced by Dan Aykroyd who simply appeared on the show so he could introduce the band.

"Grace, Too" is not long-winded lyrically but the words imply all you need to know. The music slowly moves toward something just below rage while the lead guitar keeps the whole tune grounded. It's brilliant.

"New Orleans Is Sinking" (1989)

The Tragically Hip's early music was heavily blues-based even while Downie's words could be more poetic. This song has been on several lists of best songs ever by Canadian artists and peaked at number 30 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks. There's a reason why: It's a fantastic song.

The production isn't yet on par with later records, but it was like that for many bands in the 1980s just starting off. In the case of "New Orleans Is Sinking," however, it works to make the song even grittier which is perfect.

"Wheat Kings" (1992)

This is the Tragically Hip meeting the Allman Brothers, only "Wheat Kings" is slower and a bit more folky. It is also achingly beautiful. The song is quintessentially Canadian and we all all better for it.

Many American bands could never accomplish being so in touch with where the band is from. We are a bit too commercialized. What paints a more picture and is so wonderfully melancholy as the following lyrics: "There's a dream he dreams where the high school's dead and stark/It's a museum and we're all locked up in it after dark/The walls are lined all yellow, grey and sinister/Hung with pictures of our parents' prime ministers"?

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