Courage (For Hugh Maclennan)

The Tragically Hip

About Courage (For Hugh Maclennan)

"Courage (for Hugh MacLennan)" is a song by Canadian rock band The Tragically Hip. It was released in February 1993 as the third single from their 1992 album Fully Completely. The song's bracketed title references the late author Hugh MacLennan, because lines from his 1959 novel The Watch That Ends the Night are paraphrased in the song's final verse. The song was very successful, reaching number 10 on Canada's RPM Singles Chart, and also charting well in the United States and the Netherlands. The song was also nominated for "Single of the Year" at the 1994 Juno Awards. 


Year:
2009
4:54
90 
#1

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Watch the band through a bunch of dancers
Quickly, follow the unknown, with something more familiar
Quickly, something familiar
Courage, my word it didn't come it doesn't matter

Sleepwalk, so fast asleep in a motel
That has the lay of home and piss on all of your background
And piss on all your surroundings
Courage, my word, it didn't come, it doesn't matter
Courage, your word, it didn't come, it doesn't matter
Courage, my word, it didn't come, it doesn't matter
Courage, it couldn't come at a worse time

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, my word, it didn't come, it doesn't matter,
Courage, your word, it didn't come, it doesn't matter
Courage, my word, it didn't come, it doesn't matter
Courage, it couldn't come at a worse time

It couldn't come at a worse time
It couldn't come at a worse time
Courage

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The Tragically Hip

The Tragically Hip, often referred to simply as The Hip, was a Canadian rock band from Kingston, Ontario, that was active between 1983 and 2016. The band was made up of Gordon Downie [1964-2017] (lead vocals and guitar), Paul Langlois (guitar), Rob Baker (guitar, known as Bobby Baker until 1994), Gord Sinclair (bass) and Johnny Fay (drums). The band released 12 studio albums, two live albums, 1 EP, and 54 singles. Nine of their albums reached No. 1 in Canada. They received numerous Canadian Music awards, including 16 Juno Awards. The band's final album and tour were in 2016, following Downie being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in December, 2015. more »

5 fans

Written by: Robert Baker, Gordon Downie, Johnny Fay, Paul Langlois, Gordon Sinclair

Lyrics © Peermusic Publishing

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind


10 facts about this song

Song Interpretation
"Courage (For Hugh MacLennan)" was inspired by two Hugh MacLennan novels, The Watch that Ends the Night and Voices in Time. MacLennan was a Canadian author whose work explored fundamental truths about Canada’s national identity.
Songwriter and Lyrics
The song was written by the band's lead vocalist, Gordon Downie. In the lyrics, Downie makes references to MacLennan’s literature, specifically mentioning "The Watch that Ends the Night," reflecting the story's themes of loneliness, love, and mortality.
Album
"Courage (For Hugh MacLennan)" is a track from The Tragically Hip's critically acclaimed 1992 album, Fully Completely. This album was the band's third full-length album and is considered one of their most successful releases.
Genre
The song, like the majority of The Tragically Hip's discography, falls into the rock genre. The band is often characterized as having a blues-infused rock sound.
Legacy
It is viewed as one of The Tragically Hip's most iconic songs. It is also a significant reflection of the band's distinctly Canadian identity — from their lyrical references to Canadian literature to the band's widespread national popularity.
Music Video
"Courage (For Hugh MacLennan)" had an official music video that received high rotation on music TV channels such as MTV and MuchMusic. The video won the Juno Award for 'Best Music Video' in 1994.
Chart Performance
The single peaked at number 10 on Canada's RPM Singles Chart. It was also ranked 16th on the RPM's year-end chart for 1993.
Live Performances
The song continues to be a fan-favorite at The Tragically Hip's live shows. It has been played hundreds of times since its release, becoming one of their most-performed tracks.
Cover Versions
"Courage" has been covered by various artists, proving its enduring popularity and influence. Most notably, a rendition by Canadian artists Sarah Harmer and Jim Creeggan was released in 2016 as a tribute to Gordon Downie following his terminal brain cancer diagnosis.
Song Meaning
The song is an ode to courage in the face of adversity, a theme prevalent in MacLennan's novels. As such, "Courage (For Hugh MacLennan)" is often interpreted as a rallying cry for resilience and determination.

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