Inspiring Gord Downie Lyrics To Give You Courage

Heaven is a better place today because of this / But the world is just not the same. “Heaven Is A Better Place Today” – The Tragically Hip (In Between Evolution, 2004)


Today, we mourn the loss of a legendary Canadian. A songwriter. A performer. A poet laureate. An activist. An environmentalist. A father, husband, son and brother. A hero, whose words and movements we’ve cherished for nearly 30 years.

Gord Downie passed away last night following a long, courageous battle with brain cancer. Downie gifted audiences with more than we can possibly list, including 13 studio albums with his band, his brothers, The Tragically Hip; five solo albums, with more still to come; books of profound poetry and prose and, most recently, awareness about Canada’s dark residential school era and the road to reconciliation.

At the root of everything he did—his fearless lyricism, onstage antics and activism—Downie embodied courage. Below, we honour Gord by revisiting the powerful words he wrote and sang—words that will continue to lend courage to those who need it most.



I had my hands in the river
My feet back up on the banks
Looked up to the Lord above and said, ‘Hey, man, thanks.’

– “New Orleans Is Sinking” – The Tragically Hip (Up To Here, 1989)


“With illusions of someday casting a golden light
No dress rehearsal, this is our life.”

– “Ahead By A Century” – The Tragically Hip (Trouble At The Henhouse, 1996)


“Before the dawning’s first light I must
First close up all the doors and the windows
And try to trap that cool air in to be one with us.”

– “The Chancellor” – Gord Downie (Coke Machine Glow, 2001)


“For a good life we just might have to weaken
And find somewhere to go
Go somewhere we’re needed
Find somewhere to grow
Grow somewhere we’re needed.”

– “It’s A Good Life If You Don’t Weaken” – The Tragically Hip (In Violet Light, 2002)


“Even as the world convulses
Don’t stop wishing the things you wish
Don’t stop wishing what you wish.”

– “Son” – Gord Downie (Secret Path, 2016)


“The beautiful lull
The dangerous tug
We get to feel small
From high up above
And after a glimpse
Over the top
The rest of the world
Becomes a gift shop.”

– “Gift Shop” – The Tragically Hip (Trouble At The Henhouse, 1996)


“Until the darkness ends
Until the sun tries again
Our dreams are where we’re at
What we can smell and touch
Work we understand
We don’t want too much.”

– “Country Day” – The Tragically Hip (We Are The Same, 2009)


“Oh, I was always too uneasy, too for solitude,
Too into all the things you can do
To come into the open, to come into the light
Forward, daily forward, for what blue.”

– “What Blue” – The Tragically Hip (Man Machine Poem, 2016)


“I’ll just close my eyes
I’ll just catch my breath
This is the only place to be.”

– “The Only Place To Be” – Gord Downie (Secret Path, 2016)


“I come from downtown, born ready for you
Armed with will and determination, and grace, too.”

– “Grace, Too” – The Tragically Hip (Day For Night, 1994)


“We live to survive our paradoxes.”

– “Springtime In Vienna” – The Tragically Hip (Trouble At The Henhouse, 1996)


“So we talked about things and where they went
Big remarkable events
And how each day’s a new day and they get spent
How you’d continue, artfully, like the breeze
Trying to do one true beautiful thing
And your beautiful thing
It’d be a beautiful thing to see
That beautiful thing, continuing.”

– “A Beautiful Thing” – The Tragically Hip (In Violet Light, 2002)


“What we have here are all flaws in progress
Where all songs are one song and that song is Don’t Forget.”

– “World Container” – The Tragically Hip (World Container, 2006)


To revisit more of Gord’s best moments and quotes, below you can watch Much’s two-part Intimate & Interactive special with The Tragically Hip from 2000.