Friday, October 10, 2008

"Hockey Night in Canada" Theme Song

This is the original Hockey Night in Canada theme song, reputed to be Canada's 2nd national anthem. As hockey is virtually a religion in Canada, many people have been annoyed that CBC, Canada's national broadcaster have refused to continue paying for the rights to use this anthem, written by Dolores Claman in 1968. For more than 40 years, Canadians have listened to and enjoyed this anthem. Fortunately, TSN/CTV have bought the rights to the anthem and the anthem will still be played at their channels. That's a winner. Personally, I think the two CBC anthem finalists do not come close at all to this classic. The first, 'Canadian Gold' sounds a little too similar to the original at some point. The second, 'Sticks to the Ice' starts a little too slow though it picks up momentum in the middle and has a better ending. Unfortunately, both misses the consistent built up of what hockey actually means: Accuracy, consistency, speed and sheer pride to be wearing that hockey gear, or simply being a hockey fan. I think CBC has made a mistake. A big one.

Interestingly, a son of my professor at Regent College have sent in an entry. It was not selected. Anyway, in 'American-Idol' style, the number of finalists have been reduced to two, and the winner will be based on the highest number of votes. Check out the links below to hear it. Come this Saturday, the new anthem will be launched. For fun, I voted #1, which I feel is the better of the two, though not quite the class of the original Claman's version.

1) Anthem #1 (Canadian Gold)
2) Anthem #2 (Sticks to the Ice)


Rosie Perera said...

I am a totally unbiased outsider, so I thought I'd throw in my $0.02 (worth less now with the declining currency exchange rate).

I'm an American so I didn't grow up with Hockey Night in Canada (though I love the sport and did watch lots of it live in college; I was in the marching/skating band, and we went to all the home and away hockey games). Also, I don't own a TV (never have), so even since moving to Canada, I don't believe I've ever heard the theme song to Hockey Night in Canada. I just listened to it now for probably the first time ever in my life, and it sounded quite unfamiliar. I sure am an oddity! That means I have no emotional attachment to it whatsoever and don't care at all what theme song they choose. I'm not likely to ever watch the show anyway.

Therefore, with complete disinterest, I listened to both of the contenders. In my opinion, they are both just as good, if not better, than the original -- on technical merits, energy level, and appropriateness for the sport. I think the only reason Canadians are mourning the demise of the original is their familiarity with it. The song is so closely associated in their minds with HNIC that they can't imagine watching it without that music. But there is nothing objective about the song that makes it uniquely fitting. I don't really have a preference between the two new contenders, but I think it's awesome that a 13-year-old kid made it to be one of the finalists. Therefore, I'd vote for his song if I were voting, just for the opportunity to encourage kids that they can be or do anything they dream of if they put their mind to it.

YAPdates said...

ha ha!

it'll be very interesting to know your answers once you become a hockey fan....

but first you need a tv set though you can still watch some games on the internet.

Having no TV is a great idea. I tried that in my first 2 years of marriage, until my mother-in-law got so impatient with us that she GAVE us one....... sigh. Never mess with your mother-in-law.

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