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The Tragically Hip — Nautical Disaster
Album: Day for Night
Avg rating:
6.7

Your rating:
Total ratings: 851









Released: 1994
Length: 4:36
Plays (last 30 days): 1
I had this dream where I relished the fray
And the screaming filled my head all day
It was as though I'd been spit here
Settled in, into the pocket
Of a lighthouse on some rocky socket
Off the coast of France, dear
One afternoon four thousand men died in the water here
And five hundred more were thrashing madly
As parasites might in your blood
Now I was in a lifeboat designed for ten and ten only
Anything that systematic would get you hated
It's not a deal nor a test nor a love of something fated
The selection was quick, the crew was picked in order
And those left in the water
Got kicked off our pant leg
And we headed for home
Then the dream ends when the phone rings
"You doing all right?"
He said, "It's out there most days and nights
But only a fool would complain"
Anyway, Susan, if you like
Our conversation is as faint a sound in my memory
As those fingernails scratching on my hull
Comments (195)add comment
Interesting, the instrumental sound image much reminds me of Matthew Good Band from the same period.
 eveliko wrote:
Sounds like Tracy Chapman's brother is singing.
 
Ears are wild!
Sounds like Tracy Chapman's brother is singing.
 johnalexford wrote:
whoever wrote the comment that this album marked The Hip's decline, respectfully I would posit that this was their BEST album. In a series of fantastic albums, no less. Saw them back when they were opening up for other Canadian acts like 5440 back in 1990 to when they were headlining Another Roadside Attraction, twice in New Orleans, and other cities in between. The Hip rocks. RIP, Gordie. Thank you for decades of fond memories.

 
If this is their best then it was in fact the beginning of their decline.
 
Their best of course is by opinion only.
 
Great band.....Oh yes!
This song and I were best friends, back in the day. We hung out all the time. Brings me back to when I spent many an evening at the Ile des Chenes Bar (then Dusty's). This one time my friend and I had our server convinced I was Gord Downie. My resemblance to him lasted decades.

It's sure nice to hear him and the boys on my favourite radio station. 
Drinking a Melvin IPA, toking on some Hell's AngelOG, looking at just another gorgeous cerulean and magenta lenticular cloud sunset.
RIP Gordie, you gave us such and so many distinctive, tragically hip, and fantastically cosmic rockers that your memory can never die!
whoever wrote the comment that this album marked The Hip's decline, respectfully I would posit that this was their BEST album. In a series of fantastic albums, no less. Saw them back when they were opening up for other Canadian acts like 5440 back in 1990 to when they were headlining Another Roadside Attraction, twice in New Orleans, and other cities in between. The Hip rocks. RIP, Gordie. Thank you for decades of fond memories.
Great stuff. Need to hear more of these guys on US radio. 
RIP Gordie.
 finnie wrote:


 
Thank you. Wow, what a disaster. Awful.

Wiki (my bold):
Of the 6,086 men who made it ashore, 3,623 (almost 60%) were either killed, wounded or captured. The Royal Air Force failed to lure the Luftwaffe into open battle, and lost 106 aircraft (at least 32 to flak or accidents), compared to 48 lost by the Luftwaffe. The Royal Navy lost 33 landing craft and one destroyer. 
love, love this poignant song.  Love this band for their poetic lyrics
 Hoosfoos wrote:
Great song, but this album marked their decline. Bounced back a little with Phantom Power, but after that they were pretty much toast.

 
I'm sorry, but that's just gruel.
My favourite hip song. 
 TJOpootertoot wrote:

Ditto and ditto. I guess this album and that SNL appearance (1994) were their last big try at winning over America but they've become and remained a Canadian institution, and there's no shame in that at all.

 
My friends and I here below the border love The Hip. I'll be watching the last concert here on a Canadian cable dish.
{#Sad} We will miss you Gordo.
 mdnlsn wrote:
That's because it's not a shipwreck song! It's one of the most poignant and poetic descriptions of D-Day I've heard. "Those fingernails scratching on my hull" as the people in the water were "kicked of my pant leg". The lifeboat was designed for "10 and only...anything that systematic would get you hated". Put yourself in that position for a second, needing to kick fellow soldiers away from a lifeboat in order to ensure your own survival. It's heartbreaking and tragic, and captured here in a way that History Channel docs can't reach. 

Proclivities wrote:

Agreed; it sounds more like Gordo's "Early Mornin' Rain" to me — but how many more shipwreck tunes are there other than "The Wreck Of The Atlantic" or "The Mary Ellen Carter" anyhow?

 
Nautical Disaster is actually about the tragic Canadian raid on Dieppe, France  August 1942
 


 eyeball wrote:
I remember watching The Hip play this song on SNL (hosted by Dan Ackroyd) - and I was so proud of them... And they finished with a line from a tune by The Skydiggers; another band I'd love to hear on RP!

 
Ditto and ditto. I guess this album and that SNL appearance (1994) were their last big try at winning over America but they've become and remained a Canadian institution, and there's no shame in that at all.
Hard to believe this came out 20 years ago!
This band contributed to The Sweet Hereafter soundtrack. A brilliant, devastating Atom Egoyan film some of you might remember well.
Great song, but this album marked their decline. Bounced back a little with Phantom Power, but after that they were pretty much toast.
I remember watching The Hip play this song on SNL (hosted by Dan Ackroyd) - and I was so proud of them... And they finished with a line from a tune by The Skydiggers; another band I'd love to hear on RP!
not hip, tragically.. sorry {#No}
Bill I have to wear an aluminum foil hat because you are reading my mind. This is not one of the biggest "Hip" songs, but out of their 30 years of music it is one that I continue to turn to as a favorite. Great choice.
 
One of my favourite Hip songs and yes...they MUST be seen live!
 jeezumcrow wrote:
Seeing The Hip live can be cathartic...I've personally witnessed this particular tune being hurled into a sea of whirling dervishes and the pyroclastic flow that ensues.... It's pretty cool indeed
 
{#Jump}...yep! Me too!
Brilliant 
Seeing The Hip live can be cathartic...I've personally witnessed this particular tune being hurled into a sea of whirling dervishes and the pyroclastic flow that ensues.... It's pretty cool indeed
Neilish
The are many out in commercial radio wasteland who will never understand the hip.  They use polysyllabic words for god's sake! Gordie doesn't just sing the lyrics, he wallows in them.  The beauty of the Hip is while they'll never be commercially successful in the US, they honestly don't care. Never sell out! GO RP!
Always great to hear the Hip.  But my favorite is stil "50 Mission Cap".
 
All you TTH haters.....psd and quit yer bitchin!
I LOVE THE HIP!!!!!!
''how many more shipwreck tunes are there...'' ??


Every individual's life is ultimately akin to a shipwreck metaphorically, so you do the math.
That's because it's not a shipwreck song! It's one of the most poignant and poetic descriptions of D-Day I've heard. "Those fingernails scratching on my hull" as the people in the water were "kicked of my pant leg". The lifeboat was designed for "10 and only...anything that systematic would get you hated". Put yourself in that position for a second, needing to kick fellow soldiers away from a lifeboat in order to ensure your own survival. It's heartbreaking and tragic, and captured here in a way that History Channel docs can't reach. 

Proclivities wrote:

Agreed; it sounds more like Gordo's "Early Mornin' Rain" to me — but how many more shipwreck tunes are there other than "The Wreck Of The Atlantic" or "The Mary Ellen Carter" anyhow?

 


 woolton wrote:

Second rate Canadian band and way past their prime.  Gord Downey has become a pretentiuous wanker who has little left to offer.  As for his interview on Q he should learn to pay some respect to his elder statesmen (i.e. Keif) !!!
 
Hear! Hear! Downie's such a pompous ass, isn't he?
 grungepuppy wrote:
"Wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald" this is not.
 
Agreed; it sounds more like Gordo's "Early Mornin' Rain" to me — but how many more shipwreck tunes are there other than "The Wreck Of The Atlantic" or "The Mary Ellen Carter" anyhow?
Just the same soup of Edward Kowalczyk and Live and so many others of that era...
 metod wrote:
Finally...Tragically Hip came on RP.
I love the band...Gordon Downie is such a classy guy.
If you have a chance to listen to him on Q, well worth it. 
 
Second rate Canadian band and way past their prime.  Gord Downey has become a pretentiuous wanker who has little left to offer.  As for his interview on Q he should learn to pay some respect to his elder statesmen (i.e. Keif) !!!
Finally...Tragically Hip came on RP.
I love the band...Gordon Downie is such a classy guy.
If you have a chance to listen to him on Q, well worth it. 
Not my favourite song from The Hip by a long way, but still a good song.
I was lucky enough to see them live 3 times while working in Toronto one summer. That was a VERY good summer.
 jim1964 wrote:
....nor is it "Seasons in the Sun"
  Brutal.
 grungepuppy wrote:
"Wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald" this is not.
 
....nor is it "Seasons in the Sun"
Incidentally, Gordon Downie also has 3 solo albums as well. Less "Rocking music", but certainly worth purchasing, very creative and interesting stuff.
If its even possible to have a favorite Hip album, this would be mine. Solid Rock and Roll start to finish.
A true Gem.
Thank you for playing!
 huebdoo wrote:

Road Apples is the best - hands down
Trouble in the Hen House would be second 
 
I agree . . . definitely love most of what they do but Road Apples is tops. Hen House a great 2nd.
I appreciate the input folks - thanks!  I actually have the "...Hen House" and love that.
 aspicer wrote:
Love the TH that I've heard, and only have 1 disc.  What are the top CD recs from fans of theirs? Love to get 1 or 2 more of their best.
 
MY personal favorite along with others mentioned is Phantom Power......enjoy!


 aspicer wrote:
Love the TH that I've heard, and only have 1 disc.  What are the top CD recs from fans of theirs? Love to get 1 or 2 more of their best.
 
Road Apples is the best - hands down
Trouble in the Hen House would be second 
Just had visions of Gordie jumping around the stage - transported  to a different state of being ... I was very lucky to be a young man when these guys came out - so few Canadian acts sing / talk about Canadian issues as they all dream of making the big bucks south of the border.

They still have a great impact on me when I listen to them ... fantastic back in the day 
 
Love the TH that I've heard, and only have 1 disc.  What are the top CD recs from fans of theirs? Love to get 1 or 2 more of their best.
I've been listening to the Hip since the 80's. Unique sound, great lyrics, lots of energy. {#Bananajam}
This site claims "Gord Downie told the authors of the Can-Rock tome Have Not Been The Same that the songs nautical theme is in fact based on the doomed German battleship Bismarck."

https://www.hipmuseum.com/nautical.html

mongoose01ca wrote:
Generally accepted that the song uses the Dieppe Raid as a metaphor - hence much of the lyrical content. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dieppe_Raid One of the best Hip tunes out there, although there are cuts off Road Apples that I'd argue are better - although it may as much a case of personal preference as anything!



The Hip are a force to be reckoned with live. Gord is...he's gripping.
 martinc wrote:
Classic Hip, screaming guitars and Gord snarling and yelling out the lyrics. Have to seen live to appreciate the power this delivers. Your ears will be buzzing and it will take you to a different place.
 
Agreed - The Hip are amazing LIVE

Ah, we love our Hip.  Now if we could hear some Rheostatics too, total domination would be ours!
Classic Hip, screaming guitars and Gord snarling and yelling out the lyrics. Have to seen live to appreciate the power this delivers. Your ears will be buzzing and it will take you to a different place.
"Wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald" this is not.
Neil Young/Crazy Horse/Pearl Jam - ish guitars
Drastically overrated song.  
I'd completely forgotten this song.  Thanks for playing it; now I need to find that album again.
 lovejoy wrote:
I've heard the name of the band before, but I think this is the first time I've heard anything by them and I'm really liking it.

It sounded at first like something from "Mirrorball", the Neil Young/Pearl Jam collaboration.

Must investigate further. 
 
Yes you MUST.    This is a GREAT BAND.   I have several of their albums and they really ROCK!!

 macadavy wrote:

The problem is, sometimes bare type just doesn't convey your intention.
 
Sometimes you can't write a chord ugly enough to express your feelings, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whipped cream.

 - Frank Zappa 
Too loud man.
rtrudeau wrote:
Holy shit, it's time for you to get a sense of humor. That was a JOKE, man.
 
Holy sh*t, it's time for you to get a sense of humour. That was a JOKE, man. {#Wink}


I love this song. . .

 macadavy wrote:

The problem is, sometimes bare type just doesn't convey your intention.
That's what emoticons are for - a little wink goes a long way:  {#Wink}
(At least davin 'got it' - see below.)
 

Point taken. I'll wink next time. I thought that no one in their right mind - at least not a RP listener - would consider that the BNL or the TH sounded a bit like Ms. Dion. I honestly had no idea that so many Canadians were so sensitive about their native musicians. I'll remember that next time I make a flippant emoticon-less remark ;)
I've heard the name of the band before, but I think this is the first time I've heard anything by them and I'm really liking it.

It sounded at first like something from "Mirrorball", the Neil Young/Pearl Jam collaboration.

Must investigate further. 
 rtrudeau wrote:


Holy shit, it's time for you to get a sense of humor. That was a JOKE, man.
 
The problem is, sometimes bare type just doesn't convey your intention.
That's what emoticons are for - a little wink goes a long way:  {#Wink}
(At least davin 'got it' - see below.)


 rtrudeau wrote:
Actually, I was thinking that it sounded like Celine Dion.
 
hahaha

 On_The_Beach wrote:
 rtrudeau wrote:
Actually, I was thinking that it sounded like Celine Dion.

 
Time to change your prescription.

 

Holy shit, it's time for you to get a sense of humor. That was a JOKE, man.
 huebdoo wrote:
 

I can remember seeing them perform this song before Day for Night was released ... I remember how frantic they were on stage - how Downie was basically taken by some spirit and was shuffling around the stage as under a spell.

Those from America or the UK may not understand the importance of this band, to as a Canadian... they were really the first band that sounded good - that talked about being Canadian ... putting our lives into lyrics, our surroundings to a beat

Most Canadian artists basically either die off due to limited Canadian Sales (or keep a day job) or they sell out and push themselves to the lucrative American audience (Bryan Adams is a perfect example of that)... not that I don't like him, I just don't think he captured our identity at all.

Though the Hip don't mean as much to me as they did 20 years ago ... they still stand for a part of my identity as a Canadian, I was proud and surprised when I listened to them as a young man, and even now - some of there songs strike a chord with me

Thanks RP for playing that

 
I'd like to agree with that and add this:

I saw them live a few months ago, at a small festival in a small city in Northern Ontario.  They played for two hours in the pouring rain, and were fantastic. About half way through, when the rain really started getting heavy, Downie looked out at all of us, pointed his finger at us all and yelled into the mic, "if you're planning on leaving, you better fucking leave now, because we're playing right to the end!" Needless to say, we all stayed, and we were blown away. What a show. And they did play right to the end. And they came out, soaked and steaming, for a two-song encore.

It was powerful, and visceral, and clearly every single person there got it, felt that connection.

Totally, utterly and completely tasty...if you don't get it, you never will..
Awesomeness!
 
 rtrudeau wrote:
Actually, I was thinking that it sounded like Celine Dion.

 
Time to change your prescription.

I always know a TH song immediately by the vocals.  Great stuff!
 mefrombrazil wrote:
The enemy, you were so rough with our friend. you have to apologize.
 
electronicshaman, I apologize for going postal on you.  I should do my part to keep RP civil.

But Bare Naked Ladies???  The comparison sounds like a taunt to me.

I'm not putting BNL down. They're fine musicians in their own right and I have seen them live. But it's a night and day difference between the two bands.

hard rockin poetry....love it!
Great song!{#Dancingbanana}
Truth in labeling: it's a "Disaster" all right!
For all I know the lyrics could be redeeming, but this just sounds like non-melodic noise to me...

I'm American, and I love the Hip. . .

...jeez this song kicks ass...
huebdoo, you said it quite succinctly.  Maybe our American friends won't ever 'get' the importance of The Hip in Canada, but that's okay.  They haven't shared the same experience as we have.  Despite our similarities in sharing a border, there are tangible differences between us.  There should be, too.
 More_Cowbell wrote:
The Barenaked Ladies are better the these guys.
 
You have got to be kidding.  Go back to listening to MOR on your clock radio.... though I would rather wake up listening to the Hip than those other guys.


but only a fool would complain
anyway Susan, if you like
our conversation is as faint as a sound in my memory
as those fingernails scratching on my hull


 

I can remember seeing them perform this song before Day for Night was released ... I remember how frantic they were on stage - how Downie was basically taken by some spirit and was shuffling around the stage as under a spell.

Those from America or the UK may not understand the importance of this band, to as a Canadian... they were really the first band that sounded good - that talked about being Canadian ... putting our lives into lyrics, our surroundings to a beat

Most Canadian artists basically either die off due to limited Canadian Sales (or keep a day job) or they sell out and push themselves to the lucrative American audience (Bryan Adams is a perfect example of that)... not that I don't like him, I just don't think he captured our identity at all.

Though the Hip don't mean as much to me as they did 20 years ago ... they still stand for a part of my identity as a Canadian, I was proud and surprised when I listened to them as a young man, and even now - some of there songs strike a chord with me

Thanks RP for playing that



Good schtuff... most excellent... ok I get it, why the Hip are revered. {#Sunny} More Hip please, this is good.

rtrudeau wrote:
Actually, I was thinking that it sounded like Celine Dion.
:lol:
The_Enemy wrote:
I'm ok with people not liking this but comparing The Hip to.... BARENAKED LADIES??? WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU?? SOME KIND OF MILK AND VEGETABLE EATING SUBWAY RIDING AM-RADIO LISTENER REPUBLICAN FART CATCHER FREAK??? "sounds like Barenaked Ladies".... huh!
The Barenaked Ladies are better the these guys.
The_Enemy wrote:
I'm ok with people not liking this but comparing The Hip to.... BARENAKED LADIES??? WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU?? SOME KIND OF MILK AND VEGETABLE EATING SUBWAY RIDING AM-RADIO LISTENER REPUBLICAN FART CATCHER FREAK??? "sounds like Barenaked Ladies".... huh!
Actually, I was thinking that it sounded like Celine Dion.
The_Enemy wrote:
I'm ok with people not liking this but comparing The Hip to.... BARENAKED LADIES??? WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU?? SOME KIND OF MILK AND VEGETABLE EATING SUBWAY RIDING AM-RADIO LISTENER REPUBLICAN FART CATCHER FREAK??? "sounds like Barenaked Ladies".... huh!
The enemy, you were so rough with our friend. you have to apologize.
Love this song! One of the best Hip songs ever! :dancingbanana_2: :jump:
bills on a soul roll.
electronicshaman wrote:
sounds like barenaked ladies to me
I'm ok with people not liking this but comparing The Hip to.... BARENAKED LADIES??? WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU?? SOME KIND OF MILK AND VEGETABLE EATING SUBWAY RIDING AM-RADIO LISTENER REPUBLICAN FART CATCHER FREAK??? "sounds like Barenaked Ladies".... huh!
electronicshaman wrote:
sounds like barenaked ladies to me please make it stop
What?!? You may not like this song. You may not like the Barenaked Ladies. But there is no way a sane person would mistake the two.
electronicshaman wrote:
sounds like barenaked ladies to me please make it stop
Wait... what? This sounds like the BNLs? May I recommend you have your ears checked? This is genuine rock 'n' roll from one of Canada's finest bands. And this is one of their finest songs.
sounds like barenaked ladies to me please make it stop
As a historian, this tune never fails to send shivers down my spine... it somehow transports me into the middle of the Dieppe massacre. BEST LIVE SHOW THERE IS. Gord (lead singer) slips from reality into this strange trance that leads the band and the crowd into a frenzy.
Legendary song from a legendary band. More Hip please!
Absolutely dancing in my chair to hear the Hip on RP. More, please! Most excellent tune.
I remember seeing these guys in Kingston when they were nobodies playing small bars. They\'d take breaks every 45 min or so, so that Gord could get a change of clothes because at the end of each set he\'d be drenched in sweat. Just a freakin\' amazing band live. I can\'t think of anyone to compare them to re: live acts. Love \'em or hate \'em or indifferent, if you get a chance to see them live, don\'t stop to think about it -- just go. Seriously. Just go. You won\'t regret it.
Generally accepted that the song uses the Dieppe Raid as a metaphor - hence much of the lyrical content. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dieppe_Raid One of the best Hip tunes out there, although there are cuts off Road Apples that I'd argue are better - although it may as much a case of personal preference as anything!
Nothing Wrong With This
I was never tragically hip/
His vocals remind me a bit of Fred, B-52s Fred. I think I like it...
Why only nautical ? Musical too !!
At first I thought it sounded like bad Michael Stipe, but it's really growning on me. The guitar has a sort of Neil Young's Like a Hurricane feel, too. Yep. Growning on me.
bigA wrote:
The kid's don't get it!
Kids is a great song too!
gernick wrote:
Best Hip song ever, the music is sterling and the words are simply devastating
Certainly the best one on headphones. You just roll around in the environment, it's easy to imagine youself madly scrambling...
gernick wrote:
First time i heard it, it left me in tears.
First time I heard it was in the middle of New Orleans is Sinking during an Another Roadside Attraction show the summer before Day For Night was released. Remember that one, BigA?
cosmiclint wrote:
I guess I didn't read deep enough in to your comment to get that last bit. My apologies.
The kid's don't get it!
lily33 wrote:
not only does this rock, but its really moving. i'm almost in tears.
First time i heard it, it left me in tears. The reason i don't play it that often is because something that special must be treasured. Best Hip song ever, the music is sterling and the words are simply devastating
TJOpootertoot wrote:
Pay attention and read again, friend. I was pointing out that it's NOT vanilla in reponse to someone who said it was. I know sarcasm does not always translate on the net but you'd think that my kiss-off, "it sure ain't vanilla, brother" would be a dead give-a-way, eh? TJ
I guess I didn't read deep enough in to your comment to get that last bit. My apologies.
Thank God, and thank you Bill, for the Hip. Lets here some live Hip in the future, they're even better that way.
cosmiclint wrote:
I love how you dismiss the song as "vanilla," then quote brilliant, economical lyrics to make your case. Oh well, your comment is as faint as the sound in my memory as those fingernails scratching on the hull
Pay attention and read again, friend. I was pointing out that it's NOT vanilla in reponse to someone who said it was. I know sarcasm does not always translate on the net but you'd think that my kiss-off, "it sure ain't vanilla, brother" would be a dead give-a-way, eh? Again: Say what you will about the Hip. Love 'em, hate 'em, I don't care. But dont' dismiss them as just some band. TJ
huebdoo wrote:
I have to say one of the best live bands I have ever seen (though I need to see Bruce live before I die) The Hip is a fantastic band ... though they have slipped a little off everyone's radar of late as they never got a foot-hold in the US marketplace They aren't pretty enough... or use the rhyming couplets of Nickleback or Brian Adams Maybe if they step out of a limo with short skirts on with no panties - they might get some press
I agree completely. Best live show ever, ever, ever. Seen them a ton of times, but they haven't made it CO lately. :(
I have to say one of the best live bands I have ever seen (though I need to see Bruce live before I die) The Hip is a fantastic band ... though they have slipped a little off everyone's radar of late as they never got a foot-hold in the US marketplace They aren't pretty enough... or use the rhyming couplets of Nickleback or Brian Adams Maybe if they step out of a limo with short skirts on with no panties - they might get some press
I really needed a Hip pick me up this morning. This song is fantastic, amazing, and Gord is my hero at this moment.
TJOpootertoot wrote:
Just another typical impressionistic descirption of a shipwreck.
This song is about the battle of Dieppe, or so I've been told. An no it ain't vanilla. Not by a long shot
daveesh wrote:
Yeah, so vanilla. Just another typical impressionistic descirption of a shipwreck. This song could just as easily be by Christina Aguilera or Madonna. "I had this dream where I relished The fray and the screaming that filled my head all day It was as though I'd been spit there, settled in , into a pocket Of a lighthouse off some rocky socket, Off the coast of France, Dear" I could post the whole song but what's the point? Someone else can do that. You don't like it and that's cool. But it sure ain't vanilla, brother. TJ