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The Tragically Hip — Ahead by a Century
Album: Trouble at the Henhouse
Avg rating:
7.3

Your rating:
Total ratings: 976









Released: 1996
Length: 3:36
Plays (last 30 days): 1
First thing we'd climb a tree
And maybe then we'd talk
Or sit silently
And listen to our thoughts
Illusions of someday
Casting a golden light
No dress rehearsal
This is our life

And that's when the hornet stung me
And I had a feverish dream
With revenge and doubt
Tonight we smoke them out

You are ahead by a century
You are ahead by a century
You are ahead by a century

Stare in the morning shroud
And then the day began
I tilted your cloud
You tilted my hand
Rain falls in real time
Rain fell through the night
No dress rehearsals this is our life

And that's when the hornet stung me
And I had a serious dream
With revenge and doubt
Tonight we smoke them out

You are ahead by a century
You are ahead by a century
You are ahead by a century

You are ahead by a century
You are ahead by a century
You are ahead by a century

And disappointing you's getting me down
Comments (132)add comment
 BCarn wrote:
Can't stand this band, so over rated,  but this song is really really good!
 
That's funny.  I was gonna say "so underrated".  New Orleans is Sinking?? Three Pistols?
I suspect I will forever tear up when I hear this song...
So miss Gord.
Went to see them on an impulse (and strong recommendations from friends here on RP) about a decade ago. So very glad we did, as it was a fabulous show (Gord was an amazing frontman) and I know I'd be filled with regrets now if we hadn't.
Solid 10 for me. Brings me back...
Thanks RP....Great to see the hip on rotation.
I love that Canadian artists are on your regular rotation. All us Canucks miss Gord Downie immensely but are so thankful for the music The Tragically Hip gave us.  Thanks for spreading The Hip love!
Can't stand this band, so over rated,  but this song is really really good!
Great song!!!!!!!!!!!
Nice! My favourite Hip album.
Guess that song grew on me. Rated it before as a 7 and was enjoying it so much I had to up it to an 8.
I was later than you. I discovered them today.
 Fromarnhem wrote:
 I was also late in discovering them. It's a great band with SOLID tunes and interesting lyrics.
 

 
Me too.

However I was just about to make some banal comment about their name and the fact that at least they don't look tragically hip and seem to me a nice bunch of lads when I glanced down at the older comments and references to Canada and national mourning etc and then I did a Wikipedia lookup on Gord Downie and found out he was a top guy who died of a brain tumour.

Glad I kept my big mouth shut -  nice to know more about somebody before posting a comment on RP.

{#Crown}
 Bat wrote:

The Tragically Hip never really made a big impact in the US. And I'd be surprised if anyone in Switzerland other than a few Canadian ex-pats have even heard of them.

I recently watched the documentary film about their final tour and was moved by the affection the nation had for Gord Downie and the band.

I guess better late than never I've been listening to their catalog and am becoming a big fan.

 
Cheers to you, Bat, from this Canuck.  {#Cheers}
"Fully, Completely" is their best album, IMO.

The Tragically Hip never really made a big impact in the US. And I'd be surprised if anyone in Switzerland other than a few Canadian ex-pats have even heard of them.

I recently watched the documentary film about their final tour and was moved by the affection the nation had for Gord Downie and the band.

I guess better late than never I've been listening to their catalog and am becoming a big fan.


thank you Gordie and The Tragically Hip...we will miss you forever and ever. This was the last song they ever played live
 thanks for this . . . 

eyeball wrote:
Gord Downie WAS ahead by a century. His spirit will outlive us all.

While only marginally well known outside of Canada, The Tragically Hip have left their mark in the memories and hearts of Canadians everywhere.

 We miss you Gordie. May you continue to shine in that eternal suit and hat, along this endless path you now follow. Thank you for all the music. The lyrics. The moments where we were moved by you.

And your movements!

We love you. 

 


love the guitar work on this.
Ouch.
Love "Anne of Green Gables"! This song makes a great opening for it....
Bill, you are a class act. Thanks for playing this on what is effectively a national day of mourning in Canada.
Gord Downie WAS ahead by a century. His spirit will outlive us all.

While only marginally well known outside of Canada, The Tragically Hip have left their mark in the memories and hearts of Canadians everywhere.

 We miss you Gordie. May you continue to shine in that eternal suit and hat, along this endless path you now follow. Thank you for all the music. The lyrics. The moments where we were moved by you.

And your movements!

We love you. 
Thanks for this, Bill.
A perfect song on a sad day and hopefully some people are enjoying being exposed to it today.

R.I.P. :-(
RIP Gord..Canada will not forget you....
RIP Gord , passed away today, we love you , will always be in thoughts, did our country proud
The wheat kings and pretty things hear your song!
RIP you beautiful poet....{#Heartkiss}
Yes , thank you Gord
Tough day. Thanks.
RIP Gord Downie.
RIP- Gord Downey
Thanks, Gord. 
 TJOpootertoot wrote:
This list...is a terrible list. Personal taste is personal taste but TROOPER is not a Canadian band of significant note.
Blue Rodeo, Joni Mitchell, Neil Freaking Young, Broken Social Scene, Feist, Rheostatics, Sloan, The Band, Bryan Adams, Daniel Lanois, Leonard Cohen...
These are just a few of the artists, off the top of my head, who any reasonable person would listen to before they somehow come across Prism.
And while I'm not one of those over-the-top Hip fans, calling the mediocre is silly. This song alone, is pretty much perfect.
 
Thanks, TJO; agree completely.


A FAVORITE.
The first time I heard this, was here, and I subsequently went and listened to it a good 10 times over the next couple of days.
I listen to RP an hour or so most days, and a little more on weekends.
A couple times a month, a song that hits me like this is played and I then find it online and save it.
Have been doing so for a while.
Never been analytical at all about stuff that moves me. And I haven't anal-ized why! 
Keith Richards has said - "I do things on a very instinctive basis. I think brains have likely gotten in the way of a lot of good things."
I do sometimes read the comments on the songs here though. Usually then have a shit, and shower.
Thanx RP ~


.


 BCarn wrote:
 treatment_bound wrote:

Since you're from Canada, I'd like to get your take on the top 5 BANDS from Canada.  Please list them if you care to.

 
Sure....bands either together or past...
1. RUSH
2. The Guess Who
3. Arcade Fire
4.Jeff Healey (RIP)
5. Gordon Lightfoot..not quite rock but more of an icon than the Tragically Boring)

Others of significant note:
Triumph
Trooper
Prism
Steppenwolf
April wine
Chilliwack

The Hip are mediocre. Just my opinion and many others differ and would argue. C'est la vie.

 
This list...is a terrible list. Personal taste is personal taste but TROOPER is not a Canadian band of significant note.
Blue Rodeo, Joni Mitchell, Neil Freaking Young, Broken Social Scene, Feist, Rheostatics, Sloan, The Band, Bryan Adams, Daniel Lanois, Leonard Cohen...

These are just a few of the artists, off the top of my head, who any reasonable person would listen to before they somehow come across Prism.

And while I'm not one of those over-the-top Hip fans, calling the mediocre is silly. This song alone, is pretty much perfect.


 On_The_Beach wrote:
 BCarn wrote:
 treatment_bound wrote:

Since you're from Canada, I'd like to get your take on the top 5 BANDS from Canada.  Please list them if you care to.

 
Sure....bands either together or past...
1. RUSH
2. The Guess Who
3. Arcade Fire
4.Jeff Healey (RIP)
5. Gordon Lightfoot..not quite rock but more of an icon than the Tragically Boring)

Others of significant note:
Triumph
Trooper
Prism
Steppenwolf
April wine
Chilliwack

The Hip are mediocre. Just my opinion and many others differ and would argue. C'est la vie.


Rush: Worst band in the history of popular music (yes, I know Neil P is a great drummer)
The Guess Who: Excellent
Arcade Fire: Ugh!
Jeff Healey: Average Blues guitarist
Gordon Lightfoot: Excellent
Triumph: Awful
Trooper: Horrible
Prism: Terrible
Steppenwolf: Magic Carpet Ride was fun
April Wine: Second worst band in the history of popular music
Chilliwack: OK

All IMHO, of course.

 
Missed some, in no particular order:
Joni Mitchell
Whitehorse
Jann Arden
Basia Bulat
Neil Young
Leonard Cohen (RIP)
Robbie Robertson 
54-40
Tom Cochrane
Blue Rodeo
...
(I agree on Rush - can't stand em)
 
 BCarn wrote:
 treatment_bound wrote:

Since you're from Canada, I'd like to get your take on the top 5 BANDS from Canada.  Please list them if you care to.

 
Sure....bands either together or past...
1. RUSH
2. The Guess Who
3. Arcade Fire
4.Jeff Healey (RIP)
5. Gordon Lightfoot..not quite rock but more of an icon than the Tragically Boring)

Others of significant note:
Triumph
Trooper
Prism
Steppenwolf
April wine
Chilliwack

The Hip are mediocre. Just my opinion and many others differ and would argue. C'est la vie.


Rush: Worst band in the history of popular music (yes, I know Neil P is a great drummer)
The Guess Who: Excellent
Arcade Fire: Ugh!
Jeff Healey: Average Blues guitarist
Gordon Lightfoot: Excellent
Triumph: Awful
Trooper: Horrible
Prism: Terrible
Steppenwolf: Magic Carpet Ride was fun
April Wine: Second worst band in the history of popular music
Chilliwack: OK

All IMHO, of course.
 treatment_bound wrote:

Since you're from Canada, I'd like to get your take on the top 5 BANDS from Canada.  Please list them if you care to.

 
Sure....bands either together or past...
1. RUSH
2. The Guess Who
3. Arcade Fire
4.Jeff Healey (RIP)
5. Gordon Lightfoot..not quite rock but more of an icon than the Tragically Boring)

Others of significant note:
Triumph
Trooper
Prism
Steppenwolf
April wine
Chilliwack

The Hip are mediocre. Just my opinion and many others differ and would argue. C'est la vie.


I saw Gord on TV sitting next to Bobby Orr at the Ottawa-Boston hockey game earlier this week. For a guy with brain cancer, Gord looked pretty damn good!
 BCarn wrote:

Not even close. This song is fine but I can leave the rest. Tragically boring.

 
Since you're from Canada, I'd like to get your take on the top 5 BANDS from Canada.  Please list them if you care to.
Gord Downie and I are actually cousins (he's one year younger so that defines the hierarchy - or it used to). I've often mentioned to him that I've heard some of the Hip's material on RP, the best station in the world with a similar reach. He argues that we still need Canadian content regulations (up) here and we end up "disagreeing to agree" (order intended). The funny thing is they've always had a loyal following in the US, though obviously not like in Canada. This is one of my favourite songs and the lyrics remind me of the occasional thing he used to say in his teens or twenties when striving for an "effect" and he would reach into his deep archive of references and phrases. That really makes my day. Thanks RP.
Overrated. Either you like them or you don't- nothing in between- and I don't.
 Gert7 wrote:
Best Canadian Band ever...

 

Agreed !! 
Their farewell concert on CBC was viewed by almost 12 million people
( considering Canada has a population of 35 million, that's a pretty large proportion ) 
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/tragically-hip-cbc-broadcast-ratings-1.3730276 
Nice!
 Bert7 wrote:
Best Canadian Band ever...

 
Not even close. This song is fine but I can leave the rest. Tragically boring.
Gord Downie released a new album in October 2016: https://www.gorddownie.com/albums/
Best Canadian Band ever...
First thing we'd climb a tree
And maybe then we'd talk
Or sit silently
And listen to our thoughts
Illusions of someday
Casting a golden light
No dress rehearsal
This is our life

This was the last song performed at The Hip's goodbye concert in Kingston. 

It had to be this one.  

Thank you, Gord.  
I was lucky enough to see the first Toronto show on August 10th. An amazing night that I will remember always. The hip have been a part of my life since their first album back in 87 and right through to their latest album Man Machine Poem. Thank you Gord and the rest of the boys for all the great music through the years and contributing so much to the Canadian culture and identity!
I was lucky enough to see the first Toronto show on August 10th. An amazing night that I will remember always. The hip have been a part of my life since their first album back in 87 and right through to their latest album Man Machine Poem. Thank you Gord and the rest of the boys for all the great music through the years and contributing so much to the Canadian culture and identity!
The last concert will be this Saturday, Aug. 20th at 8:00 ET.  It will be broadcast for free on Canada's CBC and is available online.  Gord isn't doing well but will be singing as this is how he wants to be remembered. 
Sad news announced today. Lead singer Gord Downie has terminal brain cancer. Band to go on tour one last time, this summer.

Story Here
Instant smile. Great track. 9. 
Bill, did you do that on purpose!?

{#Roflol} 
Such a great song!
Canadian Rock Royalty. Simply put.
Yay!

But my favourite is still 50 Mission Cap. 
One of my all-time favourite bands. I was lucky enough to see them live a couple times over a summer while on a working 'holiday' in Canada a long time ago. Still brings back memories of meeting some great people...and seeing a LOT of very cool bands.
I really love this band
Such a good band.  For our 10th wedding anniversary, we walked into a restaurant in Jasper, AB, and the only other folks in there were The Hip and some of their friends.  Too funny! Little did they know we were perhaps their biggest fans {#Smile}  Escape Is At Hand For The Travellin' Man is a fabulous tune and would play out well here on RP
 ShamanManu wrote:

The same for me, I don't like his voice but it's perfect for this song {#Notworthy}, which I really, really like {#Biggrin}
Bobcaygeon is another one of theirs which is good, the rest of their stuff I will gladly skip {#Stop}

 
Too bad. Maybe give another listen to Road Apples. 
Woohoo! The Hip! Thanks for the Canadian content, Bill and Rebecca! 
Yay!  Love the Hip!!  Love RP !!
Always seem to hear this song while I'm traveling. Makes me happy and homesick at the same time. It will be great to get back to Vancouver, but it is also the perfect song for a day full of sun and snorkeling in Phi Phi, Thailand too. Great song!
 aspicer wrote:
Great tune. Great album, perhaps their best. 

 
I may put their "Fully Completely" effort just slightly ahead of this one..
Love the Hip!! Thank-you!
 terrapin52 wrote:
This reminds me of George Dubya.  "Smoke 'em out!  Heh heh!"
 

 
I am convinced that Dubya's in the early stages of dementia. No one could be deserving...well, except perhaps Uncle Dick. 


Really like this song.  Thanks RP!
 cc_rider wrote:
I've never really been into the Hip, but I really, really like this song.

 
The same for me, I don't like his voice but it's perfect for this song {#Notworthy}, which I really, really like {#Biggrin}
Bobcaygeon is another one of theirs which is good, the rest of their stuff I will gladly skip {#Stop}
 sarahdesrosiers wrote:
Canada's best band !!! Just saw them play in London uk for Canada day !!! Great band !!!! 
 

Great tune. Great album, perhaps their best. 
 cc_rider wrote:
I've never really been into the Hip, but I really, really like this song.

 
I really love these guys....but I've never listened to this before now. I have the CD, just seemed to have skipped the song somehow. I think I'll dig it out and listen again!! 
I wish I could give this song an 11.
and that's where the hornet stung me and I had a serious dream. Full of revenge and doubt.Tonight we smoked them out. We were ahead by a century.

Yes you are.
I've never really been into the Hip, but I really, really like this song.
 htowncoog wrote:
And Stingray adds his ray of sunshine.  {#Razz}
 
Whatya expect from someone named after a Chevy car? {#Mrgreen}
RP is ahead by a century!  Thank you!
The Moment: when the drums come in. 
Can Con!
;cheers

These guys are awesome in live performance if you ever have a chance to see them. Gord Downie is a fantastic story teller. If you have a chance, listen to his Killer Whale Tank rant in the New Orleans is Sinking song. It's on You Tube!

for a second i thought this was going to be pedro the lion - big trucks

Nice.  You guys are killing it tonight, like you generally do.  RP really improves my shifts at work, so, thanks for that!


This reminds me of George Dubya.  "Smoke 'em out!  Heh heh!"
 
Great song from a great band! Good work this afternoon, Bill. You're keeping me going on this Friday!
They're playing an outdoor show here tonight, hope the rain holds off.
I continue to be amazed at the many personas of Tragically Hip, thanks to RP, of course
Another nice groove from the Great White North......thanks Bill!
Not my favourite Hip song.  Still the best name for a band though.
And Stingray adds his ray of sunshine.  {#Razz}
Never a bad time for a little ABAC...
Tragically bad!
My favorite TTH tune. I need to be in a hammock – by a lake. 8
 martinc wrote:
Play more. There is a great pool of Hip songs that RP listeners would enjoy. If they come to your town go see them, they sparkle live.
 
 
Indeed!...saw them several  times!...when I lived in western NY!

Ooooooh....yes!{#Yes}
{#Drummer}
{#Music}
Good stuff!{#Music}
Good song, haven't heard it in a long time.
 nevar23 wrote:
Ooooo.... no. {#No}
 
Oh, but I respectfully disagree. Yyyyyyyyessss!
Ooooo.... no. {#No}
 peter_james_bond wrote:
Killer sets this afternoon Bill! {#Clap}
 
Must agree with that one.
{#Music}
Killer sets this afternoon Bill! {#Clap}
so good!

It seems almost anti-Canadian to not like the Hip! Love the Hip. Great song writing and a great band. 
Ahhhhh!  {#Clap}

That's more like it.
 goo wrote:
Great lyrics, great imagery, great song!
 
goo, you are ahead by a century! Viva The Hip!
Saw them at the Austin City Limits Music Fest in '06.  They dedicated this song to the recently deceased Ann Richards, former Govenor of Texas, and they pleaded with the crowd, "Hope you don't mind us calling her Annie."
Play more. There is a great pool of Hip songs that RP listeners would enjoy. If they come to your town go see them, they sparkle live.
 
 lalalisa25 wrote:

Very cool... hope to see those views some day, too!

 
The locals know to chew cocoa leaves on the way up, as did my daughter and her companion when they made the trek a few years back while doing a study aboard in Buenos Aires.
Great Song. Hope you will play this more, Bill!!
 ludite wrote:
I took a trip to South America, and a friend of mine made a mix tape for the trip that included this song and "Gift Shop", from the same album. I was hiking the trail up to Machu Picchu when I put on that tape for the first time. I will forever associate the stunning views Andes and my stinging lungs with that hike. These will always be two of my favorite "Hip" songs.
 
Very cool... hope to see those views some day, too!

I keep waiting for Bill to segue this into K-OS's "Crabbucket".  No, they're not stylistically similar, but you can't argue with the name-check...
I love the way this song builds — such an emotional crescendo...
Absolutely perfect song to start off my Friday morning, thanks Bill!
goo wrote:
Great lyrics, great imagery, great song!
Great band!
Great lyrics, great imagery, great song!
ludite wrote:
I took a trip to South America, and a friend of mine made a mix tape for the trip that included this song and "Gift Shop", from the same album. I was hiking the trail up to Machu Picchu when I put on that tape for the first time. I will forever associate the stunning views Andes and my stinging lungs with that hike. These will always be two of my favorite "Hip" songs.
We went there on our honeymoon. What an incredible place. I love how music can tie to memory like that.
tenacious_v wrote:
One of my favorites from the Hip...and one of their finest songs I believe....
Indeed, though the live version (on Live Between Us) merits another point or two. Still excellent in my book, which reveals my Hip biases.