Oct 18, 2017

National icon

When Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau paid tearful tribute to Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie after his death from brain cancer, he led a nation in mourning for a unique band of homegrown heroes, writes Jordan Michael Smith. Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, and Celine Dion all moved south of the border - the Canadian border - to achieve fame. As a result, the band is like a secret handshake for Canadians, a way to establish an exclusive commonality among anyone between the ages of roughly 15 and 45. What's more, the Hip mined and reflected Canadian mythology in their lyrics. One of the band's best-known songs, Courage, is subtitled "For Hugh MacLennan", a mid-20th Century Canadian novelist.

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