Monday, May 29, 2006

In Remembrance...

. Monday, May 29, 2006

Nautical Disaster by The Tragically Hip

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 picked and those left in the water got kicked off our pantleg and we headed for home.Then the dream ends when the phone rings, you doing alright 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 as a sound in my memory, as those fingernails scratching on my hull.

Few believe that the song is about a single theme, but it seems that one theme may be about the raid on Dieppe during World War II. Dieppe was a daylight, pre-D-day raid of a German held port on the coast of France. In the assault, carried out by Canadian troops, nearly 4000 men were killed out of a force of about 4800. The lyrics to "Nautical Disaster" are extremely close to these facts. Gord Downie himself has alluded to the fact that the song is one long metaphor for a failed relationship, but the literal meaning has ties to Dieppe.

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