10 Songs About Hockey

While listening to the new album from our friend and Calgary-based singer JJ Shiplett, we noticed that 2:10 into the song “Oleander” he takes an unprovoked pop at the Toronto Maple Leafs and their Stanley Cup drought

“You’d stop carrying this all around one day
when the Leafs win the Cup.
And that’s a long time to wait…”

Well, the NHL Playoffs are in full swing and we’re fully invested, Seanna as an aforementioned Leafs fan and Beckler as a fan of the Boston Bruins. And JJ’s song is only one of many songs that make reference to hockey.

Here are 10 of our favourite songs about hockey or which contain strong hockey references:

10. The Zambonis – I Wanna Drive the Zamboni

Seanna’s boyfriend Cliff works in the hockey world and loves the game as much as anyone. He submitted this song for our list. I think we all wanna drive the Zamboni.

9. The Weakerthans – One Great City

This anti-anthem for the band’s home city of Winnipeg makes one quick reference to the Jets, through the lens of miserably cold commuters on public transit grumbling about how “The Guess Who sucked, the Jets were lousy anyway”. Interestingly, the song was released in 2003 when and the team had left for Atlanta four years earlier. The Jets wouldn’t return for another 8 years.

8. The Tragically Hip – Fireworks

There probably isn’t another band in history who have sung about hockey more than The Hip, and this track makes mention of two hockey landmarks: Paul Henderson’s famous goal to win the 1972 Summit Series for Canada, and arguably the greatest player ever, Bobby Orr.

7. Propaghandi – Dear Coach’s Corner

Manitoba punk band Propaghandi wrote this song in the form of a letter to Hockey Night in Canada’s Don Cherry (formerly) and Ron MacLean, complaining about the militarization of hockey and their broadcast. Whether you agree or disagree with the sentiment, the song rocks.

6. The Dudes – Saturday Night

It feels like Calgary’s The Dudes set out with the purpose of getting a song featured on Hockey Night in Canada when they released “Saturday Night” in 2012. The song is chock full of references to playoff beards, the Jets returning to Winnipeg, a specific community rink in Calgary, and lines like “in my dreams the Nordiques get back their team and win the Cup in 2017” (a prophecy which would not come true). It also happens to be a ripper of a song.

5. Hawskley Workman – Warhol’s Portrait of Gretzky

This is one of Beckler’s favourite songs ever, not only because of the unique sound musically but also because of the exceptionally strange lyrical content. In 1984, Andy Warhol produced a piece featuring Wayne Gretzky, which Hawksley Workman describes visually in the lyrics of his song. Workman also references the playoffs and Mike Bossy, amidst a flurry of F-bombs.

4. Darrin Pfeiffer – The Only Man I’d Have Sex With

Consider for a moment how odd it is that there are two songs on this list about Wayne Gretzky’s attractiveness. Darrin Pfeiffer, who played drums in the ska band Goldfinger, sings about how he’d consider switching teams for Wayne Gretzky and only for Wayne Gretzky.

3. Tom Cochrane – Big League

This song is the (mostly fictional) story of a young hockey prospect who was killed before he could accept a US scholarship, told through the eyes of his grieving father. It’s a real heartbreaker.

2. The Tragically Hip – Fifty-Mission Cap

Let’s be honest, there could be a dozen Hip songs on this list, but we went with two of the most famous. Fifty-Mission Cap tells the story of Leafs defenceman Bill Barilko, who won four Cups with the Leafs before being killed in a floatplane crash in Northern Ontario in 1951. As the song says, the Leafs wouldn’t win another Cup until 1962 when the wreckage and Barilko’s body were found.

  1. Stompin’ Tom Connors – The Hockey Song

No surprise here. Stompin’ Tom’s biggest song is also the most iconic song ever written about the game. Beckler has also had one issue with the song though; Stompin’ Tom waited until the third verse to tell us that this was the “last game of the playoffs too”. One might think this being game 7 of the Cup Final would be worth mentioning right off the hop. We probably would have been more invested in the action knowing that detail. That small complaint aside, this really is THE Hockey Song.

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