The Stories Behind Tom's Songs

Big League

A song thinking from the position of a father who's son had died in a car accident. He was going to be a hockey star in his dad's opinion and was destined that way but it never came to be.

"The song is based on a true story. I met a man in an arena when we were on tour just before sound check, a nice soft spoken guy, who told me that his son had aspirations to play pro hockey and had a scholarship, or had been close to one in the States. He asked me if we were going to play "Boy Inside The Man" that night and said that his son had been a big fan. I asked him if his son would be there, not realizing the man had been using the past tense. That was when he told me his son had died in a car accident that past summer... I felt for that guy, his story hit me hard. Some songs are hard labour, but the best songs are born ... I carried that story with me for quite some time. Ken and I rented a house to write and pre-produce Victory Day. With the exception of the music equipment, we kept it bare and empty, not even a phone - nothing, like a Buddhist retreat or a monastery. In the upstairs room I simply kept a mat, tape recorder and guitar, that's all. Ken was producing the Tragically Hip at the time, so sometimes he wouldn't show up till late in the evening. I'd go into that room in the afternoon for an hour or so and meditate ... and sometimes I'd fall asleep in the silence. One day I woke up, picked up the guitar, turned on the tape recorder and played and sang "Big League" in one pass. One pass, and there it was ... born. I'm as proud of that song as anything I've ever written. It's Canadiana, and even though it rocks, it's written in a true Canadian folk narrative style. But most importantly, I hope it cuts to the heart of life, love, loss and family ... I think it says something about the hopes and dreams we put into our kids' heads, and the transience and preciousness of life. This song's origins are culturally specific, but the story taps into something universal, into ideas and feelings that resonate through every culture." - Tom Cochrane

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