Tom Cochrane re­works ‘Big League’ lyrics to honour Hum­boldt Bron­cos

Sherbrooke Record - - TALK -

Tom Cochrane re­worked the lyrics of his song “Big League” on Tuesday night for a spe­cial per­for­mance hon­our­ing the Hum­boldt Bron­cos.

The Juno Award-win­ning signer and song­writer played an acous­tic ver­sion in front of a green and yel­low back­drop to be­gin TSN’S NHL play­off pre­view spe­cial.

The song, orig­i­nally fea­tured on his 1988 al­bum “Vic­tory Day” with Red Rider, is writ­ten from the per­spec­tive of a fa­ther whose son was a hockey player with big dreams cut short by a truck driv­ing in the wrong lane.

Many Cana­di­ans be­gan as­so­ci­at­ing the lyrics with the 16 peo­ple who were killed in a high­way ac­ci­dent on Friday night when the Hum­boldt Bron­cos’ bus col­lided with a semi-trailer in north­ern Saskatchewan. Thir­teen other peo­ple were in­jured.

Cochrane’s low-key tele­vised per­for­mance was played as pho­tos of the Saskatchewan Ju­nior Hockey League team were shown in a mon­tage.

He up­dated the lyrics to in­cor­po­rate a new verse that drew closer par­al­lels to the Bron­cos story: “All the right moves when he turned 18. Ridin’ to the game and ridin’ with his team. Ridin’ with their friends and ridin’ for their dreams. Ridin’ off to im­mor­tal­ity in the big league.”

Cochrane also changed an­other por­tion of the lyrics to place a stronger em­pha­sis on the un­pre­dictabil­ity of life: “Never can tell what might come down. Never can tell when you might check out. You just don’t know, no you never can tell.”

While TSN’S owner Bell Me­dia hasn’t re­leased an au­dio ver­sion of Cochrane’s acous­tic per­for­mance, the orig­i­nal stu­dio record­ing of “Big League” has risen on the itunes charts. It was sit­ting at No. 21 late Wednesday af­ter­noon.

Other Cana­dian mu­si­cians have turned to their own songs to cre­ate trib­utes to the team.

Coun­try singer Paul Brant per­formed his 2001 song “Small Towns and Big Dreams” Monday on CBC’S “Q” af­ter re­cently rewrit­ing the lyrics to in­cor­po­rate a hockey theme at the re­quest of Ron Ma­clean, who planned to use it on a seg­ment of “Home­town Hockey.”

Kingston, Ont. mu­si­cian Jay Smith has racked up more than 1 mil­lion views on a Face­book video he posted per­form­ing “Leave a Stick by the Door,” an orig­i­nal song writ­ten in trib­ute to the hockey play­ers.

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