Remember when you were a kid, and the Habs were in the playoffs, and every song you heard on the radio reminded you of hockey? I think back to the '86 playoffs when "Rocky IV" was in theatres and "Eye of the Tiger," from the movie soundtrack, all over the radio. That song was the perfect accompaniment to the Habs' glorious playoff run. As a sentimental kid, watching Patrick Roy twitch nervously before settling into his crouch, I could hear "...rising up to the challenge of our rivals..." playing in the background of my mind.
It's kind of like when you're a teenager in love, and music speaks to you in a way it doesn't at most other times in your life. Songs become infused with a meaning that helps us quantify the unexplainable. Why does she love me? How do I explain this feeling? The euphoria of emotion needs the visceral touchstone of music to express itself. You might not be able to put that feeling into words, but you know you feel it more deeply when the right music is playing.
This Canadiens season is as affecting in its way as a great playoff run. Instead of the excitement, eagerness and outright joy we experience when things are going well, though, we have all sorts of anger, disappointment and sadness we've got to deal with. These days, it feels like every breakup song is really about missing the playoffs and not knowing if things will improve in the foreseeable future. Perversely, the more melancholy the music, the better it makes us feel. Somebody out there, some songwriter with a better sense of expression than we have, understands and keeps us company in our misery. With that in mind, the soundtrack of this season, for me, is highlighted by this one.
Thanks, Jim Cuddy. You said it all better than I can.