Song Lyric Sunday – (My boy’s gonna play in) The Big League

Big League
Tom Cochrane and Red Rider

I chose this song for Song Lyric Sunday because its story touched the hearts of many Canadian parents in 1988 when it was released.  In 2018, thirty years later, it saw a resurgence when tragedy struck and the story became a reality for the parents of boys on a Saskatchewan hockey team.

So many little boys in Canada (including mine back in the day) dream of playing hockey in the major league. And no matter the playing level of their sons, thousands of parents keep the dream alive.  They are up at the crack of dawn on winter weekends to drive to chilly hockey arenas. Week after week, they watch while their sons (and today daughters) hit the ice, while warming their hands holding endless cups of hot coffee. They drive through blizzards to watch them play in tournaments in other cities.  And they do it for love of their kids and the game.

But the song is more than about the game. It’s about loss and the end of the dream because of a tragic accident . In April 2018 , a bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos, a Saskatchewan junior league team, was struck by a semi-trailer truck. Sixteen people on the bus were killed, including 14 players, the head coach and the team’s athletic therapist. Thirteen others were injured.  All of Canada mourned and showed their sympathy by leaving hockey sticks outside their doors.  And the song became an anthem again to the game and the kids that lost their lives for the love of it.

LYRICS:   Big Leagues
Tom Cochrane and Red Rider
When he was a kid, he’d be up at five
Take shots till eight, make the thing drive
Out after school, back on ice
That was his life, he was gonna play in the big league
The big league
Not many ways out of this cold northern town
You work in the mill and get laid in the ground
If you’re gonna jump it will be with the game
Real fast and tough is the only clear lane to the big league
My boy’s gonna play in the big league
My boy’s gonna turn some heads
My boy’s gonna play in the big league
My boy’s gonna knock ’em dead
The big league
All the right moves when he turned eighteen
Scholarship and school on a big u.s. team
Out with his girl near Lake Mcclean
Hit a truck doing seventy in the wrong lane
To the big league
My boy’s gonna play in the big league
My boy’s gonna turn some heads
My boy’s gonna play in the big league
My boy’s gonna knock ’em dead
Never can tell what might come down
Never can tell how much you get
Just don’t know, no you never can tell
Sometimes at night I can hear the ice crack
It sounds like thunder and it rips through my back
Sometimes in the morning I still hear the sound
Ice meets metal…
“can’t you drive me down to the big league?”
My boy’s gonna play in the big league
My boy’s gonna turn some heads
My boy’s gonna play in the big league
My boy’s gonna knock ’em dead
Never can tell what might come down
Never can tell when you might check out
Just don’t know, no you never can tell
So do right to others like you do to yourself
In the big league
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Thomas William Cochrane
Big League lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

 Jim Adams hosts Song Lyric Sunday.  His theme for was:

Look for songs that are written or sung by someone named Tom/Dick/Harry or a song that includes one of these names in the lyrics

A lesson in empathy

I woke early this morning and when I realized that it was futile to keep trying to go back to sleep, I got up. The house was still dark and cold. I fumbled for my robe, wrapped and belted it tightly around me and went to the kitchen to make coffee.  Soon its fragrant aroma filled the room as it bubbled and dripped steadily into the pot. While it finished brewing, I headed back to the bedroom for my glasses to read the newspaper before work.

I got as far as as the living room when the ground began to vibrate beneath my feet and the sound of an ominous rumble came from outside.  We had snow  yesterday and at first I thought a snow plough was steamrolling down the street.  But I soon realized this was no truck; this was an earthquake. The cat, who had been frozen in place on the arm of the couch, jumped down and started to run for safety. But the poor thing didn’t know what the danger was or where it was coming from.  After a few false starts, she ran to the basement.  I’d always heard you should take cover beneath a doorjamb during an earthquake. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but I opened the door to the closest room in the hallway and stood beneath its jamb. The sound intensified for a few seconds and after a loud cracking sound, it stopped as suddenly as it had started.

I waited to see if my husband, who was still in bed, would come find us, but he slept through the whole thing. I ran to my computer and logged onto local news sites.  Sure enough, within a few minutes, there was a post by Earthquakes Canada (who knew there was a federal department called Earthquakes Canada?):

Automatic detection of seismic event: magnitude 4.2 – 13 Jan 5:38 EST – SALABERRY-DE-VALLEYFIELD, QC region

I think I was given a refresher lesson in empathy. Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of the earthquake that killed more than 230,000 people in Haiti. The radio station my husband listens to had non-stop, talk-radio shows about the anniversary and I admit to getting bored with it.  I admire this proud people who lost parents, children, friends and more, who lived in and with destruction all around them and who, despite all  this,  strived to rebuild. But, a little voice in my head was saying, “It was ten years ago. What can we do now, especially that much of the funds raised to help rebuild the country were appropriated by corrupt officials?”

The quake I experienced was tiny in comparison but it gave me renewed respect for what the Haitian people went through. It lasted only a few seconds, killed no one and destroyed nothing. But those few seconds were frightening.

The Haiti earthquake was a 7.0 magnitude that lasted more than 30 seconds! That had to seem like forever when the ground is literally violently shaking beneath your feet and everything around you is crumbling.

It’s natural that we identify more easily to things when we have a personal connection. And as someone who works for a charity, I know there are many worthwhile causes and we can’t support them all. But I learned today that it costs nothing to have a little empathy.

Falling into Clouds

It’s Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday and the prompt for today is: “the first 3 words of the first full sentence.”  1. Grab the closest book to you when you sit down to write your post. 2. Open it to a random page. 3. Locate the first complete sentence on that page. 4. Use the first three words of that sentence to start your post, then take it from there–write whatever comes to mind. That’s it! Have fun!

In the looming arrival of consciousness, I keep my eyes tightly shut. When I open them, I see the blue, digital numbers of the clock radio on my night table blinking 5:08 a.m. in the darkness.  I close my eyes, waiting to see if the little gerbil in my mind is running on his exercise wheel this morning, spewing random thoughts and tasks for the day from the spinning wheel. If so, then I know sleep is only wishful thinking and I might as well get up and get going. But, no, he is quiet this morning. I feel peaceful and so close my eyes again and enjoy the warmth of the covers, the softness of the pillows and the calm of the early morning.

Soon after I close my eyes, sleep pulls me gently down, down, down.  It feels like falling into a lake of clouds and I let myself sink deeper and deeper. Amid the haze of mist and fog, come wild dreams that make no sense. They’re not scary, just filled with people I don’t know and stories that have no rhyme or reason.

When my eyes open again it’s 6:15 a.m.  The cat, who seeks warmth, often sleeps at my feet in winter. She jumps down from the bed, landing on the floor with a thud, only to return in a few minutes, purring as she settles back down. “That cat is smart,” I tell myself. “She is telling you to stay in bed. It’s a cold, wet January Saturday and there’s not a reason in the world for you to get up.” So I stay.  And soon enough, I’m drifting off again, back to the land of clouds and sleep-induced hallucinations.