The Bear references


"...I think it was Algonquin Park
It was so cold and winter dark
A promised hibernation high
Took me across the great black plate of ice"

"...Now I'm the Islander"

"The Bear" is thought to be inspired by the true story of an Algonquin Park Black Bear who, during an early winter freeze, crossed over to an island hibernation spot. The following summer, campers were shocked to find a bear on what was supposed to be a deserted island.

Algonquin is of course the best known and oldest of Canada's nature preserves, and is Ontario's most visited provincial park. It is mentioned in Lake Fever and was the adopted home of Three Pistols star Tom Thompson. There are believed to be roughly 2000 Black Bears in Algonquin Park today.

   "But with my belly full I intended to get something done"

Hip Head Shane Kroeker adds:

"Alive is a 1993 film by director Frank Marshall and producer Kathleen Kennedy. It is based upon Piers Paul Read's acclaimed 1974 book, Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors (which itself was based upon interviews with survivors of the crash of Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 on October 13, 1972).

The film tells the story of a Uruguayan rugby team (who were alumni of Stella Maris College)and their friends and family who were involved in the aircraft crash of Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 which crashed into the Andes mountains on October 13, 1972.

After great debate, the remaining passengers decide to eat the flesh of their dead companions in order to survive. With protein in their bellies finally, a team of explorers sets off to search for the tail of the plane in hopes of finding the batteries for the transistor radio.

At the point of cannibalization, the rugby team captain declares: "With meat in my belly, I intend to get something done."

Gord must have seen the movie, and enjoyed this epic line enough to blend it into a song about the islander."

Downie can be heard reciting the line during the Hip's set at Woodstock '99.