The Dark Canuck references


"This one is for you, and it goes on and on and on..."
"If from the outside there's no demand for what you do
"And inside there's an army waiting for their marching orders from you
Come sit on my swing seat
Come sit on my porch
After ten at night smoke your cigarettes
If you like, of course"

"...If we ever get home
And the subject comes up
This War isn't for children
War is nothing's enough"

A song in two parts for Canada's soldier: the peace keeper, the general, the young man, the father. The first half of the song seems to be sung in tribute to those who serve, while the second half alters the tempo and the point of view. It seems to be coming from a man overseas eager to get home. It carries the anti-war message that Gord himself would champion during appearances on Much Music during his 2003 solo tour. 

"...If we ever get home
Gonna have me three children
Apple, Zippo and Metronome,
that's what I'm gonna name them"

Apple, Zippo and Metronome are the names of three record labels. Zippo; a now defunct American independent label that specialized in garage metal. Metronome; a Swedish Jazz label. And of course Apple; the label created by the Beatles in 1968.

"...O in the clouds of blood at the end of JAWS
In the misted cars honking their applause."

Dah-nuh, Dah-nuh, Dah-nuh, DahnaDahnaDahnaDahna... okay so it doesn't work so well in print, but if you don't know about Spielberg's shark movie you should really come up for air more often. It created the mass-released summer blockbuster, ended the "auteur" period of film-making and gave birth to the "pop" period which, some argue, still exists today. It, along with The Godfather, proved that sequels could make as much if not more money than the originals, hence why we're still stuck in said "pop" period of Hollywood. The lyric paints a very nice picture of a "steamy" Drive-In which folks of my generation know about as well as our parents knew crank-starting cars.

Gord has also taken to quoting it's famous "...yell shark and you've got full scale panic on your hands" line during the intro to Fire In The Hole

Hip Head Steve added this:

Whilst browsing your fine, often visited website this evening, I revisited the reference window for "The Dark Canuck", my favorite Hip song. I came to this conclusion:

What I think Gord is asking with this song, it seemingly being about a soldier returning to his life after war; is, "how does one adjust to the world after witnessing such atrocities"? And going to / reacting to cheesy horror movies after witnessing real life, unspeakable horror. This is something all veterans have encountered in their lives.

"The Dark Canuck", being the fictitious name of the movie, can also be metaphor for the soul of the "darkened" soldier; a Canadian: Canuck a slang/derogatory (?) term. Mentioning having a family, (if we ever get home) and painting the picture of the family man years later with his children at the drive in movies, and somehow dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome years after the war: "O' in the clouds of blood at the end of JAWS / in the misted cars honking their applause" Gord says is the heart of "dark enough". The rest of the song echoes this sentiment:

"O' it's JAWS and The Dark Canuck should we stay for The Dark Canuck? yea.Everyone, hands up!? Who's for 'The Dark Canuck'?

I think we relinquished enough and it's still dark enough and it goes on and on and on..."