Video

Nashville Predators bodychecked in new parody song with lyrics by Winnipeg Jets fans

Winnipeg Jets fans have a new anthem to sing when they meet the Nashville Predators for their first home game of their second-round NHL playoff series.

Manitoba country band Doc Walker perform song written to tune of 'The Gambler' by Kenny Rogers

Manitoba country stars Doc Walker performed a parody of The Gambler by Kenny Rogers, with lyrics supplied by Winnipeg Jets fans. (Cameron MacLean/CBC)

Winnipeg Jets fans have a new anthem to sing when they meet the Nashville Predators for their first home game of their second-round NHL playoff series.

CBC Manitoba's Information Radio asked listeners to write in new lyrics to the tune of the classic country song The Gambler by Kenny Rogers. Those lyrics had to describe our Jets taming the Predators.

Almost 30 people submitted lyrics, some writing one or two lines, while others wrote entire songs. Some listeners wrote in on their own, while others collaborated with family, friends and coworkers.

Information Radio host Marcy Markusa and producer Sam Samson stitched the best lyrics together into one complete song, which was performed by Manitoba's Doc Walker.

Watch our video of Doc Walker performing The Gambler parody:

CBC Manitoba's Information Radio asked listeners to write new lyrics to the classic country song The Gambler as the Winnipeg Jets face off against the Nashville Predators. Here's the final version sung by local country band Doc Walker. 2:53

The band's lead singers and guitarists Chris Thorsteinson and Dave Wasyliw have spent much of the past two decades living in Nashville, but they there's no question where their loyalties lie.

"Before Jets 2.0 came back, we were this close to being in the yellow garb," said Wasyliw. When the Predators moved to Nashville, he says they were excited to have an NHL team in the city they were living in, but getting one back in the city they were from was even better.

"It's a little different down there. Vegas took a little bit from them, where hockey is almost a sideshow, where in Winnipeg, hockey is the show," Wasyliw said.

Thorsteinson says fans in Music City have a lot of respect for the Jets.

"You can hear that the players do, in their interviews, and the coaches and whatnot. And the fans, they're big hockey fans and they're learning and absorbing so much about hockey," he said.

The band's Jets connection runs deeper than simply being fans. Mark Chipman, chairperson of True North Sports and Entertainment, has played drums with them.

They met when the band was playing at a casino in Regina. Thorsteinson saw a man wearing a nice-looking black Jets jacket unloading his daughter's hockey gear from a van.

"I was this close to asking where he got the jacket. Then he goes, 'Doc Walker.' And I recognize him. He goes, 'Mark Chipman.' I'm like, 'Oh, that's probably where he got the nice jacket,'" he said.

Some time later, the band was playing at Harbourfest in Kenora, Ont. "He was over there, so we brought him up on stage and everybody did the 'Go Jets Go.'"

The Jets play two home games against the Predators Tuesday and Thursday.

Doc Walker's Chris Thorsteinson, right, and Dave Wasyliw perform in the CBC Manitoba studio. (Cameron MacLean/CBC)

Full lyrics, to the tune of The Gambler by Kenny Rogers

Written by Marcy Markusa, Sam Samson, Laurie Finlay, Ted Belanger, Lynda Loucks, Randal Payne, Ellen Kolisnyk, Kim Nelson and Lisa Martin

On a warm springtime evenin' on a bus bound for downtown
The Predators arrived here, but they were too scared to sleep
So they took turns a starin' out the window at the whiteout
Til' Jets fans overtook em', and they began to weep.

Gabe said, "Preds I've made a life out of dancin' in all places"
Knowin' when to bust a move, by the way the Jets fans cheer,
Now if you don't mind my sayin' 
When you've played in other spaces
You've never heard it loud and proud
Like you've heard it here.

When Paul opens up his playbook and gives it a once over, 
Takes a long look at his team and tosses it aside
And the coach got deathly quiet, and his face lost all expression, 
Says, "Go and play the game boys, cause we've learned to play it right..."

You've got to know Blake Wheeler
Myers and Ehlers
Scheifele and Hellebuyck
Brian Little, too
You better count your blessings 
If you're skating with your head down
Cause' it's guaranteed that Big Buff, 
Has his eye on you.

Well every Jets fan knows
That the secret to survivin' 
is hanging in through the playoff droughts
and when the team was sold
Cause this team is a winner, 
And we hate to call Preds losers, 
But the best thing they can hope for is to have a safe flight home.

And when the puck drops at game time
There'll be lots of gritty action  
The Jets will come out flyin' 
Like they never have before
And somewhere in the whiteness, the team starts breaking records
The mobs start screamin' GO JETS GO as a kid named Laine scores.

You've got to know Blake Wheeler
Myers and Ehlers
Scheifele and Hellebuyck
Brian Little, too
You better count your blessings 
If you're skating with your head down
Cause' it's guaranteed that Big Buff, 
Has his eye on you.

You can't keep count of the crowd here
You understand we're proud here
We know when to yell TRUE NORTH
When the anthem's sung
Portage and Main is ready
And you're invited to the party
So we can sing O' Canada
When the cup is won.

With files from Marjorie Dowhos

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