PEI

Paper Lions post a cappella cover of Tragically Hip's Bobcaygeon

As tributes to the Tragically Hip roll in from across the country — and across the world — Charlottetown band Paper Lions has posted their own nod, with an a cappella version of the song Bobcaygeon.

'We have always loved this song, and hoped we could share it with you!'

This week has been an emotional one for Tragically Hip fans as around 11.7 million Canadians tuned in for what could be the band's last show following lead singer Gord Downie's announcement that he has incurable cancer.

Charlottetown band Paper Lions posted their own tribute to the band, singing an a cappella version of the Hip's song Bobcaygeon.

"We have always loved this song, and hoped we could share it with you!" the band wrote in a Facebook post prior to the Tragically Hip's Saturday night show.

The video ends with band member John MacPhee saying "Thanks Gord."

"He's given so much," echoed band member Colin Buchanan in an interview with CBC News. "We just wanted to give thanks back."

'Etched into my history'

"We want to make sure [people] understand the importance of a band like Tragically Hip is for a band like us from a small place like P.E.I.," said Buchanan.

"They're from Kingston, Ont., which is far from the centre of the universe and it was really important for us to see a band like us be so successful and be true to their roots for so many years."

Buchanan said the first CD he ever purchased was the Hips' Phantom Power, and the first two songs he learned to play on guitar were also by the Tragically Hip — Ahead By A Century and Little Bones.

"The Tragically Hip is very much etched into my history as a musician. They've always kind of been there in my life and in our band's life."

Stripped down to the 'poetry of the lyrics'

Buchanan said Paper Lions decided to do an a cappella version of Bobcaygeon — a "beautiful song" and one of his personal favourites.

"We wanted to really strip it down and expose the poetry of the lyrics, so we decided to do it a cappella," he said.

A 'unifying moment for Canada'

Buchanan was among the people who watched Saturday's concert streamed live in Charlottetown's Victoria Park.

"I was blown away by the response and by how many people showed up and how many people were singing along and how many other parties like that would have been going on across the country and across the world," he said.

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      "It was a really unifying moment for Canada and there was a real sense of pride and ownership there with the Hip … It's really cool to rally around something like that — something in the arts."