Today we say goodbye to one of the most decent human beings that walked this earth. Gordon Downie was more than just a man. He spent every day fighting for what’s right, and managed to do it in a way that did not alienate or disturb others. He was not a brash, outspoken preacher. He was, instead, simply decent. He said his piece, and left it up to you to decide what you thought. He didn’t waste time on judgment. He didn’t waste his days complaining about what he couldn’t change. He showed himself to be a bright light in the darkness for others to follow.
The music that he made was a protest song, a love song, a driving song, and a hanging out on the front porch music all at once. The music, like the man, never forced it’s opinions upon you. The song Courage was essentially about suicide. It didn’t have to be interpreted that way, though. It was what you needed it to be. The same for the song leave.
The first song I heard by them was Bobcaygeon. I loved it from the moment I heard it. I waited, however, until I heard Poets before I actually bought the Phantom Power album. From start to finish, it was beautiful, and served as a soundtrack for a memorable portion of my life.
Gordon Downie will be truly missed, and it is unlikely that anyone will be able to fill his boots. Hopefully out of the millions of people born today, one of them managed to snatch up a bit of what he left behind.