"Fireworks" as written by Robert Baker, Gordon Downie, Johnny Fay, Joseph Paul Langlois and Robert Gordon Sinclair....
If there's a goal that everyone remembers,
It was back in ol' 72
We all squeezed the stick and we all pulled the trigger
And all I remember is sitting beside you

You said you didn't give a fuck about hockey
And I never saw someone say that before
You held my hand and we walked home the long way
You were loosening my grip on Bobby Orr

Isn't it amazing anything's accomplished
When the little sensation gets in your way
Not one ambition whisperin' over your shoulder
Isn't it amazing you can do anything

We hung out together every single moment
'Cause that's what we though married people do
Complete with the grip of artificial chaos
And believing in the country of me and you

Crisis of faith and crisis in the Kremlin
And yea we'd heard all of that before
It's wintertime, the house is solitude with options
And loosening the grip on a fake cold war

Isn't it amazing what you can accomplish
When you don't let the nation get in your way
No ambition whisperin' over your shoulder
Isn't it amazing you can do anything

Next to your comrades in the national fitness program
Caught in some eternal flexed arm hang
Droppin' to the mat in a fit of laughter
Showed no patience, tolerance or restraint

Fireworks exploding in the distance
Temporary towers soar
Fireworks emulating heaven
Til there are no stars anymore
Fireworks aiming straight at heaven
Temporary towers soar
Til there are no stars shining up in heaven
Til there are no stars anymore

Isn't it amazing what you can accomplish
When the little sensation gets in your way
No ambition whisperin' over your shoulder
Oh isn't it amazing what you can accomplish, eh
This one thing probably never goes away
I think this one thing is always supposed to stay
Oh this one thing doesn't have to go away


Lyrics submitted by circe

"Fireworks" as written by Johnny Fay Gordon Downie

Lyrics © Peermusic Publishing

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Fireworks song meanings
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11 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentIm posting here to draw attention to this song.

    Its REALLY good (imo).

    And GO LEAFS! (The song is loosly based on hockey...) :)
    NinjaVitison May 27, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyes! i agree ninja! anyone who has a soft spot for hockey and damn good canadian music will love the tragically hip. all of their songs rock. i love them, especially this song.
    trlgrl20on August 04, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSorry, not really about Hockey, any more than American Pie was about Chevies.

    the '72 summit series was a great moment for Canada, and one ofthose moments of youth you will never forget (if you were alive!). The reference to Participaction the "National Fitness Program" is another one of those unique Canadian memories growing up in the 70's.

    But I think the song is about how stars have been replaced with fireworks. Great people, great moments are lost in the modern rush of moments and people. When everyone gets 15 minutes, no-one gets 16. The bright stars of yesterday are replaced with the brief fireworks of today.

    Cool tune, though.
    Spacemooseon September 03, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"you said you didn't give a fuck about hockey
    and I never saw someone say that before
    you held my hand and we walked home the long way
    you were loosening my grip on Bobby Orr"

    I love that verse! Has personal meaning for me too (had to stop refereeing so much hockey cause i had to make time for a girlfriend, she was a hip fan, so i told her that she was "loosening my grip on bobby orr").

    Although Spacemoose is right, the song has little do with hockey.


    I think this may be my favourite hip song, absolutely love the lyrics.
    Atom_14on June 29, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAlthough Gord Sinclair made some comment on how this song is about pop culture, and the temporary nature of fame, fireworks replacing songs, it also works on a whole other level as a song about teenaged love, losing your virginity, or both.

    He's a kid, and he's all wrapped up in Bobby Orr and childhood heroes. She's more sophisticated (as girls usually are at that age -- see also Ahead by a Century), and she loosens his grip on Bobby Orr. They hang out together all the time because they naively think that's what married people do (remember feeling that way?). The external world, the cold war, etc., doesn't mean a thing to them. He drops out of the flexed arm hang, shows no respect for it, etc.

    Isn't it amazing that anything's accomplished when this little sensation gets in your way, when all ambition is replaced by the big crush? Alternatively, don't you feel that you can do anything?

    But of course, it's all as temporary as fireworks.

    And it has f-all to do with hockey; hockey, nationalism, and the other things associated with the Hip get rejected as childish things when he falls for her. Now, on another level, the love story here can just be a metaphor for his relationship with music, art, or success in the U.S., so we are back to the pop culture idea.
    wonderdogon January 31, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHenderson Has Scored For Canada.
    mdibonon March 10, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think the under message in this song is that nothing lasts forever. Gord uses a lot of metaphores in this song to illustrate the, mainly with references to the Cold War. I think this was used because no one ever expected the USSR to collapse the way it did. I had a history professor who said if you had asked any reknown political analyist in 1988 or 1989 if they thought the USSR would be gone in a year or two they would have laughed at you. Even the most concrete of things can crumble.

    But back to the cold war references. The Summit series of '72 was about as close as Canada ever came to actually fighting the USSR, and I'm happy to say we won :) "Comrades in the National Fitness Program" Also, the marriage in this song is compared to the "crisis in the Kremlin" with how fast thing went south.

    The last verse just reiterates the theme of this song. There's so many fireworks in the sky, so breif, yet so bright that we can't see the long real stars anymore. As Wonderdog said, Gord Sinclair says this is in refernce to pop-culture, but you could probably use it to describe most things in life these days- love, hockey and Communist Unions.
    BamSplaton April 10, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFrom reading the lyrics and reading the comments here, I have concluded that the 1972 Summit Series was like the 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid down here. Most people who were either young or old remember where they were when that moment happened.

    Besides that, I love this song for it's simple sound and actually accesible lyricism. From every song I've heard by the Hip, there rhymes and rhythm make them far superior than other bands on Earth.

    I think this song is about young love and how it progresses into reality of life. At first it's this fairy tale romance and it ends when the pressures of life become more and more unbearable. In my mind, this song makes a subtle statement about the nature of love. While it may have nothing to do with hockey or popular culture, some marriages only last as long as a fireworks display. When the times are tenuous, that's when the fireworks occur and when the display ends, so does the relationship.

    That might be reading way too deep into it, but that's how I see it.

    Great great great song by the way.
    OpinionHeadon June 08, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's about growing up and falling in love - or vice versa- in a particular place (Canada) and time (the 70's). Up until he met this woman hockey was central to his life (as it was to national identity in many ways), but as he fell for her it's impact lessened.

    At this time things like the cold war, the National Fitness Program, and a society becoming increasingly secular were central topics in the country. These were things good Canadians concerned themselves with. But these two were too busy being in love and living for a nation of two (their new marriage) that the nation's issues and "ambition" were hardly noticed by them.

    But, like fireworks, the excitement of new love fades to something less spectacular and many of a nation's identities and crisis fade away to fades and follies when reflected upon 20 years later.
    nessa222on February 01, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentParticipACTION -- Don't just think about it. DO IT! God I'm glad they're bringing that back. I'm not even 30 yet and I'm sure the average 60 year old Swede is more fit than me.
    Trogdorinaon March 01, 2007   Link

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