Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Hockey Night in Canada Theme

I'm not a hockey fan, but I adore the Hockey Night in Canada theme.

The song was written for the CBC in 1968 by Dolores Claman. A classically trained composer, Claman had written a number of successful jingles (including the music for A Place to Stand, the Academy-award winning short film shown at the Ontario Pavilion at Expo 67.)

Having never actually seen a hockey game in person, Claman said that she wrote the tune imagining "Roman gladiators wearing skates".

"It just arrived in my head," she recalled years later.

Since the song was originally classified as an advertising jingle, Claman only received a one-time creative fee of $800. A recent messy court case saw the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation lose the rights to what many consider "Canada's second national anthem".

CTV, Canada's largest privately owned network, has acquired the broadcast rights to the song in perpetuity. A new, classic rendition has recently been unveiled, recorded by 54 members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

Brassy yet loungy, the fab new recording pays hommage to the original 1968 version... Needless to say, I love it!

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