Tom Cochrane reworked the lyrics of his song “Big League” on Tuesday night for a special performance honouring the Humboldt Broncos.
The Juno Award-winning signer and songwriter played an acoustic version in front of a green and yellow backdrop to begin TSN’s NHL playoff preview special.
The song, originally featured on his 1988 album Victory Day with Red Rider, is written from the perspective of a father whose son was a hockey player with big dreams cut short by a truck driving in the wrong lane.
Many Canadians began associating the lyrics with the 15 people who were killed in a highway accident on Friday night when the Humboldt Broncos’ bus collided with a semi-trailer in northern Saskatchewan. Fourteen other people were injured.
Cochrane’s low-key televised performance was played as photos of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League team were shown in a montage.
@HumboldtBroncos you are heart and soul this song was for you! out of respect for the parents I was reluctant to perform this but friend @tsnjamesduthie said it’s the right thing to do @TSNBobMcKenzie @AndiPetrillo @TSNRay @odognine2 and crew you are class xo https://t.co/axxNLUGfs0
— Tom Cochrane (@TomCochraneMUS) April 11, 2018
He updated the lyrics to incorporate a new verse that drew closer parallels to the Broncos story: “All the right moves when he turned 18. Ridin’ to the game and ridin’ with his team. Ridin’ with their friends and ridin’ for their dreams. Ridin’ off to immortality in the big league.”
Cochrane also changed another portion of the lyrics to place a stronger emphasis on the unpredictability of life: “Never can tell what might come down. Never can tell when you might check out. You just don’t know, no you never can tell.”
Watch the full video HERE.
Photo: TSN screengrab