Bobcaygeon (song)

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Single by The Tragically Hip
from the album Phantom Power
Released February 1999
Recorded 1998
Genre Alternative rock, Folk rock
Length 4:55
Label Universal
Writer(s) Rob Baker
Gordon Downie
Johnny Fay
Paul Langlois
Gord Sinclair
The Tragically Hip singles chronology
"My Music at Work"

"Bobcaygeon" is a song by Canadian alternative rock group The Tragically Hip. It was released in February 1999 as a single from their sixth album, Phantom Power.


The song is named after Bobcaygeon, Ontario, a town in the Kawartha Lakes region about 160 km (100 mi) northeast of Toronto. Its lyrics also obliquely reference the Christie Pits riot of 1933, which arose from tensions between Toronto's working-class Jewish community and anti-semitic Swastika clubs following a baseball game ("their voices rang with that Aryan twang").

According to Downie, the song was not specifically written about the town itself, but rather he chose the town's name for the lyrics primarily because it was the closest rhyme to "constellation" that he could find among small towns in Ontario.[1] In live performances, Downie has typically explained "Bobcaygeon" as a "cop love song," though the gender and identity of the narrator's beloved change from performance to performance. Recent concerns have seen him introduce the song as "about a couple of gay cops that fall in love. One lives in the city, and the other lives in the country."[2]


The song won the Juno Award for Single of the Year in 2000.[3][4]


Chart (1999) Peak
Canadian RPM Singles Chart[5] 3
Canadian RPM Rock Report[6] 2
Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary Chart[7] 43
Chart (2016) Peak
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[8] 27


  1. ^ "Searching for the Tragically Hip’s mythical Bobcaygeon". Maclean's, July 15, 2016.
  2. ^ Smith, Ryan (12 July 2013). "RBC ROYAL BANK BLUESFEST: DAY 7 – THE TRAGICALLY HIP, THE JON SPENCER BLUES EXPLOSION, AND L.P.". East Scene. Retrieved 20 August 2016. Downie introduced the next song as one “…about a couple of gay cops that fall in love. One lives in the city, and the other lives in the country. You can see the dilemma… the commute,” and the band started playing “Bobcaygeon”. 
  3. ^ Foley, Doug (2000-03-13). "Super Celebration; Junos are a crowd pleaser for TV and music fans alike" (Pay-per-view). The Spectator. Hamilton. Retrieved 2010-05-11. 
  4. ^ "2000 Juno Awards". MetroLeap Media. Retrieved 2009-12-29. 
  5. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 68, No. 24, April 5 1999". RPM. Retrieved 2011-09-08. 
  6. ^ "Rock/Alternative - Volume 69, No. 4, May 17 1999". RPM. Retrieved 2012-05-22. 
  7. ^ "Adult Contemporary - Volume 69, No. 10, June 28 1999". RPM. Retrieved 2012-05-22. 
  8. ^ "The Tragically Hip – Chart history" Canadian Hot 100 for The Tragically Hip. Retrieved 2016-08-30.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"One Week" by Barenaked Ladies
Juno Award for Best Single
Succeeded by
"I'm Like a Bird" by Nelly Furtado