Hear the Canucks’ lost 1975 theme song, “We’re With You” [VIDEO]

When it became clear that the 2013-14 Vancouver Canucks weren’t playoff-bound, the team launched a concerted effort to focus on the past. 1994, to be specific. But let’s overshoot 1994 by a couple of decades, and go a little further back, to the halcyon days of 1975.

Back then, the Canucks’ goaltender was a guy by the name of Gary “Suitcase” Smith, so named, during this era when hockey players were better at nicknames, because he was an NHL journeyman. It was the year of the Canucks’ playoff debut, as the team won the Smythe Division in its first season after realignment. And it was the only year in Canucks’ history in which they played without a team captain.

They didn’t need a captain, you see, because they got all the inspiration and motivation necessary to win the big games from their new theme song, “We’re With You”. Yes, the Canucks have a theme song, and to my mind, it rivals “Here come the Hawks“. But I’m biased.

The track, written and performed by Don Cook, was part of a fund-raising project for the CKNW Orphans Fund. You don’t hear much about it these days, (although it did make an appearance in Nardwuar’s great interview with Alex Burrows from 2011, because Nardwuar is an obscure music encyclopedia). It’s possible you’ve never heard it at all, even. And that’s a shame, because it’s great. Have a listen to this uptempo, 70s folk classic:

The other side of the 45″ featured an instrumental version of the same song, in case you found the vocals were really getting in the way of your appreciation of that xylophone accompaniment.

The lyrics:

We know hockey is the number one game
Uh huh, oh yeah
Most teams play it as a regular game, except one — they’re the one

They bring the Coliseum to its feet
Crowds that gather there are more than pleased
And we show it!

Canucks we’re with you, we’re really really with you, yes we are
Canucks we’re with you, we’re really really with you, yes we are

*trumpet solo*

They bring the Coliseum to its feet
Crowds that gather there are more than pleased
And we show it!

Canucks we’re with you, we’re really, really with you, yes we are
Canucks, we love you, we really really love you, yes we do
Canucks, we love you, we really really love you, yes it’s true
Canucks, we’re with you, we’re really, really with you, yes we are

Masterful. Although, considering the 70s-era Canucks were historically bad, outside of this season, one wonders about the sense behind a lyrics like “most teams play [hockey] as a regular game, except one.”

Anyway. The Canucks need to bring this back. And yet I suspect they won’t, without a grassroots movement. So here’s what we’re proposing:

“We’re With You” needs covers. Lots of covers. This summer, we’ll make it our mission to find musicians willing to cover this bad boy, and share them on the blog. And in the meantime, if you happen to be a musician, fire up the ol’ Youtube machine, and give us your version. It’ll end up here, we assure you.

Here’s that Nardwuar video, by the way. The record shows up at about the 1:30 mark:

s/t to Reddit Canucks.

7 comments

  1. iain
    June 10, 2014

    harumph. Gary Smith was nicknamed Suitcase because he was so well-travelled. He played for no less than 15 teams (NHL and minor leagues) over 17 years as a pro, and his tenure with the Canucks (at 3 complete seasons) was his second longest after his time with the Golden Seals.

    Yes he was a journeyman goalie, but that didn’t give him his nickname.

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  2. iain
    June 10, 2014

    oh, and he did a stint in the WHA as well. props to Wikipedia.

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  3. DanD
    June 10, 2014

    Let me assure you that the New Van Fan gentlemen are very interested in this!

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  4. Steve_May
    June 10, 2014

    Suddenly “Jimmy B” doesn’t so bad, now, does it?

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  5. JDM
    June 11, 2014

    Still no old-school Canucks song like King Richard.

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    • iain
      June 11, 2014

      seconded!

      although don’t forget ‘na na hey hey kiss him goodbye’ either.

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  6. John in Marpole
    June 15, 2014

    Curt Fraser and Chris Nilan were the players who fought under the stands in Vancouver:

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