What does Fiddlers Green mean?

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The Tragically Hip: Fiddlers Green Meaning


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Fiddlers Green Lyrics

September Seventeen
For a girl I know, it's Mother's Day
Her son has gone alee
And that's where he will stay
Wind on the weathervane
Tearing blue eyes sailor-mean
As Falstaff sings a sorrowful refrain
For a boy in Fiddler's Green



    #1 top rated interpretation:
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    Jan 20th 2011 report

    Fiddler’s Green is a song about a mother who had a son who was born on September 17. This child was born with a heart defect “His tiny-knotted heart, Well I guess it never worked too good”. His heart could not take it and he passed away “her son is gone alee” (the higher side as on a ship). It is a sad song that describes the passing of child.

    “For a boy in Fiddler's Green”. This line tells us that the child is now in “fiddler’s green” (a sailor’s afterlife). Where there is perpetual mirth (laughter and happiness) and a fiddle that never stops playing. The mother prays as her son leaves. The wind takes him away. Her son is now in heaven where children don’t want to go to sleep.

    The boy has lived a short life; so he hasn’t met many people or been may places. He won’t be alone as he travels to Fiddler’s Green. “Falstaff sings a sorrowful refrain” (Flastaff is a character from a Shakespeare's play) music played to accompany the boy as he leaves this earth. If only things could be different “nothings changed anyways”. I always knew this song was about a death of a child, but as life happens, this song now has new meaning to me ever since losing a young grandson.


    #2 top rated interpretation:
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    Oct 18th 2017 report

    It's about his nephew who passed away from a heart condition.
    R.I.P Gord
    May you find your nephew and hold him tight in fiddlers green


    #3 top rated interpretation:
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    Jun 23rd 2006 report

    This song is actually about a nephew of one of the band members who died at a very young age of heart problems.
    Absolutely beautiful, touching song.

  4. anonymous
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    Dec 9th 2020 report

    saw them do this song in a theatre in Brockville, Ontario (only hold 600 people) in 2008. You could hear a pin drop when they played it.

  5. anonymous
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    Mar 22nd 2020 report

    I never hear anyone mention the stunning lyric "for men, at masts, that always lean"
    A reference to ship a' list
    at the bottom of the sea.
    That line cemented Gordie as a Lyricist of sublime talent, for me, early on. Rip

  6. anonymous
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    Jul 30th 2018 report

    I taught myself to play it on the guitar. I can't sing it because it chokes me up so bad I can't do it. My sister's daughter dies of SIDS and I think about that when I play this! God bless Gord Downie and the 'Hip. They are true Canadian icons.

  7. anonymous
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    Apr 17th 2018 report

    I love you guys so much. I just have to say that while I still am able to. My future is for me uncertain but I'm very certain of this song. I will forever be in this band's dept.

  8. anonymous
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    Nov 16th 2017 report

    Fiddlers Green was one of the first songs I ever heard from Tragically Hip. A friend of mine had the album Up to Here, I loved every song and was instantly hooked on the personality and the sound of this band of amazing musicians. Although I never read very deeply into lyrics of any band, I heard some of the lyrics, thought weird, went on. Now as a senior member of the proud Canadians Club, I find myself looking for as many details I can find about this very gracious and talented so very likeable guy. It's only after I saw them live in Kirkland Lake July 2015 that I really appreciated what these guys did. Kirkland lake you ask? Lol. It was in a small closed arena, maybe 2500 people. These guys probably never played a gig that small for 25 years. I was privileged to be able to get to move right to the front and less than 10 feet from the band. I saw a group of 5 guys who obviously love what they do, and I also feel honoured to have looked into Gord's eyes, he's been talking about eye contact in his last couple of interviews. What I saw in this guy is someone who is very grateful to be doing what he loves, and gives all the credit to his fans tor allowing him to live his life this way. So very grateful to everyone except himself. He gave us all everything of himself, someone to look up to, even gave us the unbelievable and amazing honour of being able to say goodbye in a final concert tour. Unheard of. These guys usually crash and burn, it never happens that way. But in Canada we know how to make rock stars!! Gord, I love you, what you did, and now I'm going to listen to Fiddlers Green and maybe cry a little. Thanks for Everything

  9. anonymous
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    Oct 18th 2017 report

    This song is very sad but meaningful and I understand why Gord found it so hard to play but at least know he'll be with his Nephew know in Fiddlers Green. R.I.P Gord you will be dearly missed.

  10. anonymous
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    May 28th 2017 report

    I thought it might be about a soldier who died on the opening day of operation Market Garden in WW2.

  11. anonymous
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    Sep 2nd 2016 report

    I just submitted about Fiddlers Green and sorry based on what I read on what you have up Gord was not being used in anyway and in no way did he suggest Canada is messed so I replied. He has a voice and a way with words and he gave an elusive performance on Aug 20th to a song which is unreal. My big long message had no email to it but I would for sure be interested if that one sufficed having scene this live along with one other city this tour it was very special

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  12. anonymous
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    Sep 2nd 2016 report

    He asks at the beginning of the performance of this song in Kingston are you here Char. Surely this is a painful and semi-private song for him as an artist and has stated a song that once was so painful is not as painful to play as it may help others true artist. He for sure saved this elusive live performance for Kingston which is home and Family hence the are you here Char. I am sure in many ways that performance of this beautiful yet sad song was as much for them as it was for there Home and Family. Yes it's about losing a small child and it is painful yet so beautiful and as he stated helpful. He also used his position and artistry and beliefs to be heard yes heard to the Prime Minister of the Country which he loves and it was inspirational to say the least about issues he so dearly cares about and writes about. A great poet with a stage to speak his mind on his issues which he has so dearly earned as such a great poet and writer. The fans gave him something that him as an artist so graciously accepted in saying goodbye. I personally scene this tour live and he was for sure taking in all the love and applause which are well deserved he was in control nothing else. A very special Band and an unreal man doing something he needed to do and loved. His art and the meaning to fiddlers green and the heartbreak of losing a nephew or a little child but sharing what his mind wrote and the music the band put to that yes for sure its painful and unreal he shared that live across the country he loves (not a country in a big mess one he cares deeply about. What an artist what a man and Canadians should be so proud. (legend Gord Downie) this final tour was his and his family including the bands gift to Canada the country they so proudly represent. They knew and wanted to give there hometown more sets and encores that night and he was emotional during it but who would not be really bravo and what an end to a tour that was a gift from a great band and one of the greatest frontman ever. The meaning to fiddlers green is so sad here the lyrics think of a mom losing a child and imagine having the mind to write that for your own family legendary writer and poet and a very proud Canadian Band.

  13. anonymous
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    Aug 29th 2016 report

    The hip has always been able to envoke emotion in us , I felt teary eyed before I knew the words or the meaning of the song. You don't always have to analyze the meaning from the artist to appreciate the music .

  14. anonymous
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    Aug 25th 2016 report

    They played it in Ottawa.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  15. anonymous
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    Aug 21st 2016 report

    About a mother who lost her little boy at a very young age due to heart problems.. It also happens to be TRULY Gords Nephew. It is so painful, they don't do it that often because it hurts so much. Tonight, August 20th 2016 was an exception ! They sang FIDDLERS GREEN, live in Kingston, Canada. He did a live tour after he told people that he was dying of a rare fatal Brain Disease. His DR. said he was so badm he suggested him not to do it. But they did it ! They started on the West Coast of Canada and did tours all the way back to his home town, Kingston . Everyone loves him so much, CBC tv showed the concert LIVE to all Canadian's. Commercial free ! Thank you CBC! The concert lasted 3 hours long. Gord looked fairly good when he started, BUT at the end, he looked like he was in so much pain. I literally sat in my chair and cried for him. The audience there were staying, chanting one more song.. He came back out. In the end i was so upset at the audience for NOT seeing all of the Pain he was in and still chanting. They came out 3 times to sing. Prime Minister Trudeau was there and Gord said to the audience we were in good hands with him. Gord said Canada is so messed up. We HAVE to give him time to do so. GOD BLESS YOU GORD and the rest of the Tragically Hip Band.

  16. anonymous
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    Aug 16th 2016 report

    Fiddler's Green is also a street in Ancaster. The locals think it's about that area. I'm really curious as to where Gord's nephew lived..

  17. anonymous
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    Oct 4th 2012 report

    They do actually perform it live but not often. I have seen them several times and I have only heard it maybe 3 times live. Beautiful, Amazing and sad song. Gords Nephew passed of complications in his heart. RIP Little Angel

  18. anonymous
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    Dec 10th 2011 report

    You are right about it being gord's newfew but fiddlers green is a town in ontario.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
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