For what it’s worth, I think the theme song to CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada is one of the most perfect pieces of music there is. It’s up there with the theme to Doctor Who or James Bond.
So when I learned that the CBC couldn’t make a deal with the song’s composer to keep it, I was a little bit shocked. As a sports broadcast, HNIC is one of the things CBC has perfected and the song is a key component of that broadcast. So for the show to lose its signature song to a rival network is one of those things that frustrate me about the CBC. I’ll defend public broadcasting to the death but sometimes, CBC really doesn’t make it easy.
Radio 2 is going to add more contemporary music? Sure, I’m for that. Test the Nation? Sure, it’s fun. Little Mosque on the Prairie is never missed at our house, nor is Rick Mercer. The majority of the podcasts on my iPod are CBC as well.
But then they go and do things like taking their ratings and cash cow, and decide they’re going to futz with it, just because they can. The fact that they’ve announced a contest for aspiring composers to write the new theme makes me wonder if they had intended to let the current theme go all along.
Of course, to put this into perspective, it’s just a show and it’s just a song. It’s not our national identity and if it were, that would be kind of sad (besides, as a Canadian, I kind of prefer not to have one. National identities are nice and all but they can get kind of ugly). It doesn’t have any effect on the country and its people, other than marking the end of a broadcast era. The CBC could have dug in a little more to keep the thing but maybe the cost wasn’t justified. But it is a ditty designed to sell beer and power tools and retirement plans.
Personally, I would have kept the theme and dumped Don Cherry, but that’s just me.