Our 'Nautical Disaster' art print offers Tragically Hip fans a visual interpretation of a classic from their 1994 Day for Night album, recently voted to CBC Radio's top 10 list of fan-favorite Hip songs. There is no absolute consensus on the meaning behind the lyrics but in a Can-Rock interview, Gord Downie said the song was inspired by the sinking of the German battleship Bismarck on May 27, 1941, at 10:39 AM in the frigid waters off France— a wreck that claimed over 2000 lives.
Nautical Disaster is among my favorite tunes as well. The design evolved from hours of listening to the lyrics and the mental images they drew in my mind. An antique nautical chart in the background overlaid on a vintage, period 1940s alarm clock sets up the story. An image of the Bismarck incorporated into the face of the clock connects the 'disaster' theme to the 'dream' concept woven through Downie's lyrics. Using an alarm invokes the concept of him waking from his dream. The hands of the clock are set to 10:39, and subtle details such as the latitude and longitude coordinates of the ship's resting place and S.O.S. Morse Code are added to the story. The clock face features my favorite passage from the song's lyrics.
This art print makes a great addition to any Tragically Hip fan's collection or any art lover that appreciates musically-inspired artwork for their home decor.
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