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Published on October 26th, 2011 | by Asa Spades


Singing In Hushed Tones: When We Won’t Fight The Law, ‘Cause The Law Wins

On my recent travels to the ‘Battle of the Nordic Light’ in Malmö, Sweden, I was fortunate enough to get acquainted with the lovable Handsome Joe Hanson, home announcer for the Crime City Rollers. He was awesome to work with, not only getting me comfortable, but also coffee, water, sandwiches and even a much needed shower -though that might also have been more to his than my benefit.

He only had one wish; Every time we would start calling people in to the bleachers to come see the bouts we’d play this song; ‘The Roller Derby Bout’

Not only had he sung it himself, he had written the lyrics to it, together with his nine year old daughter. And guess what; What might have turned into some shameful moments of megalomania, every time the bout started or half-time ended, was in fact an instant success!

More and more people sang along to it, the more we played it, heck, they even danced to it!
So it was only naturally that I asked him to provide me with a band bio and a mastered version of the song to put on DerbyLife. He loved the idea of more teams being able to hear this song.

As Handsome is an honest and honorable guy, he did ask me to wait a little with writing about the song, he wanted to clear the rights to the melody first. He wrote a letter to the Connors heirs.

“I wanted to surprise the members of my team so I wrote some Derby-related lyrics (with my 9 year old daughter) set to the tune of “The Hockey Song” by Stompin’ Tom Connors, and sang it for them a-capella as part of the half-time entertainment. It went down a TREAT!

I gathered a couple of Bluegrass-crazy friends and we recorded it in a rehearsal space using just a single microphone. I then burned it on a Cd and played it at the next game ( last weekend ) for the crowd, just like I’ve heard “The Hockey Song” on HNIC so many times while growing up.

The roller derby fans really loved the rendition and I always let them know that it is a song by Canadian Icon Stompin’ Tom Connors.

“The Hockey Song” is part of the genetic makeup of most Canadians and Toronto is THE media capital of Hockey. It would be fantastic to bring that Canadian song to the Worlds in Canada all the way from Sweden!! I also think it would bring terrific attention to the original.

I have no plans of proceeding any further without your consent and/ or blessing.”

And as the Connors heirs weren’t assholes they only asked for an administrational fee of 266 Canadian Dollars and then Handsome could use the melody to his liking.
Now, Handsome may be the prettiest announcer of the Nordic Countries, he sure isn’t the richest, and what, with a family to support, 266 bucks is not something you just dish out. So his team offered to raise money for him, and announcer William ‘Showtime’ Blanton, always there for his co-announcers, offered to pay part of the fee. Heck, even my greedy Dutch ass was ready to chip in. Problem solved, song saved. Right?

Nope. Just when I got ready to trade my want for a new pair of shoes to money for a good cause, Handsome sent me this e-mail;

“Hello Dear Asa!

The owners of the original song have denied my adaptation rights at the VERY last second. Please put donations on hold.No one will post the song online or it’s fines and imprisonment for yours truly. I have to take a deep breath and soldier on and adjust the melody so it’s not easily recognizable.

Hope to hear from you soon!

Handsome And A Wanted Man Joe Hanson”

And it seems this is it. I do hope Handsome manages to come up with a new and even better version of the song soon, so he can send it with team Sweden to the World Cup in Canada. (Yes Canada, where the original song stems from.) Until then I’ll cherish the memories of the song sung by so many Roller Derby supporters during that awesome weekend in Sweden. At least I got to hear it.
and I secretly own a copy that I sometimes play on my I-pod when all my curtains are closed and the door is locked

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Asa Spades

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