Hit Somebody! (The Hockey Song)

Album: My Ride's Here (2002)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • The lyrics for this song were written by Mitch Albom, a sports columnist for the Detroit Free Press and bestselling author (Tuesdays with Morrie, The Five People You Meet in Heaven), and a longtime friend of Zevon.
  • This is the ballad of an ice hockey player named Buddy (his last name is never given) who realizes his dream of playing in the National Hockey League, but not quite in the way he'd envisioned. Instead of being a star playmaker, Buddy is relegated to the much less glamorous role of enforcer. Over the course of his career he becomes feared by players and loved by fans as "The king of the goons," but secretly continues to harbor a dream of scoring a goal. He finally gets his wish in the closing seconds of the last game of his career, but never gets the opportunity to savor the moment, as he is knocked out cold by an opposing player just after he shoots the puck.
  • Buddy, the song's protagonist, is neither a real NHL player nor based upon one. This may be just as well, because the "enforcer" role to which he is consigned in the song appears to be dying out in the real-life NHL, as a recent set of rule changes has placed greater emphasis on speed and playmaking skills, meaning nowadays most NHL teams can no longer say, "There's always room on our team for a goon."
  • Another famous friend of Zevon, David Letterman, is the one yelling "Hit somebody!" in the song's chorus.
  • The 2002 album My Ride's Here was regarded as a comeback album of sorts for Warren Zevon; although he had remained active as a singer/songwriter for many years, this album was regarded as one of his best since the peak years of his career in the late 1970s. Sadly, Zevon's comeback was cut short later that year when he was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. He passed away the following year, but not before recording one more album, The Wind. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Joshua - Twin Cities, MN, for all above

Comments: 4

  • Matthew from Berlin, Germany"Knocked out cold". I've always interpreted it that he died. "He saw that heavenly light". Gives it more of a tragic ending.
  • Bartholomew H from Glenolden, PaHi there my name is Bartholomew H. Palo Sr.. I thought I would let you know that I have the trademark for "HIT SOMEBODY".
  • Jim from Long Beach, CaGotta love a Goon!!
  • Rebecca from Sutersville, PaI love this song! Listen to it!
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Ramones

RamonesFact or Fiction

A band so baffling, even their names were contrived. Check your score in the Ramones version of Fact or Fiction.

Martyn Ware of Heaven 17

Martyn Ware of Heaven 17Songwriter Interviews

Martyn talks about producing Tina Turner, some Heaven 17 hits, and his work with the British Electric Foundation.

Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders

Chrissie Hynde of The PretendersSongwriter Interviews

The rock revolutionist on songwriting, quitting smoking, and what she thinks of Rush Limbaugh using her song.

Jack Tempchin - "Peaceful Easy Feeling"

Jack Tempchin - "Peaceful Easy Feeling"They're Playing My Song

When a waitress wouldn't take him home, Jack wrote what would become one of the Eagles most enduring hits.

Gentle Giant

Gentle GiantSongwriter Interviews

An interview with Ray and Derek Shulman of the progressive rock band Gentle Giant to discuss counterpoint, polyrhythms, and... Bon Jovi.

The Real Nick Drake

The Real Nick DrakeSong Writing

The head of Drake's estate shares his insights on the late folk singer's life and music.