It's been called 
'Canada's Second National Anthem'. 

"The Hockey Theme"
(a.k.a. Hockey Night In Canada Theme) was written in 1968 by Dolores Claman. It has become one of the longest running theme songs in broadcasting history.


Born in Vancouver, B.C., Dolores received a graduate scholarship to the world renowned Juilliard School of Music in New York. Dolores went on to enjoy a prolific career in composing for advertising, television, film and theatre. In 1967, Dolores co-wrote yet another memorable song: "A Place to Stand (Ontari-ari-ario)"  for the Ontario provincial government's Canada centennial project and the Oscar-winning film, "A Place to Stand". Click here for a more in-depth biography of Dolores Claman.


"Hockey Night In Canada Theme" was originally commissioned by the MacLaren advertising agency in Toronto, who were looking for a powerful commercial jingle suitable for the big game of hockey. It soon became used as the theme song for the CBC hockey broadcasts and has been running ever since. 


More than 30 years later, numerous requests continue to be made to use or obtain a copy of our 'Second National Anthem'. Whether it's a wedding or bar mitzvah, Saturday Night Live or Late Night with David Letterman... whether it's from a hockey fan or not, this  souvenir of Canadiana seems to go on forever.


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We're number one!!!

In it's first month of official release, Canadian Print, Canada's largest distributor of print music, reported that the "Hockey Night In Canada Theme" --- Advanced Piano with Guitar Chords --- was their number one seller! (Beating out 'N Sync and the Back Street Boys!). Thank you for your support!

December 2000:

  1. Hockey Night In Canada Theme
  2. This I Promise You - 'N Sync
  3. One Voice - Billy Gilman
  4. Shape Of My Heart - Backstreet Boys
  5. Pachelbel Canon in D
  6. Angel - Sara McLachlan
  7. I Need You - LeAnn Rimes
  8. The Prayer - Celine Dion/Andrea Bocelli
  9. Reflection - Christina Aguilera
  10. Amazed - Lonestar 


John Ciccone:
John Ciccone is the founder and president of Copyright Music & Visuals of Toronto, which specializes in music consulting and copyright clearance for film, TV, advertising and multimedia. A musician who once studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music, and kicked around in a few too many rock bands, he has been involved with live concert and recording production for many years. Before starting his own company, he was associated with Ontario Place and Harbourfront, where a shortlist of artists he has worked with includes  Buddy Rich, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Tony Bennett, Teenage Head, Pat Metheny, B. B. King and Bruce Cockburn.

John has also provided copyright expertise for numerous productions including those by Universal Pictures, CBC, Broadway Video, Paramount Pictures, A&E Biography, and for most major advertising agencies. He has taken care of the copyright for the "Hockey Night In Canada Theme" on behalf of its composer Dolores Claman since 1993, and has administered the copyright interests of other Canadian artists such as Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet, Atomic 7, and Laurel MacDonald.

"Getting these scores published to the highest possible standards was worth every ounce of effort", said Ciccone, "It's great seeing people light up when talking about the Theme, and it's truly inspiring working with brilliant people like Dolores and Howard."

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Howard Cable:
We're very pleased to have one of Canada's foremost conductors, composers and arrangers on our team.

Many of you are already familiar with Howard's huge volume of work since 1941, and he continues to play an active role in Canada's music industry.

A Member of the Order of Canada, Howard has worked with stars too numerous to mention here, but a sampling would include Ella Fitzgerald, Jim Carrey, Tony Bennett, Bob Hope, Richard Rodgers and Frank Loesser. And here's something for you trivia buffs: directing over 1,000 CBC broadcasts, Howard was also commissioned to score and conduct "Saturday's Game", the first ever theme for Hockey Night In Canada in 1951/52.

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Read All About It!       Read All About It!       Read All About It!       Read All About It!
Articles from The Toronto Star, Detroit Free Press, Whole Note and La Presse within first month of release in 2001 of the Concert Band and simplified piano scores:

Reproduced with permission - The Toronto Star Syndicate

Hockey anthem coming soon to a school near you

Sheet music for TV fave finally available 
33 years later

Karen Palmer
Staff Reporter

The punchy opening notes used to be the musical command to throw on a ratty Leafs jersey, grab a light beer and settle in for a night with Don Cherry.

But the staccato "dun-da-dun-da-dun" rhythm of the Hockey Night In Canada Theme is poised to become the missing link between band teachers and bottles of Aspirin.

Sheet music for the popular piece - long considered Canada's second national anthem - finally hit the shelves of music stores in late August with an arrangement that includes everything from the piccolo to the timpani.

"You know, we're not dealing with a Beatles record, but we are selling hundreds - which is just unheard of," said John Ciccone, president of Copyright Music & Visuals. "I guess people had been asking for it for decades, so they're flying out the proverbial doors."

In fact, sheet music for the song is out-selling the Backstreet Boys, 'N Sync and Christina Aguilera. Prices range from $5.95 for the simple piano version to $74 for the 79 parts of the senior band score.

Vivian Hingsberg, band music product specialist at St. John's Music stores, said band leaders are so gaga over it, they often forget to flip open the flashy red cover to determine whether it's something their latest crop of prodigies can tackle.

"I've been working in the store for five years and people have been asking for it since the first day I started," Hingsberg said.

"I think we've sold more of this than any other piece of music for bands," she added. "I think it's going to be a staple for any band library that teachers can pull out year after year and use it with their classes."

Hingsberg estimates the chain's seven stores have sold more than 100 copies of the easy version of the arrangement and more than 40 of the more advanced sheet music.

An old band favourite like Holst's First Suite would normally sell about 45 copies in a year.

"We've already doubled that and it just keeps going," she said.

Penned by Vancouver native Dolores Claman, who is also responsible for the "Ontari-ari-o" ditty for Expo '67, the beloved theme song has become a sort of call to arms for a country obsessed with the rock 'em, sock 'em game of hockey.

"She's my Betsy Ross," Ciccone laughs. "She knitted our Canadian flag with this."

As a jingle writer in Toronto during the 1960s, she was asked to write a theme song that married a cocky college fighting song with the spirit of the television show. Claman, who has since moved to England, had never attended a hockey game when she sat down to write the song that would become synonymous with the sport.

Getting the song onto sheet music was always on Claman's "to-do" list, but it took 33 years and the musical talents of Howard Cable, one of Canada's foremost composers, to transform it into a potential band favourite.

(Cable, coincidentally, is the grandfather of Buffalo Sabres centre Doug Gilmour, former captain of the Leafs.)

The Hockey Night In Canada Theme song is just one in a long line of tributes to Canada's favourite game, including 1966's Clear The Track, Here Comes Shack, Stompin' Tom Connors' 1973 hit, The Hockey Song, Tommy Hunter's Pandemonium and The Ballad Of Wendel Clark.

But it's the only hockey-related song that may soon fill the staid halls of the Royal Conservatory of Music.

Kara Horne, manager of materials development for the school, said they're temporarily adding the song to a list of contemporary songs students may choose to play for their Grade 4 or Grade 7 examinations.

She expects girls and especially boys will soon push its popularity past Darth Vader's dark, brooding anthem, beating out the Batman theme and the jazzy anthem of Charlie Brown.

The tricky syncopation makes it a kind of technical study, akin to the kind of practice that involves hours and hours in the laneway with a bucket of pucks and a well-padded goalie.

But music teachers eschew the notion hearing a sixth grader bang out a slightly-out-of-tune version of the tune over and over again will produce some sort of adverse Pavlovian-type response to the actual opening intro.

"Well, I would use the Fur Elise analogy: you've probably heard it eight billion times, but people are still very happy to learn to play it," said Petris Zarins, a piano teacher at the Royal Conservatory of Music and a long-suffering Habs fan.

"If anything, it may even increase its popularity among non-hockey fans. It really is a perky, jazzy song."




by Merlin Williams

It's not often that anyone gets REALLY excited about a new publication for concert band, but there are two charts out this fall that are sure to be top sellers in this country. The Hockey Night in Canada Theme has just been published for junior and senior band. This well loved, and instantly recognizable tune has been described as "Canada's second national anthem". 

Both versions of  composer Dolores Claman's theme have been newly arranged by Howard Cable. The charts are widely available from band music dealers. More information is available at If you're picking music for a winter concert, and are tired of playing endless Christmas songs...this one's a winner.




Le thème de La soirée du hockey

Stéphane Laporte
collaboration spéciale

Le dimanche 07 octobre 2001

«Parapapam... pam... pam... pam! Parapapam... pam...pam! Pam... pam... pam... pam... pam... pam... pam... pam... pam!»

C’est le thème de La Soirée du hockey. La plus belle musique au monde. Oubliez les Beatles, Beethoven et Mozart. Aucune autre musique ne va plus me chercher que le thème de La Soirée du hockey. Toute mon enfance est là. Tout mon bonheur. Tous mes rêves.

«Parapapam... pam... pam... pam!»

Le rythme est entraînant. Décidé. Joyeux. Gagnant. Il n’y a pas de paroles sur cet air-là, pourtant aucune mélodie ne me parle autant.

Elle me parle de ma famille. Toute rassemblée le samedi soir dans le salon. Mon frère et moi, collés à trois pouces de l’écran. Mon père allongé sur le divan vert. Ma mère qui nous apportait des bonbons et des boissons gazeuses. Et ma soeur qui s’ennuyait à mourir, mais qui était quand même là!

Elle me parle de mes héros. Béliveau, Cournoyer, Lafleur. De toutes les fois où j’ai crié de joie. Où j’ai réveillé mon père qui était en train de ronfler, parce que mes héros venaient de compter.

Elle me parle de mes autres héros. Lecavalier, Duval, Garneau. À cause de mes jambes, je ne pouvais rêver de devenir Béliveau, Cournoyer, Lafleur. Alors je rêvais de devenir Lecavalier, Duval, Garneau. Raconter l’histoire. Décrire les exploits. Avec leur noblesse. Avec leur passion. Et leur veston bleu marial.

Elle me parle de mes voisins. Avec qui je jouais au hockey dans la ruelle à 20 sous zéro. En grosses bottes avec une balle de tennis. Avant de faire la mise au jeu, on chantait tous ensemble: «Parapapam... pam... pam... pam !». La fumée sortait de nos bouches. Tellement il faisait froid. Mais cette musique nous réchauffait. Nous donnait le goût de jouer. Comme les vrais.

Elle me parle de mes amis, André-Philippe, Éric, Stéphane. De nos soirées à se raconter des souvenirs de parties de hockey: «Te souviens-tu de la fois où Larry Robinson a plaqué Gary Dornhoefer dans la bande?! Pis la fois où Dave Schultz a couché John Van Boxmeer?! Pis la fois où le monde huait Terry Harper, pis y’a traversé la glace et il a compté un but?! Pis l’arrêt de Dryden contre Pappin.» Ça dure des heures. Vers la fin, on fait juste se nommer des vieux noms de joueurs de hockey et on rit. Gary Sabourin. Syl Apps. Les Binkley. Gilles Villemure. Andy Brown. Chuck Lefley. Gary Bergman. Rod Seiling. Et on termine toujours en chantant La Soirée du hockey. À tue-tête!

Elle me parle de mes blondes. Toutes découragées, les unes après les autres, d’être avec le seul gars qui aime encore regarder le hockey. Mais qui me pardonnent quand elles voient mon visage s’illuminer aux premières notes du thème de La Soirée du hockey.

Cette musique m’a appris très jeune, que le bonheur c’est pas pendant. Que le bonheur, c’est juste avant. Quand tu sais que tu vas être heureux. Quand tu es tout excité à l’idée de l’être. Quand tu espères. J’ai vu plein de matchs, des grands matchs, des matchs ordinaires, et plein de matchs plates. Mais au moment où j’entendais le thème, j’étais certain en dedans que j’allais voir le plus beau match de ma vie. Quand rien n’est joué, tout est permis.

«Parapapam... pam... pam... pam!»

Il y a aussi l’autre partie de la ritournelle. Celle du générique de la fin. Quand défilent les crédits. Elle est plus douce. Plus nostalgique. Ça fait:

«Toutoutoutou... toutoutoutoutoutou...»

Ce bout-là, il me fout le blues. Il me rappelle qu’il fallait que j’aille me coucher. Que le bonheur était fini. Ma mère me disait: «Allez Stéphane, au lit!» Et moi, je lui demandais au moins de me laisser jusqu’à la fin de la musique avant de me reconduire dans ma chambre. Ma mère me disait oui. Et j’écoutais la toune, en espérant qu’elle dure toujours. Que je n’aie pas à aller me coucher. Au fond de la maison. Dans le noir. Seul. Que je puisse rester avec toute la famille dans le salon. Entouré d’amour. Pour toujours.

Le Canadien n’est plus ce qu’il était. Le hockey non plus. Les Béliveau, Cournoyer, Lafleur ne jouent plus. Les voix de Lecavalier, Duval, Garneau se sont tues. Je ne pourrai jamais plus regarder le hockey avec papa. La vie passe trop vite. Mais il reste le thème de La Soirée du hockey pour me rappeler que je suis toujours un enfant. Heureusement.

«Parapapam... pam... pam... pam!»

Joyeuse cinquantième saison à La Soirée du hockey!

Et surtout ne changez pas le thème!




David Lyman of the Detroit Free Press wrote: "Obviously, people adore the song. Since it was released in sheet music late in 2000, it has been at or near the top of Canada's best-selling sheet music list." - October 2001.

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