I Should Say Something About Stompin' Tom Connors

Dubious Bonus: C-eh N-eh D-eh duet

A little background on this song, first. Alberta's provincial flower is the wild rose. They're everywhere. They're fiercely scented even if they're plain in the petal department. Sort of like kd lang, really. She's from Alberta, fiercely voiced and while she may be plain of appearance now, she was once a punk kid with a shtick nobody had seen before and voice you couldn't ignore even if you wanted to. This is what Stompin' Tom Connors acknowledges as only he can do.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am not a fan of Stompin' Tom Connors' singing or songs but I like what he represented and he died on March 6, 2013 at the age of 77, a beloved folk hero. He left a legacy of folk songs all dedicated to Canadian landmarks, kitsch and the things that make Canada, Canada. You could say he was the personification of USA's Route 66 for us. A singing, stomping, growling, non-partisan, testimonial to the things that make us good and regardless of his unique style, he appreciated and boosted his fellow Canadian musicians - not the "border jumpers", hell no, the ones who stayed Canadian and worked to represent and promote Canadian music -  regardless of their genre.

Stompin' Tom, as we call him, was a legendary heavy-drinking, curmudgeon with a big heart. He sang with a twangy, nasal whine, pronounced his words with a salty, Maritime accent, kept rhythm by banging his foot on a plank, a guitarist and percussionist in one. I don't think there's a count for how many wooden boards he wore out over his career. At fifteen he started hitchhiking across Canada and never stopped, really. He kept his concerts to small venues and played everywhere tirelessly. He traveled to every back woods tavern and hole-in-the-wall drinking establishment in Canada and saw the country as almost no one sees it and then wrote a song about it. There probably isn't a corner of the country he didn't visit and because of that he made himself an indispensable part of our entertainment lore. He focused his entire career within Canada. I'm not sure anyone else would 'get' him but even if they did he wasn't interested.

Wiki says:

Connors was never part of the Canadian musical establishment, and his style was quite different from other Canadian icons such as Leonard Cohen or Gordon Lightfoot. He could, however, be characterized as a passionate poet within Canadian culture

As the National Post characterized him:

He sang of a nation without politics, to its proud history, and to its better angels. His songs remind us that Canada matters — that we've built something amazing here, and must not take it for granted.

He is best known for The Hockey Song and if you've watched any NHL games on a Canadian channel you've probably heard it. Bobby Orr was extremely flattered to be mentioned by name in a Stompin' Tom song.

He was a part of our cultural landscape and I think we thought we'd always have him around.

Here's Luke's Guitar. You don't have to listen to it but listen to the introduction and hear what one of our real Canadian accents sound like.

"fullah from down in Halifax somewhere, I met one toime" "awful trouble with his woife" haha!! If you listen, he even says "aboot" for about. Wow that takes me back. I don't talk like that. No really, I don't have an accent.


Pickles said...

Who else would sing a song about TILLSONBURG for petessakes.

Ann aka Pickles

ps. I don't think KD Lang is plain, I think she is gorgeous.

Frimmy said...

Yay!!!! So nice to see you and that you aren't my mother!! (Her handle is pickles sometimes)

kd was and is hot. In a manly way.

And yet, no song about Timmins! The dead, mining town where he got his start. Not even a mention! Sudbury, Leamington, Tillsonburg...

Pickles said...

Your mother goes by Pickles? LOL...I have a very bratty and demanding Pug named Pickles, hence the handle.

She runs the house basically...we are her minions.

Look what you forced me to do - create an account so I could comment.

Frimmy said...

Pug sounds like mom too. I appreciate your sacrifice


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