Thursday, 7 March 2013

A Sad Day for Canada

Today Canada lost one of it's iconic characters. A famous politician? Nope. An Olympic medal winner? Try again. A well known author or journalist? Still wrong.

If you are not a Canadian, you may not have heard of him. Singer / Songwriter / Country legend Stompin' Tom Connors has passed away. I'm definitely not a country music fan. In fact, I have never bought one of his recordings. I never went to one of his concerts. But Stompin' Tom meant "Canada" to me. I tapped my feet to his music and sang along with his uniquely Canadian lyrics.



He wrote songs about Canada, and only sang his own songs. He always took a plywood board on stage so he could stomp his cowboy boot in time to his music. And his gravelly voice was unique and so recognisable.



Stompin' Tom had a hard life. He was born to a teenage mother, and spent some time with her in a penitentiary before being adopted. He drifted from job to job and even spent some time living on the streets before starting an entertainment career. He won several Juno awards for his music, but gave them all back in the 1970s to protest Canadian artists leaving to pursue music careers in the USA.

He wrote a letter to his fans before he died.

Hello friends, I want all my fans, past, present, or future, to know that without you, there would have not been any Stompin' Tom.
It was a long hard bumpy road, but this great country kept me inspired with its beauty, character, and spirit, driving me to keep marching on and devoted to sing about its people and places that make Canada the greatest country in the world.
I must now pass the torch, to all of you, to help keep the Maple Leaf flying high, and be the Patriot Canada needs now and in the future.
I humbly thank you all, one last time, for allowing me in your homes, I hope I continue to bring a little bit of cheer into your lives from the work I have done.
Sincerely,
Your Friend always,
Stompin' Tom Connors


This morning the radio is playing Stompin' Tom Connors songs. He loved Canada. And Canada loved Stompin' Tom. He will be missed.

9 comments:

OldLady Of The Hills said...

I have not heard of him, I'm sorry to say,but I send you condolences, my dear. It is always so hard to lose a beloved 'icon' and it sounds like he was a very very special one. RIP Stompin' Tom.

Hilary said...

A legend I remember well from my childhood though I can't say I was ever a fan.. he was ever-present. Sad that he stomps no more.

photowannabe said...

Even though I am not familiar with him, it is sad when an icon passes away.
It makes one wonder who will pick up the torch.

White Elephant said...

It's sad when iconic performers who care so much for a cause or their country pass away.There is so much inane music out there with no roots or purpose.I love traditional music that tells you about a place and it's people.You would think now, with young people practically unable to function without being plugged into some audio device,that there would be more regional,characteristic songs that spoke to them about how to struggle to achieve and take pride in their heritage. Instead,I get to sit on a bus with kids in rural England,who are listening to songs that get them to wear jailbait trousers and aspire to live in"da getto"even though they have no real idea of what that actually is.

Suldog said...

I had never heard of the man before this post. Being an American, I probably don't even have a right to comment much. But I find his sort of patriotism a wonderful thing. It is love of one's home and friends, without rancor directed elsewhere, and that has always stirred my soul.

God bless him, and God bless Canada.

Anvilcloud said...

He wrote Big Joe Mufferaw in my hometown. http://goo.gl/04Ym5

Ginnie said...

I heard about his death on FB first, Sham, and then looked him up. The thing is, some of the greatest singers of all time in MY book are Canadian...like k d lang and Anne Murray! How could you ever go wrong with a good country singer, too!

madretz said...

I love Canada and your Stompin' Tom sure does seem like he represented Canada. He had the coolest accent.

Xtreme English said...

Snif! I'm just seeing this now. Loved the hockey song! I"m sure I've heard him singing, but I didn't know who it was. Can't mistake that voice! My condolences!! (belatedly)