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Stompin' Tom Connors
December 1, 2010 9:41 AM   Subscribe

Stompin' Tom Connors is a Canadian national treasure from Skinner's Pond PEI .

He has even had a stamp in his honor.

"At his concerts, university students loudly chant "Stompin' Tom for Prime Minister." - Stompin' Tom Connors Biography

A 1970 television interview on CBC with Tom.

While an amiable sort, Tom has had his disputes over the years.

Yet another bio: Stompin' Tom Connors Biography

An interview with Stompin' Tom where he briefly talks 1998 Canadian politics.

A sampling of his work:

The Hockey Song

Hanson Brothers version of The Hockey Song

Sudbury Saturday Night

Bud the Spud

Tillsonburg

A fan of k.d. lang...

Ukulele version of Lady k.d. lang

Stompin' Tom on his philosophy:

"The industry and radio as a whole encourages young people to go to Nashville or somewhere like that where there's more opportunity," Connors says. "It's unfortunate. But most of them go there and it seems the music they come out with after that is all so homogenized and so generalized there's nothing identifiably Canadian. There's no storytelling anymore. This is the roots of country music. I think we need more encouragement for our boys and girls to stay here and sing about our country. Everybody else in every other country sings about their country, why the hell can't we do it?"

More thoughts about Canadian Country:

"From our earliest rural recordings, identifiably Canadian country music inevitably finds itself ghettoised as an inferior part of our heritage – from Wilf Carter, Marg Osborne, and Stan Rogers to Eddie Poirier, 1775, and Edith Butler – that cannot, in any way, shape, or milieu, actually consider itself something akin to a respectable contribution to this country's culture.

Doc Stompin' begs to differ. And, in inimitable fashion, he puts his money where his heart lives. In his country – this country – not some foreign country puppeteered and commandeered by that amorphous grey *they.*
"

But, there's still hope for Canadian centered folk and country. Stompin Tom even has his own tribute "band".

If you are interested in learning more there is always Stompin Tom's autobiography in two parts: Before the Fame and The Legend Continues.

Oh, and don't forget the kids.

Finally, isn't today the day for everyone to finally learn all the provinces and their capitals?
posted by josher71 (35 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite

 
As one of very few U.S. listeners familiar with Stompin' Tom, I would like to thank you for the post. His songs are full of unforgettable images, like the nicotine tar on the morning dew in Tillsonburg. The first volume of his autobiography is an extraordinary document—he basically ran away from an abusive foster home at age 11 and wandered around Canada for much of the next 15 years. A true musical treasure.
posted by texorama at 9:51 AM on December 1, 2010


I think there's some sort of contest on for best mega-post of the month, and as a Canadian, I hope this doesn't get overlooked...
posted by Brodiggitty at 9:52 AM on December 1, 2010


One of my university boyfriend's housemates went home for the weekend and left "The Hockey Song" playing in his bedroom. On repeat. For the whole weekend. It was pretty awesome.
posted by Go Banana at 9:55 AM on December 1, 2010


Dammit, dude, you scared me. After Kershner and Nielsen this week, I was worried this was an obit post. Having to scroll down so much didn't help.

But now that I know he's still alive ... thanks for the great post!
posted by saturday_morning at 9:59 AM on December 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


From the very first link, I think it's worth highlighting Stompin' Tom's acceptance speech for his honorary Doctor of Laws degree from U of T in 2000:

My problem is once I get in front of a microphone it is pretty hard to get me away, so somebody will have to tug on this robe or something.
posted by Kabanos at 10:03 AM on December 1, 2010


"My back still aches when I hear that word..."
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 10:08 AM on December 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, according to my wife who used to live in Buffalo NY, he was very popular among the gutter punks there.
posted by Emanuel at 10:09 AM on December 1, 2010


I love Stompin' Tom but don't listen to him enough. Funny enough, I drove past his house today (sadly, I never see him in town) and sang Margo's got the cargo. I think I will start using his tunes at the children's programmes I do at the public library. Thanks so much for the post.
posted by saucysault at 10:09 AM on December 1, 2010


His Christmas album is lovely this time of year.
posted by Capt. Renault at 10:11 AM on December 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


When I was a kid, Stompin Tom lived in a townhouse complex a few blocks away. He used to park his tour "truck" in the parking lot. One day we were playing nicky nicky nine doors... When we hit his door, as we ran away we heard him open the door and yell at us... He was smiling. Love Stompin Tom.
posted by mrgroweler at 10:13 AM on December 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


like the nicotine tar on the morning dew in Tillsonburg.

Tillsonburg?! My back still aches when I hear that word!
posted by Trochanter at 10:13 AM on December 1, 2010


Margo's Cargo.

Best song ever made about a clock made of cow dung. Probably.

(Sorry if this was already linked.)
posted by Eyebeams at 10:23 AM on December 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I kind of loathe hockey, but I love "The Hockey Song". Most of his songs, actually.
An upstanding fellow and a true patriotic hero.
posted by stinkycheese at 10:25 AM on December 1, 2010


I am familiar only with The Hockey Song. This is a situation I feel I need to rectify.
posted by caution live frogs at 10:30 AM on December 1, 2010


Awesome post. My grandma introduced me to Stompin' Tom when I was a wee lad. He's as Canadian as good beer and bad cigarettes.

Also, the man in the moon is a Newfie.
posted by fleetmouse at 10:31 AM on December 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I came across Stompin' Tom Conners this past summer when I heard his Sasquatch song for the first time. Great rhyme for hopscotch.
posted by Sailormom at 10:34 AM on December 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sorry TheWhiteSkull, didn't preview. Ah well.
posted by Trochanter at 10:37 AM on December 1, 2010


I sent a tape of "KIC along with Stompin Tom" (K.I.C. - keep it Canadian) to my cousin in the US, who at the time was maybe 17 and heavily into punk. Somehow it became one of his favorites. When Stompin Tom's good, he's great...but he does have plenty of songs that are just intolerable--"Rita McNeill (A Tribute)" was almost as unpleasant as actually listening to Rita McNeill.
posted by Hoopo at 10:46 AM on December 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Roll on, roll on, Sas-katch-ew-an.

Stomping Tom is so great even my adolescent metal-loving self liked him.
posted by benzenedream at 11:03 AM on December 1, 2010


A dorm-mate of mine at university used to host a late-late show on campus radio, playing mostly angry alternative and punk music. His protest against what he saw as draconian Canadian-Content regulation was to meet the quota by including Stompin' Tom as the ONLY Canadian content. Hence, we'd get "Bud The Spud" beat-mixed in between Ministry and the Clash.
posted by CaseyB at 11:03 AM on December 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


ObitFilter scare. Yikes.

PEI represent!
posted by Space Coyote at 11:05 AM on December 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh happy post. Thank you for this. From the 'dispute' link above:

"As far as I'm concerned, if the CBC, our own public network, will not reconsider their refusal to air a Stompin' Tom special, they can take their wonderful offer of letting me sing a song as a guest on some other program and shove it," said Connors.


Ah, I love how outspoken he is. A true legend.
posted by rmm at 11:11 AM on December 1, 2010


Sorry for the obitfilter scare. I just love Stompin' Tom and couldn't believe there wasn't a post about him yet.

It's weird to hear that other punk rockers liked Stompin Tom. There were definitely some in Portland who were big fans in the 1990's, including myself.
posted by josher71 at 11:20 AM on December 1, 2010


Jeez - get your facts right - Stompin' Tom is from Canada's Pulp and Paper capital - Saint John, New Brunswick, birthplace of some other famous folks
posted by aeshnid at 11:30 AM on December 1, 2010


A friend of mine of mine came into work, really excited after meeting Tom in a bar the night before. They had a long talk and at the end of the evening, Tom said, "I've met a lot of people in my life -and you're one of 'em."
posted by bonobothegreat at 11:38 AM on December 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Tillsonburg?! My back still aches when I hear that word!

Slooowly I turned, step by step, inch by inch...
posted by saturday_morning at 12:44 PM on December 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I have been instructed by my Canadian wife that before we visit her relatives I have to learn how to sing "The Hockey Song". My sarcasm detector seems untuned to Canadian frequencies, so I'm not sure if she's serious or not.

I kinda like "Sudbury Saturday Night", myself. "Well the girls are off to bingo while the boys are gettin' stinko..."
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:05 PM on December 1, 2010


A few years ago I took a vacation in Nova Scotia, rented a car and spent a day driving to Cape Breton and back listening to a Best Of Stompin' Tom CD. Good times.
posted by spoobnooble at 1:13 PM on December 1, 2010


Oh shanty town were gonna tear ya down
I got money comin' out of me stockin's
Tonight I'm due to bushwhack Sue
And take her to the gumboot cloggeroo
And we'll do a little gumboot cloggin'
Do a little gumboot cloggin'
posted by CCBC at 1:25 PM on December 1, 2010


High on the ceiling of the Pembroke Club, there's 29 boot marks, and they're signed "With love."
posted by texorama at 1:27 PM on December 1, 2010


I've yet to meet a punk rocker who didn't like Stompin' Tom.
posted by stinkycheese at 1:43 PM on December 1, 2010


Think about it--three chords, a working class sensibility and a no BS attitude? Stompin' Tom is more punk than most punk bands.
posted by arto at 1:47 PM on December 1, 2010


There's a rainbow in Toronto
Where the Maritimers are told
They always get a pot full
But they never get a pot of gold

But they're at it and to it and to it and at it
You gotta tune your attitude in
If ya don't get at it when ya get to it
You won't get to it to get at it again
You won't get to it to get at it again

A guy from ol' New Brunswick
He couldn't even pay his rent
We don't know how he traveled
But we all know where he went

He was at it and to it and to it and at it
You gotta tune your attitude in
If ya don't get at it when ya get to it
You won't get to it to get at it again
You won't get to it to get at it again

A girl from ol' spud island
Old potatoe lips
She married a Newfoundlander
And they lived on fish & chips

But they were at it and to it and to it and at it
You gotta tune your attitude in
If ya don't get at it when ya get to it
You won't get to it to get at it again
You won't get to it to get at it again

A guy from Nova Scotia
He can't afford the train
He's sittin' on a street car
But he's east bound just the same

He's at it and to it and to it and at it
You gotta tune your attitude in
If ya don't get at it when ya get to it
You won't get to it to get at it again
You won't get to it to get at it again

A frenchman from the Gaspe
Said frogs don't like smog
So he hopped in a swamp with lilies
Where he lives in a hallow log

But he's at it and to it and to it and at it
You gotta tune your attitude in
If ya don't get at it when ya get to it
You won't get to it to get at it again
You won't get to it to get at it again

A guy from ol' Cape Breton
So lonesome he got stoned
He crawled into a suitcase
And someone mailed him home

But he's at it and to it and to it and at it
You gotta tune your attitude in
If ya don't get at it when ya get to it
You won't get to it to get at it again

He was at it and to it and to it and at it
You gotta tune your attitude in
If ya don't get at it when ya get to it
You won't get to it to get at it again
You won't get to it to get at it again
posted by bwg at 5:27 PM on December 1, 2010


I read his autobiography. It's REALLY FUCKING GOOD. Run out and buy it.
posted by unSane at 6:49 PM on December 1, 2010


I wanted to buy one of the tee shirts on his web site, but with the exception of his latest tour tee, they are all out of stock.
posted by bwg at 7:09 PM on December 1, 2010


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