Thursday, March 7, 2013

A Tribute To A Great Canadian

Yesterday, Canadian singer Stompin' Tom passed away at the age of 77 from natural causes. For those that don't know, Stompin' Tom was an iconic Canadian singer. He wrote over 300 songs and is just as Canadian as hockey, a Timbit and poutine. He is probably best known for his song called, quite appropriately,  "The Hockey Song".  Nearly every Canadian, even ones who are not hockey fans, know this song.

I'm a CBC radio junkie and when I'm home, CBC Radio 1 provides the soundtrack to my day. It is great company. Stompin' Tom has been on CBC Radio 1 all day - different stories, tributes & music. I have heard more Stompin' Tom music today than in my entire life (sad, I know). I have learned so much about him and when I was listened to Ontario Today while I had my lunch, I realized what an amazing Canadian we lost yesterday. People who knew him were calling into the radio show and sharing memories. Listening to them, all I could think is he sounded like a fun, down to earth guy. I found out he would hitch hike in his younger days and when he was famous and travelling the road, he would often pick up hitch hikers because he knew what that sort of life was like.

Teachers were calling into the show and saying how they would use Stompin' Tom's songs, such as the "The Name The Capitals" song, to teach their students about Canadian history. That is awesome. I wish my teachers had done that because honestly, I'm thinking I might know about Canada.

Lieutenant-General Romeo Dallaire, author of "Shake Hands With The Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda" called into the show also. He told the story of when he on his peacekeeping mission in Rwanda and his headquarters was under bombardment, he helped to keep up their morale by playing Stompin' Tom's song "The Blue Berets".

Jian Ghomeshi on CBC 1 radio show Q did a wonderful tribute to Stompin' Tom.

Yesterday, I hardly knew a thing about Stompin' Tom, except that he was a Canadian singer and he wrote & sang "The Hockey Song". Oh, and he liked to stomp his foot when he was on the stage (hence the name...Stompin' Tom). Today, in listening to CBC, I've come to know who he was and what a great Canadian he really was. He will be missed but we can be thankful for all the awesome music he left behind for us. A few days ago, Stompin' Tom wrote a letter to all his fans and I'll close this entry with that letter. It's short yet says so much:
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
Thank-you, Stompin' Tom, of reminding me why it's awesome to be from Canada and for sharing so much with us. 

No comments:

Post a Comment