Canadian music legend, Stompin’ Tom Connors passed away yesterday from natural causes. He was 77. Much of Canada was saddened upon learning of the death of this much admired and loved Canadian country and folk music icon. Even if you don’t recognize his name, I’m sure you’d recognize his classic, The Hockey Song. Have you ever been in attendance at a hockey game in Canada where that hasn’t been played over the sound system? I don’t think so.
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Stompin’ Tom was born Thomas Charles Connors in Saint John, New Brunswick on February 9, 1936. When he was 15 he decided to hitchhike his way across Canada, an endeavour that continued on for the next 13 years of his life. During this time he moved between various jobs, all the while writing songs on his guitar. He was inspired by the entirety of Canada – the variety of the landscape, the differences in the cities, the charm of the small towns and the character of the people. His songs reflect this inspiration and encapsulate what it truly means to be Canadian. His habit of stomping his left foot on the ground to keep time as he played led to his nickname Stompin’ Tom – a name that has endured for 46 years.
He knew the end was near, and before his passing yesterday he wrote a note to all of his fans. It’s a lovely thank you to those who followed him and to those who loved him. We’ll miss you Stompin’ Tom.
“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 it’s 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.”
Your Friend always,
Stompin’ Tom Connors