Stompin' Tom Connors is a Canadian institution, a great country music star. (And not new country, either. Think Johnny Cash.) He seems to be omnipresent on the Candian music scene, and has a wide ranging musical style, though he is most famous for his funny songs (The Man in the Moon is a Newfie, The Hockey Song) and his songs about current events and politics. In the latter category he seems to have a song for any subject you can think of. He recently wrote one for "Baby Erica" (a two-year old from Alberta who nearly froze to death and was ever-present in the news for about a week). I also heard a good one the other day about the hardworking people of the Maritimes whose MP made an insulting remark about their work ethic. Some of his songs are a little knee-jerk patriotic for my taste ("If you don't think your country should come before yourself / You can better serve your country by living somewhere else") but for the most part he's a lot of fun.

Stompin' Tom Connors is more than just 'a little' knee-jerk patriotic. This guy puts Lee Greenwood to shame. It's not just one track about the glory of Canada, but song after song.

His music ranges from songs about Canadian life such as It's Canada Day Up Canada Way, The Hockey Song, Bud The Spud, Manitoba, and Sudbury Saturday Night, to the militant and angry Canadian Dream.

Stompin' Tom Connors was born in a small town in Nova Scotia but was moved to a foster family in P.E.I. when he was 10. He spent years rambling across Canada before being discovered in a bar where he agreed to play his guitar for a beer. This was the late 60s, and in the span of a few short years he put out most of his well known work. He later rejected a Juno award recognizing contributions to Canadian Culture because he felt other recipients of the award had become too Americanized. This guy is hard core about Canada.

In fact, I don't think we even have an equivalent to him in the US. Being a yank, if I ever heard the stateside equivalent of music like this on the radio or on muzac in a waiting room, I would roll my eyes and groan in disgust. For instance, in The Capitals Song, Stompin' Tom leads a chorus of children in the words "(name of provincial capital) is a mighty fine town, they never turn a maple leaf upside down / Here's to (name of provincial capital) in the land we love." Then there's Believe In Your Country, in which the words are "If you don't believe your country should come before yourself / you can better serve your country by going someplace else." Pure indoctrination following the afternoon traffic report.

(Ed. Note) Stompin' Tom Connors died on Wednesday March 6, 2013 at the age of 77.

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