As news swept across the country of the passing of Canadian national treasure Stompin’ Tom Connors the most common reaction was one of sadness closely followed by a rush of joyful remembrance …

“The Hockey Song!“, “Bud The Spud!“, “Margo’s Cargo!“… “Oh! Oh! Remember the Gumboot Cloggeroo???”  ”What about Sudbury Saturday Night?!”…

You’d be hard pressed to find a Canadian (at least a Canadian Hockey fan) that hasn’t heard, or heard of, Stompin’ Tom.

In my own case, the song that means the most is Big Joe Mufferaw.  After all, it’s hard to resist a song that names the town you were born and raised in…especially when the hero of the lyric (‘the best man y’ ever saw‘ no less!) forever alters the face of the country in his determination to visit his lady love there…

“Big Joe portaged from the Gatineau down to see a little girl he had in Kemptville town.  He was back ‘n forth so many times to see that gal, the path he wore became the Rideau Canal!”


There are also two Stompin’ Tom stories that are part of my personal repertoire.  The first is connected to my first big trip away from Canada (on my own) in my very early 20’s…

Stompin Tom BnWI was visiting a good friend in Colorado and I was quite excited to be so far away from home and discovering a wonderful new place.  The two of us were taking a raft down the Colorado river and then hiking up into the Rocky Mountains for the weekend.  We had pulled into the launch area to inflate our raft and we were utterly alone.  Just the two of us, our gear and nature.  Just as I was taking it all in, and feeling every inch the intrepid explorer, a number of cars came zooming into the launch area.  Out of them spilled several boisterous university students who looked strangely uniform.

As they noisily expanded our communal moment with nature, I realized that each and every one of them was proudly sporting an “I Stomped Along With Stompin’ Tom” tee-shirt! (You can run…but you can’t hide 😉 )

The second story was relayed to me by the senior announce staff at Country 105 fm in Peterborough when I joined their team shortly after my Colorado trip.  I had just had a very ‘interesting’ (read: bizarre) experience interviewing Rompin’ Ronnie Hawkins.  As we all mulled over what had happened in that interview (a story for another time possibly) somebody mentioned the legendary eccentricities of one Stompin’ Tom Connors.  He was apparently not to be trifled with and, they said, he wouldn’t show for an interview without “a case of beer under his arm and a deck of smokes.”

So what’s your Stompin’ Tom story?…