I grew up in a home that didn't play any rock music. The closest I heard from my father's 8-track player was Elvis Presley, but then it was usually only the music he produced during his "gospel years" or the songs that sounded like they belonged on a country station. Needless to say, growing up, most of the music I was exposed to had a twang and an electric slide guitar.
Even when I had saved enough of my paper route money to buy my own stereo (and my very first cassette, AC DC's Back in Black), I still found myself spending countless hours laying in the living room listening to my dad's collection of Stompin' Tom Connors records.
I have always had a fascination with Stompin' Tom. His music is simple, but catchy, and it plays right into my sense of patriotism. I fully believe that his songs about Canada changed my career path from one that was focused on Computer Engineering into one that saw me specialize in Canadian History while I was at Wilfrid Laurier. I have learned as much history from listening to Stompin' Tom as I have from reading any textbook. He truly is a Canadian treasure, and should be used as a resource in every classroom.
I have had the pleasure of seeing him in concert serveral times, including my one "brush" with Stompin' Tom fame when at a concert at the Lulu's Roadhouse in Kitchener he stopped playing, pointed at me in the front row, and told me to "Shut the F**K UP!" (I guess he didn't appreciate me yelling "I love you Stompin Tom" at the top of my lungs at the end of every song).
I would be shocked to know that there is any Canadian who hasn't heard some of his famous songs, such as The Hockey Song, The Ketchup Song, Bud the Spud, and Tillsonburg. However, I have decided to include one of his lesser known ditties, "To It And At It", which not only gives a glimpse of what it means to be Canadian, it also demonstrates his gift as a song writer. I guarantee you you will be singing along by the end, and probably humming the melody for the rest of the day.
An exploration of the music that holds meaning in my life.