Tom Connors died March 6 – our nation is poorer for the loss.
National icon, straight shooter, his foot-pounding three chord poetry was driven by unabashed love of country – as only a Maritimer can do it. Commercial success was less important to Tom than his ability to connect with Canadians everywhere, simple, unaffected music and unsullied nationalism that was always pro-Canada, not ‘anti’ anyone else.
From Skinner’s Pond, PEI across the sawdust floors of a thousand humble taverns from sea to sea, Tom was at once our Everyman and his own man. His was well-deserved, enduring national acclaim, a rough-hewn, hard drinking, four pack a day troubadour in troubled times. Forty years in a spotlight he did not seek, crafting and singing his rousing paens to working people and the grandeur of our land, as the political conversations have spanned Quebec Separatism, innumerable federal-provincial tensions, free trade, sad foreign wars, and various economic shocks that seem to hit hardest on those who loved Tom Connors best.
Tom turned his back on the Canadian music industry for over 10 years as his personal protest against musicians that to his eyes fled gracelessly south for La-LaLand loot, mercenaries adept at forgetting the people and place that gave them their first chance. His was (and is) a minority view; success in America, then as now, remains for too many Canadians the ultimate professional endorsement, our umbilical cord and continental inferiority complex in one. Like everything else about Tom, his was sincere and unvarnished opinion, from the heart…and he kept playing for his people, a hero to the end …and now much missed. RIP, Tom
Sudbury Saturday Night
The girls are out to Bingo and the boys are gettin’ stinko,
And we think no more of INCO on a Sudbury Saturday night.
The glasses they will tinkle when our eyes begin to twinkle,
And we’ll think no more of INCO on a Sudbury Saturday night.
We’ll drink the loot we borrowed and recuperate tomorrow,
‘Cause everything is wonderful tonight, we had a good fight,
We ate the Dilly Pickle and we forgot about the Nickel,
And everybody’s tickled, for it’s Saturday tonight
The songs that we’ll be singing, they might be wrong but they’ll be ringing,
When the lights of town are shining bright, and we’re all tight,
We’ll get to work on Monday, but tomorrow’s only Sunday,
And we’re out to have a fun day for it’s Saturday tonight!!!