Albums I Want to Be Buried With: “25 of the Best Souvenirs,” Stompin’ Tom Connors

Haven’t added to the afterlife playlist in a while, but here’s a great one for me to enjoy in the future.

I first heard Stompin’ Tom Connors’ music about ten years ago, when I was participating in a book signing at a record store in London, Ontario.  After the signing, I struck up a conversation with the store owner, who told me about a very famous folk singer from Prince Edward Island named Stompin’ Tom Connors.

“Sorry, never heard of him,” I replied politely.

“Take a listen to this,” he said, putting a CD in a player. “You’ll like it.”

Instantly I recognized one of the tracks – it was “The Hockey Song,” which has been played in nearly every hockey arena throughout North America at one time or another. You know it. It’s this song.

Every time I see my Street Academy trivia teammates Jeremy McNamara and Alexis Curry devour French fries with gobs and gobs of ketchup (J-Mac loves to mix pepper with his ketchup, AC uses about half a bottle of ketchup for her fries), I’m always reminded of this classic Stompin’ Tom song, “The Ketchup Song.”

And where did those French fries come from? Why, Prince Edward Island, on the truck of speedy truckdriver “Bud the Spud.”

And if you’re looking for a great Canadian drinking song, you can’t go wrong by singing a chorus or two of “Sunbury Saturday Night.” And if you watch this clip, you can see how Stompin’ Tom earned his nickname. How many floors have big fat divots in their paneling thanks to a Stompin’ Tom concert? Hee…

Not all the songs by Stompin’ Tom are fun sing-alongs. This song, “Tillsonburg,” tells the story of a young Stompin’ Tom working in the back-breaking Ontario tobacco fields.

Although this next track isn’t on the Souvenirs album, it’s helped me win more than a few rounds of competitive team trivia. See, it’s a sing-along song that names all the capitals of the provinces of Canada. Now why can’t someone write a similar song that covers all the capitals of the countries of South America…

Really great stuff, and it’s a shame that his songs weren’t released commercially in America, and he only played a few concerts in the States, mostly during his early career.  But considering today – July 1st – is considered Canada Day, how fitting is it that I add this LP to my growing list of music to join me someday when I travel to my final journey.