THE term "icon" gets bandied about a lot these days, certainly more often than it should. It takes away from the genuine icons, like the one we just lost in Stompin' Tom Connors.
Arguably the "most Canadian" artist, Connors crisscrossed the nation writing catchy tunes that captured our country's history, people and places.
Generations of kids came to know the lyrics to "The Hockey Song" by virtue of hearing it at every NHL game. Hopefully many of them came to understand the singer's place at the centre of the Canadian identity.
With ditties about everything from driving a load of potatoes from the Maritimes to Toronto to watching the Northern Lights in the Yukon, a whole nation could claim him as their own.
Even the North Shore found its way into his repertoire with the 1971 tune "The Bridge Came Tumbling Down." In it, Connors pays tribute to the 19 ironworkers who have since become the namesake of the Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Crossing.
"If you're ever crossing this mighty bridge sublime, let 19 scarlet roses pass before your mind. Remember and be kind. The bridge came tumbling down and 19 men were drowned so you could ride to the other side of old Vancouver town," Connors sang in the close of the song.
We may have lost the man, but his good-natured voice will live on - and we take pleasure in the image of Tom stompin' holes in the floor of heaven.
Scan this page with the Layar app on your smartphone to hear Stompin' Tom Connors' "The Bridge Came Tumbling Down."