Song Of The Day 5/17/2016: Stompin’ Tom Connors – “Bud the Spud”

To Trucker With Love – The fraternity of truckers doesn't stop at the border between Detroit and Windsor, buck. Canadians have trucks too! Their truckers have roughly the same issues Americans have. Brake maintenance. 24-hour truck stop diners and their respective politics. Malfunctioning razors. The continuing decrease in the popularity of Brylcreem. But Canadian truckers have their own unique set of tasks, traits and problems. That maple leaf has to be on everything. If they find a parcel or package without a maple leaf on it they have to stencil it in. Even their foreheads. There's more snow in Canada than there is here, making the roads more treacherous and exposed to snowmen. They have to eat at Tim Hortons, or White Spot if they're in British Columbia. And like all Canadians, they must bear the burden of Nickelback. But they didn't ask for that. Nobody asked for that. The sins of the father. Sad!

Stompin' Tom Connors (1936-2013) was overstuffed with pride for his Canadian homeland. In fact I can't think of a more Canadian musician than him -- Rush, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Triumph, April Wine, Justin Bieber? Forget it. Randy Bachman comes close, but nobody beats Connors in terms of outright Canadian-ness. He was Canada's Kate Smith, its Caetano Veloso, its Fela Kuti. He sent back all the Juno Awards he won because he earned them all in Canada, and thought they shouldn't go to artists who depended on the U.S. for market share. He never toured south of the border. His one U.S. TV appearance was for Conan O'Brien -- and only then because Conan was doing a special week in Canada. This guy was Canadian to the hilt.

And all easily-made jokes aside, Connors made a bunch of pretty wonderful songs. His' 1969 truckin' song "Bud the Spud" is a simple ode to trucking potatoes, specifically the ones produced on Prince Edward Island. They are amazing potatoes. They're a billion-dollar-a-year industry for PEI. Its moderate climate, its iron-rich red soil, its proximity to the ocean (and therefore a barrier against insect-borne diseases) makes PEI a great place to raise taters. They'd get into a blood-match with Idaho if they were closer together. I mean to tell ya about them PEI potatoes. And so does Stompin' Tom Connors, who rhymes "potatoes" with "Sobagos." I don't know what Sobagos are, unless he's talking about the shoes, in which case it's actually spelled "sebagos."

Popular Recent Posts