Stomp on: Canada remembers Stompin’ Tom Connors

Stompin' Tom ConnorsStomp on.

Those two words are found among the thousands that have already been written about the death of Stompin' Tom Connors, the Canadian musical icon who passed away Wednesday night.

Stomp on. Canadian icon. Your legacy. Thank you.

Connors, who passed away of natural causes at the age of 77, was born Thomas Charles Connors in Saint John, New Brunswick on February 9th, 1936. Over a decades-long musical career, he captured the hearts of everyone from Canadian politicians to Canadian construction workers and loggers. And athletes, especially hockey players.

His hits included "The Hockey Song," "Sudbury Saturday Night," "Bud The Spud," "Tillsonburg" and "Moon-Man Newfie." He was given every honour Canada had to offer, and he turned some of them away.

He was a folk-singing superhero who, for years, stood as the proud icon of Canadian music. No, not music. Of Canada as a whole. Proudly nationalistic, fiercely loyal and beloved from coast to coast to coast.

[ Related: Stompin’ Tom Connors dies of natural causes at 77 ]

It is little wonder that so many heavyweights expressed their deep sadness in his passing.

Commander Chris Hadfield shared his thoughts on Connors while in orbit above Earth.

.@shazjm23 Very sorry to hear Stompin' Tom Connors died. I'll play Sudbury Sat Night/To It n At It up here today, sing with him on his way.

— Chris Hadfield (@Cmdr_Hadfield) March 7, 2013

We have lost a true Canadian original. R.I.P. Stompin' Tom Connors. You played the best game that could be played.

— Stephen Harper (@pmharper) March 7, 2013

Today Canada has lost a true musical icon - Stompin’ Tom Connors. My thoughts are with his friends and family. #budthespud — Thomas Mulcair (@ThomasMulcair) March 7, 2013

So sorry to hear of passing of icon Stompin' Tom - a wonderful voice for Canada - un vrai musicien canadien "Stompin Tom Connors" est mort.. — Bob Rae (@bobraeMP) March 7, 2013

Canadian comedian Norm Macdonald overloaded Twitter Wednesday night with an extensive personal tribute to Connors which, frankly, is best read in its entirety.

He returned all his Junos, and said you can go to hell. Give him to the border-jumpers you all love. — Norm Macdonald (@normmacdonald) March 7, 2013

CBC Radio's Jian Ghomeshi, the host of Q and formerly a member of the Moxy Fruvous:

Just heard the very sad news about Stompin' Tom Connors. A Canadian institution. Will treasure our last interview together. #RIP — jian ghomeshi (@jianghomeshi) March 7, 2013

One of Connors' key distinctions was his love of the Canadian music scene. He rarely played on U.S. television, most famously appearing on Late Night with Conan O'Brien when he filmed a week of episodes in Canada. He once removed his name from Juno contention to, in part, make room for aspiring acts.

Tom- I know you're up there stompin' somewhere amazing! Thanks for being on the planet! Safe Travels.... — jann arden (@jannarden) March 7, 2013

Stompin’ Tom Connors dies at 77 soa.li/kOckcBi I recorded his song C-A-N-A-D-A on my Bananaphone cd. he was an original! #RIPTom — Raffi Cavoukian (@Raffi_RC) March 7, 2013

Stomp on. — Joel Plaskett (@jplaskett) March 7, 2013

Thanks Stompin' Tom. — Sarah Harmer (@sarah_harmer) March 7, 2013

Connors is unquestionably best know for his hit tune, "The Hockey Song," which still plays in hockey arenas across the country and has been covered by scores of Canadian bands. It is not surprising that Canadian hockey icons share their own messages of remorse.

1. Another great Canadian gone. There will never be another Stompin' Tom. The Good Ole Hockey Game was Canada. I thought the Hockey — Don Cherry (@CoachsCornerCBC) March 7, 2013

RIP Stompin' Tom Connors. We'll always remember you for The Hockey Song #Legend — Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) March 7, 2013

Sad to hear that legendary Canadian Stompin' Tom Connors has passed. His legacy lives on in arenas every time "The Hockey Song" is played. — NHL (@NHL) March 7, 2013

Thank you Stompin' Tom Connors. You made it "The Good Old Hockey Game. — Ottawa Senators (@NHL_Sens) March 7, 2013

But it wasn't just athletes, musicians and politicians who loved Tom. Canadians loved Tom, they loved that when he stomped, he stomped for Canada. They loved that his songs sang to them, to Sudbury on a Saturday night, to all-Canadian girls who, in wintertime, curl. They loved him enough to set rivalries aside and sing his song.

They loved him because he loved Canada. Stomp on, Tom.

Remembering Stompin' Tom Connors of 'The Hockey Song' fameToronto Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle is among those sharing their memories of Stompin' Tom Connors. The Canadian country-folk legend has died at the age of 77.