(I have so much to write about this morning but simply don’t have the time as I’m on tour. Expect a mini War and Peace on Stompin Tom on Wednesday when I return. By then, the dust will have settled and those who are genuinely interested will be rewarded my top five stories of how Stompin’ Toms songs saved my life.  As for now, please accept this quick update and a free mp3 of Overtime. Come Wednesday, set aside some time for lengthy reading.)

I’m watching, listening and reading the obituaries coming in for Stompin’ this morning.  It feels similar to the day I heard John Candy died. If feels personal, yet, it’s all making me feel so conflicted. Sadness coupled with anger must be a natural emotion. To all of those journalists who are repeatedly saying there are no troubadours writing songs about Canada. Saying we are not bringing it to your doorsteps? Where are YOU? You’re obviously not in the world I’m in.  I see us every night – across this land. We’re in the clubs, taverns, theatres, kitchens, campfires, Legion Halls, cafes, street corners. We are all around you.  Please drop me a line and I’ll get you started with great list of names, many of them personal friends of mine.  Now, for the journalists who are actually ON the scene (and you know who you are)  BRAVO! Keep relaying the message. Every little bit helps.

Of the highest order, however, I would ask that you seek out Albertan Tim Hus, who Tom ‘passed the torch’ to. Tim toured and opened for Tom several times and has some terrific stories. Seek out Tim’s songs – they are one-of-a-kind and as Canadian as you can get.

If you happen to be in Ottawa this Saturday, go down to the Chateau Lafayette in the market – 4pm Saturday afternoon and catch my old friend Lucky Ron.  He’ll be playing a massive tribute to Stompin’ and it’s going to be packed! He’s an institution. He’s been keeping Stompin alive and well for 30 consecutive years. Trust me – go see Ron this Saturday and get there early. I know things.

Lastly, when I wrote the song Overtime, I must confess I was writing my Stompin Tom opus. I was looking for a song that would encapsulate my non-stop travels across this nation. The people; the places;  the small towns the big cities. My CD was released just a few weeks ago, but I feel the need to give you this song today. Please do me the favour of sharing it and explaining it to your children, your friends, new Canadians, old Canadians. Tell them what the song is saying. Email me (info@jayaymar.com) if you get stuck on the symbols. (Funny example:  my brother heard the line “I gave a pint of blood in Winnipeg” and assumed that I was so broke that I had to go to the Red Cross to donate blood for food money. I explained that although that works on one level, the line really refers to performing an outdoor show in my shorts during mosquito season in Manitoba. As you may know, they are vicious in that province). Questions about the Rock, The Yellow Door, The Red Rocket, Shel Silverstein, ‘across the ditch’,  Regina shut me out, Cowboy Poets  and the Kite Festival in Pincher Creek, draft dodgers in BC, hippies on Salt Spring Island? Ask me.

God love Stompin Tom, Tim Hus, Lucky Ron and Canada.  God love the people of Canada. Let’s all take a deep breath and raise a glass to this beautiful country. Go fish out your Gord and Rita and Neil and Joni and Wilf and Stompin and on and on and on. Tell your children about all of it. Play them the songs this weekend and realize how fortunate we are.  Go to a Legion Hall and buy a beer for a veteran. They’re few and far between. Thank them.

I can’t seem to shake this sadness that is creeping in today. I’m currently rewriting my set list for the four shows we play this weekend. I’m dusting off the Canadian flag to hang on stage and my copy of Live at the Horseshoe is cued up for the band to dig into en route to London ON for tonight’s show.
These shows are for you Tom. Thank you for breaking trail. We’ll do our best to maintain it.

FREE MP3 of OVERTIME.

 http://www.yousendit.com/download/UVJqaXRORkViV3kwYjhUQw

Overtime 

Don’t feel much like leaving you don’t want me to go
But all your Tamarack’s are needling your beauty in this snow
( a big shout out to Tamarack – the legendary Canadian band and Tamarack’s are the only tree to shed their winter needles)
And I’ll see you soon at Christmas a happy holiday
Oh how you gonna miss me if I won’t go away
(an expression often used by my Uncle Brendon – geez I loved that guy!)
I’m overtime I’m in demand give me a sign I’ll be your man

Drinkin’ doubles on the rock I washed up on the shore
(Drunk in Newfoundland I woke up on a large vessel en route to Labrador)
They shoved me off the dock for a show in Labrador
I’m sitting in this province down the corridor
(I was supposed to sings “La Belle Provence” however it was done live and this is what came out)
I made it into Montreal to play the Yellow Door
(The Yellow Door – the iconic folk club – home of Jessie Winchester and just about everyone else)
I’m overtime I’m in demand give me a sign I’ll be your man

I know sometimes you love me sometimes you love me not
Trying to keep my cool but baby you’re so hot
I’ll see you soon at Christmas I love that holiday
Oh how you gonna miss me if I won’t go away
I’m overtime I’m in demand give me a sign I’ll be your man

Well I know I’m late in calling babe I was caught out in the rain
Stuck behind a bus I was waiting for a train
I’m riding on this rocket down at Bloor and Jane
(The infamous TTC skedattler)
I got one more show to go now and I’ll be home again
I’m overtime I’m in demand give me a sign I’ll be your man

Cash and Silverstein were close but it’s not really true
(Shel Silverstein wrote ‘A Boy Named Sue’ for Johnny Cash. My hometown is aka The Soo)
I think life is easy for a town named Soo
Take a Batchewana sauna catch a rainbow in the falls
(Batchewana Bay is our cottage country. Heavily populated by Finnish folks. Sauna’s are everywhere! Also, the mouth of the Chippewa river is close by and springtime is a perfect time to go Riainbow fishing here. It’s still my favourite fish to catch and my favourite place to catch them.)
I’m heading across the ditch I’m playing nine hold my calls
(The Soo is a boarder town to Soo Michigan. We call going across the St. Mary’s River on the International Bridge – going ‘across the ditch’ – usually to bar hop after a golf game.)
I’m overtime I’m in demand give me a sign I’ll be your man

I know sometimes you love me sometimes you love me not
I’m trying to keep my cool but baby you’re so hot
I’ll see you soon at Christmas I love that holiday
Oh how you gonna miss me if I won’t go away
I’m overtime I’m in demand give me a sign I’ll be your man

I gave a pint of blood in Winnipeg Regina shut me out
(the legendary Monster-sized Manitoba mosquito’s almost killed me at an outdoor gig two years ago. Regina – the infamous “City that rhymes with fun!” Well, yes…I was shut out in Regina…she’s another story for another time.)
So I headed west to figure out what four strong winds was all about
(I was en route to meet Ian Tyson after he’d recorded my song)
In Pincher Creek Alberta I was higher than a kite
(Pincher Creek – always windy in the foothills – host a kite flying tournament and is home to one of a few Cowboy Poetry Festivals in Canada – you want to talk about something to see!)
And I wound up at a round up with cowboy poets that same night
I’m overtime I’m in demand give me a sign I’ll be your man

Oh from the Rockies up to Yellowknife then back among the trees
I met some dodgers driving Westy’s eating Vietnamese
(Westfalia’s (VW’s microbuses) are everywhere. Filled with Hippies old and young. Our Rockies still host so many brave US draft dodgers from the Vietnam war. Their stories are incredible).
Then down among the island where some hippies got me stoned
(Did you know Valdy lives on Salt Spring Island? lol)
I can see Japan from my front door I’m pale’n coming home
(What’s a song about Canada without rippin on Sarah Palin?)
I’m triple time I’m out of tune give me a sign baby I’ll be over the moon

I don’t feel much like leaving you don’t want me to go
But all your evergreens are needling your beauty in this snow
And I’ll see you soon at Christmas a happy holiday
Oh how you gonna miss me if I won’t go away

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