Stompin' Tom Connors re-records beloved sports anthem 'The Hockey Song'

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TORONTO - Canadian country-folk legend Stompin' Tom Connors has re-recorded his beloved sports anthem, "The Hockey Song".

The toe-tapping hockey fan says he finds the original, recorded in the early '70s, "a little thin." Connors revealed the new version to reporters in his southern Ontario home Thursday, tapping along to the beat with his booted foot while the song boomed over a stereo system.

The intimate listening party was a rare gesture by the intensely private musician, discussing each track of his new album while about half of the new disc was played for media in a wood-panelled games room.

Wearing his trademark black cowboy hat, Connors said he doesn't know why "The Hockey Song" song wasn't chosen to be the new theme for CBC-TV's "Hockey Night in Canada."

But he joked he'd have trouble coming up with a French-language version, anyway.

The CBC is currently winding down a nationwide contest to find a new theme song, after losing the rights to its popular anthem earlier this year. At the time, Connors' son said his father was open to licensing "The Hockey Song" to the CBC as a replacement.

"It was a little thin the first time I recorded it way back in '71 or '72," Connors said Thursday as he introduced an updated recording of the Canadian classic.

Later, he suggested that the opportunity to lend the tune to NHL broadcasts was not entirely lost.

"Who knows? Nobody's got a crystal ball," he said while leaning against a curved bar, a cigarette and beer bottle clutched in one hand.

Connors' new album, "The Ballad of Stompin' Tom," is due for release Oct. 28 and takes its name from an autobiographical track that draws from his colourful past and extensive travels.

It also features updated takes on "The Olympic Song" and "My Hockey Mom," and a live version of "Take Me Back To Old Alberta".

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On the Net: http://www.stompintom.com/

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