Saturday 03 Dec 2016

Stompin' Tom
David Simmonds

One of the necessities of writing whimsy is to accept that your story ideas come from your daydreams.

So when, in the midst of some late summer afternoon stupor, an out of season question floated across my mind, I took it seriously. I wondered: what would an encouragement song for our flagship hockey team sound like? We're just about to get a new arena, and it might be nice for civic pride and all that to have a song that celebrates both the Dukes and the Dukedome.

That got me going. I needed to create a song that was proud and confident, without being arrogant or boastful (because we occasionally lose a game, because we don't want to motivate our opponents on the rebound, and because that's just how we are in Wellington). I also needed to create some rhymes for the 'uke' sound that didn't sound false. It wouldn't work, for example,to have 'Dukes' who always eat their 'cukes'. PIzza, maybe; vegetables, no.

So I came up with what follows. You be the judge of whether it might help motivate the team to notch the proverbial 110% effort up to 111%.

"The Home of the Wellington Dukes"

Welcome old friends to the Dukedome

The hub of the universe

Where the home team is always much better

And the visitors always much worse

We usually come out the winner

And the goals we allow are all flukes

That's the way it is in the Dukedome

The home of the Wellington Dukes


The players are solid as tree trunks

Yet they fly like the wind down the ice

They always send flowers to their mothers

And follow their fathers' advice

They come to each others assistance

Face up to their their coaches' rebukes

That's the way it is in the Dukedome

The home of the Wellington Dukes


We're the fans and we like to be noisy

No matter what time of the year

We groan when the tide turns against us

When its with us we stand up and cheer

We're most of us quite well adjusted

Though we carry on like we're kooks

That's the way it is in the Dukedome

The home of the Wellington Dukes


So goodbye and safe home from the Dukedome

The hub of the universe

Where the home team is always much better

And the visitors always much worse

We usually come out the winner

And the goals we allow are all flukes

That's the way it is in the Dukedome

The home of the Wellington Dukes


If you have made it this far, you might be interested in going towww.wellingtontimes.caand listening to the song. Who knows, they may just play it over the Dukedome's PA system and you can sing along. But if you see Stompin' Tom, please assure him his reputation as the king of hockey songsters is under no threat.

Some readers seem intent on nullifying the authority of David Simmonds. The critics are so intense; Simmonds is cast as more scoundrel than scamp. He is, in fact, a Canadian writer of much wit and wisdom. Simmonds writes strong prose. He dissects, in a cheeky way, what some think sacrosanct. His wit refuses to allow the absurdities of life to move along, nicely, without comment. What Simmonds writes frightens some readers. He doesn't court the ineffectual. Those he scares off are the same ones that will not understand his writing. Satire is not for sissies. The wit of David Simmonds skewers societal vanities, the self-important and their follies as well as the madness of tyrants. He never targets the outcasts or the marginalised; when he goes for a jugular, its blood is blue. David Simmonds, by nurture, is a lawyer. By nature, he is a perceptive writer, with a gimlet eye, a superb folk singer, lyricist and composer. He believes quirkiness is universal; this is his focus and the base of his creativity. "If my humour hurts," says Simmonds,"it's after the stiletto comes out." He's an urban satirist on par with Mike Barnacle, Jimmy Breslin, the late Mike Rokyo and, increasingly, Dorothy Parker. He writes from and often about the village of Wellington Ontario. Simmonds also writes for the Wellington "Times," in Wellington, Ontario.

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