The Tom Fun Orchestra

The Tom Fun Orchestra

 Sydney, Nova Scotia, CAN

The Tom Fun Orchestra is a seven-piece cluster-rock ensemble from Cape Breton Island appealing to fans of Springsteen, The Pogues, The Clash and Arcade Fire. The band has been releasing albums and touring internationally since 2008. Their newest album, Earthworm Heart, releases on 13 November 2012.


The Tom Fun Orchestra is a world famous band of modest Cape Breton musicians who obviously hire professional types to write their bio. The band would never themselves choose to list their many accomplishments, which include multiple tours across Canada and the United Kingdom, as well as sojourns to the Republic of Ireland and Australia. If they wrote their own story, would they even mention their widely popular 2008 debut album, You Will Land With a Thud, the album that helped them win two East Coast Music Awards and two Music Nova Scotia awards? It is doubtful, for they are a humble band.

If pressed, The Tom Fun Orchestra would admit their excitement over Earthworm Heart, the sophomore record being released nation-wide on November 13th, 2012. The seven-piece band may be persuaded to mention how their sound has evolved from the full throttle onslaught of the first record. Earthworm Heart is comprised of leaner, tougher compositions with particular attention paid to finding the appropriate arrangements for each song. It produces diverse physical reactions from the listener, including uncontrollable hip wiggling, fist pumping, jumping and guzzling.

If The Tom Fun Orchestra were forced to self-scribe, they would sheepishly mention their upcoming Canadian World Tour, which will see them play nearly thirty dates across the country, beginning in Fredericton on October 18, 2012, and bringing them all the way to British Columbia and back again. The Tom Fun Orchestra could tell you all of these things, but they don’t have to, because they are too famous and too humble.

Check out a complete list of tour dates and other great stuff at and


Boxcar Lullaby

Written By: I. MacDougall

This could be train station art
Or some kind of boxcar lullaby
A reminder of the ugly truth
Burnt beautifully across the sky

The sea the sea is swelling
The birds are restless marionettes
It’s been a long time since we’ve remembered
What we never were supposed to forget

Worn out boots & wooly plaid coats
Trudging along miles of road
The road ends but we keep going
Further than our tracks will show.??And the whales! Will live where we lived
When were we lived gets washed away
Our fields will be the beds of giants
Our streets will be where they lay

And as the snow falls heavy over a blackened ocean
As it swallows the land with a soft emotion
The birds will rest at sea tonight
The birds will rest at sea.

Animal Mask

Written By: I. MacDougall

James Earl Jones in an animal mask
Wine drunk under an overpass
Waxing on tolstoy amongst the broken glass
Feeding that gibberish to the pigeons & rats
Lady Godiva on a cardboard mat
Taking off her clothes to pay the rent
The money she earns she's going to give to her man
And he's going to shoot it as quick as he can
James & his lady with a shopping cart
Collecting debris for a cash return
This bottle of love has a twist cap heart
This bottle is empty this love is a farce
Something we had but it seems to be lost
Hoping that the government will cover the cost
I need a little something that will hit the spot
Because I'm running out of methadone

Heaven is empty all the angels are here
Underneath a bridge with a sobering fear
A mild vibration, feel the end is near
The devil's in the suburbs pulling 80k a year
Trudging through the city with his lady by his side
James Earl Jones just trying to get high
Got to get across town because i know a guy
The road is long for a short supply
James lay down trying to catch his breath
Crashed on the steps like a body shipwrecked
He called out baby I've gotta stop and rest
Heart's beating hard I think I'm gonna be sick
The night's turning cold i see my breath in the air
I'm covered in sweat and i'm shaking with fear
take me by the hand and steer me clear
Because I think I'm out of methadone

Running out of methadone get me to the clinic

Lady Godiva with a rag in her hand
Dabbing at the blood on her lover's chin
Trying to be strong for her dying man
Trying to keep steady her trembling hands
Some people find religion out of searching for gold
Some people find god out of doing what they're told
Some people are only trying to find their way home
Out of the Kingdom of flesh & bone
Let me take off your mask now James Earl Jones
Let me see your face let me hold it close
Let me cover you up with my winter coat
Let me hear your last breath before you leave me alone
James Earl Jones laying dead on the stairs
His lady long gone she had to be somewhere
Just across town where the prices are fair
Besides it's cheaper when you're all alone.

Running out of methadone get me to the clinic

Sympathetic Wolf

Written By: I. MacDougall

Heavy in a fever
A situation in time
You seek comfort in darkness
You close the blinds.  

You say you're restless but tired
I say you're swimming through fire
Can't stay afloat
When you're burning alive. 
Can't stay afloat when you're burning alive. 

There's a mine in the valley
Rich with exotic stones
Marked by a path
Of dead miner's bones

And there's a life in your belly
You're no longer alone
Guard it in a shelter of skin & bones
Guard it in a shelter of skin & bones

There's a light in the doorway
It moves across the floor
Step over the threshold
And meet what's in store

You'll find it's not as bad as the images that you've created
Staring down the barrel of the morning as if you betrayed it. 

There's a mine under the night
And it's sinking with the weight of the day
So get a good look at the moment
Because the moment isn't here to stay

So get a good look at the moment because the moment isn't here to stay
Then close your eyes and count to 10 and you'll be ok.

Tomorrow is cradled in a balance of heartache & metaphor
You'll know it when you get there by the memories you've had before
Hold a lighter to the ashes and wait for them to be reborn

Take a pick axe to the morning
And break into the day
And tear out all the pieces 
That are getting in your way 

There's a silence in the well 
It's been robbed of words to say
As the clouds move overhead
You close your eyes & pray

Hold your breath
Let your watery dreams wash over you
Now wake up and breathe only
Settle in the truth.  


Earthworm Heart (LP, 2012)

Miles Davis (Single, 2010)

Christmas Dinner on a Coleman Stove (Single, 2009)

You Will Land With a Thud (LP, 2008)

You Will Land With a Thud ( iTunes Ep, 2007)

Two tracks featured on The House of Rock Compilation (2006)

Tragicfoxtankliftoff - 3 Song Demo (2005)

Several songs from You Will Land With a Thud receive regular airplay on CBC radio, college radio and some commercial radio stations across the country. The album peaked at #7 on CBC Radio 3's Top 30.

Set List

The Tom Fun Orchestra generally plays one 90-120 minute set of original material. Various set lengths can be accommodated; however, ample set up time is required due to the size of the band. A typical set includes these songs:

Rowing Away
Sympathetic Wolf
Gentleman Jim Takes a Bow
Sunshines on my Bones
Animal Mask
Anchors Aweigh
Dear Eleanor
Carry the Fire
Highway Siren Song Breakdown
Marshall Applewhite
Throw Me To the Rats
Last of the Curious Thieves
Behind the Fence
Miles Davis
You Will Land With a Thud
When You were Mine
Boxcar Lullaby
Bottom of the River
Christmas Dinner on a Coleman Stove