Man of a Thousand Songs

A Newfoundland legend has passed.

Ron Hynes lost his battle with cancer yesterday, but the St. John’s native and the “man of a thousand songs” will be remembered in this province as one of our best and most talented singer-songwriters.

I’ve loved Ron’s music ever since he performed as front man with the Wonderful Grand Band on a local early-80’s TV show. But when I saw him sing and play at the Fat Cat on George Street one night in the early nineties, I knew he would be an enduring musical storyteller and an artistic treasure.

Sonny’s Dream, his most famous song internationally, has been recorded by many artists such as Valdy and Emmy Lou Harris. Have a listen:

As much as I love that song, the following is perhaps my personal favourite. The lyrics alone, in my opinion, elevate its author Ron to the deserving title of our finest wordsmith and poet.

St. John's Harbour
St. John’s Harbour

St. John’s Waltz
by Ron Hynes

Oh the harbour lights are gleaming
And the evening’s still and dark
And the seagulls are all dreaming
Seagull dreams on Amherst Rock
And the mist is slowly drifting
As the storefront lights go dim
And the moon is gently lifting
As the last ship’s coming in

All the sailors got a story
Some are true, some are false
But they’re always wrecked
and they’re up on the deck
Dancin’ the St. John’s Waltz

Amherst Rock Jennifer's Journal
Fort Amherst (Amherst Rock)
Jennifer’s Journal

Oh we’ve had out share of history
We’ve seen nations come and go
We’ve seen battles rage over land and stage
Four hundred years and more
For glory or for freedom
For country or for king
Or for money or fame but there are no names
On the graves where men lie sleeping

All the nine to fives survive the day
With a sigh and a dose of salts
And they’re parkin’ their cars and packin’ the barsRON-HYNES
Dancin’ the St. John’s Waltz

Oh my heart is on the highway
And I’m sold on goin’ to sea
All the planes fill the skyway
The trains run swift and free
So leave the wayward free to wander
Leave the restless free to roam
If it’s rocks in the bay or it’s old cliche
You’ll find your way back home

So don’t question or inquire
What’s been gained, what’s been lost
In a world of romance don’t miss out on the chance
To be Dancin’ the St. John’s Waltz

Rest in peace, Mr. Hynes.
Your music will continue to live on through our playlists and in our hearts.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/ron-hynes-death-reaction-1.3327456

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33 thoughts on “Man of a Thousand Songs

    1. Thank you so much, Wendy! I just finished watching his funeral service on TV here and it was beautiful and touching. He will be fondly remembered by so many of us.
      I only this minute found your comments in my “pending to be approved” file! Must be a different address your comment came from? So sorry about that, Wendy. xo

      Liked by 1 person

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