Friday, November 20, 2015

A New Brunswick Girl, Living In Nova Scotia, Singing A Newfoundland Song

I've never been the type of person to 'pine away' for my youth. 

For the most part, I'm happy where I am in my 40's. Yes, winning the lottery would make me happier, but until then, I'm good. 

But there are days like today, when I hear that someone has died, and when that someone has contributed in some way to my early years, I go back and remember for a bit. 

Such is the case today, with Ron Hynes. 

I didn't know Ron, and he certainly didn't know me, but he absolutely made an impact on my early adult life.

For all the ups and downs I've had over the years, I have to say, my 20's were pretty freakin' awesome! 

Those years were filled with good times, great friends and lots and LOTS of music.

In university, you could often hear the music blaring from my open dorm room window, spilling out onto the football field below.

Yeah, my door was banged on a few times.

And then, when the ex and I had our own place, came the house parties.

Oh yes my friends, over the years, we threw some rockin', go until dawn, 'holy crap there's a band!', 'I can't shut the door, there's a lineup to get in!', type of house parties.

We threw the type of parties where not only would people bring guitars, but also a bass, tambourine, microphones, drum sets, amps and of course, we'd install a disco ball, and everyone in the house would be singing along.

Good times my friends, good times.

But even before all that, some of my fondest memories of my 'party experiences' in Nova Scotia, are when I first started going to the bars here.

There were two bars in particular, at that time, where you could find me on the occasional Wednesday night the weekend.  

At night, it was JJ Rossey's (home of the $0.99 shots!), but even before that, on a Saturday afternoon, we'd hit Peddlers Pub, which was conveniently located right across the street from JJ's.

Now, if you were ever in a bar in Nova Scotia in the 90's, there are a few songs you were guaranteed to hear (over and over and ...over), ones that represented our East Coast lifestyle, and everybody knew the words to.

And there was one song in particular, that when I heard for the first time one Saturday afternoon sitting in the pub, it immediately got my attention, tugged at my east coast heart, and made me want to sing along, and I asked the person sitting next to me, 'WHAT'S that song?!?!?'.

That song was Sonny's Dream, and the singer was Ron Hynes.

After that, I was, as my dad used to say, like a dog with a bone. I couldn't get enough of that song.

If there was a live, local band playing at the bar, guaranteed I'd yell from a table nearby, 'Play Sonny's Dream!'.

I'd go up to the DJ booth and ask,
'Play Sonny's Dream!'

Or when the boys would bring their instruments to our kitchen parties, one of my first (and repeated over the evening) request ... 'Play Sonny's Dream!'

Yeah, I was absolutely the annoying 'Sonny's Dream girl'.  And proud of it!

To this day, I STILL love this song, still sing along, and it still gives me chills.

If you've never heard Sonny's Dream, I'm giving you three opportunities today.

Pick your favourite.

This first one, is from 1980 I believe.  The song was written (by Ron) in 1976, and was being performed by Ron and his band, The Wonderful Grand Band.


This next one, is the version I remember from my pub days. Just imagine everyone in the audience, young and old, singing along with the chorus (the only part I knew at the time).  

An entire bar singing this on a Saturday afternoon was a pretty awesome, feel-good, wanna give everyone a hug, kind of experience.

This is from the ECMA ShowCase at the Pub Flamingo.  I believe this was the early 90's. Same time I was first learning the words to it at Peddlers.

This last one, I decided to include because it was a tribute to the man, and the song.  

This one was a collaboration by a huge group of fantastic Newfoundland artists (Great Big Sea, anyone?), at the Night Of A Thousand Songs benefit, held in St. Johns in 2012. Look for Ron over on the right in the blue shirt and tie.

If you've never heard this song, give it a try (I'd suggest the 2nd video!). 

If you've loved this song as long as I have, and it brings back great memories of your youth, then you're probably feeling a bit sad today at the loss of the man who gave it to us.

I know I am.

I think back to those couple of years after I first moved here. I was a girl from New Brunswick, living in Nova Scotia, singing a Newfoundland song.

Those were some great days.

And Sonny's Dream, a great Canadian song.

RIP Mr. Ron Hynes.  

Thank you for giving this girl some wonderful memories, through your music.


" ...your Daddy's a sailor who never comes home, and the nights get so long, and the silence goes on, and I'm feelin' so tired, I'm not all that strong."


P.S.  If you want to hear the radio version, Google it. I'm all about the live music today!

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