Sonny don’t go away, I am here all alone
And your daddy’s a sailor, and he never comes home
And the nights get so long, and the silence goes on
And I’m feeling so tired, I’m not all that strong
— Sonny’s Dream, by Ron Hynes
I’m foregoing the usual Five-for-Friday with a musical interlude.
A guy you’ve never heard of from a place you’ve probably never been who is famous for a song I’m guessing you don’t know the words to died yesterday. I owe him much.
I never met Ron Hynes, the Newfoundland folk singer who among hundreds and hundreds of songs wrote a barroom howler called Sonny’s Dream.
If you read the lyrics sober, it is a profoundly sad and moving song about a young man trapped in the service of his mother, long abandoned by his father for life on the seas. She implores him to never leave; he stares down the road to the cities he’s never seen and dreams of something better.
If you sing the song in a pub in a less-than-sober state, you will make friends, have a grand time, completely miss the sadness of the song, and possibly marry someone you sang with. Continue reading →