Canadians pay tribute to singer-songwriter Ron Hynes

Pop Goes The News — Canadian musicians are among those paying tribute to singer-songwriter Ron Hynes, who died Thursday in a St. John’s hospital following a battle with cancer.

Known as “the man of a thousand songs,” Hynes was a month shy of his 65th birthday.

Hynes was taken to hospital on Tuesday by ambulance. A show scheduled for Sunday in New Brunswick was promptly cancelled.

In late October, Hynes announced he was diagnosed with lung and hip cancer and had been undergoing radiation treatment and chemotherapy.

In 2012, he underwent treatments for throat cancer.

A founding member of The Wonderful Grand Band, Hynes has released seven albums of his own and has collected seven East Coast Music Awards. He also earned Juno and Canadian Country Music Award nominations.

“The very first song I ever recorded was ‘The St John’s Waltz.’ It was a gift and a blessing,” said singer Kim Stockwood on Facebook. “Thank you Ron Hynes, for your songs, for leading the way and your belief in me. How I will miss you. Sweet release my friend…”

Great Big Sea frontman Alan Doyle said on Twitter that co-writing “What the Heart So Longs to Know” with Hynes was “a thrill of a lifetime.”

Other homegrown musicians reacted to Hynes’ death on Twitter:

Singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith tweeted a video of his cover of Hynes’ “Atlantic Blue,” recorded at a Toronto club several years ago.

New Brunswick music promoter and radio host Jeff Liberty called Hynes an original. “In heaven your voice is strong again and all is how it should be,” he wrote on Facebook.

Allan Reid, president and CEO of the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and the Juno Awards, said Thursday was a sad day and he described Hynes as “one of Newfoundland’s greatest songwriters.”

Singer Damhnait Doyle paid tribute on Facebook by posting lyrics from Hynes’ song “Away.”

So well I remember the morning that I sailed away / And turning one last time I threw a kiss to her / She smiled to me from the cold edge of the water / I turned my face to the wind and the tears followed / That night I dreamed that I lay beside her / Clinging to her like a child to his mother / And when I awoke the cold lay claim to my heart / Knowing full well as I whispered her name / I never would smile upon her sweet face again / And well I remember the morning that I sailed away

Other well known Canadians remembering Hynes included TV host Rick Mercer, who tweeted “RIP & Godspeed.”

Photo by Greg Locke