Nfld. & Labrador·Video

Huge crowd pays tribute to Ron Hynes at The Ship

On the last Thursday of the month, on a day that was originally scheduled to feature a Ron Hynes performance at The Ship Pub, show goers packed the bar to pay tribute to the fallen man of one thousand songs.
Musicians pay tribute to Ron Hynes at The Ship 1:32

On a night that was originally scheduled to feature a Ron Hynes performance at a bar in downtown St. John's, showgoers packed the Ship Pub to pay tribute to the fallen man of one thousand songs.

Hynes, who died Nov. 19, had booked a date for Thursday night to play the Ship, a bar where he had performed countless times through the years. 

In the wake of his death, friends and members of the St. John's music community came together to pull off a tribute show instead.

If the capacity crowd Thursday night was any indication, the love that St. John's has for Ron Hynes shows no bounds.

Hynes planned show

A capacity crowd came out on Thursday night to celebrate the life and music of Ron Hynes at The Ship Pub in St. John's. (Zach Goudie/CBC)

Just a few weeks ago, Hynes asked musician Liz Solo if she wanted to play the show on Thursday.

"Ron was talking to me — and a lot of people were saying this, talking about this [the show] just like it was an ordinary thing," said Solo, one of the performers who each chipped in a song. 

"It's so interesting how it was a very ordinary thing, but now it's an extraordinary thing," said Solo. 

"I'm sure his heart would be full to see so many people here, and so many people loving him, and listening to his music."

A celebration of his songs

Liz Solo was originally scheduled to play with Ron Hynes on Thursday, but in the aftermath of his death, she said it's surreal being at The Ship and playing tribute to him instead. (Zach Goudie/CBC)

It seemed everyone in attendance had a Ron Hynes story, and more than 30 musicians took the stage throughout the night to pay their respects by performing one of his many, many songs.

Guitarist Sandy Morris, another of the performers, said the night was a chance to honour a singer he worked with for decades. 

"It's a celebration of his songs as much as anything," said Morris. 

"Did you know there are 30 people on this show tonight and nobody picked the same song? It's incredible."

Crowd led in singalong to Sonny's Dream

Sandy Morris says that the tribute on Thursday night was a full tilt celebration of Ron Hynes music and legacy. (Zach Goudie/CBC)

The night was emceed by Ted Blades, the host of CBC Radio's On The Go, and as people in the jam-packed bar swayed to the music, he noted that something was missing. 

The only shame about all these people standing shoulder to shoulder, singing and dancing to Ron's songs, he said, was that Ron wasn't around to have seen it.

But if he had been, there's a great chance he would have smiled, as the crowd was led in a bar-wide singalong, one of many in the past week, to Sonny's Dream.

A more official celebration of Ron Hynes music and life is being planned for a future date. 

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