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Query: Godspeed (Requiem for Gene MacLellan)

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Peter Timmerman 13 May 97 - 03:10 PM
Peter Timmerman 18 May 97 - 02:53 PM
GUEST,Janet McLean 26 Aug 04 - 02:03 PM
GUEST,MMario 26 Aug 04 - 02:08 PM
GUEST,Janet McLean 26 Aug 04 - 02:09 PM
Amos 26 Aug 04 - 02:22 PM
GUEST 15 Sep 04 - 07:22 PM
GUEST,Songbird 15 Oct 04 - 11:05 PM
GUEST,Kevin 25 Feb 11 - 04:30 PM
GUEST,Brien Doucet 25 Feb 11 - 04:38 PM
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Subject: Query: Godspeed
From: Peter Timmerman
Date: 13 May 97 - 03:10 PM

This is (I think) a depressing query, but I was wondering if anyone (Canadians perhaps out there of which there seem to be a few tuning in) knows the story behind the lovely song "Godspeed" by Ron Hynes. I heard it on the radio fading out crossing the border and the announcer said it was for someone -- is it a love song, an old song about a murder or what? Is it on a recent album? Yours, Peter


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Subject: RE: Query: Godspeed
From: Peter Timmerman
Date: 18 May 97 - 02:53 PM

Dear TFT, thanks for the e-mail. I will post the lyrics to DT. I guess the lyrics do tell it all. I just didn't hear all of it first time around. I wondered why there was this odd mix of anger and grief in the song. You also don't often get an announcer choking up over a song. Many thanks again. Yours, Peter

GODSPEED: Ron Hynes, 1997 (Requiem for Gene MacLellan)

Godspeed, Godspeed,

Forgive a sweet soul a desperate deed

His was a prison and he was freed,

Godspeed, Godspeed.

God bless, God bless,

What's born out of sorrow or out of distress,

Speculation is anyone's guess,

God bless, God bless.

God only knows,

What takes the petal from the rose

what makes the dark rivers overflow

What makes a lifetime come and go --

But God damn

God damn

You put your hand in the hand of the man,

You must have believed he would understand,

And forgive a sweet soul a desperate deed,

Godspeed, Godspeed

(repeat from "God only knows").....

From CD "Face to the Gale" (1997).


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Subject: RE: Query: Godspeed
From: GUEST,Janet McLean
Date: 26 Aug 04 - 02:03 PM

What is the song about? I find it absplutely beautiful.


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Subject: RE: Query: Godspeed
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 26 Aug 04 - 02:08 PM

my guess would be it's about a suicide - but that's just my reading...


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Subject: RE: Query: Godspeed
From: GUEST,Janet McLean
Date: 26 Aug 04 - 02:09 PM

I hear suicide in it, too. I was wondering if anybody knew for sure?


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Subject: RE: Query: Godspeed
From: Amos
Date: 26 Aug 04 - 02:22 PM

The song was written as a requiem for Gene McLellan, the author of (among other things) "Put Your Hand in the Hand of the Man who Stills the Waters" and "The Snowbird"

I have not found any notation of a suicide in Gene's passing, but have only done a superficial search.

A.


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Subject: RE: Query: Godspeed
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Sep 04 - 07:22 PM

A lurker passing through who found this site by accident...just wanted to say that Ron Hynes (who hails from my home province of Newfoundland) did indeed write this song for Gene McLellan, and as far as I recall from the publicity at the time, Gene did indeed commit suicide, which is what the song is about. I think it's a very touching and appropriate song for anyone who's committed suicide, and incredibly moving...especially if you ever hear Ron perform it live, as I have had the privilege of doing.


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Subject: RE: Query: Godspeed
From: GUEST,Songbird
Date: 15 Oct 04 - 11:05 PM

Gene MacLellan was a very beautiful tender man with an incredible gift for songwriting. You should pick up some of his music and while you're at it pick up some of Ron Hynes. Ron Hynes wrote this song about Gene and yes Gene did take his own life. He was a tortured soul as well as a very religious man. Ron has written many amazing songs. The most famous of these would be "Sonnys Dream" which has been recorded all over in the world an in many languages. He also wrote Atlantic Blue. He has about 6 albums I think and he is extremely talented. He is from St. Johns Newfoundland.


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Subject: RE: Query: Godspeed (Requiem for Gene MacLellan)
From: GUEST,Kevin
Date: 25 Feb 11 - 04:30 PM

Gene was tortured by, among other things, the inequality that is endemic in the world.

He said Snowbird came to him in only a few seconds while walking on Spring ice-pans on the N. Rustico Beach (PEI, Canada) and earned him weakly an average person's annual salary; and did so for many many years. To some this would cause contentment if not elation but to Gene this (from everything I've come to know of his life) triggered tremendous depression caused by his clairvoyant-like empathy for the suffering of others.

A semi-famous anecdote tells of a time he went to his own attic, removed fiberglass insulation, and took it, and installed it himself, in the home of a man who could not afford it -- it has been suggested he wanted to make sure the man's home was warm for an upcoming cold-snap and he knew the heat-loss in his home was a trivial issue given his enormous (relatively) wealth. He intervened directly to alleviate the suffering of others as often as he could but perhaps never felt he was able to make a difference of a magnitude to satiate his own concerns.

Ultimately it was this kind of grotesque inequality, perhaps triggered by Snowbird -- hardly his best tune, that led him to take his own life.

Tears flowed like rain across the Island and around the world (Mexico in particular).


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Subject: RE: Query: Godspeed (Requiem for Gene MacLellan)
From: GUEST,Brien Doucet
Date: 25 Feb 11 - 04:38 PM

Ron Hynes has dozens of albums and has been turning out a new one nearly every year for the past decade. This prolific outpouring came just as many thought he and his career were in decline.

Ron: I'm deeply sorry about the pictures -- a new camera and a blinding depression were the cause of all the problems. I only wish you'd let me say it to you directly. Our buddy Rik says, "forget it man, he's as big an arsehole as you..." True, but regrets are regrets -- healing comes only from the victim.


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