“When I Was A Boy” by David Hawkins

Here is a song by Owen Sound based singer-songwriter Dave Hawkins called “When I Was A Boy”.  It evokes those halcyon days of innocence when boys spend their days in the sunshine and their nights “out under the stars” giving their imaginations free range, the days when the entire future is full of promise.

Dave has been a musician since he was very young.  When his older brother was given a guitar for Christmas he played it as well and when the family was given a piano he took lessons from his aunt, getting as far as Grade 5 Conservatory.

“My brother and I used to play and sing harmonies on songs by The Eagles, Bob Dylan, Neil Young,” he says, “I found that it was a way to let out all that teen angst.  It’s been a constant friend to me for forty-five years, a wonderful way to learn what’s going on in your heart.”

He came to songwriting from the same motivation.  Although he did some songwriting in his twenties, it is just in the past few years he has begun to take it more seriously.

“Just about three or four years before I retired I started writing again,” he says, “I started writing because I want to get some perspective on who I am now.”  It’s important to him that a song has meaning.  “If I start writing a song I won’t finish it unless it has a deeper meaning – an emotion, an angst, a comment on a life situation.”

His songs do that.  With a relaxed and amiable stage presence, a resonant baritone voice and a sense of humour (that sometimes cuts deeper than it seems if you’re not paying attention), he is a seasoned performer.  He started as part of a folk duo/trio which morphed into a blues band, then a jazz band, usually built around singing with his wife Trish.  “Now I’m back into country with Trish and The Tractors,” he says.  This popular band specializes in classic country dance music and they play regularly around the area.

His interest in music has dominated his working life, leading him to become a music-related retailer.  First he started a used record store called Record Trade, which still exists in Owen Sound, re-named Randy’s Records by its current owner (still a great place for vinyl lovers).  Then he bought Fromager Music and ran it for thirty years before retiring just a few years ago, selling the business to Long & McQuade.

Through the years he has been a constant and important part of Georgian Shores Songwriters, a loose collective of songwriters that meets every few weeks to exchange song ideas and feedback in a relaxed setting.

With a growing interest in songwriting he is starting to perform his original songs more.  He was part of a Songwriters’ Showcase that happened at The Red Door in Meaford a few weeks ago, sharing the evening with songwriters Bill Monahan and John Brownlow.  It went over well and the three of them enjoyed it enough that they are going to do it again, this time at the Garafraxa Café in Durham on a Sunday afternoon, June 25th.

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One Response to “When I Was A Boy” by David Hawkins

  1. Robert Menzies says:

    Yay…. David Hawkins. I love your lyrics and your cool delivery.

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