Oh dear I’m not having a good year with friends. I learned yesterday that our good friend Terry Conway had passed away. I simply can’t let this great man go without a few words, so . .
I don’t suppose any of my regular readers knew of Terry, but that is their loss. In his native Northumberland Terry is widely known for his dialect songs. If ever Northumberland had a poet laureate, he would I’m sure be first choice. A retired council worker Terry could often be seen busking in Hexham, but we met him through his partner, now wife, Liz who is a very fine player of the mountain dulcimer. With typical self deprecation, Terry sometimes referred to himself as a dulcimer players labourer. Over the years we have spent many weekends together at dulcimer gatherings and I have never ceased to be amazed at his erudition especially on historical matters. But the main reason everyone loved Terry is that as well as being a kind unassuming person, he was a brilliant and often very funny writer and performer of songs about Northumberland. The much more famous Kathryn Tickell invited Terry to perform his songs on one of her albums and I think played on Liz and Terry’s second album.
I would be very surprised indeed if you didn’t enjoy this Youtube video of Terry’s song Winter’s Weary Snaa. Go on, click it. you won’t regret it.
And if you liked that you can see him in action in this link. Skip forward to 4min 15 seconds for his great song The Bus to Morpeth. You probably won’t understand a word but it’s a good’un.
Dear old Terry, he will be sadly missed. I found myself singing his songs all day yesterday and it put a smile back on my face.