The song was heard by Hamish Imlach, a Scottish folksinger, while on a trip to Canada, who modified it somewhat and played it in folk-clubs in Britain. There it was heard by popular Irish folksinger Christy Moore. He recorded it and passed it on to other artists in Ireland.
|Hamish Imlach & Christy Moore|
I first heard this song and like many listeners assumed it was about a boy who wasted his life taking care of his mother, after his father abandoned the family.
|Gimble * Atkins * Ostroushko * Johnson|
Later recordings that I have come across play it too slow or too fast.
Ron Hynes wrote this song about his autistic son. It's not about boy wasting his life, but about the mother who has devoted her life to caring for her son.
Here is the songs author playing Sonny's Dream in Gander, Newfoundland.