It’s a genuine Sheffield love story, a romance that goes back almost 50 years and has now been captured in song as a special gift from a husband to a wife.
Hillsborough couple Terry and Yvonne Radford are regular visitors to the Patient and Family Support Services at our Ecclesall Road South site, where Yvonne, who is living with Multiple System Atrophy, receives weekly support.
It was at Ecclesall Road South that Terry first heard about Swansong, the organisation that supports anyone living with a terminal illness, planning their end stage of life or dealing with bereavement to write and record their own original song.
And Terry was so inspired by the idea that he decided to put pen to paper and create a musical tribute to Yvonne, looking back to the 1970s and their first meeting at Shiregreen pub The Penguin.
“It was suggested that I should start by writing some words down so I jotted some ideas down on the back of an envelope,” Terry admits.
“They always say you have to be a good poet to write songs but I’d never tried writing poems so it was all new to me.”
With the support of Swansong’s musician Julia Waldron, though, Terry took those first scraps of lines and developed them into the piece that is now called I Still See You.
“I took myself off and started writing and just wrote and wrote and wrote, just putting down my thoughts about when I first saw Yvonne that night at the Penguin in 1974 when she was 18 and I was 24 and how our lives have gone on from there.
“I needed a little bit of help from Julia to make it into a song, because you have to find the right words to make it rhyme and things like that.”
It was then that Swansong musician Jamie Roberts came on boards to help create the tune that would give life to the words.
“I wanted something with a bit of a riff to it and Jamie came up with a melody that had a bit of a Country and Western style to it, which I really liked,” Terry says.
He then recorded the song with Jamie’s support – another new experience for a man who had never sung in public.
“The only other singing I’ve ever done has been in a fun way, just singing at home but this was the first time I’d been in front of a microphone in a recording studio,” he says.
And it was only then that his unique musical gift, a love story in song, was ready to be presented.
“I really didn’t know anything about it but then Terry played it for me when it was finished and it made me cry,” Yvonne admits.
Terry adds: “It was a fantastic experience, brilliant really, something I never thought I’d be able to do – and I’ve even written a few lines of another song now!”
To hear Terry singing I Still See You visit Swansong