Thursday, September 29, 2011

My Musical Era

Sometimes I think I should have been born into the 40s and 50s, early 60s. I love the songs from that era, probably because my Dad used to sing them to me and my siblings for lullabies. And probably because I already gravitate towards Patsy Cline, Doris Day songs, that are suited to my alto voice.

This morning, I had a chance to sing at a local care center. The rec director had contacted me a few weeks ago. Apparently, I had signed up somewhere and he was getting around to calling on the list. I wasn't sure what to expect, as far as age of audience, but I guessed correctly that they might appreciate songs from the 40s and 50s. So I googled a few more to add to my binder. Here's a sampling of titles:

Blue Moon
Sentimental Journey
Moon River
Mona Lisa
Unchained Melody
Amazing Grace
You are my sunshine

with Do your ears hang low? and Grandma's Feather Bed thrown in for comic relief. Also, one contemporary song, Outside My Window but that was about it (I decided to stick with the oldies because I wanted them to be familiar with the songs).

I got there a little late, they had already put on a movie and were reportedly "upset" when it seemed I wasn't going to show up. Flustered, I chit chatted while I set up my stuff. It was nice to have a microphone. I wasn't expecting that; it made it so much easier to sing. Then I jumped into my first song, Moon River.

Many were asleep, but some were alert, watching, mouthing the lyrics, nodding in recognition, clapping politely after each song. Song after song, I wondered what they remembered as I sang to them. Were they sad? Were they happy? I wondered what their lives were like before they sat in that wheelchair. They might not be as spry as they used to be, but their eyes shone with a youthful spirit.

Afterwards, one man said he owned 7 guitars and played in bands. I looked at his gnarled hands and wanted to give him my guitar to play, but I thought he might get offended if I offered.

It was such a pleasure bringing music to this group of folks. And the nice thing was, I genuinely enjoyed the songs.


Alice said...

That's so cool that you sang at a care home. The part about many of them being asleep made me laugh out loud. I was in a folk band years ago and I remember singing at a care home where a man on the front row with a hearing aid and a wheel chair kept saying, "What's that awful noise? Turn it down!"

Jewel Allen said...

Yeah, it's fun. I try not to take it personally when they say funny things. I love being among the elderly. They have so much to give in wisdom and stories to others.