The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #52294   Message #805013
Posted By: Genie
16-Oct-02 - 10:30 PM
Thread Name: Best Closing Song for Nursing Home Gigs
Subject: RE: Best Closing Song for Nursing Home Gigs
Snuffy, I can well imagine that UK folks would not want to hear "God Bless America" -- any more than us Yanks would want "Rule, Brittania!" *G*

As for "Daisy" ("Bicycle Built For Two" or "Daisy Bell"), I find that it has become rapidly less popular over the past 10 years of my doing this music pretty much full time. That's not surprising. "Daisy Bell" is from the 1890s -- the era of the PARENTS of most of the seniors I entertain. Songs from that era are well known to folks in their 80s and 90s, but they are not the major songs they associate with their teenage and young adult years.

For folks with severe memory impairment, of course, these really old songs do go over very well. But lots of folks in "nursing homes" are there for physical reasons, and some have little or no cognitive impairment.

Today I was doing a sing-along with an Alzheimer's group I sing for regularly. In addition to the usual simple/old/very familiar sing-alongs, I did "Please Release Me" (the favorite song of one resident), "The Rainbow Connection," and "Tennessee Waltz" (written in 1951). Not only did "The Rainbow Connection" draw spontaneous, enthusiastic approbation from one of the gentlemen -- more vocal approval than any other song -- but several residents sang along with the other two songs, as well as clapping for them. These songs drew much more participation and glee than did the usual sing-alongs like "You Are My Sunshine," "I've Been Working On The Railroad," "Red River Valley," etc.

I can't stress too much how important it is not to LIMIT the playlist for nursing homes to songs written or popular before 1930 or 1940.

That said, let me add that a very popular closing song in the US --especially for Veterans' Day, Memorial Day, July 4th, Flag Day -- is "The Battle Hymn Of The Republic."