Today,on America’s birthday, July 4, 2006, I did what I do most days each week: I spent time in a nursing home.
I don’t mean that I spend time living there, although in a way it does sometimes have the feeling of living there.
No, I bring music and dogs to the people who have made our United States what it is. And more than you might think, the music and especially the people who sing it really have shaped this country.
Some of the most popular songs in New England contain a lot of words (and rhythm) to live by. It certainly must be strengthening, because the people in the nursing homes are real survivors. I believe it’s the music (words and all) that helped create these survivors.
Just for a moment, consider some of these lyrics: “Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord”; “You’ve got to give a little, take a little, and let your poor heart break a little”; “everyday words seem to turn into love songs”; “not much money, oh but honey, ain’t we got fun?”; “if it’s raining, have no regrets”; “gonna take a sentimental journey, why did I decide to roam?”; “my country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing”; and my favourite, “Pack up all my cares and woe, here I go, singin’ low…”
So this I believe~ “The moon belongs to everyone, the best things in life are free. The stars belong to everyone, they gleam there for you and me. The flowers in spring, the robins that sing, the sunbeams that shine: they’re yours, they’re mine! and love can come to everyone, the best things in life are free.”
Thanks B.G. Desylva, Lew Brown and Ray Henderson for writing the melody and lyrics, and thanks to all you ‘old-timers’ for singing it and showing me how to live it. I’m practicing all the time!
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