Yesterday I read an article on how singing songs from musicals can help stave off dementia. I was the happiest person on Earth as I have been singing songs from shows all of my life. I may have a lot of other issues but it is not likely that dementia will become a problem.
I sing in the shower, in the car when I am cleaning and when I am walking the dog. I have a show tune to match almost every situation you can think of. And I truly love it. A few years back I was in New York City and a guy was walking toward me singing at the top of his lungs. I could have been best friends with him and we could have gone thru life singing duets. I do get tired of singing both parts.
Singing helps me get thru the rough times. It is very wrong for me to sing a song like “Old Man River” when I’m depressed. It only makes me more depressed and frustrated, however singing a song like My Favorite Things or “Swing on a Star” can help bring me out of it.
So singing Broadway or movie show tunes does not only help with dementia but also with mood stabilization. The opposite affect can occur as well if the wrong song is chosen.
Below I am going to list my go to songs that can help liberate me from negative emotions. This does not help all of the time. But it does on occasion. I am listing them by emotional need and the YouTube video will accompany each song.
My Favorite Things; this song is for depression. The Bible even teaches to think of things that are good and pure and beautiful in Paul’s letter to the Philippians. There can be no better list of good things than this song.
The Impossible Dream; this song is to let me know that I still have to strive for things even if it seems impossible. Giving up sugar has brought me back to this song a lot.
Don’t Rain on My Parade; this wonderful song is basically a song that says get out of my way, I can do this. Sometimes I will need this when I approach the computer to write this column. I can be my own worst enemy.
Before The Parade Passes By; It’s never too late to start again. I hope I am still belting this out when I am 80. Actually the entire score from Hello Dolly is filled only with songs that bring joy.
Something’s Comin; a song for hope. Something good is only around the corner if I can wait.
Summer Nights; this song is for cleaning. Several years ago a dear friend of mine and I were assigned to clean the bathrooms at the church. As a joke I took the ladies room (I don’t understand why ladies need to eat in a restroom and 25 cents is too much for a napkin) and she took the men’s room. We sang this song together as we were cleaning. And yes I was Danny.
There are hundreds of songs that are go to songs for me to help lift my mood. These are just a sampling. Now this is your turn. Are you down, I have a song for you, use it. Sometimes changing our mood is up to us. Not always. But now it’s time for you to “Sing out Louise” Musical people will understand.