Yesterday, on the first anniversary of Dame Vera Lynn’s passing, I was delighted to launch my new concert programme called “Songs of Vera Lynn. ”
My programme contains many of the songs Vera sang during WWII and other songs she sang from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.
Care Homes https://www.carehome.co.uk/supplier.cfm/searchazref/65432214236 or Community Groups in Yorkshire, if you need a Vera Lynn performer, my programme is right up your street. It includes many of Vera’s signature tunes, such as The White Cliffs Of Dover; Now Is The Hour; Lily Marlene; It’s A Lovely Day Tomorrow, We’ll Meet Again; Auf Wiedersehen Sweetheart and A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square to name a few. So give me a call and let’s all get singing along!
There is no doubt that Judy Garland is one of my all time favourite female singers and over the years it has been my privilege to sing many of the songs she made famous. Today I’m delighted to share my own recording of her iconic song “Over the Rainbow” from the 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz.”
Judy was only 16 years old when she was cast as the young Dorothy Gale
“When The Lights Go On Again, All Over The World” is the second Vera Lynn song that my friend suggested I record. Although it was recorded originally by Vaughn Monroe in 1942, Vera recorded it soon afterwards and it’s her version we still remember and play today.
Music was a large part of the culture during WWII and served as a uniting factor among people around the world. “When the Lights Go On Again” was one of the songs that helped keep up the spirits of those who were struggling. Once again we see that its’ lyrics are still relevant today. Whilst we don’t have to face bombs falling from the sky, or race for the air raid shelters, the invisible Coronavirus still forms a deadly enemy living amongst us in the atmosphere, and we can draw parallels between lockdown and the air raid shelters of the 40’s.
I hope my recording, about a time where we can all be free again, helps lift your spirits.
Since the start of the Covid restrictions, I have continued to share my voice and raise spirits through my You Tube channel , virtual entertainment and also socially distanced entertainment in care homes and at funerals.
I established Motivational Music in 2011, to encourage care home residents to sing, have fun, move and make music.
Before Covid 19, my next few days would have been spent honouring the brave men and women of WWII by singing in Stamford Bridge, Sutton-upon-Derwent, Wheldrake and Doncaster at their VE Day 75th Anniversary celebrations which now have all been cancelled. Instead, I’ve recorded “We’ll Meet Again” in honour of our war veterans and for everyone missing their loved ones during these difficult times. I look forward to brighter days and to seeing you once all this is over.
As Covid-19 began to take its’ hold, and we in the UK faced lockdown, a good friend of mine said “when you feel a bit down – sing.”
And this is just what I have done! Whenever life has seemed uncertain and I have felt alone, I’ve sung. Now I can reliably confirm that singing has lifted my spirits and in turn has helped me to connect with others around the world in exactly the same position as myself.
At home, my study has turned into a recording studio and I’ve had a wonderful time singing lots of songs that I haven’t sung for ages and then learning to turn them into videos.
You can listen to some of my creations by watching them on You Tube
During the Covid 19 “lock down” I’m truly appreciating my memories of events like meet ups with family and friends; enjoying a coffee and cake in a local café; wandering freely in the outdoors and my weekly sing along sessions in the Care Homes throughout my region. Sadly, for the moment, like me, these remain “locked down”. It’s at times like this you recognise and feel the many benefits singing brings, physically, emotionally and socially and the special relationships you share with the elderly.
Spurred on by my loss of singing, over the last few days I’ve had a wonderful time singing in my own home and recording a playlist, which I hope many will be able to enjoy singing along to during this period of isolation.
I can definitely vouch for the personal health benefits I’ve gained whilst doing it. It’s given me a great opportunity to exercise my lungs and feel my sinuses and respiratory tubes opening up. Mentally, I’m feeling more alert and I know my immune system has also been given a boost. Overall I’m feeling brighter, more energetic, positive and less anxious about the world outside.
I am looking forward to singing in a York care home this afternoon where we all will be celebrating the 2019 International Day of Older Persons.
Each year, this day, the 1st October, is celebrated as the International Day of Older Persons. It was first established in 1990 by the United Nations General Assembly. This year’s theme is “The Journey to Age Equality”
There are currently around 700 million people over the age of 60. It is predicted that by 2050, this figure will have risen to 2 billion.
The 2019 theme is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 10 and focuses on ways of coping with existing and preventing future old age inequality.
I was thrilled to witness residents and staff of Loran House, Hull* raise the roof last Thursday during my latest Motivational Music session there. As one staff member commented afterwards “You really got them going Ruth.” Some residents got up and danced; others moved, sang and made music in their armchairs. The whole room was filled with music, fun and lots of laughter. What a wonderful afternoon we all had.
There are so many physical, emotional and social benefits to be gained from singing and it is my joy and privilege to be able to assist in bringing a room to life during a motivational music session. This is particularly obvious when I work in a care home, where after lunch many residents can be found dozing in their armchairs as I arrive.
Singing is an ageless enjoyment and it is well known that the endorphins it releases reduce pain and improve mood. Singing is particularly beneficial for elderly people who lead a sedentary lifestyle. I have witnessed firsthand how my regular singing sessions contribute to bringing the following benefits amongst elderly care home residents:-
Animated mind, body and spirit
Reduced anger, depression and anxiety
Increased self esteem and confidence
Improved mental alertness which in turn contributes to reducing the number of falls
Increased lung capacity
Increased sense of community
Creating a forum for fun & laughter
*Loran House residential care centre, offers care for clients whose needs are associated with the ageing process and dementia.
Such fun storytelling and making music yesterday down in the woods at the Stamford Bridge Summer Fair near York. This year the theme was the Wild West, a great excuse for us all to dress up as Cowboys, Cowgirls and Indians!
A big thank you to lovely Jane Jardine and Neil Griffin for making my beautiful little camp in the woods and to cowgirls Sue and Jackie for all their help.