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Song Story: Happy Birthday to You

  Happy Birthday may be one of the most sung songs in the world.  Once a year each individual has a birthday and the song sung to them at least once, if not more. According to the 1998 Guinness World Record, this song is the most recognized song in the English Language.  The melody to Read More

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You Are My Sunshine

You Are My Sunshine is one song that I know can break through the bonds of dementia or connect with children. I was surprised to discover the origins of the song, though. The song was first recorded in 1939 by Jimmie Davis and Charles Mitchell.  Davis and Mitchell are credited as the songwriters and own Read More

George M. Cohan

You’re a Grand Old Flag

You’re a Grand Old Flag is a popular song written by George M. Cohan. The song was published in 1906 and first performed on the stage on February 6.  Cohan wrote the song for his musical George Washington, Jr.  The song was first performed on the opening night of the play at Herald Square Theater Read More

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I Love You Truly

I Love You Truly is a popular love song with the senior adult population I work with. This song was a parlor song published in 1901.  This musical composition was written by Carrie Jacobs-Bond. Bond’s husband, Frank, died in 1895.  While on a trip to her hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin she wrote I Love You Read More

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Down in the Valley

Down in the Valley is a popular request when I go to nursing facilities to perform. This folk song is believed to be an Appalachian Mountain song inspired by a British air.  The song was later transported to the Ozark’s. The ballad is set to a sweet and serene tune, however upon really noticing the Read More

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Behind the Song: Oh My Darling Clementine

This was sung on an old movie I was recently watching and I wondered where the song originated. This song is believed to have been inspired by Down by the River Liv’d a Maiden by H. S. Thompson. It is considered an old western folk song. The song is believed to have been written by Read More

Winner

Behind the Song: Oh Where, oh Where Is Mine Little Dog Gone

Oh Where, oh Where Is Mine Little Dog Gone is a fun folk song we all learn as a child. The song was written by Septimus Winner, a teacher, musician, music publisher, critic, arranger and composer. He wrote the lyrics to a German folk tune, “In Lauterbach hab’ ich mein’ Strumpf verlor’n“. The German lyrics Read More

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Behind the Song: Yankee Doodle Dandy

We just celebrated the 4th of July over the weekend.  Today I want to share the story behind one of our patriotic songs, Yankee Doodle Dandy. We all think about the Revolutionary War when we hear the song, however the folk song dates back to even before the Revolutionary War. Yankee Doodle Dandy dates back Read More

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Behind the Song: Over the River and Through the Woods

The popular children’s song, Over the River and Through the Woods,  was written by Lydia Maria Child as a Thanksgiving poem. The lyrics represented in the song is often associated with cold.  In the early 19th Century, New England winters were colder and had earlier winters than they do in the present day. The poem Read More