This is our last week of sending out ‘Museum of Song’ envelopes to the participating hospitals. It was a pleasure to receive the many replies to last week’s theme: ‘The Most Beautiful Voice’. Mary in Skibbereen told us that Peter McGuinness, a healthcare worker at the hospital, has the most beautiful voice and has been singing to them in the Day Room.
Seán in Bantry said that tenor Sean O’Shea has a “very pleasing and generous voice.” Bill in Bantry said he likes “Pavarotti and his big, booming, mellow voice.” Eileen in Drimoleague said “Paul O’Brien has a beautiful voice; he sings in the Drimoleague choir.” Rita in Dunmanway’s favourite singer is Christy Moore “because he sings from the heart and his songs strike a chord with the working class.”
For our last week we invited participants to think about ‘Songs of Leaving and Returning’. “Perhaps you know a song about a journey, a homecoming or emigration?” We included words to the song ‘Old Bog Road’ and the poem ‘This is the Hat’ by Anna from Castletownbere, created with Tess. This week’s postcard was a photograph by Joseph Hardman, shared with the kind permission of the Museum of Lakeland Life and Industry in Cumbria, England.
The Museum of Song Postal Project project culminated in a short, live performance by opera singer Camilla Griehsel from outside of each healthcare setting, accompanied by Tess. Staff and residents listened to specially chosen arias alongside some of the songs that we have collected over the last few weeks. They were wonderful occasions, in all weathers, and it was lovely to finally sing these songs together. Some of the songs we sang included old favourites such as ‘Will you go Lassie go’ and ‘Amazing Grace’ and also ones we hadn’t sang for a while such as ‘Smile though your Heart is Breaking’ and ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’ which was a special request from a staff member from Bantry Hospital.