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Which Songs do you think should make ‘The List’ of 100 Essential Songs? The debate over which songs should feature in a list of one hundred essential songs began in with residents at Schull Community Hospital and singer songwriter Liz Clark back in the winter of last year. Now they at last agree, they plan […]

Which Songs do you think should make ‘The List’ of 100 Essential Songs?
The debate over which songs should feature in a list of one hundred essential songs began in with residents at Schull Community Hospital and singer songwriter Liz Clark back in the winter of last year. Now they at last agree, they plan to record and release a CD to raise funds for the hospital.
Musician, Liz Clark is there as part of as part of the Arts for Health Partnership Programme, West Cork. She first came up with the ideas after meatting Roseanne Cash, daughter of Johnny Cash at Skibbereen’s Arts Festival in the summer. Roseanne told the audience her father had given her a very precious list, written out in his own hand, of 100 essential country songs as part of her musical education. She later went on to be a musical artist herself and recorded an album with a selection of those songs. Liz recalled the moment when she ‘immediately started thinking about the people I get to spend time with in my work in hospitals and how they have informed my musical education. I thought, “wouldn’t they have some amazing opinions on what songs they deem essential?”
So Liz used her arts residency at the hospital to pose the question “what songs do you think are essential and why? Are they essential to you, or to the world, or for the next generation?’ The processes brought to light many wonderful memories and is currently engaging a wide number of resident and has also captured the imaginations of staff and visitors. ‘ What I find so special, about this project, is it’s a snapshot of peoples lives. Residents on respite that were only in for 2 weeks added to this list, their favourite songs from childhood. The Scottish resident would add songs from Scotland. The visitor from Athlone would add songs from their area. And people who have since passed away will be remembered by their special contributions.’
One resident wisely said “the first 50 will be easy. It’s the last 50 that will be the hardest”. And he was right! You would often find people arguing “that song can’t go on The List! It’s too corny!” Or “This song belongs on the list because even though it’s corny, it’s a crowd pleaser and we all know it!”
Once ‘The List’ is finally agreed, Liz and the residents will record these songs as part of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in March, with a number of special guests including Maurice Seezer and Camilla Griehsel. They plan to issue a limited collection of 100 CD’s for Bealtaine in May and make the tracks available for download at a later stage in the year.
This project was made possible with the support of Friends of Schull Community Hospital and Arts for Health partnership programme.

Image: ‘Record’ Project by Toma McCullim with residents of Schull Community Hospital, 2018

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