Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Singing and saying...the familiar

For me, after the stroke, the best things I tried, were the things that were most familiar.

I have often asked people the question, "Which is THE most familiar song in English" (since I can only sing a few songs in other languages :-).  The answer is "Happy birthday to you".  As badly as we sometimes sing (butcher?) it, there's no question about the words or the timing.  It's SO familiar, we don't need to hand out the lyrics at somebody's birthday.  We just sing it.  I've use it helping other stroke overcomers.  Its a first step.

What other things are THAT familiar at 'the ready'?  Yep.

Children's songs.  Even when you're as old as dirt, many of them come right to mind.  For me, it's "I've been workin' on the railroad".  I knew I was getting better when I could sing the melody with the CD.  The Disney Corporation put together a multi-CD set called "Children's Favorite Songs".  I have the first three CD's, but I know of at least one more.

If you can find CD's of Sing-along-the Mitch (Miller), it's easy and fun.  You will be be singing with the guys quite quickly.  Great fun.

OK...what else?  How about prayer?  Do you know the Lord's Prayer?  I've been in weddings where the congregants aren't of the same parish, liturgical tradition, or religion, yet most can recite the Lord's Prayer.  Re-learn the words, timing, and practice out-loud with others.

How 'bout John 3:16?  How many Bible verses did you learn as a child?  Were  you part of a Christmas program where you and the other children recited Luke 2:1-20.  How about the 23rd Psalm?, Or Psalm 1, 24, 27, 46, 51, 5, 96, 100? 

Let me suggest you relearn the Bible portions through the King James version because of the sheer beauty of the words.

Don't tell me you have nothing to re-learn.  Also, we can get these and others through other media.  I love my iPod, and have loaded it with songs and lectures, sermons, etc.  My favorite CD is from the Huddersfield Choral Society, and their CD is called "The Hymns Collection".  IMO, I sang myself back through those hymns.  Use your favorites though, not mine. 

The idea is the familiar.  As an Anglican, I use the Book of Common Prayer, and it is very familiar.  It's beautiful and worshipful. Look into it.  Use the 1928 version (or the 1662), and enjoy.  I do!

These are all things you can do without going back to a hospital or a doctor's office.  At home, with a CD, or an iPod, or a friend helping. 

THE FAMILIAR!  To move you (and me) further forward.

Try it...and God bless!


1 comment:

  1. Bishop - 'tis true! Over the years I have visited sick and elderly parishiners with Keith, and it's always striking to me that, when they do not know us, or their children, or where they are they can ALWAYS join in the prayers from the Holy Communion, and Morning and Evening Prayer services. It is something they have known and lived and loved their whole lives. It is a beautiful witness.