Song Lyric Sunday: Sunshine Makes Me Happy

The prompt for Song Lyric Sunday from Jim Adams is Fix or Make.
The song must contain one of these words in either the title or the lyrics.

Fifteen years ago, I was working in a care home, and one Sunday afternoon I persuaded The Husband to bring his guitar along and have a bit of a sing-song. He brushed up on the hits of the 40s – believe me Vera Lynn was big in that place. And threw in some 50s pop and a shed load of Beatles.

After a raucous hour, he stopped and joined the residents for a glass of sherry. A young lad came up and asked if he had any John Denver songs in his repertoire because his Gran was a great fan.

Gran turned out to be Edna, a lady with dementia. She struggled to remember everyday words, but at six o’clock every evening, she would make a pot of tea ready for her husband when he came home from work. He’d been dead for two years.

Looking after Edna was heart-breaking, but she always responded to music. It would calm her down and put a smile back on her face. But we never asked who her favourite artists were. We just assumed from her CD collection she enjoyed Hollywood musicals.

But back to John Denver, he only had one hit single in the UK, and that was Annie’s Song, which The Husband couldn’t play. But he knew Sunshine on My Shoulders.

During the “concert” Edna had nodded and hummed along, but when The Husband started playing this song, she joined in and sang it note and word perfect. Her voice was strong and confident, and I could see the woman she used to be before dementia took her life away.

I can’t hear this song without thinking of Edna.

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry
Sunshine on the water looks so lovely
Sunshine almost always makes me high

If I had a day that I could give you
I’d give to you a day just like today
If I had a song that I could sing for you
I’d sing a song to make you feel this way

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry
Sunshine on the water looks so lovely
Sunshine almost always makes me high

Sunshine almost all the time makes me high
Sunshine almost always

Songwriters: John Denver / Michael C Taylor / Richard L Dick Kniss
© Warner Chappell Music, Inc, BMG Rights Management, Reservoir Media Management Inc

17 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday: Sunshine Makes Me Happy

  1. Beautiful story. Music has a unique quality that some how gjves the brain the ability to remember tunes when other memories are lost. When Glenn Campbell recorded his last album he had Alzheimer’s. He went on tour and from the.video I saw, he never missed a beat when the music started. Give me music anytime.

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  2. John Denver wrote and recorded some really great music, I think it is so lovely that this song reminds you of Edna who seems like a very special lady. Thanks for sharing this song and your story Ella.

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