I’m not quite sure how I came across it now, but a couple of weeks ago I found myself attending a small music group for people with special/additional needs at Greenwich Carers Centre in charlton. It was a social event really, where everyone sat round a lady using a laptop, taking it in turns to suggest music for her to find on Youtube. The whole group would then sing to the requested song. I was quite taken with it: I can’t sing for toffee of course, but here was a chance to make friends, chat, listen to music and participate in the community. Who knows, one day I could even make a film about it.
The group meets every Friday afternoon, so today I rolled along there curious to see what would happen or who I would meet. To be honest I didn’t really expect to stay very long before continuing my daily trundle. I got there a bit early, so I bought myself a cappuccino while I waited for the participants to arrive. As they were slowly filtering in, though, I had an idea: I asked to talk to the lady who used the computer, only to be told I was already talking to her (silly me). Through my Ipad communication aid, I told her about Lyn, about how I’d been her partner and how she had passed away; I then told her about Lyn’s Song, and asked her to play it. She looked it up on her mobile phone, and agreed to play it.
I’m not really sure why I thought of the song Charlotte and I wrote about Lyn in that moment. There, in Charlton, among other disabled people, it somehow felt appropriate: I wanted to see what everyone would think. It was the first piece that she played, and I’m very pleased to say it went down a treat; everyone in the room seemed quite taken by it. To be honest it was quite a profound moment for me which brought a tear to my eye.
The rest of the afternoon was spent listening to music, suggesting the occasional rock anthem (as well as a bit of Cat Empire), before trundling home. To my knowledge, that was the first public playing of Lyn’s Song. It feels appropriate that it happened in Charlton, not far from Lyn’s home, at an event focussing on the social benefits of music for disabled people.