TEAR JERKER: Special serenade for aged care resident
A BUNDABERG aged care resident has received a special surprise from Australian singer-songwriter Emma Birdsall.
Doris Chandler is a resident at the Meilene Residential Aged Care Home and received a video from Emma singing her favourite song Danny Boy.
In the video, Doris explains how she met her husband Leslie at a dance in Sydney and how she got to know him by writing letters to him while he was away during the war.
Doris said Leslie used to sing Danny Boy to her.
The video was part of Anglicare Southern Queensland's By Request: A playlist of Memories series.
Ms Birdsall, who shares a special bond with her own grandparents, said when she was approached to participate in the series, it was an easy decision to make.
"Music is such a beautiful and powerful way to connect with others and I think a lot of people were moved by it," Ms Birdsall said.
"Seeing Doris so moved by it makes me feel so privileged that I had that opportunity to be the person chosen to sing.
"I have a really special relationship with my own nanna and we're really fortunate that she's still in her own home and not in care, so I've been able to see her quite a bit throughout lockdown and I don't know what I would have done if that wasn't the case."
Watching the video back when it was released, the talented artist said she was reduced to tears herself, as Doris' story hit home on a personal note.
Similar to Doris' story, Emma and her husband Dan were each other's first love and after accompanying each other on a few gigs, a romance bloomed between the two musicians.
"When I heard Doris' story about meeting her husband Lesley during the war and him being a shy country boy that came up to her at a dance, it really made me think of my own husband Dan," she said.
"He said I played hard to get for quite a while but I was blissfully unaware that he was after me because he was so shy and it's blossomed into four years of marriage now."
Residents share stories, opening up about their connection to the song and are delighted when an Australian music star surprises them with a performance of their favourite song.
Featuring videos from Katie Noonan, Kate Miller-Heidke and Thirsty Merc frontman Rai Thistlethwayte, the series was livestreamed across homes in Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, Toowoomba, Gold Coast and Brisbane.
Participating artists have said that the series has reminded them of how important music is and has helped them during lockdown too.
The By Request series was created to remind everyone that aged care residents are more than their old age, they are vital and important elders in our communities.
Paying tribute to the lives, love and memories of residents, this heartfelt series shines brightly during a really dark time for all of us.
Releasing a new EP of jazz standards at the end of this month, fans can listen to music by Emma Birdsall on streaming services including iTunes, Spotify and YouTube, as well as her website at emmabirdsall.com.au