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Johnny Cash's ‘100 songs' idea inspires residents of Schull hospital

March 31st, 2019 7:10 AM

By Southern Star Team

Liz Clark and Mary Margaret Minihane, Ballydehob in harmony during the launch of the song list at Schull Community Hospital.

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Residents at Schull’s Community Hospital have compiled a list of 100 ‘essential songs’ and now plan to record some of them to raise funds for the facility. 

The debate over which songs should feature on the list began with residents and singer/songwriter Liz Clark last winter. 

Musician Liz works there as part of the Arts for Health Partnership Programme in West Cork. She first came up with the idea after meeting  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 got the idea. ‘I 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?’

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 process, she said, brought to light many wonderful memories and engaged, not only the residents, but also staff and visitors. 

 ‘What I find so special, about this project, is it’s a snapshot of people’s lives. Residents on respite that were only in for two 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,’ she said. 

One resident wisely said ‘The first 50 will be easy. It’s the last 50 that will be the hardest.’ 

Liz added: ‘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.”’ 

Residents performed some of the songs at a celebration in the hospital last week with special guests including Maurice Seezer and Camilla Griehsel. 

They also plan to issue a limited collection of 100 CDs for Bealtaine in May and make the tracks available for download at a later stage in the year.

The project was made possible with the support of Friends of Schull Community Hospital and Arts for Health partnership programme. 

To find our more go to www.artsforhealthwestcork.com 

THE TOP 100 ‘ESSENTIAL’ SONGS

1. Irish Harvest Day

2. Goodnight Irene

3. If I Were a Blackbird

4. It’s A Long Way To Tipperary

5. I’ll Tell Me Ma

6. Banks of my Own Lovely Lee

7. Spancil Hill

8. Dear Old Skibbereen

9. The Old Folks At Home (Swanee River)

10. Yellow Rose of Texas

11. 3 Years Ago This Very Day

12. A Mother’s Love’s A Blessing

13. 40 Shades of Green

14. Doonaree

15. Amazing Grace

16. Black Velvet Band

17. Golden Jubilee

18. Castle of Dromore

19. Dan O’Hara

20. Streets of Baltimore

21. Red is the Rose

22. Mother Ma chroi

23. Churchyard in the Spring

24. Daisy a Day

25. Belfast Mill

26. Will You Go Lassie go

27. The stout hearted men of the County Mayo

28. Moonlight in mayo

29. Blowing in the wind

30. One day you will call my name

31. Sweet 16

32. Galway Bay

33. Oh Susanna

34. Far away in Australia

35. The road by the river that runs through Raheen

36. Home on the range

37. Roads of Kildare

38. Grace

39. Emigrant’s letter

40. The old bog road

41. I’ll walk beside you

42. The holy ground

43. Boulavogue

44. MacNamara’s band

45. You’ll never walk alone

46. Spinning wheel song

47. Come by the hills

48. Fields of Athenry

49. The Ferry man

50. Homes of Donegal

51. How can you buy Killarney

52. Mount Massey the flower of Macroom

53. My hometown in the old County Down

54. Home boys home

55. The rose of Mooncoin

56. Dingle Bay

57. The banks of the roses

58. The green glens of Antrim

59. Fiddlers Green

60. Shoals of herring

61. The Galway shawl

62. Marie‘s wedding

63. The Bantry girl’s lament

64. Granny’s old armchair

65. The hills of Kerry

66. A’ roaming in the gloaming

67. I wish I had someone to love me

68. I’m a rambler I’m a gambler

69. Three leaf Shamrock

70. The Northern Lights of old Aberdeen

71. Glasgow belongs to me

72. Farewell to Galway

73. Raglan Road

74. Fineen the rover

75. The whistling gypsy

76. The old man

77. Come back Paddy Reilly

78. How much is that doggy in the window

79. Song for Ireland

80. Connemara cradle song

81. Westering home/ Trasna na dTonnta

82. Súil a rún

83. Seasons

84. The minstrel boy

85. As old friends do

86. The last rose of summer

87. The mountains of Mourne

88. The humour is on me now

89. The snowy breasted pearl

90. The valley of Knockanure

91. Sunshine of your smile

92. The water is wide

93. Shake hands with Uncle Dan

94. Crazy

95. This land is your land

96. Lovely Derry on the banks of the Foyle

97. The coast of Malabar

98. Courtin in the kitchen

99. Bless this house

100. When the curtains of night (I remember you love in my prayers)

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