What songs should I own?

What songs should I own? I am over 50. I could become ill and unable to voice my preferences. Maybe I need to be sure I have them now. Or, is there a magic list of songs every rehabilitation facility, every senior living community could have that will make everyone happy?

In an AARP article Jacquelyn Mitchard shared her thoughts in “16 songs Everyone Over 50 Must Own“.  Here is the list:

  • “Once Upon a Time” (Frank Sinatra, 1965)
  • “Harvest Moon” (Neil Young, 1992)
  • “Lately” (Stevie Wonder, 1980)
  • “A House Is Not a Home” (Dionne Warwick, 1964)
  • “Little Green” (Joni Mitchell, 1971)
  • “Gangsta’s Paradise” (Coolio, 1995)
  • “Landslide” (Stevie Nicks, 1975)
  • “Hotel California” (Eagles, 1977)
  • “You Shook Me All Night Long” (AC/DC, 1980)
  • “C’est La Vie — You Never Can Tell” (Vocals by Emmylou Harris, 1977)
  • “He Stopped Loving Her Today” (George Jones, 1980)
  • “For What It’s Worth — Stop, Hey What’s That Sound” (Buffalo Springfield, 1967)
  • “Crazy” (Patsy Cline, vocals; Willie Nelson, lyrics; 1962)
  • “God Only Knows” (Beach Boys, 1966)
  • “Jailhouse Rock” (Elvis Presley, 1957)
  • “In My Life” (The Beatles, 1965)
I applaud Jacquelyn for creating the list. A list is a starting point. It creates something to consider and to discuss. And given the responses on the on the AARP site, I would say it has created discussion.
As a person over age 50 and as a music therapist, I can tell you there is no master list of 16 must haves for everyone. There are likely not 16 songs my husband and I would agree upon. Yet, there are 16 songs (or more) that you should own. Songs that have meaning for you. Songs that are important in you life. And, chances are, those 16 songs would be different depending on your mood, your need, when you would listen to them.
There is no master list of songs that would fit every senior living community across the US. Yes, there are songs those working in senior living communities would be wise to know. Yet, those don’t fit every person 50 and older.
If you are 50 or over, take some time to share in conversation or in an mp3 playlist songs that are important to you. Be sure people know what music irritates you, relaxes you, energizes you. Be sure people know your musical history: instruments you played, groups with which you performed, where and how you heard music.
If you are under 50, start collecting your list. Ask your parents, grandparents and others about their musical preferences. Who knows, you might find some new “old” music to enjoy. Share your music stories. You, too, never know when someone might be able to use this music to support you.

What are the 16 songs you should own? Share them in the comments below.

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