Blue O'Connell / Blog

Bye Bye Blackbird

Today I sang out at a senior home that is still pretty new and the personnel has changed so many times that I am still learning my way around there. I have sung there a few times before, so some of the residents look familiar but they have been pretty shy in terms of response to me until today.

Sometimes a new group takes some time to warm up to me. They look at me for the first few songs as if to be sizing me up and I think that is fair. In a place where so many have come and gone, I can understand their hesitancy to sing with me. I think singing is a very personal thing too and many are shy in public to do it.

So is it a great moment when I choose a song that brings a smile of recognition and eyes alight. That song was "Bye, Bye Blackbird." It is a song I don't sing a lot but I will from now on. Check out the lyrics below. I think the lyrics speak of finding your way in a new group, "no one here can love or understand me" At least for me that is a line that stands out.

From there I sang other songs that were also well received "Sentimental Journey", "I'm Looking over a Four Leaf Clover', " Five Foot Two". When I finished playing, many told me it was "tremendous", "wonderful" and their applause and smiles made me see the music had won them over.

Sometimes I wonder, when I am their age, what will the song(s) be for me that will make me smile?

How about for you? what song would make you smile?

Bye, Bye Blackbird

Pack up all my care and woe Here I go, singing low Bye bye blackbird

Where somebody waits for me Sugar's sweet, so is he Bye bye blackbird

No one here can love or understand me Oh, what hard luck stories they all hand me Make my bed and light the light

I'll arrive late tonight Blackbird, bye bye

Growing older is a privilege

Today I visited an assisted living center where I have gotten to become friends with some of the residents. After we sang, "The Hammer Song", Melanie told me about when she saw Peter, Paul and Mary in concert years ago. This led to talking about Pete Seeger and I mentioned he was still alive and still making music in his 90s. Then Helen said she is 93 and we all agreed she didn't look it. All of this led to talking about aging and I said I thought it was a shame that so many people talk so negatively about getting older. Then Melanie said, "it's a privilege". And when I asked her why, she said, "because we have wisdom." And then I remembered the quote above and told it to her and she said, "yeah that too." I feel lucky to have elder friends who inspire me. I don't dread my elder years because like the saying goes, it is a privilege denied to many.


Blue O'Connell's Musical Adventures

Here is the link to my photo blog about my adventures:


Choose the Sky

I started working on my CD over two years ago but had to put it on hold to undergo cochlear implant surgery. At that time, I was unsure if I'd be able to enjoy music again. Cochlear implants are more of a speech processor and not known for musical achievement. But I worked with a music teacher right after my implantation and did some ear training and I was not only able to recover what I had before but surpass my previous musical abilities.

This is because now I can hear every single note on the guitar! (before it dropped off at the 7th fret)

If you'd like to purchase a copy of "Choose the Sky" you can do you in advance and that would help me a lot! Thank you! here's the link about it: