Substitute: Volume 2 – She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain

October 26, 2011

**This post has been edited slightly due to substitutions that work a bit better. Enjoy! 

Welcome to Volume 2 of my lyric substitution series!!!  For those of you who aren’t music therapists, this information might not be very helpful to you, but you never know when this type of creativity might find its way into your life…

I have used this song seemingly hundreds of times in various facilities, with different populations, different ability levels and using different themes.  What’s great about this particular song with the elderly population is that it is super familiar, and it repeats each phrase a bazillion times, which makes it really easy for people with significant cognitive impairments to follow along.

Another wonderful thing about this exercise is that you can use pretty much any topic.

Here are some ideas:

Halloween – “What do we think of when we think of Halloween?” (responses: dressing up in costume, trick or treating, witches, carving jack-o-lanterns, playing scary pranks…)

Thanksgiving – “What do we do/eat on Thanksgiving?” (responses: giving thanks, take a nap, eating turkey, baking pumpkin pie, spending time with family…)

A Glorious Fall Day – “What do you like to do on a glorious fall day?” (responses: take a walk, rake leaves, drink apple cider, look at the foliage, take a hike…)

Friendship – “What do we like to do with friends?” (responses: go to a party, go on a trip, talk on the phone, play board games, have some beers, go to a movie…)

Anyway,  you can really use any theme with this song, and you can adapt lyrics as necessary.  For instance, for the fall theme, every line can end with “in the fall” instead of “when she comes” so you’re singing, “We’ll be drinking apple cider in the fall, we’ll be drinking apple cider in the fall…” etc. The same goes for “With our friends,” “When it snows,” “In the sun,” “When it’s cold,” “When it rains,” and “On Halloween.” If it’s difficult to find a way to make a theme work lyrically, you could always say something like, “We’ll be baking pumpkin pie on that day, we’ll be baking pumpkin pie on that day…” etc.

Play the song at a slow enough tempo so that each verse isn’t a complicated tongue-twister for disadvantaged participants, but fast enough so the energy in the group is maintained.  What’s also nice about using this song, is that it can also spawn little conversations between group members – usually during conversations about food (I love talking about food with my clients, and I think they enjoy it quite a bit too) people get pretty animated reminiscing about what they used to eat during the holidays, or even just what they like to eat on a rainy/cold/hot/snowy day.  It’s a very concrete type of conversation which means that usually everyone who is verbally able can participate in one way or another, even if you need to give someone a choice between two options.

Have fun!!


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