Substitute: The More We Get Together (The Happier We’ll Be)

January 24, 2012

I just watched the State of the Union Address.  There are certainly opinions I have, as we all do, but something I found to be despicable and worth mentioning was the amount of “Booing” from some of the audience members.  I’m confused.  Was I accidentally watching a football game?  Are these speeches really the kind of events that invite opposing parties to “Booooo” each other?  Apparently they are.  My favorite verbal “thumbs down” was shouted out when Obama stated that the agency responsible for making sure that dairies don’t spill milk (as if it’s oil) was going to be eliminated.  Seems like a wasted “Booo” to me.

The President, among many other things, spoke about how we all need to work as a team to keep our country strong.  I won’t share any of my political opinions (because nothing good ever comes of me sharing such thoughts on public forums) but I don’t think it’s a bad idea to work together. I think probably most people would agree with that.

The happier we'll be...

Anyway, I’ve been waiting for a good moment to write another lyric substitution post, and I guess it’s the time…

A song I really only use when talking with residents about friendship, community and togetherness is the age-old favorite kids’ song, “The More We Get Together.”

Here are the basic lyrics:

The more we get together, together, together,

The more we get together, the happier we’ll be.

‘Cause your friends are my friends, and my friends are your friends.

The more we get together, the happier we’ll be.

I use this song with elderly individuals (my population) and while it’s a VERY cheesy song, people seem to recognize and enjoy it.

Basically, first I ask the clients what they like to do when they’re with their friends.  Some suggestions people have shared are: dance, talk, shop, hug, help each other, walk, and play games.

I then begin the song with the original verse, and afterwards, remind group members of something someone has suggested, do that verse, talk about the next suggestion and sing that verse, andso-onandso-on.  Because I want to make sure everyone’s suggestions are validated and used, sometimes other words in the phrase must change.  Example: “The more we play games, play games, play games, the more we play games the happier we’ll be,” works just as well as “The more we shop together, (shop) together, (shop) together, etc.” and might even work better, consider the fact that repetitious phrases are good for people with cognitive difficulties.  The same thing goes for “The more we help each other, (help) each other, etc.”I always make sure I introduce the phrase we’re singing before we start, and give credit to the person who suggested the topic.

You can also adapt the “’cause your friends are my friends” part however you need to for your population or group’s level of functioning.

People can exhibit some disorganized speech or thoughts at times, and a judgement call needs to be made sometimes so as not to make a fool out of the person talking, but otherwise, people seem to be able to answer my question easily and enjoy the activity.

As Obama proposed, the more we work together, the happier we’ll be.  If only politics were that easy.

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