UKULELE MUSING 2020, 2 May 2020–A Salute to Health Care Professionals, Particularly Nurses

In these days of pandemic a lot of us—even if we are not personally infected with the virus swirling around the globe—offer hearty thanks to those health-care workers on the front lines, particularly nurses, nurses aides, and all those who care for us by caring. 

While we stay as safe as we can with facemasks and social distancing, these dedicated professionals find themselves in harm’s way every day yet carry on and do the jobs they were called to and trained to do. 

As a humble tribute, but still in keeping with my theme of music of the past and our favorite little instrument of today, lets see how I can muse about all this and bring a smile (or tear) or two to you gentle readers out there.

Alas, there are not that many modern musical references to nurses and their caring during these stay-safe times. I’ll end this musing with a couple of those but, first, there is a trove of “nurse related” songs from the Tin Pan Alley days that touch that base, particularly from the World War I era.  I could only find one vintage photo of a nurse with a ukulele, however, but it’s a good one and helps to meld this muse together.

And then, there were the songs—some heartfelt,

Some heavenly maudlin,

Tap or click on the next image to take a listen to this one.

And, of course, there were some comic music hall or vaudeville songs related to both nurses and swirling viruses–particularly during the 1919 influenza epidemic. These gave a bit of needed respite to the tensions of the day.

Click or tap on the next image for a bouncy, Bing Crosby rendition of this old chestnut. There are original recordings of this song but, sadly, they are way too scratchy for modern ears.

Now, as promised at the top of this posting, here are a couple of tunes by the British “Ukulele Nurse” who is working on the front lines of today’s pandemic.

Click or tap on the next couple of images for her take on her work and thoughts of survival and hope in these difficult times.

I don’t mean to gloss over the other dedicated healthcare professionals out there, men as well as women, from physicians to aides to the maintenance crews that keep our hospitals, group living facilities, medical offices, and emergency vehicles safe and ready. Nor do I mean to make light of the world-changing public health, social, and economic situations we all must learn to live with. My simple goal is to offer a smile or two for this too smile-less time.

We may be isolating in our Happy Valley, but we are not alone! Stay safe, stay on guard, stay smiling, and STAY TUNED!

Author: NohoBanjo of Northampton and, now, Easthampton, Mass.

Hi friends, neighbors, and fellow strummers. These “musings” are based on my interest and study of Banjo and Ukulele history, lore, and music. My goal is to both educate and enlighten by sharing what I have learned within a broad musical and historical context—with honesty and, at times, a bit of humor. Needless to say, your thoughts and comments are, as always, welcome.

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