If I Had a Memory
From Dalbir Kang
If I Had a Memory is a poignant song about living with memory loss. It balances being light-hearted with some very important thoughts about the part that memory plays in our lives.
Composed by Alison Rushby and performed by Chris Jones, the song explores the role of memory in knowing, being and doing. Echoing throughout the performance are humour and family history, giving a strong sense of the accomplishments and also sense of losses of a person living with memory loss. The song was originally written to be sung by a scarecrow who has forgotten his remembering head in a pantomime, and it draws on Alison’s reflections of a relative’s experiences of living with memory loss.
You may like to view this song together with other family, children or work colleagues and have a discussion with them about living with memory loss. You may find some of the individual lines particularly helpful, such as:
- 'Some say my head’s a turnip, but that’s an ugly rumour. It’s stuffed with good rye straw it is.’ – you could discuss what it actually feels like physically to have memory loss.
- ‘A keeper of family history’ – you could discuss who knows everything about your own family, who do you go to in your family to ask about the past, how important is it to have someone who is the keeper of your family history.
- ‘Most of all, I’d like to be a person who could remember me’ – you could discuss what it is like to be unsure about yourself and not always really remember who you are.
- 'I can make up jokes you know, my one accomplishment’ – you could discuss how important it is to every person to feel accomplished, to be able to do something well (including people with memory loss!).
- ‘Most of all, I’d like to remember you’ – you could discuss what its like when someone does not remember who you are, and how much someone with memory loss wants to be able to remember you.