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Song help?


Senior Member
Have been asked if I would play occasionally at a retirement home occasionally,maybe a half hour or so,but stuck on what may be suitable,any help would be nice.Bumnote.

Veggie Dave

Sax Worker
I'm thinking the 'classics' like Autumn Leaves, Stormy Weather, Summertime, Song For My Father, Giant Steps etc.


I have saxophone withdrawal symptoms
What about the The Definitive JAZZ Collection?

After You've Gone
Ain't Misbehavin'
All Of Me
All The Things You Are
Angel Eyes
Bernie's Tune
Body And Soul
But Not For Me
Come Rain Or Come Shine
Cry Me A River
A Day In The Life Of A Fool (Manha De Carnaval)
Do Nothin' Till You Hear From Me
Don't Get Around Much Anymore
Early Autumn
Fly Me To The Moon
A Foggy Day (In London Town)
From This Moment On
The Girl From Ipanema (Garota De Ipanema)
Give Me The Simple Life
God Bless' The Child
Gone With The Wind
Guess Who I Saw Today
Here's That Rainy Day
Honeysuckle Rose
How High The Moon
How Insensitive (Insensatez)
I Loves You, Porgy
I'll Remember April
I've Got You Under My Skin
In The Still Of The Night
Indiana (Back Home Again In Indiana)
It's All Right With Me
Just In Time
Just One Of Those Things
The Lady Is A Tramp
Let There Be Love
Limehouse Blues
Little Girl Blue
Long Ago (And Far Away)
Love For Sale
Lover, Come Back To Me
Lullaby Of The Leaves
Meditation (Meditacao)
Mercy, Mercy, Mercy
Midnight Sun
Moonlight In Vermont
More Than You Know
My Funny Valentine
My Romance
My Ship
Nice Work If You Can Get It
Night And Day
Ol' Man River
Old Devil Moon
One Mint Julep
One Note Samba (Samba De Uma Nota So)
Polka Dots And Moonbeams
Quiet Nights Of Quiet Stars (Corcovado)
Satin Doll
Slightly Out Of Tune (Desafinado)
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
So Nice (Summer Samba)
Some Day My Prince Will Come
Speak Low
Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most
Stompin' At The Savoy
Stormy Weather (Keeps Rainin' All The Time)
A Sunday Kind Of Love
Sweet Georgia Brown
That's Life
There's A Small Hotel
They Can't Take That Away From Me
The Things We Did Last Summer
Time After Time
Watch What Happens
What A Diff'rence A Day Made
What Is This Thing Called Love?
When I Fall In Love
Will You Still Be Mine
Willow Weep For Me
You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To

There then is a book with scores (for alto AFAIK) that's cheap!

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Supporter
If it's anything like my mum's home , I'd go with the singalongs and wartime classics

Long Way To Tipperary
Over There (Go Compare)
White Cliffs of Dover
It's a Sin to Tell a Lie
Roll out the Barrel
When the Rob Rob Robbin...
Waltzing Matilda
When You're Smiling
Hello Dolly
Pack up Your Troubles
My Old man
Carolina in the Morning
You made me Love You

If they are feeling lively end up with Knees Up Mother Brown, the Hokey Cokey


Senior Member
Thanks all plenty there to choose from,some I may have backing tracks for,would you play some without?Also would half hour or so be enough.Thanks Jeanette I will look for that post.Bumnote.:thumb:


Well-Known Member
The more "sappy" and "sentimental" the better. :) (Been there, done that.) You might also go in beforehand and ask some of the folks what they'd like to hear, or what their favorite songs are.

I've often wondered what old sentimental songs folks in rest homes a generation or two down the road will want to hear, perhaps "In A Gadda Da Vida" ? o_O


Sax-Mad fiend!
Anything that is the right vintage, and that either they will remember the words to, or can tap along to. I always take it as a good sign when I can here little strains of voices humming along, or see a foot or hand tapping.
Remember that "old people" were youth in the 20s to 50s depending on how "old" they really are, and those sort of hits of the time will go down well.
Here are some from my list:
As Time goes By
Autumn Leaves
Blue Moon
Fly Me to the Moon
How high the Moon
I Got rhythm
I Get the Sweetest feeling
I'm Getting Sentimental Over You
La Bamba (strangely always well received!)
Moon River
Over The Rainbow
Stand by Me
Sweet Caroline
They Cant Take That away from Me
Under The Boardwalk
What A Wonderful World
You Raise Me Up (although much more recent, it is based around Danny Boy? or Londonderry Air? and is always well received)

30-45 minutes is enough.

firstly, your lip might have had enough, secondly, they'll need to get up and move around by then.

When I first started, I just played, but I found they wanted to know what the piece was and a bit about it - the singer(s), when it was a hit etc... and it gives your lip that bit of extra time to recover.

Enjoy yourself, I think it's one of the lovliest things that I do! The feedback is always great.


Senior Member
Hi Mandy,thanks for that info,did you use backing tracks and if so through what device.Bumnote.:thumb:


Sax-Mad fiend!
Hi Mandy,thanks for that info,did you use backing tracks and if so through what device.Bumnote.:thumb:
Yes, I have my backing tracks & sheet music linked together using ForScore on my iPad. I use a Qtx10 speaker (via the headphones socket on the iPad into the Mic socket of the speaker)
QTX QR10PA Portable Active PA Speaker at Gear4music

But whatever speaker you use, make sure beforehand that it had enough volume. What may seem loud on its own, can be too quiet to play sax over.

Obviously, you can use sheet music, and a separate MP3 player device into a speaker. The advantage of ForScore is that you teach it when the pages need turning and it just does it for you when you play!

Keep Blowing

Senior Member
Commercial Supporter
Have been asked if I would play occasionally at a retirement home occasionally,maybe a half hour or so,but stuck on what may be suitable,any help would be nice.Bumnote.
I saw a remarkable program on Netflix a while ago, could have been a year or more ago on the effects music has on people with Dementia, I'm not suggesting the people in this rest home have dementia but it was a very moving and uplifting program,I'll try and find it.


Seeker of truth and beauty
Any body who was a youth in 1920 is probably 110 ish. So you better dress in sepia. ;)
That's an excellent point, Colin. At that age, they most likely couldn't tell Rudy Vallee from Eminem. You could play anything. You wouldn't even have to be in tune. Hey, sounds like a good gig for me. ;)
Saxholder Pro

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