When I first heard about the work of Sarah McInnis, I thought that an original, personalized song would be a wonderful gift to any family. When I met with her, she explained that her background is in music therapy, but her passion is to create legacy songs for clients nearing the end of life.
As she was explaining the process, I thought how incredibly powerful it would be to have an original song to keep the memory alive of a loved one who had died. I listened to a couple of her legacy songs, and I began to understand the way in which she masterfully incorporates the speaking voice of the person and weaves it into the story.
Sometime later, it occurred to me that perhaps I could ask Sarah to create a song for my daughter Savannah’s 18th birthday in October. She is a talented actor/singer/dancer, and I thought she would love it. Sarah agreed, and we decided on a date for the interview.
We met virtually, and Sarah interviewed me for an hour. It was super easy, and I mostly talked about my memories of Savannah’s childhood, and the trips we have taken as a family of three since her dad died. Sarah made it very easy to talk naturally about our relationship and how much she means to me.
Only a week or so later, Sarah had written an original song for Savannah, with the stories woven in, and even some clips of my speaking voice to tie it all together. Do I love the sound of my own voice? Nope, but I suddenly realized what a special gift this would be for my daughter. Years after I am no longer calling her on the phone or on FaceTime, she will have the full recording of our interview, the lyrics of her song, and the music itself. She will always be able to hear my voice if she needs to.
For her 18th birthday, I gave Savannah a USB of her special song recording in a small box, along with my wedding ring, which her dad had given me on our wedding day 20 years ago (10 years before he died). For the first time, possibly ever, she was speechless.
If you would like to create a legacy song for your partner/son/daughter/best friend, I highly recommend Sarah. She is a warm and talented human being, and she enabled me to give my daughter something priceless for her special birthday.
Click below to hear Savannah’s song.
Sarah McInnis is a songwriter and music therapist living in the Annapolis Valley, NS. She began The Legacy Song Project, creating original songs for folks at the end of life and for those who have lost loved ones, to honour the legacy of the ones we love, before and after they die. This service is available nationwide, and so far Sarah has written for clients in Nova Scotia, Ontario, and British Columbia. To hear more examples and to learn more about the process, please visit her website https://sarahmcinnis.com/, or contact Sarah directly at email@example.com.