In a heartwarming video that went viral, a father with dementia remembered a song he composed. What started as a simple nudge of encouragement from his son to try playing, turned out to be one of the most touching videos to date:
Nick Harvey asked his father to play “Where’s the Sunshine,” a piece Paul Harvey composed in the 1980s as music director of a British secondary school. Nick Harvey said that, like many of the other songs his father wrote for school productions, it could have “easily been good enough for the West End stage.”
Nick Harvey wasn’t sure his father would remember this one. It’s clear in the video Paul Harvey wasn’t sure about that, either.
In the video, he hesitates as he begins, then confidently and fluidly plays the composition he wrote decades earlier. His son posted it on Twitter. Within a day, it had been viewed more than 2 million times. Tens of thousands of people reacted with awe and admiration. Celebrities including James Corden and British singer Emeli Sandé retweeted it.
Dad has dementia. Sometimes he drifts into another world and I feel like I’m losing him. He is never more present, however, than when he plays the piano.— Nick Harvey (@mrnickharvey) June 23, 2019
He came to mine today and I asked him to play one of his compositions. He thought he wouldn’t be able to remember it. pic.twitter.com/EQGcXBwB3w
The man in the video, Paul Harvey told the Press Association that he is happy that he has given such a positive effect on people:
In an interview with the Press Association news agency, Paul Harvey said he is happy his music is reaching masses of people, even at this late stage in his life, and even though he has dementia.
“I am very pleased that something I’ve written has had such an effect,” he said. “It’s come so late in life, it shows that it can happen at any time.”
(via The Washington Post)