In the three YouTube video clips below, psychologist and songwriter Anna Huckabee Tull (profiled here in an earlier post, Custom Crafted Songs) appears as a guest on Shrink Rap with hostess Szifra Birke.
In Part 1, Anna tells the story of how her song Bright Eyes came to be, and later she performs it for us. She wrote the song two years ago when a father -- who was dying of Lou Gehrig’s disease and no longer able to speak -- commissioned it for his young daughter. (It is later disclosed that the CEO of the ALS Association heard the song and asked Anna to perform it live for his Board of Directors. He then invited her to perform it for the largest-ever gathering of ALS patients and their families at the 2009 Public Policy Convention in Washington, D.C. The song can be purchased on iTunes, with all profits going to ALS Research.
In Part 2, Anna talks about the therapeutic benefits of her work, and how she uses her song-writing “as a way to give voice to the places” inside the hearts and minds of her clients.
In Part 3, Anna shares the response song from the daughter to her father, entitled Daddy. Written two years after Bright Eyes, it was commissioned by the daughter (who is now a teenager) for her father (who is now completely immobile and kept alive by a respirator).
Anna says she thinks of her unique and beautiful work as yet another way to help her clients heal. “Some things in life really are painful,” she observes, “and one important message this song sends is that it’s okay to hurt.” You can learn more about commissioning a song from Anna here: How It Works