This article was originally published in Next Avenue.

As a hospice patient I’m entitled to music therapy. Since I’m more of an audiobooks fan and don’t listen to music a whole lot, I couldn’t understand how it would help. My nurse, Nicolle, explained that since the therapist had a beautiful voice and would chat with me as well, I might enjoy it. Since I’m alone most of the time and welcome visitors unless they’re selling something, I accepted.  

My therapist, I’ll call her Tiffany, was a sweet, chirpy 24-year-old with a lovely voice who wanted to sing James Taylor on her guitar for me, probably because she figured he was popular with boomers. I like James Taylor, but in these days of streaming music, would rather hear James himself sing to me.  

She asked me what music I liked and told her folk music. I started listing my favorite folk musicians from the sixties but she’d never heard of any of them. To be fair, my favorites aren’t well-known folkies like Joan Baez or Peter, Paul and Mary, but long forgotten singer-songwriters — Phil Ochs, Kate and Anna McGarrigle, Jon Stewart, Dave Van Ronk.