Peter’s Passion for Music: Songs sadly remember those who passed away in nursing homes

By Aideen O'Flaherty

The lockdown sparked waves of creativity for 66-year-old Peter Gaynor from Rathcoole, who picked up his guitar and penned songs about people who passed away in nursing homes, the importance of hand hygiene and the increased powers that gardai had.

Peter’s passion for music began when he started playing guitar when he was just nine-years-old, and he put his music out on CD for the first time in 2011, before he underwent a throat operation which could have potentially permanently altered his vocal cords.

Peter Gaynor 02 1

Peter Gaynor

“I had the operation in March 2011, and I was told beforehand that I probably wouldn’t be able to sing anymore afterwards,” Peter, who worked for the Central Statistics Office before he retired, told The Echo.

“So the Christmas before the operation, my family bought me a voucher for a day in a recording studio so I recorded some songs and had them on CD.

“Then I had the operation, and luckily my voice was as good as ever afterwards.”

Since then he has sung regularly, but it was only during lockdown when he decided to put pen to paper and write his own original lyrics.

Peter wrote a self-explanatory song called ‘Wash Your Hands With Soap’, to the tune of ‘Que Sera, Sera’, and the increased powers of gardai during the lockdown inspired the humorous ditty ‘Garda On the Beat’.

However, the song Peter is most proud of is ‘We Are the People in Nursing Homes’, a poignant track about the difficulties and worries that nursing home residents faced during lockdown.

“Myself and my friend Iggy regularly played music for the residents in our local nursing home, Lisheen,” Peter said.

“But, with the pandemic, we unfortunately can’t do that anymore.

“I wrote ‘We Are the People in Nursing Homes’ because I felt that the government was doing nothing while people were dying in nursing homes.

“I think the situation in nursing homes was the saddest thing of all, because we lost a lot of people in them and I’d like those people to be remembered.”

Peter is hoping that someone might come on board to professionally record ‘We Are the People in Nursing Homes’ to raise funds for rose bushes to be planted “in every nursing home in Ireland”, in memory of residents who passed away during the pandemic.

“It would be nice to do something positive for the people in nursing homes,” he added.

Peter’s songs are available on YouTube, by searching for the title of the song you wish to listen to, and if anyone wants to help with his fundraiser idea, they can contact him on 086 164 6117.

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