During these challenging times where the entire world is leaning on nurses, now more than ever – we’ve discovered the most awe-inspiring songs being created, in their honor.
Written by nurses themselves, loved ones and supporters, these 4 songs are sure to pull at your heartstrings. Make sure to turn your volume up because these are good!
1. “Give You A Hand”
This beautiful song was written by Dawn Lunsford who is the wife of Pediatric Oncology Nurse and CEO/Founder of HOLLIBLU, Cara Lunsford. The video was shot by their 8-year-old son from the backseat of their car. All proceeds from the song will go to the SMYS foundation, a nurse run 501c3 that supports and advocates for nurses. You can purchase the song here.
We asked Dawn to discuss her inspiration for the song,
“Being married to someone who advocates for nurses every day, I heard a lot of stories about nurses and their experiences. Listening to accounts from nurses on the frontline during Covid-19 was heartbreaking but, at the same time, inspiring. I thought, “I’m a songwriter, what can I do to help?”
I wanted to write a song and shoot a video that would show nurses everywhere the huge amount of love and support that so many of us feel for them. They are overworked, tired and many are separated from their families so they aren’t experiencing the support I know is out there for them.
I called my musician friends to lend a hand. They all recorded themselves at home and Brad mixed all of those tracks together at his home studio in NoHo, CA while adding his own musical contributions. Everyone graciously and happily donated their talent and it turned out better than I had ever imagined.
I told my friends and neighbors that I wanted to shoot a video for the song and no one hesitated to jump in to be a part of this effort. I recruited our 8-year-old son, Hudson, to film from the back seat of our car as we drove by. He has an artistic eye and I knew he would do a great job. It was fun to have a “Mama and son project to work on together”. The wonderful people in those street-shots were thrilled to have an opportunity to give their “shout out” to nurses all over the world.
My hope is that feeling the love from which this song and video were created, might help nurses, wherever they are, carry on amidst the immense challenges they are facing every day. I want them to know we are cheering them on!”
2. “Saving Us”
Knock It Out Music’s “Saving Us” pays homage to the healthcare workers who are saving us all.
Like a lot of people in the New York Area, Ryan Nach was feeling helpless stuck at home while healthcare workers battled caring for others on the frontlines of COVID-19.
Unlike a lot of others, however, Nach decided to use his own particular talents to help in the best way he knew how–by composing an original song to say “thank you.”
Of course, it does help that as the executive producer and composer of Knock It Out Music, Nach knows a thing or two about stringing a chorus together. And the final version of his tribute song, “Saving Us,” done in collaboration with singer/songwriter John Thomas and musician Keven McCove, is touching hearts everywhere with its message of gratitude to the healthcare workers who are working so hard.
Inspired by Healthcare Heroes
Nach tells Nurse.org that he has been continually plagued by the plight of healthcare workers since the virus first hit in the U.S.
“I had been seeing the struggle that the healthcare workers had been going through and just feeling terrible,” he relates. “These people–doctors, nurses, EMTs– putting their lives at risk, not being able to go home to their kids and husband and wives. I kept thinking, ‘What can I do from a humanitarian perspective, how can I help?’ The only thing I could do is stay home to quarantine, and it left me feeling helpless.”
But then, one morning at 3 AM, inspiration struck. After seeing yet another story from a nurse, a hook came into his head. “I almost went to bed,” he admits. “But then I thought, ‘let me just put this chorus down.’”
Following his early-morning music session, Nach passed the song to Thomas, who made his own additions, adding a new verse and bringing a chorus to life, and then onto McCove, who also added his own spin, with background vocals and additional production. McCove recalls that the song “hit him instantly” when he first heard it–” the vibe, the emotion, everything about it…it was like, yes, this is needed–I’m not saving lives or putting my life on the line; this is the only thing we can do–sit back and say thank you.”
Supporting the Support System
Since the song’s release in April, it has been shared widely, reaching People Magazine and hitting TikTok, where users are creating their own musical homages to the personal healthcare workers in their lives.
And as McCove points out, it’s the message of support for the healthcare workers who are supporting all of us that is so potent. The musician has often served as a support for friend Siobhan Thompson, an ICU nurse at John Hopkins, as she faced the challenges of caring for patients with COVID-19, so he explains that he has been “in the thick” of it alongside her since the start.
“The intensity and fear that she had was something that I had never experienced before,” he says. “So in sharing those emotions, you understand the need for community and how much these healthcare heroes need a support system.”
McCove, Thomas, and Nach served as their own support system of sorts, remotely creating this song together without actually getting together in person. “I’ve never actually met either of these guys,” Thomas laughs. But their successful collaboration across state lines is reflective of the larger way that the country has been able to stay connected in new, creative ways–like through music.
As “Saving Us” has gained traction, Nach decided to take his message of gratitude one step further by donating all the proceeds from the song directly to New York hospitals, specifically in Queens and Manhattan, battling COVID-19. He tells Nurse.org that he does have a goal of being able to raise $40,000 to donate, but admits the algorithm for paying musicians from streaming services could make that a lofty goal.
But donations aside, Nach says, more importantly, they hope to spread the love and appreciation for all the frontline workers, from police officers to doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, ambulance workers and EMTs. “They are doing something they didn’t sign up for,” he notes. “As a nurse, you signed up to save lives, not to necessarily risk yours.”
The trio behind “Saving Us” is encouraging everyone to stream the song if you’d like to help in the fundraising efforts and to join the movement to thank a healthcare worker by sharing the song with the hashtags #savingus and #savinguschallenge.
“The great thing about social media is that it makes it visual, so you can see those marks of the N95 mask on someone’s face, you can look into the eyes of someone and know that they have seen some sh*t,” McCove says. “You can’t deny it. That’s the power of social media.”
“And when you pair that with a thank you–that’s where the real power of the message is,” he adds. “At the end of the day, money only spends once, but gratitude, empathy, and appreciation continue to give.”
3. (Breathing) Good As Hell
The Resistance Revival Chorus helped honor nurses on the frontlines of the coronavirus crisis by helping kick off #NursesWeek2020 with this remix of Lizzo’s “Good As Hell,” featuring members of the chorus along with healthcare professionals from across the country, in collaboration with Clove and HOLLIBLU.
Allie Toczylowski, critical care registered nurse at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, thought up the lyrics. While, Nilusha Dassenaike, Musical Coordinator, created this gorgeous arrangement.
“We thank nurses who provide compassionate care every day, but especially during this pandemic, and we stand with them in demanding the personal protective gear they need to treat our loved ones during this global emergency,” a representative of the Resistance Revival Chorus said in their newsletter.
4. Lean on Me – 2020 Nurses Week Cover
This, Lean on Me cover song, was sung by nurses throughout the country in efforts to signify the strength and unity in the profession. This project was created by Alessandra Lopez and produced by Stefan J. Torres, who are both registered nurses.
Alessandra is a full-time Family Nurse Practitioner student at Duke University School of Nursing and a full-time bedside nurse on a medical oncology unit. Alessandra has been a nurse for 4 years, and each year has taken part in creating special events for Nurses Week. The focus of these events extended far beyond the recognition of nurses but aimed to bring nurses together to network and share lived experiences in a safe.
“COVID -19 made this Nurses Week very different, and I grew concerned that Nurses Week would just pass over us when we need it the most,” says Alessandra.
The World Health Organization designated 2020 as The Year of The Nurse and Midwife, “never have I been more proud to be a nurse,” stated Alessandra. “Throughout all the uncertainties and hardships during these unprecedented times, the one constant to remain has been nurses’ unwavering ability to LEAN ON one another for love and support,” she continued.
Fun fact, this video was originally going to have a similar quality to those submitted to American’s Funniest Home Videos until the incredibly talented Stefan Torres, BSN, RN offered to lend his time and skills. His producing abilities allowed all the beauty and heart behind his project to be expressed in the video.
30 nurses sang along in this video, and it is sure to put a smile on your face! Featured, in order of appearance,
- Alessandra – @eat_travel_nurse
- Anuj – @iamnuj
- Betsy – @betsyaallen
- Danielle – @nurseabnormalities
- Cara – @holliblu
- Kelly – @k._e._l._l._y_
- Whitney – @whit.leighrn
- Lacey – @laceymagen
- Diana – @diana.ortiz__
- Stefan – @nurse.stefan
- Georgina – @nurse.georgie
- Sarah – @shesinscrubs
- Tami – @nurse.tami
- Monique – @iamnursemo
- Ava – @avaaa12
- Wesley – @thenursedoc
- Taylor – @taytaylar
- Carolyn – @rnonamission
- Crys Marie – @crysmarie._
- Em J. – @emjaymie
- Em B. – @emcbaileyyy
- Jasmine – @jrey_rn
- Oliver – @nurse.oliver
- Kim – @nursekimdarpoh
- Olayinka – @phenomenally_
- Liz – @scrub_life_liz
- Jeremy – @jbro464
- Julia – @thenursejulia
- Martha – @marthareyna_
- Letty – @let_love_rn
- Edgar – @nursemendoza
- Farah – @farahhmodeen
- Casey – @paging_nurse_casey
Ludwig van Beethoven once said, “music can change the world.” And, if anyone can change the world, nurses can!