Watch: Elderly Man with Dementia Remembers Every Note of Song He Wrote 30 Years Ago


Is there any disease quite as sad as dementia? Sure, some illnesses take your loved ones more quickly, and others do more horrible things to your body.

But dementia steals your mind, stripping it away bit by tiny bit. However, one British musician has seen that it doesn’t take away everything.

According to the Daily Mail, a British man named Nick Harvey writes music for television. And he isn’t the only one in his family who loves a killer melody.

His father, 79-year-old Paul Harvey, had a storied musical career when he was younger. He studied music and then went on to become a concert pianist in the ’60s and ’70s.

After that, he proceeded to write music for a school drama while a colleague penned the words. Unfortunately, Paul developed dementia in his later years.

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“Dad has dementia. Sometimes he drifts into another world and I feel like I’m losing him,” Nick wrote on Twitter.

“He is never more present, however, than when he plays the piano. He came to mine today and I asked him to play one of his compositions.”

That composition was the very one he’d written for the school. “Play ‘Where’s the Sunshine?'” Nick urged in a video he took.

“I forgot it,” Paul said. He needn’t have worried, because his son had actually dug up the sheet music.

However, as soon as he voiced his doubt, the septuagenarian placed his hands on the piano. Music rolled out, every note in its proper place.

“I forgot,” Paul started to say, but then stilled himself and continued playing. His performance was effortless and came entirely from within, the music stand in front of him devoid of any sheets.

As he neared the end of the piece, the final chords rang out, perfectly paced. Paul let his hands fall and said without a hint of irony, “That brings back memories.”

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Nick has known that music provides a deal of meaning and relief to his father. “I try to get him to play the piano because he seems to become much more connected, focused and in the room,” he said.

“Whenever he visits, even before he got ill, the first thing he does is gravitate towards the piano. It’s his solace, if you like.”

For his part, Paul seems surprised by the hullabaloo. “I don’t know what to say, I have always shunned publicity,” he admitted.

“I am very pleased that something I’ve written has had such an effect. It’s come so late in life, it shows that it can happen at any time.”

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A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
Wheaton College
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Entertainment, Faith, Travel


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