World War 2 Homecoming Song

World War 2 Homecoming Song

The “WWII Homecoming Song” sprang to life one after-noon during a songwriting workshop with more than 30 elders and their loved ones and care partners at the Dungeness Courte Memory Care community in Sequim, WA. When four veterans of World War II shared their stories of service in the Marines, the group began to compose a stirring anthem both from the perspective of the veterans returning home and the families who greeted them.

The song tells of the bond between twin brothers who served in and survived the War together. They lived close to one another for the rest of their lives until dementia and the need for care separated them by 2,500 miles.

Six months after the song project, the daughter of one of the brothers wrote to SW to say that her family had gained new insight into their father’s needs by songwriting with him. They were able to hear and more clearly see his unspoken love for his twin brother and his need to be with him. As a result, the family reunited the twins. They had most of a year together while both were still alive.


“It was very difficult for me to let go and return my Dad to Ohio. Other than serving during WWII, he has never lived anywhere else. As you know from the song, he and his twin served together…the longest time they were apart was while he lived with me in Washington (state). My Dad’s twin does not have dementia and missed being with (him)…When Dad opened up to help write the WWII song it made me realize I couldn’t keep those twins apart any longer.”

–M.B., daughter and primary care partner




On the way over in WWII
with my twin brother in the Marines
I went all over

Shipped out again to the Phillipines
Africa, China, Korea, Japan – South Pacific
The war got over – We came back home
Both alive

The big day is when the ship comes home
We fly to Hawai’i to meet the ship
Wives have been waiting
Children waiting, Families waiting
Seventeen months in one stretch
I don’t want to go over again
Aaa—ah (instrumental break)

The big day is when the ship comes home
We wait on the dock to meet the ship
Family together, Celebrating
Home on the front porch – Big orange soda
and some moonshine

Home Again
Hallelujah Hallelujah Hallelujah



SONG TEAM previews “Life’s a Song” at global IAGG Conference

SONG TEAM previews “Life’s a Song” at global IAGG Conference

In their mission to restore joy, hope, health and community through song, Songwriting Works’ “Life’s a Song” trio of award-winning singer-songwriters launched their inaugural concert tour July 24, 2017 at the International Association of Gerontology & Geriatrics global convention at San Francisco’s Moscone Center.  The trio–Judith-Kate Friedman, Keeth Apgar and Ash Devine–took listeners on a multi-media journey into family life, heritage, WWII service, the Big Band era, and more. Audiences experienced how Songwriting Works combines ancient Oral Tradition practices of collective music-making blended with breakthrough insights from neuroscience, biology, and social engagement research.  Theresa Allison, MD, PhD, medical ethnomusicologist and physician, moderated.   JoAnn Mar of KALW-FM San Francisco interviewed Judith-Kate Friedman for a piece on the impact of music and original music-making for those nearing end of life (one of the many populations with whom SW’s team composes songs).  “Life’s a Song”–the tour and forthcoming album–celebrate the artistry, stories, and voices of rural elders and friends, ages 12 to 103, in Washington State. Watch this page for dates for both the radio feature and the “Life’s a Song” release!

“Life’s a Song” Artist in Residencies – Now Booking for 2018+2019

“Life’s a Song” Artist in Residencies – Now Booking for 2018+2019

What can happen when professional songwriters bring their skills to elders, youth, and families in service to restoring joy, hope, health and community through song?  
In 2018+19,  award-winning musicians Judith-Kate Friedman, Keeth Monta Apgar and Ashleigh “Ash” Devine will bring Songwriting Works on tour to collaborate with performance venues, media producers, health, social service and housing providers and a rural school district.  Contact us to learn more about bringing an artist-in-residency–collective songwriting project, concert, master classes, keynote or trainings for musicians, providers and family care partners–to your community or conference.