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AAP Bulletin Winter 2016

My Favorite Song

Stuart Munro, MD, 1/26/2017

Van Morrison’s Tupelo Honey is my favorite song and Pink Freud knows that fact. That’s why they (Gene Beresin, David Kaye, Tony Rostain and Chris Thomas) play it for me when I am fortunate to be able to hang out with them, like a faithful groupie, during their late night jam sessions at AADPRT or other psychiatric meetings. I used a clip of my own cell phone footage of the band playing this song during my portion of the Friday plenary in San Juan. An added bonus was a beautiful mandolin riff by Davis Shingleton, who had joined the band as a guest on the night I filmed the piece.

I explained to the audience that my purpose was to demonstrate an exercise that I conduct with medical students in my course “Medicine and Music.” I first play my favorite song and say why it is so. Then one by one they do the same with several days of warning to prepare. The range of responses is always as eclectic as was the range we enjoyed from the audience in San Juan…classical to rock to country and beyond. This exercise also brings the class a little closer together as we learn about each other’s lives and personal experiences. The exercise in San Juan did likewise to some extent, as I heard in many follow-up conversations after we were done.

In my discussion of why Tupelo Honey is my favorite song, I chose, in the interest of time, to simply reflect the fact that it connects me, if far too sporadically, to a wonderful and talented group of musicians, Pink Freud. And speaking of the interest of time, I learned a valuable lesson with the audience in San Juan. They recommended that everyone simply report their favorite song rather than have each table choose a representative to state their favorite song and give a (lengthier) report of why. Fortunately, I think, I chose to go along with this suggestion and we had a more inclusive experience.

I would like to thank everyone who participated in this event, which was almost everybody in the room. I would also like to thank Frances Lu for inviting me to join him and Craigan Usher in presenting this plenary session.

AAP Bulletin – Winter 2016_17, Page 3 of 7