Alan Tripp, 102, and Marvin Weisbord, 88, are living out their golden years at the Bryn Mawr retirement community in Pennsylvania. Years ago, they were once advertisers and consultants, but now they have become beloved music makers with stories to tell. Tripp is the lyricist of the pair; Weisbord is a jazz pianist. For two years, they’ve been writing songs together. Now, they’ve released an album called Senior Song Book.
An Unlikely Musical Partnership, Perhaps
Tripp had written a poem shortly before turning 100. The poem was about life, getting old, and losing friends. It moved his friend Weisbord to sing. On Tripp’s 100th birthday, Weisbord surprised him by performing his poem, set to music. Over the next two years, Tripp kept writing lyrics and Weisbord kept putting them to music. In addition to writing lyrics, Tripp acted as producer. Weisbrod organized the jazz band and tickled the ivories on every song.
Tripp was determined to fill a void he saw: there was no new music being written for seniors. He wrote lyrics that he imagined taking musical form as show tunes and pop songs, including every musical genre and taste from swing to tango to rumba to rock ‘n roll. The product of their partnership is an eight-song album called the Senior Song Book. The album was released on November 15, 2019.
Tripp and Weisbord say the album consists of “the great music of the forties, fifties, and sixties, but “the words are looking ahead to the 2020s.” Weisbord’s modern lyrics are set to the sweet tunes of melodies that will remind you of beloved music icons Cole Porter and Irving Berlin.
Tripp and Weisbord Have Musical Stories To Tell
The pair’s songs span the range of experiences that people have when they reach their golden years. Titles include the tracks I Just Can’t Remember Your Name, Looking In The Mirror, Best Old Friends and Never Too Late for Love.
What to the songs actually speak to? The much loved Looking in The Mirror contemplates a life of cares, woes, and remembered love. It includes lines like:
Wondering why you left me, I relive my past
It seems to me a mystery that our love couldn’t last.”
A second song, I Just Can’t Remember Your Name takes the sentiment a bit further. It alludes wryly to the failing memories of old(er) age and love with lines like:
I know I’m mad about you,
And all but lost without you,
And great affection for you I proclaim.
I’m ready now to kiss you,
But, baby, there’s an issue –
I just can’t remember your name.
…And The Audience Is Listening
What do people think? Listeners love the story of Alan and Marvin to be sure but love the music too. Listener E. Alexander says the music takes her “to a kinder and gentler time. Everything old is new again!” L. Roberts says she “just sat here listening with the goofiest grin on my face…” E. Weiss says “the lyrics are smart and witty, and the songs are a delight.”
The album and the story behind it are drumming up quite a bit of buzz online, too. A video about the project has over tens of thousands of views on YouTube. YouTube also has lyric videos for the songs which also have thousands of views and unanimously positive reactions. The guys and their project have been profiled in media like People, The Week, CTV, The Washington Post, ABC, FOX, CNN, and a whole lot more.
If you want to give the album a listen for yourself, check out the guys’ website where you’ll find photos, lyrics, music and more.
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