It’s easy to villainize the criminals we put in jail. Many of us come to the same conclusion – they broke the law, so they must be hardcore, tough individuals. When some hear that someone spent time in jail, they instantly think the worst about the person. But the truth is that these inmates are people too, with real emotions, feelings, and lives of their own.
Recently, a group of senior citizens decided to visit the Hampshire County Jail in Massachusetts and sing a song to inspire the inmates there. They are the Young@Heart Chorus and they are probably the most famous chorus of exclusively elderly people in history!
You may already be familiar with their work, as they appeared in the commercials of the last Super Bowl. They did the soundtrack for the E*TRADE “This is Getting Old,” spot and the campaign went viral immediately. In the end, their music reached millions of people just from that one commercial.
They also have a passion for singing to prison inmates. They’ve found that their music inspires the inmates and helps them to reconnect to emotions they may have pushed down deep inside themselves long ago.
In this amazing video below, they are singing at the Hampshire County Jail, in their home state of Massachusetts. The group is based in Florence, Massachusetts but they travel all over the area to share their message of love through song.
The Young@Heart Chorus decided to sing “Forever Young” by Bob Dylan for this particular performance. The choice is clearly a good one, as you can see in the face of the prisoners in the touching video below.
A woman starts off the song with the first verse in a striking tone, immediately winning her the attention of everyone in the room. A male singer then comes over and joins in for a second verse just as heartfelt as the first. The audience is already getting emotional at this point just moments into the song.
“May you build a ladder to the stars, and climb on every rung. May you stay, forever young,” he sings with all of his heart.
Once they break into the chorus, several of the prisoners break into tears. Whether it’s the lyrics, their passionate singing, or their own unfortunate situation, clearly these men were touched to the core at this moment.