Turning emotions into songs


In November 2021, Barnes-Jewish Hospital invited songwriters from Frontline Songs to spend time with caregivers. In a series of two-hour sessions in small groups, songwriters listened to the care teams’ stories and led them in creating songs about their experiences.

Cameras were there to capture some of the sessions, creating a documentary of the experience.

“These sessions were designed to be a place of healing, to give a voice to their trauma, and to support our team members’ resiliency and well-being,” said Angelleen Peters-Lewis, PhD, RN, FAAN, Barnes-Jewish Hospital chief operating officer and chief nurse executive. “We hope that all caregivers hear their experiences reflected in the songs created by our colleagues.”

“It was painful to open up the box of trauma I have from COVID,” said Christine Gamboa, RN, RNC-OB, RNC-EFM, one of the participants. “But, if we don’t talk about that pain, it festers and gets worse, so it was nice to have a safe space with others who went through similar experiences to be with me when we opened that box.”

Special thanks to Darden Smith and James House from Frontline Songs for travelling to Barnes-Jewish and bringing these songs to life. All four songs created by the Barnes-Jewish teams are below.

Holding On To Love lyrics
On The Floor lyrics
This Hurt lyrics
When It's Your Time (lyrics)