Music brings joy to people — from the pop hits on the radio to grand orchestral performances in concert halls, sweet harmony has the ability to bring a smile to anyone’s face.
Those in the autism community know that music is also often at the heart of some of their most special moments. Sometimes, we’re lucky enough to capture those moments on video, as was the case in November of last year when street musician Mick “The Busker” McLoughlin delighted a very special passenger on the tram in Ireland.
In the video, posted to Twitter by Terence Power, McLoughlin plays guitar and sings “You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” Randy Newman’s 1995 hit best known as the theme for “Toy Story.” Power’s video takes in the song, as well as the delighted reaction of his younger brother Eddie, who smiles as McLoughlin performs.
Eddie, who is seven years old, has non-verbal autism but made his appreciation clear by giggling and smiling as he listened. He recognized the song, and was delighted by the serenade!
Bring a tear to a glass eye😢 This video after making my day, Mick Mcloughlin singing to my little brother who suffers with autism. He looks so happy🙌👏❤️ What a voice Mick has!! An absolute gent the man is pic.twitter.com/gWNE78rPut
— Terence Power (@terencepower_) November 22, 2020
In his caption, Powers thanked McLoughlin for “making my day” and called him “an absolute gent.” McLoughlin has been a Dublin fixture for the last 10 years, bringing smiles and joy to the community on the streets, trams, and in public places.
As for Eddie, the performance not only made his day, but the continued attention from this story as it went viral has brought him joy as well. Terence posted a video on his Instagram of Eddie rewatching the clip on his phone, captioned “My little best mate absolutely loving the attention the last few days 😂❤️❤️ love you to bits buddy ❤️.”
For McLoughlin, the song was just one of thousands performed over his long career as a live musician and recording artist. Still, as word spread, he was reminded of the power that music can have.
On his Facebook, he shared an image of a handwritten thank-you note passed to him by a Dubliner. It read in part: “As a parent of autistic children I was deeply moved by your time and loving attitude towards the child. God bless and keep up the great work.”
McLoughlin added that seeing the note “makes it actually reality when its [sic] ink on paper in my hand. Mind blowing.” In a separate post written as the video went viral, he said, “I cant thank you all enough. I simply just sang a song for my pal.”
Social media users reacted positively to the video, which has been viewed thousands of times and reposted by various outlets. “Love seeing stuff like this knowing there’s still nice people in the world,” said Twitter user @meganwardxx, with @jamiehamo10 adding “That would bring a smile to anyone’s face.”
Facebook comments were equally positive, with one user summing up the internet’s reaction: “you only sang a song to your little friend but in doing so you lifted the spirits of so many when we really needed it. Well done Mick.”Whizzco