For Elena (original)

All of us, or at least the majority of us, become doctors because we want to help people. We’re idealists, hoping that we can make a difference in people’s lives. After two weeks with a refugee doctor, I realised that sometimes, we can’t.

Everyday, I heard stories of families being separated because of war, innocent loved ones being killed or even worse, being deported back to the place they fled from.

I was frustrated. So frustrated that their stories stayed with me even after I left the clinic, even during my sleep. I hated that my patients had to go through this and worst of all, I hated the fact that I can’t do anything about it.

During my final day, I received a patient about my age who has been through a lot more pain than anyone in their 20s should do. I asked her what she wanted me to do and she just said she wanted someone to listen to what’s inside her heart. Even though I was happy she eventually left the clinic with a smile, I was burdened more than ever.

I realised that as a doctor, and as a person, I’m limited. I can’t change the world, I can’t stop the evil that’s happening around us, and I can’t undo what has happened to the victims I meet. What I can do though, is be there for them and pray. And so that’s what I’ve been doing.

This is a song I wrote for that patient (the title is not her real name) and all the other patients I met and will meet. To my patients, I’m sorry for everything that has happened, but I hope and pray that everything will be okay from now on.

 

Sometimes (original) – Valentines 2017

Aaaaaaand it’s that time of the year again. Valentine’s day – or more like Single Awareness Day (SAD) in my case. As per tradition, I write a song every Valentine’s reflecting my current relationship status. Basically, it’s to show where I am in terms of my love life to those who ask lol.

Now that I’m nearing the end of my medical studies, and I guess now that I’m coming to that age as well, being asked why I’m still single is something that comes more frequently than I’d like to admit.

Here are some examples of things I hear:

“Sam, you should prioritise your love life too!”

“Have you found anyone yet? Remember ___? He’s single and I think you guys would be great for each other!”

“You have an important duty to spread your genes to the world.”

Well sure, there may be some truth in all those statements… but why the rush? As a response to all those asking me why I’m still single, here’s a song I wrote called “Sometimes,” which sheds a light on my current stance in this topic.

Hope you all had a better Valentine’s Day that I did – note to self, Valentine’s day is probably one of the worst days to work at an emergency psychiatric clinic. But someone’s got to right?

Hope you all felt the love on Valentine’s Day! ❤

My previous Valentine’s Day songs:

2016: Single Awareness Day, Again
2015: Valentine
2014: Single Awareness Day
2013: You 
2012: A song for you – my Valentine’s day songwriting tradition was born!

Sometimes (original) by Sam Valles – Valentine’s Day 2017

Chords:
Verses: E A C#m A B
Bridge: A E C#m A B
Chorus: E A C#m B

Lyrics:
Verse 1:
I like to think sometimes, sometimes
I like to hope sometimes, sometimes
That someday, sometime, I’ll know, I’ll be ready

I like to pray sometimes, sometimes
I like to dream sometimes, sometimes
That someone, somewhere, out there, is waiting for me

Bridge 1:
But no matter where I go and no matter where I stay
I say, no no, not today
And no matter who I meet, and no matter who I know
I say no no, even if I like him so

Chorus 1:
I guess I’m vulnerable, fighting to flee
From these feelings surrounding me
But deep inside I hope, I’ll see
That someone, somewhere, someday, will set me free

Verse 2:
I like to sing sometimes, sometimes
I like to say sometimes, sometimes
That no matter wherever, whenever, I’m better off free

But then I think sometimes, sometimes
It must be nice sometimes, sometimes
That someone, somewhere, out there, is there for me

Bridge 2:
But no matter what I do there’s a message in my head
That says, no no, don’t be mislead
And no matter what they say I will always run away
Because I’m scared, will I let them in someday

Chorus 2:
I guess I’m vulnerable admittingly
Scared of giving a piece of me
But deep inside I hope I’ll meet
That someone somewhere who’ll make me believe

But yes I’m vulnerable, but that’s not me
I believe that feelings don’t make me weak
I’m just waiting to be ready
To give me to someone who cares for me

Outro (like verse):
I like to think sometimes, sometimes
I like to dream sometimes, sometimes
That someday, someone, out there, will love me for me

 

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Why (original song)

It’s been a while since I wrote a song, blame it on being busy with adjusting to my new life in Linköping (loving it though!). I also haven’t had anything I’ve cared so much about to be inspired to write a so until now. Make it the first that’s not about a boy not anyone I know 😛

In a way, somehow something feels wrong. Today, I’m celebrating my friends’ love for one another during their wedding. In other parts of the world, people die for not being in love with the “right” people. Tomorrow, I’m going to travel across continents for vacation. Others travel across continents fleeing for their lives, only to be told to return on arrival.

As a response to current events such as the Orlando shooting, the sudden rise of xenophobia and the crisis in Syria to name a few, I was finally able to put my thoughts into words through this song. Sometimes we take for granted what we have and forget that we are actually the minority in the world. Others can only dream of having lives like ours. But it shouldn’t be the case. I guess we can only keep dreaming of a better tomorrow, but for it to be a reality, we must begin with ourselves ❤️

Why

Am F C G

Verse 1:
Another headline, another day
Where it says
People dead and numbers rising

When did it become okay
To say
You’re not welcome gates are closing

Pre-chorus 1:
I see the banners hanging high, telling stories that don’t lie
Can’t we see, can’t we see
I hear the people screaming loud, all together in a crowd
They all sing, they all sing

Chorus:
Why can’t we love? 2x
Why can we live? 2x
In peace

Verse 2:
When I look back to this day, would I say
I’m not the reason this is happening
But don’t we have a part to play? A price to pay?
We are happy, they are suffering

Pre-chorus 2:
When did freedom have a price?
When did living not suffice?
To be free, to be free

When did love become a fight?
When did people lose their right?
To love, to love

Chorus 3x

How I developed radial tunnel and lost the ability to play the violin

Five years ago, possibly owing to my Type A personality and absurdly high expectations on myself, I lost one of my biggest passions at the time, which was the violin.

Starting at the age of 16, I decided to pick up the violin again after a hiatus of three years. I auditioned and started taking lessons and playing in an orchestra at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm. I quickly picked it up again, and starting from playing in the furthermost row in Violin 2 in my orchestra, the following year I was playing in the front row beside the Concerto Maestro in Violin 1. The College also allowed me into their violin vault filled with priceless violins to pick one for myself. After going through several priceless violins, I picked a Danish violin from the beginning of the 1800s. That moment I chose my violin is a very special memory for me, which I can most closely describe as like when Harry Potter chose his wand from Ollivander’s Wand Shop.

Harry Potter chose his wand at the Ollivander wand shop

My teachers at school found out I play the violin, and so apart from the pieces I played at the College, one could see me with my violin at assemblies as well. For all these pieces I was expected to play, I practiced at least 4h a day, especially during concert season nearing the summer. People had very high expectations on me, and my expectations on myself even higher. I had my violin with me everywhere, we were inseparable.

Nearing the end of concert season right before the summer of 2011, I suddenly would start getting severe shooting pain and numbness/tingly feelings in my fingers in my right hand/arm. My doctor told me I needed to rest and was referred to a physiotherapist. But no. I was going to finish concert season.

I would hide my wrist splint prescribed to me by the physiotherapists every time I came to the College, so my teachers won’t know I’m actually not allowed to play. Eventually my arm got the best to me near the end of concert season, to the point I couldn’t move it for an entire month. I skipped exams as I couldn’t write anymore (I’m right handed and that was where I got injured), attended my medical school interviews wearing a wrist splint etc. It was very hard on me physically, but even harder on me emotionally. But somehow through it all, I managed all my concerts.

At the end of concert season, I told myself I need to rest my arm. I rested it until I moved to university in St Andrews. I started playing a little for myself there, but I still kept getting pain. Now the pain was persistent every time I used my arm. I lost the ability to play the violin.

Oh days of MSA studying, I can't wait until you're over…

A post shared by Sam (@samvsworld) on

The following years, I sought healthcare back and forth in the UK with no result. I started getting physiotherapy including ultrasound (or what my teacher calls whale song therapy) and was prescribed NSAID anti-inflammatories. I started getting tested in various ways such as X-ray, MRI, electrophysiological tests you name it. I was given different diagnoses all the time and met various doctors constantly. Carpal tunnel, tennis elbow, repetitive strain injury, tendonitis… but none of them were correct until I came back to Sweden after four years in the UK.

I was referred to see a hand surgeon who happens to be a lecturer at Karolinska (my friends remember him and said that when they came out of his lecture everyone wanted to be hand surgeons!) and within 30min of hearing my story and examining me, he decided that I was to be operated. I was finally diagnosed with the correct diagnosis – radial tunnel.

It has gone three weeks since my operation and right now I’m on my way to Stockholm to see my hand surgeon for the first time since. We’re finally removing the steri-strips (the protective layer applied on the surgical site during the operation) and I’ll be seeing my surgical scar for the first time. Or my battle wound as I’d like to call it. My violin battle wound.

Soon I can play the violin again. Soon I can return to one of my passions. Soon. ❤

girl with violin from the Royal College of Music in Stockholm

This is a photo of me and my precious violin from the Royal College of Music in Stockholm five years ago when my problems started. This was the last time I could properly play the violin. My violin was repaired in 1862 by a Danish instrument maker named G. Enger in Copenhagen.

Post-op hiatus 

Hi all, I’m so sorry for not writing for a while but I want you all to know that the operation went well and I’m recovering well! 🙂 So much has been going on on top of my recovery that I haven’t had the time to write… I’m so sorry! But I promise I will write about my operation and what’s been going on soon 🙂

Until then, here’s a video of me singing Lucky by Jason Mraz with my two little sisters here in Linköping. One week after my operation. You only need a thumb to play the ukulele! 

Carmina Burana

 

For the past week, I have been part of the most amazing production ever. Namely, Carmina Burana.

My choir Den Akademiska Kören Linnea sang together with our brother choir Linköpings Studentsångare (the official choir of the university) and another all-female choir Da Capo. The orchestra who came and played came all the way from Gotland, as well as the soloists. We all even had a small choreography.

We’ve been working on this production for weeks, even requiring some of us (including myself) to travel in between cities to go to practices. It’s been hard work, tiring practices lasting to the night. But it’s been worth it. Last Thursday the 21st of April, all our preparation was put on the test, and our journey had met its end. And It was amazing.

Last Thursday the 21st of April, we stood on the stage of the Linköping Concert and Conference Hall and sang to a completely sold-out hall. The tickets had been sold out for months.

I’ve sang in a choir for quite some time now but this was definitely something else. And the media seemed to think so too. The local newspaper Corren gave our concert a 4/5 rating in their article, and SVT local for our region Östergötland covered it as well in an interview. Like, what just happened. Omg.

The whole experience has been so humbling and I still can’t get over what just happened. Nevertheless, I’m thankful. I’m so happy I belong in such an amazing choir with such an amazing group of girls. Until our next adventure! 🙂

Single Awareness Day 2016

Let’s face it, it’s in the air. That lovey-dovey butterflies in the stomach type of feeling. Hearts everywhere, and heck, strawberries are on a deal at the supermarket. Yes, that day of love that reminds us all of our loved ones… and for some like myself, loved ones we don’t have. Happy Single Awareness Day (SAD) to us! And to all of you other lucky people, Happy Valentine’s Day! ❤

*

Every year, it is tradition for me to write a song for Valentine’s day. Surprise surprise, it usually reflects my relationship status at the time. This year, like two years ago, I celebrate Single Awareness Day. Two years ago, I wrote my first Single Awareness Day song ever, and this year, I decided to remake it. To reflect my current situation of course.

After continuously being in and out of relationships for the past few years, I since November have told myself that enough is enough. I ended whatever the last guy and I had and decided to focus on myself. So far so good I must say. Last time I checked I’m still single.

Since November, I told myself that before someone else enters my life, I want to know for myself that I am where I exactly want to be. I can’t focus on my journey fully if I have someone else’s life to think about. But until then, I can dream about Mr. Perfect right?

In 2014, I wrote the original version of Single Awareness Day together with my friends, after we had a daydreaming session of our perfect guy. So the original song is a collaboration with my single friends and I. This year for this remake, I once again asked my friends for contributions and this is the result. Here is the Single Awareness Day remake for 2016, hope you guys like it!

My previous Valentine’s Day songs:

2015: Valentine
2014: Single Awareness Day – the original version of this song which I sang with Hana, do watch it! 🙂
2013: You 
2012: A song for you – my Valentine’s day songwriting tradition was born!

Enjoy! 😀

Lyrics & Chords

Single Awareness Day 2016

Capo 5
Verses: C F G
Chorus and outro: C G Am F

Verse 1:
I know it’s a little sad to say, but yes I am alone today
The day of love, Valentine’s or
Single Awareness Day

I’d like to think that I know why, coz I know I’m not that shy
Then I thought and realised that hey,
I’m just waiting for the right guy

Chorus 1:
I want a guy who aims for the stars but keeps his feet on the ground
He will hold me close at night, make sure I’m safe and sound

I want a guy who can sing me to sleep
I want a guy for me to keep
Through thick and thin, or when I fall, he will be there through it all

Verse 2:
I know I’ve moved, lived here and there, was there noone anywhere?
Or maybe it was me who felt that hey,
I’m simply not yet there

Maybe I needed time to see, that I’m okay just being with me
But when I meet him then I’ll see that he’ll
Make me a better me

Chrous 2:
I want a guy I can cry on his shoulder, when the times get rough
He will help me stand up tall, on days I’ve had enough

I want a guy who will kiss my hand, I want a guy who can understand
The way I am, the things I say
He will love me anyway, he will love me anyway

Outro:
I want a guy who will make me smile
I want a guy who’ll make it all worthwhile
I want a guy who will hold my hand, through the times it’s hard to stand

I want a guy who’ll be there for me
I want a guy who will care for me
I want a guy who will look at me and say, who cares about Valentine’s day
I’ll love you everyday

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Firestone by Kygo (cover)

This weekend I had to quickly go home to Stockholm to pick up a few things. Not very eventful really, but I did manage to get some time with the piano! I haven’t been doing a lot of music lately, and I still have to upload the song I recently wrote but as you guys might understand, moving to a new medical school takes up a lot of time and energy!

In terms of that, everything seems to be going quite well so far. First week done! But I think I need to wait another few days or weeks to really settle in and really get the feel of the place. I’ll write all about it soon, I promise!

But for now, here’s a piano cover of Firestone by Kygo, and I really apologise for the mistakes in the middle hehe. Hope you all had an amazing weekend!