Great Big Swing-Along?

It’s become a morning routine to have CBC Radio 2 on as I get ready for work. Because of this, we discovered something that Tom Power does every weekday morning around 8:20 ish. He calls it the great big sing-along. Basically, he picks a song that bunches of us know the words to, and says we should all sing, in an attempt to relieve stress and start the day off right. He usually talks about the crazy stuff that could be going on in households across the country. Popular ones include losing your keys behind furniture and having to dig them out with a coat hanger, driving off with a cup of coffee on the roof of your car, or, he has this obsession with cooking eggs wrong and ending up with some yucky grey film. This must happen to him a lot, because he loves talking about egg film.

I think it’s kind of cute, and it’s become a ritual of ours for Steve to send me a voxer message with a bit of the sing-along in it as I’m riding the bus to work, or waiting for the bus if I suck and am especially late that morning. Sure I could load up CBC on my phone, but this is much more fun. But I have to comment about a trend I’m seeing. Most days, I really like the great big sing-along and find myself humming and smiling and getting a bit of a groove on as I walk the final bit to work. But more times than I’d like, he selects a song that is so sad that singing it, or listening to it, cannot possibly relieve stress. It makes me roll my eyes and wonder if he’s going for a great big swing-along, rather than a great big sing-along. Oh no, I hear the gates of hell opening again. But before you drag me away, let me explain.

The song that inspired the term “great big swing-along” was Jeremy by Pearl Jam.

Whaaaaaat? I should sing along to a song about a kid shooting himself in front of his class? And that will relieve stress? Sure, maybe people sing it, but…a sing…along? I remember feeling stressed that day, waiting for the sing-along, hoping for something good, and…..that? Really? I do admit that coming up with the term did give me a good laugh, in that dark humour sort of way.

This wasn’t the only one, otherwise I would just chalk it up to a blip on the radar, although I tend to think that one was the worst one. Others include Nothing Compares by Sinead O’Connor,

Don’t Speak by No Doubt,

Wicked Game by Chris Isaak,

and Why Does It Always Rain On Me by Travis.

Oh yes, such stress-relief in those songs. Someone is in the depths of depression and nothing makes her happy except the guy she can’t have, a relationship is ending and she doesn’t want to hear all the reasons, a dude falls in love with someone who screws him over, and a guy can’t catch a break. Sing sing sing. I could go on forever, but I think you get the point.

It got me to thinking about how it has to be hard to find happy, singable songs five days a week, especially given that we have more sad songs than happy, and we even have sad songs disguised as happy ones. From my few months of listening, it is. There have been several repeats since I started religiously listening. So I’m certainly not saying his job is easy. but holy crap…some of these doozers do not feel, at all, like a morning pick me up…not in the least. I suppose if they make you have a good cry, that’s another way to let stress out, but I don’t think that was what he had in mind.

So, anyone else reading this, do you agree with me? Am I being too hard on poor Tom Power? Or are you noticing a lot of swing-alongs too?

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1 comment
  1. Well, you know I agree, but I had to point out another strange thing. The other day they picked In Your Eyes. I have never, and I do mean not even once, been in a group of people singing this song. I’m not even sure I’ve sung it alone, and I sing everything. Fine song, but not even close to singalong material.

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