Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Beats Per Minute

When I run, I prefer to listen to music. It passes the time and is energizing. However, I have to be able to run in time to the music, so I need to ensure that songs have the appropriate tempo, or beats per minute, to keep me running at my desired pace.

My iPod is loaded with songs that range between 155-175 BPM, allowing for a pace of 5.5-6.5 mph. This playlist keeps me running further than I might otherwise (just one more song…) but is, ultimately, humiliating.

My running playlist is to music what KFC’s Double Down is to food: something you don’t admit to wanting or consuming in fear of looking like the worst Jerry Springer audience member. My playlist is high fat, low quality, and I love it.

It includes Brittney Spears, Journey, Ricky Martin and Rihanna. To be fair, there are some less embarrassing songs peppered in there as well – some Fleetwood Mac, Billy Idol, Bloc Party. But they only made the cut because the songs were the right BPM. Quantity of beats wins over quality of beats.

With having to be able to run to a particular beat, it follows that I also find I need to walk to the beat of a particular drummer. For the past 3 years, whenever I walk anywhere with purpose, I am internally humming the theme song from “How The Grinch Stole Christmas”. Three years is a long time. Once in awhile it changes up to the East Side Mario’s jingle, but the majority of the time, it’s “You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch…”. It’s kind of crazy making. I even hum the instrument augmentations thusly:

I’ve tried to willfully replace it with other songs, but nothing sticks. I’ve even tried the “never-fail audio palate cleanser” that Brian told me about. If you have a song stuck in your head, just start singing a Neil Diamond song. Any Neil Diamond song will do. The cling-on song will be replaced by the Neil Diamond song, which, in due course, will evaporate effervescently into the ether and your internal boom box will be a clean slate. So far, resistance appears to be futile.

Grinch Theme: 1       Sweet Caroline: 0.


  1. Good God, I'm in love.

  2. you are awesome!!

  3. I can sadly relate ! Its all about the beat !
    Never tried the Grinch theme though....

  4. more cowbell.

  5. You can't walk to Cracklin' Rosie?

  6. Cooper is asking for a remix. I just like the "ba-da-de-la-DAH-dump" part. P.S. Are you sure a couple of rousing choruses of "Sweet Caroline" wouldn't help??

  7. I walk to Bow Down Mister by Culture Club. Krishna rocks!

  8. Each time I lock the taskbar on my Windows computer, I hear The Clash singing, "Lock the Taskbar! Lock the Taskbar!"


    Kind of relates.