Anyone who was following my Musical A to Z (you know, all six of you, who I love dearly because you give my blog life meaning) will know we’ve been stalled in the end zone in that series for a while, with just the letter Z to go. I’d like to tell you that’s some “Music Never Ends” deeper statement on life, the universe and everything. But really? I just can’t find a good Z post.
That said, I’ve had swimming on the brain for the past two weeks. Competitive swimming to be exact. I was helping out with a fundraiser for my former varsity team (Go Ravens!) and, well, talking with my old teammates and the current team brought back some great memories about everything I loved about sport, swimming and the university varsity experience.
And because my life plays out with a non-stop playlist in the background, here are five songs I think of when I think about swimming.
- The Power – Snap (1990)
For anyone doing the math, this isn’t from my varsity swim years.
However, THIS was the song that played on repeat in my head length after length after length after length after length after (you get the picture) when I was an age group swimmer.
By age 12 when this song was out, I swimming about 6 times a week and the years of being daunted by the 5K swim-a thon-were, like, SO 1988.
To be honest, it STILL plays in my head from time to time when I lap swim. It’s a good song to keep you going.
2. Swallowed – Bush (1996)
In my first year of university after a three-year break from swimming I joined the varsity swim team.
Over Christmas 1996 we all went to Florida for training camp.
To cut down on costs, we drove.
It took about 24 hours.
It was a great way to get to know my car mates: the coach at the time, one of the senior swimmers from the men’s team who, I think, had been in university since I’d been in Grade 6, and a fellow rookie from the men’s team. We all caught up at swim reunion this past October. I suspect that speaks to the collective memory building of such experiences.
Anyway, we ranked song popularity on the radio as we drove forever south (mainly, I think, because we couldn’t agree on whose CDs to play). I think this one won. If it didn’t, I still forever associate it with that drive.
3. The Beautiful People – Marilyn Manson (1996)
This is another one I remember from our southern trek radio ranking – he was big the first couple years I was in university and this one came out in September of the year I started. But also? It’s just the quintessential warm-up song. Varsity competition warm-ups were loud, music thumping events to pump you up. While there was the forever competition between the dance and hard rock crowds for control of the sound system, I DARE you to find a better song to fit the bill to get you going in 1996.
4. Cowboy – Kid Rock (1998)
So while I should probably give you Bawitdaba, I’ve always loved Cowboy and while Bawitdaba was more the traditional pounding staple of competition warm-up, this one also featured prominently in my later varsity years because, well, I dare you not to stand on a starting block overlooking a clear lane when tapered, prepared, in the zone and in full race gear and NOT be motivated to kick ass while internalizing a message about wanting to be a take no shit cowboy.
5. Butterfly – Crazy Town (2000)
I have to admit that I don’t remember if this played at warm-ups, but I feel it must have. I specifically remember it from one of the first weddings I attended after graduating. Two of the swimmers on our team got married and one of the wedding games to get them to kiss was to sing them a swim song. So one table reworked this one and sang to the bride to:
Swim my lady, swim swim my lady;
Do some butterfly!
I never forgot it. Because really, as any 200flyer will tell you, if you can do that?
There isn’t much you CAN’T do.
So come and dance with me. What songs pump you up for competition or make you remember past sports experiences?