AI: Whistle While You Work

Though a smattering of emergency medical establishments (such as the American Heart Association and the UK’s Resuscitation Council) have been toying with the idea that performing CPR to certain tunes improves the pace of an EMT’s rescue efforts, a recent study has found that music really doesn’t help. The established recommendation for CPR is to pace compressions at a little over 100 per minute. Two of the songs experts used to recommend — Achy Breaky Heart and Disco Science — shockingly had people doing compressions at 120 per minute and 104 per minute, respectively, which I’m sure has nothing to do with the fact that the two songs are 120 beats per minute and 104 beats per minute, respectively. Researchers found that these paces weren’t too far off from the pace people kept without music, so they’re saying that music doesn’t really do anything extra.

I think they’re ignoring something, though. When will we ever find a song whose name is as perfectly matched to a task as Achy Breaky Heart is to performing CPR?

In a quick brainstorming session, I went ahead and came up with a few:

Your turn. What’s a song that would add delightful dose of irony to a task or situation?

The ART Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Mad Art Lab community. Look for it to appear Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 3pm ET.

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Ashley Hamer

Ashley Hamer

Ashley Hamer (aka Smashley) is a saxophonist and writer living in Chicago, where she performs regularly with the funk band FuzZz and jazz ensemble Big Band Boom. She also does standup comedy, sort of, sometimes. Her tenor saxophone's name is Ladybird.


  1. November 4, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    The song I had heard to use for CPR was “Stayin’ Alive”. This is better than the Cyrus thing because it sucks less.

  2. November 4, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    If you’re young enough, yes. For those of us who remember the 1970s and desperately wish not to, “Stayin’ Alive” is the thumbscrews of musical accompaniment.

  3. November 4, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Also, I’d place “Born This Way” on the lips of an obstetrician while waiting for the head to crown.

  4. November 6, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    “Closer Together” by The Box wile riding public transit

    I unintentionally had “Personal Jesus” by Depeche Mode playing on my netbook the day I told my Mother I was a non-believer and was no longer going to go to church with her.

    “American Girls” by Triumph kept cycling through my head during the social events at CSIcon last weekend. 🙂

    #Occupy protesters should be blaring “Big Money” by Rush from ginormous speakers.

    “Sofisticated” by the Stereo MCs for anytime a geek like me tries to ask a woman out on a date. 🙂

  5. November 6, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    Just though of another one for #Occupy protesters and the down-trodden: “Never Surrender” by Triumph.

  6. November 7, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Conversely, I believe “Another One Bites the Dust” also has the correct number of bpm 😉

  7. November 8, 2011 at 1:00 am

    Hot in Here by Nelly anytime between November and April in Canada.

  8. November 8, 2011 at 1:02 am

    My Heart Will Go On during transplant surgery.

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