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The power of the theme song

Back in the 90’s, TV’s Ally McBeal was a young, new lawyer whose mind often wandered into fantasyland when life got difficult.  Complete with a music bed.  However, instead of controlling those flights of fancy, her psychiatrist suggested she embrace the idea of a theme song to make them productive.

Of course, everyone should have a theme song or two to get them through the day.  One to give you added confidence when needed.  Another to help with the tough times.  Hey, if you’ve ever worked out with an iPod blaring, you know how music can motivate.  It’s one of the reasons politicians pick specific songs for their campaigns.

This week, CNN's John Berman and Brianna Keilar highlighted the song-list played before Trump’s speech at a recent North Carolina rally.  The choice of music used to ramp up the audience was ironic to say the least.  It included – but was not limited to – “Memory” from Cats, a song about the Glamour Cat who is now “just a shell of who she used to be”; “Brain Damage” about a lunatic stuck in someone’s head; John Fogerty’s “Fortunate Son” about the Vietnam War (which Trump dodged with his bone spurs); and “My Heart Will Go On” from Titanic, which Berman so eloquently clarified, “is about a sinking ship.”

I’m sure it all went over The Donald’s head, not to mention his followers’.

But it made me wonder what my theme song list might be for this year.  We all know 2020 was a rather dark year.  I’d say 2021 has a lot of potential, but it’s had rough start.

The U.S. government has a less-than-smooth transition of power.  Hate crimes are on the rise.  And according to CNN, over 250 mass shootings have made the news this year alone.  (A “mass shooting” is defined as incidents involving four or more victims of firearm-related violence.)

So after consulting Ms. McBeal, we’ve decided that Carrie Underwood’s “The Bullet” seems to capture the loss of so many as “The bullet keeps on goin'.”

But once you’ve cried out your loss, you need to get up.  And fortunately, I’ve got a whole lot of inspirational tunes in my song list:
Des’ree’s “You Gotta Be” and John Legend’s “Glory” from movie Selma can ease you back on your feet.  Then it’s Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive,” Chumbawamba’s “Tubthumping,” or Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing” to light a fire in you.

Let Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger,” Rachel Platten “Fight Song,” and Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” give you momentum.  And Irene Cara’s “What a Feeling” and The Script’s “Hall of Fame” to celebrate your successes.

Political and social conflicts are continue to highlight people’s differences, instead of their commonalities.  So might Ally and I suggest a quick re-boot with Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” and the re-unification of Sister Sledge’s “We Are Family”?

See how easy it would be to solve the world’s problems with the right theme song?  And if necessary, you might follow Grey’s Anatomy’s lead and dance it out, too.