Courtesy: Charles Hartley

There’s a very important question we all need to be swim noodling about and that is which music video the U.S. Olympic swimming team will need to create on their way to Paris this summer as a follow-up to the “Call Me Maybe” video sensation when they went to London in 2012.

You remember that eye candy 12 years back, all the swimmers dancing down the aisles of the airplane on their way to the games, freely sliding down sliding boards into the pool, Michael Phelps dancing kind of unusually by himself on the deck. All to Carly Rae Jepsen’s megahit “Call Me Maybe.”

I’ve got a few initial thoughts I want to throw into the pool for all of us to soak in and contemplate. The first that comes to mind is “Splish Splash I Was Taking a Bath” by Bobby Darin, which fits the swimming angle but not sure how to create bathtub scenes on the team airplane. Logistics so often get in the way.

Plus the song came out in 1973 which was a solid 30 years before the preponderance of these Olympic swimmers were born so the song might appear too dated plus the swimmers may not really like the song. History has shown repeatedly that generations have different tastes in tunes.

The second song that comes to mind is “Pontoon” by Little Big Town. Really good tune but these are swimmers not pontoon people – as far as I know — so while the song is catchy how can any of us make sense of the swimmers being on a pontoon boat on their flight to Paris? Our minds will really be stretched to resonate with that one.

Of course, there’s always the go-to great song “California Girls” by the Beach Boys which will fit with the idea that many swimmers are from California and some on this team are from that swimming haven. But no, just doesn’t feel like the right one. Would be a disservice to other sensational swimming states such as Maryland, Texas, Florida, and Indiana.

If you were just going by a song that everyone will love and not concerned about it fitting with a swim team motif, I would throw out there “Meet Me at the Sunrise” by Kygo.  Plus, these swimmers have been meeting each other at sunrises at the pools for practices their whole lives so I don’t think we can summarily dismiss this one.

You could have the swimmers getting up a sunrise and singing and dancing to this song by a pool, with rays climbing over the horizon, and we could all get lost and not feel the nostalgia of needing them to be on a plane.

A few other songs everybody would love to hear in this video, separate and apart from Olympic swimming, would be “Goodbye Girl” by Squeeze, “All These Things I’ve Done” by the Killers, and “Thunder Road” by Bruce Springsteen. Not swimming songs except “All These Things I’ve Done” if you consider all the swimming these swimmers have done.

Life is wicked complicated and this situation is the latest manifestation of this truth. We have to make choices here: do we want a great song regardless of how it fits with a video and swimming or must it be about swimming or should they do a video at all? I think they should do a video and my gut tells me you agree.

It’s a tough choice. Can’t mess this up. This is the Olympics. This comes around only once every four years, a chance for these swimmers to make a video we all watch 30 or more times, all 340 million Americans.

I’ll make this simple. Let’s do this and forget all the random ideation above. The song should be “Night Swimming” by R.E.M. All the Olympians will be shown swimming at night, by themselves, alone like they have been so often, pursuing their Olympic dreams.

Thematically on point, and poignant, and a mood to the song that fits like a Speedo.

Got any better ideas to toss into this whirlpool?

About Charles Hartley

Charles Hartley is a freelance writer based in Davidson, NC. He has a masters degree in journalism and a masters degree in business administration.





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