The Unusual Playlist at my Gym

I’m a night guy who typically goes to the gym late in the evening. Usually I’ll get there a little over an hour before it closes. When I start my workout, typical gym music is playing. High energy, electronic stuff, mixed in with hip-hop. But then things quickly change. Every night, without fail, about 35 minutes before closing time, an entirely different kind of music begins to play. I think it’s meant as a not-so-subtle hint to those of us working out: Time to get out and go home.

As you go through life and accumulate memories, sometimes certain songs will trigger memories, especially when you’re traveling. Phil Collins – In The Air Tonight reminds me of walking through East Berlin late at night since I had it in rotation on my iPod Nano that summer. I would walk by myself through the big old communist apartment projects in the early morning hours. It was kind of spooky. Since this playlist consists of many songs, I wanted to write it down somewhere so that I could file away the memory of this specific time in my life. This space seems as good a place as any to make a note of them.

Nat King Cole – Let’s Face The Music And Dance

Louis Jordan – Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t (My Baby)

Louis Armstrong – Mack the knife

Tennessee Ernie Ford – Sixteen Tons

Bobby Hebb – Sunny

Lionel Richie – Easy

Bill Withers – Ain’t No Sunshine

B.J.Thomas – Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head

Frank Sinatra – New York New York

Tom Jones – It’s Not Unusual

I’ve never stayed past Tom Jones. I’m not sure if there’s anything after him. I’ve only heard it a couple of times when I was pushing the envelope staying late. The staff at the gym seems to have taken to the playlist. I’ll often see them singing or whistling along as they tidy up the place. I guess it makes them happy, knowing the end of the work day is almost there.

I wasn’t familiar with many of these songs before this summer, but now I enjoy them. Maybe there’s a couple here that you’ll enjoy too.


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