We here at Murmurs from the Losers’ Bracket have noticed with increasing alarm the number of players who bring some kind of portable speaker along to play music at the pickleball courts.
The only music I require is the reassuring percussive sound of a pickleball hitting the sweet spot on a paddle. But for some, they feel moved to play their games to a soundtrack of their favorite tunes.
To each his own, right? Well, wrong. At least in this case. Sound travels, and no sound travels farther than a song you don’t like.
So, when the players on one court play music, they’re not just choosing the tunes for those four players, they’re picking the music for all the other players on the nearby courts.
For example, let’s say you like the song, “My Humps” by the Black Eyed Peas. This means everybody else has to listen to:
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to consider “lovely little lumps” while trying to make a third-shot drop. It’s difficult enough already.
I’ve discovered through observation that the players who tend to bring music to the courts aren’t the youngsters.
It’s The Boomers, my people. And when it comes to little lumps for us, it’s not a good thing. It means waiting for lab results, hoping that the lumps will turn out to be benign.
As for the music, what Boomers pick falls mostly in the category of what has been called “yacht rock.”
This is not quite elevator music, and not even close to being edgy – at least not in this century. It’s performed by people like Kenny Loggins, Eric Clapton, Jackson Browne, the Doobie Brothers – and a lot of other people whose heydays were during the Carter Administration.
We here at Murmurs from the Losers’ Bracket (MFTLB) propose a compromise of sorts to the music toters. If you’re going to play your tunes on the court, at least make them songs with lyrics that are somewhat relevant to the game of pickleball.
Things we can sing along to the other players.
With that in mind, here the MFTLB have compiled our own top-10 playlist of acceptable pickleball songs:
Here are the songs, with a sampling of the relevant lyrics and an explanation of how it fits into pickleball...
#1 Song: “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” by Pat Benatar
Pickleball link: Good song to sing after you get meat volleyed by an opposing player’s overhead smash from the non-volley line.
#2 Song: “We May Never Pass this Way Again” by Seals and Croft
Pickleball link: When you’re stuck at 10 and you want to install trust and confidence in your partner to close out the game.
#3 Song: “Doctor My Eyes” by Jackson Browne
Pickleball link: When you’re counting on your partner to yell “Out!” on a ball that you swung at poorly near the baseline, sending it into the net or out of bounds.
#4 Song: “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac
Pickleball link: Good to sing when you’re playing with a skilled partner who is a real jerk off the court.
#5 Song: “I’ll Be Around” by The Spinners
Pickleball link: Good way to explain to a mobility-compromised partner that you are perfectly willing to chase down all of the lobs.
#6 Song: “Rikki, Don’t Lose That Number” by Steely Dan
Pickleball link: When you’re a 3.5, trying to invite your way into a group of 4.0 players
#7 Song: “This is It” by Kenny Loggins
Pickleball link: A partner pep-talk when the score is 0-10-2 and you’re trying desperately to avoid getting pickled.
#8 Song: “Beat It” by Michael Jackson
Pickleball link: A fitting soundtrack when you’re playing in a game full of unrepentant bangers.
#9 Song: “It’s Too Late” by Carole King
Pickleball link: This works as either a doubles-partner breakup song or a song that acknowledges that you just can’t tap paddles and say “Good game” to a game that wasn’t good at all.
#10 Song: “All By Myself” by Eric Carmen
Pickleball link: The heartbreak that falls on you when you’ve got a court to play on, but you can’t find another player.
MURMURS FROM THE LOSERS' BRACKET
Read past editions of Murmurs from the Losers' Bracket, including:
- The Ozempic Ad
- Ball On Court? Maybe Not
- The PPA, the APP and Monty Python
- Time to Get Help at Bangers Anonymous
- "It's an Injury Sport"
- A Pickleball Translation Guide
- What's Your Pickleball Nickname?
- Tennis the Menace
- Is There Such a Thing as "Pickleball Torture"?
- How to Be an Effective Pickleball Snob
- All You Need Is Glove
- The Lesson McDonald’s French Fries Have for Pickleball
Frank Cerabino is a long-time columnist for the Palm Beach Post in Florida, a pickleball addict like the rest of us, and a newly published author. Check out Frank's newly released book, I Dink, Therefore I Am: Coming to Grips with My Pickleball Addiction (available on Amazon and a great read (or gift!) for any pickleball player), for pickleball tips and laughs!