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Murmurs from the Losers’ Bracket: Tunes on the Court

Murmurs from the Losers' Bracket Frank Cerabino 06-27-2022

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:

Whatcha gon’ do with all that junk
All that junk inside your trunk?
I’ma get, get, get, get you drunk
Get you love drunk off my hump
My hump, my hump, my hump, my hump, my hump
My hump, my hump, my hump, my lovely little lumps

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.

Murmurs from the Losers’ Bracket: Tunes on the Court | Pickler Pickleball

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

Sample lyrics:

You come on with the come on
You don’t fight fair
That’s okay, see if I care!
Knock me down, it’s all in vain
I get right back up on my feet again!


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

Sample lyrics:

You make me feel
like I’m more than a friend
Like I’m the journey
and you’re the journey’s end
We may never pass this way again


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

Sample lyrics:

Doctor, my eyes
Tell me what you see
I hear their cries
Just say if it’s too late for me


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

Sample lyrics:

Thunder only happens when it’s raining
Players only love you when they’re playing


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

Sample lyrics:

Whenever you call me, I’ll be there
Whenever you want me, I’ll be there
Whenever you need me, I’ll be there
I’ll be around


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

Sample lyrics:

You tell yourself you’re not my kind
But you don’t even know your mind
And you could have a change of heart
Rikki, don’t lose that number
You don’t wanna call nobody else


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

Sample lyrics:

Are you gonna wait for a sign, your miracle?
Stand up and fight
Make no mistake where you are. This is it!
Your back’s to the corner. This is it!
Don’t be a fool anymore. This is it!


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

Sample lyrics:

Just beat it (beat it), beat it (beat it)
No one wants to be defeated
Showin’ how funky and strong is your fight
It doesn’t matter who’s wrong or right
Just beat it (beat it) Just beat it (beat it)


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

Sample lyrics:

But it’s too late, baby, now it’s too late
Though we really did try to make it
Somethin’ inside has died
And I can’t hide and I just can’t fake it


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

Sample lyrics:

Livin’ alone
I think of all the friends I’ve known
But when I dial the telephone
Nobody’s home
All by myself
Don’t want to be, all by myself anymore


Pickleball link: The heartbreak that falls on you when you’ve got a court to play on, but you can’t find another player.


Read past editions of Murmurs from the Losers’ Bracket, including:

Murmurs from the Losers’ Bracket: The PPA, the APP and Monty Python | Pickler 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!

I Dink, Therefore I Am | Frank Cerabino


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