The Official Ranking Of CPR Songs

Ranking Songs To Sing While Performing CPR


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As part of their graduation requirement, every student must know how to and be able to perform CPR. Many programs include song recommendations to sing as you perform CPR to keep a steady beat and to make sure the heart pumps at the correct rate. This rate is between 100 to 120 beats per minute. We, as a staff, decided to give recommendations for which killer songs you should use when performing CPR and which songs would cause our hearts to stop faster.

Who knew there were so many songs to choose from? I couldn’t just pick one song, so I chose two that would help bring me back to life. I would live for “9 to 5” by Dolly Parton or “The Schuyler Sisters” by Lin-Manuel Miranda from Hamilton. Dolly Parton is a national treasure and her song is so catchy that it would bring me back to life. As a theatre-lover and overall history nerd, it would only take the first few notes of “The Schuyler Sisters” to bring me back to life without much work.

I would probably pass on if someone started playing “Achy Breaky Heart” by Billy Ray Cyrus. The irony of a song about hearts breaking while my heart is literally failing would be too much for me. I mean, the song includes Cyrus singing that his heart will explode and die if someone doesn’t love him back and that’s not the vibe I want as I’m struggling for my own life.

Scrolling through the list of songs that are possible to perform CPR to, I was repeatedly disappointed and disgusted. However, there was a single light in the darkness. Written and performed by Jack Johnson for the hit 2006 animated Curious George Film, “Upside Down” would revive me instantly. There would be no further need for CPR, as this song would breathe life into me.

On the other hand, “It’s Time” by Imagine Dragons would have the opposite effect. Regardless of what state I might be in, if I hear any Imagine Dragon song I will immediately and willingly stop breathing. If somehow CPR performed to this song is successful, I will promptly start looking for ways to undo the work done by it. I could write for years and still not be able to properly express how much I wish that Imagine Dragons could just be wiped from existence.

I love music too much to just pick one song, so I decided to go with the classics. Each one of these gives me a different reason to live. I’d live for the song “Lights” by Journey so I could belt to Steve Perry’s vocals and air guitar to Neal Schon’s solo. “Come on Eileen” by Dexys Midnight Runners makes me want to get up and dance even if I’m laying on the floor with someone beating on my chest. Cecilia by Simon and Garfunkel is such a perfect example of their glorious collaboration, but the upbeat drums take it to a whole new level of livelihood.

Even when my heart is beating normally, I want to die while listening to “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?” by Rod Stewart. The lyrics make me so uncomfortable and it just seems so unnecessary. No one needs to hear Ken Stewart go on and on about an ultra-awkward dude whose whole premise is trying to seduce an innocent girl while also calling his mom midsong. Overall, my will to live is diminished by this song and I think I have very substantial reasoning to feel that way.

Out of the many songs to choose from when it comes to performing CPR, if someone played “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees or “Dancing Queen” by ABBA while performing chest compressions, that would definitely raise my chances of survival by at least 25%. “Stayin’ Alive” is pretty obvious with the Bee Gees basically compelling you to live over that funky disco beat along with it being the go to CPR song and I would definitely fight to boogie one last time.

“Dancing Queen”, on the other hand, may seem like a strange choice at face value, but the song is so amazing that the opportunity to dance to it again would have such power over me that I would will my heart to start beating again.

According to a playlist created by the First Response Training International with the purpose of highlighting songs with the right BPM for CPR, “One Dance” by Drake is applicable and I would like to make it known right now that if I hear the opening notes to that song while going into cardiac arrest, I will let my heart stop. I would rather my heart stop ten times over than let that song come out of another phone speaker in my presence, especially in an attempt to save my life.

There I am, dead on the floor, my heart stopped, and in a last ditch effort, Mac Fleming IV moves upon me to perform CPR. Blood starts circulating through my system and Mac has begun to successfully resuscitate me. To keep his hands moving at the correct beats per minute Mac has played “Whiteboyz” by Tom McDonald and upon hearing the worst rapper to ever exist my body physically rejects Mac’s feeble attempts to resuscitate me and spontaneously combusts, killing me instantly.

If Mac Fleming IV had instead chosen to play ‘Wesley’s Theory” by Kendrick Lamar, I would have been unable to stop the groove from taking hold of my body and would be forced out of my slumber to wake. This song is a masterpiece and if Mac would be smart enough to pick it, then I would be resurrected instantly with almost no need for real CPR.