The Fray once wrote a song called "How to Save a Life" that, at 122 beats per minute, is tragically two beats higher than the recommended amount required to literally save someone's life with CPR. Medical professionals have told us that songs within the range of 100-120 BPM are useful guides to memorizing the correct rate of resuscitative chest compressions. The Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive" has been the most famous example, but a recent playlist by the New York-Presbyterian Hospital (via NPR) provides some alternatives, which is literal in the case of including 90s alternative pop superstars Hanson.
"MMMBop" is a brisk 104 BPM, making it perfect for CPR. It's also an extremely cheery piece of music to play from memory as you attempt to revive the vital systems of someone you may care about deeply. There's also Mariah Carey's "Heartbreaker" in this playlist, which is a dark and depressing choice when you think about it.
Because we care about health, here's a brief list of some obtuse suggestions for this playlist and for you to memorize the next time you find yourself in the situation of saving a stranger's life on some Jack Shepard from Lost shit.
Dexys Midnight Runners – "Come On Eileen" (108 BPM)
One of the most objectively fire songs to be crafted by the hand of man. Watch out for that tempo shift before the last chorus, though.
Three 6 Mafia/Tear Da Club Up Thugs – "Slob on My Knob" (113 BPM)
This song is focused on an entirely different body part, but it works nonetheless.
The Doobie Brothers – "What a Fool Believes" (121 BPM)
Okay, technically this is one beat over the recommended range but Michael McDonald's voice is so smooth that any CPR practitioner will be relaxed enough to bring someone back from the brink. It's also just
a good song the best song.
Phil is a Noisey staff writer. He's on Twitter.