7 swimming songs for Diana Nyad

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​Someday, Diana Nyad will swim all the way from Cuba to Florida - or she'll die trying, going down in a fit of fins and shark teeth and blood and waterproof flashbulbs on some Jaws 3D ish.

The 62-year old endurance athlete has wanted to swim from Cuba to Florida since before many Gimme Noise readers were even conceived; she tried in 1978, when she was 28, but Neptune wasn't having it. Then she tried again this past August, but Neptune still wasn't having it, plus asthma and other health issues cut that attempt short. So then she tried still one more time last week. Indisputable proof that Neptune hates Diana Nyad: he sicced a swarm of jellyfish on her. Gods can be so petty.

Anyway, all kidding aside, we'd like to see Nyad actually accomplish this. To vicariously experience one of those massive triumphs of the human spirit that occasionally reminds us how amazing we are as a species. So we cooked up this special songlist for her next training regimen. Good luck, Diana!

(Gimme Noise considered throwing in this clip of corncob-pipe rockin' Baltimore out musician Twig Harper operating his time-machine, which creates some spectacularly nautical sound effects, but Nyad probably can't hang with that just now. Maybe later.)


Surfer Blood, "Swim"



As a swimmer's anthem, "Swim" doubles as triple-fudge obviousness - because, duh, if you made the team of course you're gonna get where you're going - and a bastion of backhanded fatalism, because the chorus seems to imply that maybe you'd give up and drown out of laziness or a lack of confidence before you got wherever you were headed. Anyway, fun, driving song, and it's at least topically about swimming, and the band's name involves the word "surf."


Suicide, "Keep Your Dreams"



Honestly? I was Googling the Primal Scream song of the same name and stumbled upon this one; it's been so long since I broke out that first Suicide album that I forgot this song even existed. If I were Diana Nyad and I were swimming from Cuba to Florida at night, and you were on the boat that was trailing me and you were in charge of music and you blasted this song over the loudspeaker, I, as Diana Nyad, would totally swim over and climb onboard and slap you around with a sea otter. Seriously. Anyway, the point is, never let go of your dreams - and if you're running sound on Diana Nyad's boat, spin some Enya up in that piece.


Survivor, "Eye of the Tiger"



Does this mean that I'd like to see Nyad film a Rocky-esque training montage? Yeah, I guess so.


Jem & The Holograms, "Come On In, The Water's Fine"



Heh.


Jay-Z, "U Don't Know"



It doesn't really matter who you are or what you're trying to do; this song sometimes seems like it was written specifically to achieve whatever that something is, whether it's acing a math test or winning a track meet or figuring out how to build a series of dirty bombs.


Primal Scream, "Keep Your Dreams"



See, um, what we said about the Suicide song above; only, this song actually manages to be much creepier even as it evinces a tuneful, hallucinatory nirvana and creates the illusion that you're drifting along on an endless sea of codeine. Still, if you think that's unsettling, you should really spend sometime with the rest of the album it appears on, late at night, high on speed, in a bomb shelter.


Madder Rose, "Swim"



At first I was disappointed that YouTube didn't have the original early '90s version of this song - Madder Rose made some fantastically frothy alt-rock pop, back in the day, and this was one of their best baubles - but it's all good, because this fan-video ukelele cover version is actually better than what inspired it.



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