A boomer’s playlist for medical procedures

Imagine that you’re having your annual mammogram (guys, just play along, okay?). You’re standing there half dressed, with one of your tatas squeezed flat, holding your breath while the tech zaps it with radiation. Then, the Muzak—part of the imaging facility’s attempts to humanize your experience—begins to play Firefall’s 1976 hit, “You Are the Woman That I’ve Always Dreamed Of.”

This actually happened to a friend of mine, and she cracked up. Then she shot me an email (after she got dressed) suggesting this might be a topic for Boomer Haiku: the badly timed, funny or downright inappropriate songs that could be played during medical encounters.

It sounded good to me.

After all, rock and roll was the soundtrack of our youth. So it seems only fitting we have a playlist—with a twist—for the current phase of our lives as we undergo health-related exams and procedures with increasing frequency. Here’s some possible medical musical accompaniment from a range of generations and genres:

Prostate exam
“Hand in Glove” by the British alt-rock band The Smiths
“Big Balls” by AC/DC
“Great Balls of Fire” by Jerry Lee Lewis
“I Want Your Sex” by George Michael

“My Ding-a-ling” by Chuck Berry
“Boys Don’t Cry” by The Cure
“Mr. Big Stuff” by Jean Knight

GYN exam
“Tunnel of Love” by Bruce Springsteen
“So Into You” by Atlanta Rhythm Section
“Mighty Tight Woman” by Bonnie Raitt
“Only Women Bleed” by Alice Cooper
“Maneater” by Daryl Hall and John Oates

“Shake, Shake, Shake Your Booty” by KC and the Sunshine Band
“Up Around the Bend” by Creedence Clearwater Revival
“The Long and Winding Road” by The Beatles
“Back Door Man” by Howlin’ Wolf

“The First Cut Is the Deepest” by Rod Stewart or Cheryl Crow
“Only the Good Die Young” by Billy Joel
“Accidents Will Happen” by Elvis Costello
“Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen
“I Wanna Be Sedated” by the Ramones
“Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees

“Lookin’ for Love [in all the wrong places]” by Johnny Lee
“I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” by U2

Podiatrist (foot exam)
“Popsicle Toes” by Diana Krall
“Toe Jam” by Brighton Port Authority
“Your Feet’s Too Big” by Fats Waller
“Big Footin’” by Parliament

Blood draw
“Let It Bleed” by the Rolling Stones
“The Needle and the Damage Done” by Neil Young

Urine test
“Under Pressure” by Queen
“Urge for Going” by Tom Rush
“It Don’t Come Easy” by Ringo Starr
“So Very Hard to Go” by Tower of Power

Skin cancer check
“I’ve Got You Under My Skin” by Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons
“Sometimes When We Touch” by Dan Hill

Respiratory therapy
“Take My Breath Away” by Berlin
“Every Breath You Take” by the Police

Other mammogram songs
“Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?” by Culture Club
“Pop That Thang” by the Isley Brothers
“Do That to Me One More Time” by The Captain and Tennille
“Hurts So Good” by John Cougar Mellencamp

Hip or knee replacement
“Shake Your Hips” by the Rolling Stones
“Falling in Love Is Hard on the Knees” by Aerosmith
“Get a Leg Up” by John Mellencamp
“Shake a Leg” by AC/DC
“Hot Legs” by Rod Stewart
“Get On Your Feet” by Gloria Estafan
“I Can’t Stand Up for Falling” by Elvis Costello

Cardiac (heart) interventions [angiogram, stent placement or bypass surgery)
“Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart” by Elton John and Kiki Dee
“Bad Liver and a Broken Heart” by Tom Waites
“Where is Your Heart?” by Kelly Clarkson
“How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?” by the Bee Gees
“Heartbreaker” by Pat Benatar

Dental work
“Kicked in the Teeth” by AC/DC
“Taste the Pain” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers
“Comfortably Numb” by Pink Floyd (1979) or Van Morrison (2007)

Cataract surgery
“You Must Be Bleeding Under Your Eyelids” by Blindside
“Eyes Without A Face” by Billy Idol
“I’d Rather Go Blind” by Etta James

Hearing exam
“Can’t You Hear Me Knocking?” by the Rolling Stones
“I Heard It Through the Grapevine” by Marvin Gaye
“Do You Hear What I Hear” by Carrie Underwood

Breast augmentation
“Let’s Give ‘Em Something to Talk About” by Bonnie Raitt
“Silicone Grown” by The Faces (Rod Stewart’s early band)
“Biggest Part of Me” by Ambrosia

Face lift
“Tighten Up” by Archie Bell and The Drells
“Forever Young” by Joan Baez or Bob Dylan
“You’re So Vain” by Carly Simon
“If I Could Turn Back Time” by Cher

“King of Pain” by The Police
“Lookin’ Out My Back Door” by Creedence Clearwater Revival

Sleep study
“I’m Gonna Sleep with One Eye Open” by Dolly Parton
“Talking in Your Sleep” by The Romantics
“I’m So Tired” by the Beatles
“Up All Night” by the Boomtown Rats
“Last Night I Didn’t Get to Sleep at All” by the Fifth Dimension

Doctor visit for erectile dysfunction
“Keep Your Head Up” by Andy Grammer
“I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Bonnie Raitt
“Love is Here and Now You’re Gone” by the Supremes
“Try and Love Again” by the Eagles
“The Thrill Has Gone” by BB King
“Love in Vain” by the Rolling Stones
“Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones

Doctor visit for sexually transmitted infection [I wrote about the increase in STI’s among baby boomers in a previous post]
“U Can’t Touch This” by MC Hammer
“Unintended Consequence of Love” by Bonnie Raitt
“Bad Case of Loving You” by Robert Palmer
“The Lady is a Tramp” by Frank Sinatra
“Burning Love” by Elvis Presley
“Girls Just Want to Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper
“To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before” by Julio Iglesias and Willie Nelson

Doctor visit for menopausal symptom management
“Heat Wave” by Martha and the Vandellas
“The Heat is On” by Glenn Frey
“When You’re Hot, You’re Hot” by Jerry Reed
“Witchy Woman” by the Eagles
“Mean Woman Blues” by Roy Orbison
“Love Hurts” by Nazareth
“Damn Right I’ve Got the Blues” by Buddy Guy

Bone density scan
“Dem Bones” by the Delta Rhythm Boys
“Skeletons” by Stevie Wonder
“Twist and Shout” by The Beatles

So what about you—got some suggestions for musical accompaniment for the various types of medical encounters we have these days? Let’s hear ‘em!

And while you’re thinking about it, here’s this week’s Boomer Haiku:

If music soothes a
savage breast, play tunes during
my next mammogram.

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7 thoughts on “A boomer’s playlist for medical procedures”

  1. I love it! Your wit is fantastic. How do you think this stuff up? I wanna be like you when I grow up and I’m gonna be 76 in a couple of months.
    Thank you so much for sharing. You made my day.

  2. This is hilarious! Loved it!

    More suggestions:

    Cardiac Exam: Your Cheatin’ Heart by Hank Williams
    Podiatrist: These Boots are Made for Walking by Nancy Sinatra
    Eye Surgery: Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue by Crystal Gayle
    Mammogram: Pressure by Billy Joel


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