Cover Me Up

Had some minor outpatient surgery this week—everything is fine—but, in an effort to provide excellent customer service, my surgeon’s assistants said I could pick any genre of music to listen to during the procedure.

I thanked them and said, “shouldn’t the surgeon get to pick? It’s his O.R.” And they said, “oh, no, he really likes learning what songs people are into.”

So, I shrugged, and said, “Okay, Americana. Like, Brandi Carlile and Dawes and Emmylou Harris.” And they said, “great!”

My local anesthetic kicks in, they usher me into the O.R., the doctor arrives and pairs his iPhone with the speakers. “Americana! Cool! Maybe we’ll get some Springsteen or John Cougar in the mix!”

And as he starts to operate on me, his phone shuffles up a mix of THE SADDEST SONGS EVER RECORDED IN THE AMERICANA GENRE.

Sufjan Stevens singing about a girl dying from leukemia? Check.

Patty Griffin singing about an abandoned dog on the interstate? Yup.

Townes Van Zandt singing about waiting around to die? Oh, yeah.

We got to Uncle Tupelo’s No Depression and the surgeon stood up and said “okay, we’ve gotta start skipping ahead on this list until we get SOMETHING upbeat.”

I got stitched up to Jason Isbell’s “Cover Me Up,” which was the most positive song of the hour, and that’s really saying something.

Next surgery, I’m asking for Abba.

Joe Taylor Jr. has produced stories about media, technology, entertainment, and personal finance for over 25 years. His work has been featured on NPR, CNBC, Financial Times Television, and ABC News. After launching one of public radio's first successful digital platforms, Joe helped dozens of client companies launch or migrate their online content libraries. Today, Joe serves as a user experience consultant for a variety of Fortune 500 and Inc. 5000 businesses. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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