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The Hills Of Worthing Are Alive, With The Sound Of Music

David Showell

The recent addition of a communal Spotify playlist at Fresh Egg Towers has given all of us the opportunity to attempt to foist our often bizarre musical tastes onto our unsuspecting colleagues, and the past couple of weeks have perhaps given us an insight into the personalities of various Eggers in the process. SEO copywriting is an interesting profession, but people-watching can be even more fascinating.

The system is perfectly simple; anyone can nominate songs to be added to the playlist, and can vote for any of the choices to be played over the office’s PA system. For the more politically-minded members of staff, it represents the ultimate in democracy – only the song with most votes will be played next, so it really is the voice of the people doing the talking, and often it’s the voice of someone I don’t really like doing the singing.

But the liking and disliking of any particular songs is all part of the charm, of course, so for every Bob Dylan tune I can enjoy there’s a Will Young offering that sounds to me like someone scraping their fingers very slowly down a ceiling-to-floor blackboard. But I’m not complaining, because it’s all about personal taste – and if I DID complain some people might not vote for the songs I nominate!

The plot thickens

And speaking of voting, there has been plenty of shameless plotting going on throughout Fresh Egg Towers. I know this for a fact because I have been involved in an awful lot of it. Being an unprincipled charlatan, I am happy to agree to anything if it means I can garner a few votes for some Supertramp or perhaps a little Kate Bush. But before my colleagues start to think there’s no hope for me, I wish to point out that I’d NEVER vote for Barbie Girl, The Birdie Song or anything by Phil Collins. Sorry, but everyone has to have boundaries.

My colleagues within the company have a wide and varied musical taste, so almost anything could appear on the playlist at some point. Some of them even put little messages on the playlist asking for votes, and I must confess my lack of knowledge about contemporary music has occasionally led to me voting for songs which I would never have supported if I’d been a little bit wiser.

As an illustration, I voted for an Alkaline Trio song recently because I thought their name suggested they were perhaps some sort of string quartet with one member missing. I was expecting something a little gentler than the noise that came out of the speaker. Hey ho, David, just keep whispering to yourself: “it’s the voice of democracy, it’s the voice of democracy.”

You're never too old to learn

Sometimes, I see the communal playlist as a way of widening my musical education. After all, I tend to listen to Radio 2 in the car on the way to work, and as far as I know there’s no death metal on their playlist. Actually, when I say I listen to Radio 2 what I actually mean is I tolerate Radio 2 for about 15 minutes before I kick the dashboard in anger whenever Chris Evans becomes that little bit too cheerful.

In the coming months, I can see vote-rigging becoming even more sophisticated within our SEO company, but I’m mentally prepared for that. I have been studying voting patterns at the Eurovision Song Contest over the past decade and I think I know what needs to be done to get my music at the top of the playlist. Phase one of my strategy begins tomorrow, when I plan to wear a t-shirt that declares, “Give Me One Steely Dan And I’ll Give You One Lady Gaga.” If I get to work without being arrested, I know it will be a good day.

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