Don’t run. #PlagueSongs, no. 28

Surf rock in the middle of winter? And how is “Walk, Don’t Run” a plague song?

Excellent questions. To answer the second one first, I might say that its title evokes the slow pace of the vaccine roll-out. I want speed, but instead must endure this andante stumble. Or I might point out that the title wisely advises caution. We are still in this pandemic, and need to take all precautionary measures, even after we finally get vaccinated. Walk. Don’t run.

Instead, and here I’m beginning to address the first question, I chose the song partly because it is uptempo and cheerful. (The middle of winter is when we most need the bright energy of surf rock!)

I also chose the song because it’s one of the earliest songs I remember – though the version I heard first was the recording by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, from their !!Going Places!! (1965). When I was a small boy, this was one of the records my mother played when I – and later, my sister and I – wanted to dance. She would give us these nylon scarves – one red, the other yellow – and put the needle on the record. Then, we would dance around, entranced by the patterns of twirling our scarves, and by the rhythms of the music.

Because my experience of the song dates back to early childhood (age 3) and to time spent with my mother, “Walk, Don’t Run” brings with it not just a buoyant beat, but a warm, loving feeling. It lifts my spirits.

I offer my version here in the hopes that it may also lift yours.

Would you like to perform a song? Sure you would. Need ideas? The playlist below offers many places to start.

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