I guess this might well be it. #PlagueSongs, no. 36

I keep thinking that each PlagueSong is the last one I’ll post. But then both the plague and I continue on. And so, I do another. This time, since we’ve just finished season two of Ted Lasso, I give you the theme to that show!

Written and performed by Marcus Mumford and Tom Hove, the song both gestures to the brevity of existence and affirms the necessity of persistence. As viewers know, this is an apt theme for the show, where the song appears (in a shortened version) over the opening credits. I’ve recorded the longer version, which — in its Mumford-Hove original — you can find on the show’s soundtrack.

The “thesis statement” for season 1 (and perhaps for the show in general) is “be curious, not judgmental.”

Walt Whitman never wrote “Be curious, not judgmental.” The earliest example of the quotation that Dan Evon at Snopes.com can find is by Marguerite and Marshall Shearer in a January 1986 edition of the Charlotte Observer: “Try to find out her concerns. Be curious, not judgmental. Did she think you didn’t care?” The context is parents discovering oral contraceptives in their 17-year-old daughter’s bedroom, and the advice is to understand and be supportive of her — a sentiment that I think Ted Lasso would support.

It’s of course also a sentiment that I support. And “be curious, not judgmental” is especially good advice for me. I unfortunately have a learned tendency of being judgmental, but fortunately I also have a great deal of natural curiosity. So, it’s a reminder to use the latter to stave off the former: when I feel a judgmental moment coming on, I must ask a question instead of passing judgment. Like the characters in Ted Lasso (indeed, like all of us), I’m a work in progress.

Also, of course, sing the songs that keep you going! The playlist below offers many tunes that (directly or tangentially) intersect with our plague era. But turn to the music that speaks to you most clearly.

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/42wMffvcwWuLND2LRkh29U?si=34a967459929438a

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