Music to be searched by

By | Category: Travel rumblings
London City Airport

Frank Sinatra might have sung “Come fly with me” from London City Airport

My favourite airport has just become less appealing. London City has become the first UK airport to pipe music into its main security search area.

The airport describes the music as a mix of “ambient electronica and upbeat acoustic music.” Singers such as Adele, Ed Sheeran, Ben Howard, Jason Mraz and Gavin James will serenade as passengers remove belts, jackets and liquids, laptops and I-pads.

Why music at all? Research from a music psychologist at Sheffield University, Dr Stephanie Bramley, says that background music might provide a positive distraction and “enhance the experience for those passing through security.” Ed Sheeran’s songs have received the most positive reaction from passengers and staff, said the airport, but I fancy they may not have chosen the right music at all.

I’m not happy about music being played altogether. I railed against musak in lifts and in department stores and you wouldn’t get me in any place that plays Christmas carols before mid-December unless I was issued with earplugs. But I’m not everyone so maybe airports in our countries should provide musical interludes for the majority of people who can stomach music whilst they wait.

If the queues are long maybe soothing whale music should be played since it has a supposedly calming influence.  Or they could play Johnny Cash’s “ I want to go home” or even Abba’s “On and On and On”  which might be more appropriate considering security lines that I have endured. There is always Avril Lavigne’s “Stuck at an Airport” to while away the time. After getting through a long queue, how about Maroon 5’s “If I never see your face again.”

If there are flight delays you certainly wouldn’t want to play Alice Cooper’s “Raise your fist and Yell” as that might incite some people so perhaps Gabrielle’s “I live in Hope” would be better. You certainly might get concerned if they played Pink Floyd’s “Learning to Fly!” or Slade’s “Wheels Ain’t Coming Down.”

Is it true that the second line of Tom Jones’s Its not an unusual” might have been “to be in an airport queue” and that Gloria Gaynor’s “I will survive” was about the hassles of clearing passport control? When Taylor Swift penned “All you had to do was stay” was she suggesting that you could avoid airport problems by not leaving in the first place? When John Denver wrote the words, “I’m leaving on a jet plane, don’t know when I’ll be back again.”

On the bright side, some days you can just sail through an airport so, if everything goes smoothly, and you get through to the gate then the obvious song is Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day.”

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