Whether you groove to a disco beat or prefer a rousing anthem, when it comes to saving a life, it’s the rhythm that’s important.
It was a brainwave, a true moment of genius, to decide to use pop music to help the public learn how to administer CPR and the Bee Gees’ Stayin’ Alive was a particularly apt choice. Even for someone with a bit of training, trying to help someone who has collapsed is a hugely stressful situation; their life is in your hands, and it would be easy to get it wrong. The feelings of regret, that you could have done more, would likely last long in the event of that person’s death.
A catchy song sticks in the mind and so, when it comes to remembering how to do it, the more the merrier. Adding The Proclaimers’ I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) to the repertoire, with help from Carol Smillie, will undoubtedly spread the word, particularly in Scotland, about the correct rhythm for CPR.
Craig Reid, who wrote most of the song on piano in about 45 minutes, later said he had “no idea” about how popular it would become. Well Craig, it’s now so popular it will now help keep people alive.