It might not yet be customary to don a waterproof iPod and headphones while looping the lanes at your local pool, but there are plenty of swim-themed tunes to keep you occupied on dry land. In keeping with this week’s swimming theme, we’ve put together a list of the best.
Peter Gabriel – I Go Swimming (1983)
There are many brilliantly ridiculous rhymes in this song from former Genesis vocalist, but the best is probably ‘don’t you know it’s better by far / the wetter you are?’ ’Nuff said…
REM – Nightswimming (1992)
The ultimate skinny dipping song. Appropriately minimalist, featuring only Michael Stipe’s vocals and Mike Mills on piano.
Frank Turner – Front Crawl (2008)
Acoustic track from the English punk/folk singer.
Frank Ocean – Swim Good (2011)
Brimming with dark metaphors, this is the second single from the American singer-songwriter’s 2011 mixtape Nostalgia, Ultra.
Metric – Breathing Underwater (2012)
Ethereal track from the indie Canadian band. Satisfyingly evades conclusive interpretation.
Henry Badowski – Swimming with the Fishes in the Sea (1981)
From British Henry Badowski’s only solo album Life is A Grand, this is an elusive track from a talented musician who also played with Wreckless Eric, Chelsea, The Damned and Alternative TV. Definitely worth dipping into.
Paul Kelly – Deeper Water (1995)
Coming-of-age track by Australian Paul Kelly.
John Butler – Ocean (1998)
Australian god of guitar John Butler captures the crescendo of mounting waves in this thrilling instrumental. He plays it differently every time, but this is the best version (and check out that thumbnail). It gets really exciting around 3:03.
Allo Darlin’ – Let’s Go Swimming (2010)
Water they talking about? Londoners will understand every stereotype in this song. Love the line about ‘swimming where nothing can eat you’ (the writer is an Aussie).
Madder Rose – Swim (1992)
Gentle earworm from the 1990s New York pop band.
Also check out:
Lido by Darren Hayman (album)
Ou est le Swimming Pool (English synthpop band)