No matter what your stance on Van Halen's "Jump" may be, there's one undeniable truth that nobody can dispute ... it's a damn fun song. It's hard to take anything too seriously when it features the absolute cheesiest synthesizer riff in recorded music history. I've played Nintendo cartridges that had more musical integrity than this song. And get a load of that carefree attitude Diamond Dave is exuding. When life is getting you down, just jump, man. Just, like, right where you're standing right now. Jump up in the air. Maybe click your heels together while you're up there. It's scientifically impossible to be in a bad mood after that.
Man, David Lee Roth is an alright kind of guy, isn't he?
Why It's Secretly Depressing:
Nope, he sure as shit isn't. See, it's not so much the lyrics that make this song depressing so much as David Lee Roth's inspiration for writing it. Don't take my word for it, though, let the man tell you himself:
"I was watching television one night and it was the five o'clock news and there was a fellow standing on top of the Arco Towers in Los Angeles and he was about to check out early, he was going to do the 33 stories drop -- and there was a whole crowd of people in the parking lot downstairs yelling "Don't jump, don't jump" and I thought to myself, "Jump." So, I wrote it down and ultimately it made in onto the record ..."
"And then I decided to get old and less talented."
Classy! But not nearly as classy as the radio DJ who found himself entrenched in a raging shit storm for playing the song back in 2010.
Steve Penk was on the air at England's 96.2 FM while traffic on the M60, which I'm assuming is whatever British people call a highway, was stuck across all four lanes. What was the cause of the delay? A woman threatening to commit suicide by jumping off a bridge. In one of the most egregious cases of misplaced sympathy of all time, Penk decided that, as a show of solidarity with the inconvenienced motorists, he should play Van Halen's "Jump."
It's never been clear if the woman threatening to jump actually heard the song blaring from the car of a passing motorist. What is quite clear though is that, while the song was playing, she took David Lee Roth's advice and jumped. She didn't die, though. She just suffered massive leg injuries.
So, I guess that makes it alright?
For more from Adam, check out 6 Famous Songs That Don't Mean What You Think and The 7 Most Unforgivable Grammy Award Snubs of All Time.