Opinion: Sea shanties written for the digital age
Scott Simon imagines a world where beleaguered IT workers gained the recognition they deserve through the use of sea shanties.
SCOTT SIMON, HOST:
A lot of us have spent more time than ever in front of screens these past 22 months, and some of us have had to cry out for help occasionally. Information technology workers, maybe today's seafarers over oceans of encoded information, vital but often anonymous voices, essential but often unseen. We thought people might better appreciate those who defend our databases and keep our VPNs vibrant if we set their trials and triumphs to music, like sailors with their sea shanties. So Scott Simons, the Los Angeles musician, and I came up with a few songs to give voice to the digital derring-do of IT workers.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE BALLAD OF IT-HELP")
UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: (Singing) Oh, the call came in about 9:16. Is this IT? Help. I need you. I tried to log on to me machine and there's nothing but dark all o'er my screen. Reboot says I, but I cannot reply until you the fill the from A-15. is on our site. But nothing works. I cannot help you connect unless you connect. Pull down the menu and hit select.
SIMON: Or a shanty about how IT workers have to sail into the stiff winds of something like an extensible authentication protocol.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HOW DO YOU HANDLE AN EXTENSIBLE AUTHENTICATION PROTOCOL")
UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: (Singing) How do you handle an authentication protocol, extensible authentication protocol? How do you handle an authentication protocol early in the morning? Get this to a Level Three technician. Get this to a Level Three technician. We'll get this to a Level Three technician after you fill out the ticket.
SIMON: And a ballad of valor IT workers might sing to recall sailing in search of a safe port to connect.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BRING US THE RJ-45’S, AYE!")
UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: (Singing) There once was a unit tried to FTP but didn't have authenticated ISP. The screen went dark. The mouse didn't click. Into deep sleep it dipped. Soon may the TCP/IP arrive to bring RJ45s. One day, when the hard boot is done, we'll take our leave and go.
SIMON: I'm not sure what they're talking about. Don't those songs get your blood going? Sea shanties for IT workers, a Simon and Simons Production.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.