Episode 164 - Healthcare Is a Right (Not a Privilege)

Ep. 164 - Healthcare Is A Right (Not A Privilege)

Published on June 10th, 2019.

Recorded by Shannon and Scott.

Transcribed by Shreya Shanker.


[tuner sound]


SHANNON and SCOTT: 1, 2, 3, 4.


[theme song plays]


SCOTT: (singsong) Welcome to Song Salad with Shannon and Scott!


SHANNON: (singsong) I’m Shannon!


SCOTT: (singsong) And I’m Scott.


SHANNON: (singsong) I’m a professional writer and your resident lyricist.


SCOTT: (singsong) And I’m a professional musician and your resident composer.


SHANNON and SCOTT: (quietly) And together- [laugh]


SHANNON: (normal voice) We toss up a new song each week.


SCOTT: (softly) Not sustainable. (normal voice) Using a random music genre-


SHANNON: And a random topic.


SCOTT: That's right. Using our proprietary, patented, pinstriped- did I say that one already? (SHANNON: No.) - industrial-strength salad spinner, we randomized over 500 music genres!


SHANNON: And hit the "Random Article" button on Wikipedia to get our topic.


SCOTT: That's right. Tell our listeners what we did last week, Shannon.


SHANNON: Last week! We wrote a dark wave song...


SCOTT: Mmmm...


SHANNON: About a man who was very strong and very soft.


SCOTT: [laughs] Strong in intellect and artistic ability and muscles. 


SHANNON: Yeah. Steve Cepello!


SCOTT: Yes! The professional wrestler turned artist, Steve Cepello. I think that was one of our most accurate songs to date!


SHANNON: Honestly, I- it's one of my favorites.


SCOTT: It's really fun.


SHANNON: I- I came upstairs from- from recording and my husband Josh was like "good salad?" Which is usually what he says after recording, and I was like, "it's one of my new favorite episodes!


SCOTT: (sings) "The art is inside me".


SHANNON: [laughs] (softly) So good.


SCOTT: Yep. That was a good one.


SHANNON: We were made for dark wave.


SCOTT: [laughs] We were. But, let's see what we're made for this week as we fire up the salad spinner to generate our genre and topic.


SHANNON: Let's go.


SCOTT: Sweet. We're writing a song in the style of...


[whirring machinery sound effect begins, then comes sound of something splatting out of the machine]


SHANNON and SCOTT: Wedding.


SHANNON: Wedding.


SCOTT: About?


[sound effect ends with a ding!]


SHANNON and SCOTT: Healthcare in Kenya.


SHANNON: [laughs]


SCOTT: (as Shannon laughs) Okay, uh, we have to write a wedding song about healthcare in Kenya.


SHANNON: This doesn't make any sense!


SCOTT: But it feels like the most Song Salad thing we've ever done. [laughs]


SHANNON: This is- this is when you get two, like, whammies, you know? Like, nothing is right about either of these two things.


SCOTT: We rolled the dice and got snake eyes both time.


SHANNON: Oh, guys. Oh, guys. Okay. 


SCOTT: So, wedding music seems, uh, hard to grasp.


SHANNON: Seems broad.


SCOTT: Yeah... what's the first thing you think of when you think of wedding music?


SHANNON: The processional.


SCOTT: Like, an organ?


SHANNON: Yeah! Like "Here Comes The Bride" or whatever that's called in real life? But, like, yeah, the music that you walk down the aisle to at a traditional, I guess, Anglo-Judeo-Christian wedding. Cause obviously that's not the case everywhere. 


SCOTT: Right. I think for me, since I've been to- you know, I've been to a bunch of weddings recently that all have had bands, I think of, like, Uptown Funk as wedding music, you know?


SHANNON: Ohhh, like, the stuff you dance to at the reception.


SCOTT: Like, the stuff you dance to, the stuff that every wedding band plays, you know? But there's also, like, first dance songs, and-


SHANNON: Music during the ceremony?


SCOTT: Ceremony music, mm-hmm. String quartet stuff.




SCOTT: So... (crosstalk) See if any-


SHANNON: (crosstalk) Just DJs- [laughs]


SCOTT: We'll see if any research we do, like, changes what we know about this, but we might have to just, kind of, pick a lane.


SHANNON: Yeah, so this is gonna be one of those- I feel like when we did, like, the commercial jingle?


SCOTT: Or Halloween music or Thanksgiving music.


SHANNON: (over Scott) Or Thanksgiving- yeah, I feel like we're just gonna have to, like, lean hard into one thing?


SCOTT: Mm-hmm.


SHANNON: And I do not know how healthcare in Kenya [laughs] can be combined with wedding music.


SCOTT: Tell me what you know about healthcare in Kenya.


SHANNON: Um, I don't know anything.


SCOTT: Me either.


SHANNON: I mean, I know Kenya is a country, I assume they have healthcare there, and that's it.


SCOTT: Well, since a Wikipedia article exists about it, it exists. 


SHANNON: Yeah, I mean, I don't know. I don't know if- I don't know if they have socialized medicine in Kenya, I don't know if they have, like, a private insurance program, I have no idea.


SCOTT: No... idea. 


SHANNON: We'll find out.


SCOTT: Let's research.


SHANNON: Yeah. Hard.


SCOTT: It is going to be hard. [laughs]


SHANNON: [laughs]


[Timestamp: 04:37]


[transition theme plays]


SHANNON and SCOTT: (sing the tune of the Wedding March, then start laughing)


SCOTT: Love is in the air!




SCOTT: And everyone's getting married. It's a popular thing to do.


SHANNON: [laughs] What is this? What is this new podcast we're doing?


SCOTT: Wedding Watch 2019! Who's getting married now?


SHANNON: Well, I will tell you that the song that we just terribly sang was the recessional of, uh...


SCOTT: It was the Wedding March from A Midsummer Night's Dream!


SHANNON: Yes, sorry, yes. Wedding March from Midsummer Night's Dream, yes.


SCOTT: Composed by Felix Mendelssohn, and we're not even going to bother to play an example of it, 'cause you know it, that was it.


SHANNON: [laughs] So, I will say there is a Wikipedia article for wedding music, (SCOTT: There is!) which surprised both of us. It is incredibly, uh, Western-centric. 


SCOTT: Yeah, and, like, antiquated.


SHANNON: Yes, yes. It is Judeo-Christian almost exclusively, it is very Western, and they make little mention of, like, any other cultures other than European, American, and a little bit of Jewish, and one thing about Egyptian weddings.


SCOTT: Right. [laughs]


SHANNON: (crosstalk) Uhh, but let's talk about-


SCOTT: (crosstalk) It also only mentions, uh, instrumental music.


SHANNON: Yes! That's true.


SCOTT: So, I guess that was traditional in Western weddings, and now it is much more traditional to include lyrics in your songs at weddings, I think.


SHANNON: Though, let's be clear that we're talking about the processional and the recessional, (SCOTT: Yeah.) because a lot of weddings incorporate hymns into the ceremony, so that's, like, the kind of stuff- that's the- the white part of the Oreo. (SCOTT: [laughs]) But we're talking about the cookie. And, uh-


SCOTT: Let's crunch.


SHANNON: Yeah. So, the processional is when the- usually, when the bride walks down the aisle. The-


SCOTT: Yep. And the recessional is the opposite.


SHANNON: Yes. When the bride and groom exit together as a married couple.


SCOTT: Mm-hmm.


SHANNON: The most popular wedding processional - still, probably, today - is the "Bridal Chorus" from Richard Wagner's Lohengrin?


SCOTT: Lohen- Lohengrin.


SHANNON: Lohengrin.


SCOTT: With a German accent.




SCOTT: [laughs] I also like that you said Richard. Cause it's- isn't it, like, Ree-card?


SHANNON: Yeah, I said Richard (with a German accent) Vah-gner.


SCOTT: (with an American accent) Richard Wagner's opera, Lo-han-grin.


SHANNON: [laughs] Dick Wagner!


SHANNON and SCOTT: [laughs]


SHANNON: No, Richard Wagner- anyway. It's popularly called "Here Comes The Bridge"-


SCOTT: Yes. You know it!


SHANNON: And you- you definitely know it, it's almost always played on a pipe organ, can we- can we hear a little snippet?


SCOTT: Sing along.


[Timestamp: 07:40]


[25 seconds of the "Bridal Chorus" plays]


SHANNON: So that's the most popular one.


SCOTT: Yeah!


SHANNON: But there's also things like Canon in D?


SCOTT: I would argue that's probably the second most popular one.




SCOTT: Pachelbel's Canon.


SHANNON: Yes. Uhh, and then, a really famous one, but maybe less used, is the-


SHANNON and SCOTT: Prince of Denmark's March.


SCOTT: By Jeremiah Clarke.


SHANNON: And that was used in Prince Charles and Lady Diana's wedding in 1981, and then it became supes popular after that


SCOTT: Well, yeah, cause it was televised, so.


SHANNON: Yes. Yeah.


SCOTT: So yeah, those are probably the most well known processionals, but, as we've said, it's very common nowadays to process to songs that do have lyrics. For instance, at your wedding, Shannon!


SHANNON: Yeah, that's true!


SCOTT: What was your processional?


SHANNON: We did a song, uh... we- it was just a recorded song, it was not played live. But it was LP's "Tokyo Sunrise".


SCOTT: Yeah.


SHANNON: Um, and it is a very dramatic song and, um, kind of funky and weird, but it has - I know I've talked about this on the podcast before - has taiko drums.


SCOTT: It does.


SHANNON: And they just get me all stirred up! (SCOTT: [laughs]) I really love 'em! Uh-


SCOTT: It's the perfect feeling while you're processing.


SHANNON: I honestly think it- it kind of was the perfect feeling, (SCOTT: Yeah!) it really set the tone. Um, I dunno, should we play a little bit of it?


SCOTT: Sure, why not?


SHANNON: Okay, cool.


[45 seconds of "Tokyo Sunrise"]


SHANNON: So yeah, you can imagine me and my husband, at the same time, walking down the aisle to that! Which is what we did. And Scott, too!


SCOTT: I- I did. I just happened to be there. [laughs]


SHANNON: [laughs] He was trying to find his seat and he wandered in, walked down the aisle in front of us- no, no, Scott officiated our wedding, so-


SCOTT: I'm ordained, baby.




SCOTT: I composed a piece for Megan's processional.


SHANNON: It was beautiful.


SCOTT: Thanks, it was not with lyrics, though. (SHANNON: No.) It was just a string quartet piece. 


SHANNON: It was called, "Heeere's Megan!"


SHANNON and SCOTT: [laugh]


SCOTT: I think I did come up with a bunch of joke titles for it.


SHANNON: Yeah, no, you did send me options, you were like "which one's the best title?" I remember, before you printed your programs. No, it was really, really beautiful, and I don't know if you wanna share that with our friends and listeners, but you can if you want to.


SCOTT: Um, I don't have, like, an actual recording of it, I just have, like, a fakey-fake version of it.


SHANNON: Even in your video?


SCOTT: It's on a DVD, so I'd have to figure out how to rip the audio from a DVD. [laughs]


SHANNON: Okay, okay, listen, guys. We'll just make copies of Scott's wedding DVDs, and we'll send them out to everyone.


SCOTT: (under Shannon) We'll send them out. If you become a $15 patreon donor, we'll send you a copy of my wedding video.


SHANNON: [laughs] If you become a $1500 patreon donor, we'll send-


SCOTT: Then I'll marry you. [laughs]


SHANNON: Yeah. [laughs] Amazing.


SCOTT: Uh, I did, for a gift for Megan, though, buy her a jewelry box that's also a music box that plays a little harp rendition of that song. 


SHANNON: That's a very sweet gift. We also wrote your first dance song.


SCOTT: That's true, I was going to mention that (SHANNON: Yeah!), that first dance songs are also wedding music, and Shannon and I wrote the song that Megan and I danced to, which was very nice. (SHANNON: Yeah.) And the band did a pretty good job with it! They played it a little slow, but- [laughs] it's okay.


SHANNON: (over SCOTT) It was a little slow, but, uh, I mean, for learning the song- learning a whole new song to sing, they did a great job.


SCOTT: They did.




SCOTT: And your first dance song was?


SHANNON: It was "The Gambler" by fun.




SHANNON: Not the (singing to the tune of Kenny Roger's "The Gambler") "know when to hold 'em"- [laughs]


SCOTT: "Know when to hold 'em." [laughs] First dance.


SHANNON: No, not that "The Gambler". "The Gambler" by fun.


SCOTT: It's a beautiful song. Yeah! Um, I pulled up "The Knot," which is a very popular wedding website, wedding planning website, and they have a list of 50 classic first dance songs, and some of these are definitely extremely popular, uh. "Amazed" by Lone Star?




SCOTT: (singing) "I don't know how you do what you do. I'm so in love with you." 


SHANNON: I love we're not just playing these as examples.


SCOTT: We don't need to. "At Last" by Etta James. (sings) "At Laaaaaast." (normal voice) You know that one.


SHANNON: Mm-hmm.


SCOTT: "Can't Help Falling In Love," Elvis Presley. "How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You." "In My Life," the Beatles. So. We could write something like that.


SHANNON: Yeah, so, basically the- the trend that we're seeing is that the first dance songs tend to be pop music, or popular music from the time. Some of them stick around, cause there's definitely, like, a lot of classics or, you know, like standards - what we'd consider standards (SCOTT: Yeah.) still played today and danced to today!  


SCOTT: And another variation on wedding music (SHANNON: Yup.) is the final song of the night.


SHANNON: Yes! (SCOTT: [laughs]) Which is almost always-


SHANNON and SCOTT: "Don't Stop Believing." [laughs]


SCOTT: By Journey.


SHANNON: In American weddings. Let's be specific, American weddings.


SCOTT: Uh, but our final song was "New York, New York." (SHANNON: Yes!) Which was a lot of fun. We did a kick line!


SHANNON: There was a kick line, it was extremely good. Uh, our final song was-


SCOTT: The Hokey Pokey.


SHANNON and SCOTT: [laugh]


SHANNON: Uh, it was "We Are The Tide" by Blind Pilot.


SCOTT: Yeah.


SHANNON: And that was fun.


SCOTT: You got- I mean, music makes the wedding. Music and food make the wedding.


SHANNON: Yes. And you- and somewhere in the middle, you get married, and it's fine. (SCOTT: Yeah!) But, uh, yeah. Music and food.


SCOTT: So, we know that we're writing a wedding song about healthcare in Kenya. 


SHANNON: [bursts out laughing]


SCOTT: Um- [laughs]


SHANNON: I forgot that until just now!


SCOTT: What part of the wedding should we focus on?


SHANNON: Yeah, yeah, okay. I don't- I don't think we should do a hymn, right? (SCOTT: No.) The ceremony music, straight out.


SCOTT: No, I don't think so. It- this isn't like an "Amazing Grace" situation.


SHANNON: No. I think we should focus on either the first dance or the last song.


SCOTT: Okay.


SHANNON: Because I think otherwise, we're going to be, like- trying to hit a super specific tone for processional or recessional, right?


SCOTT: Yeah, I agree, I agree. I think either first dance, like, slow dance ballad, poppy slow dance ballad of some sort (SHANNON: Yeah.), or epic party send-off, end of the night-


SHANNON: Ooooh, tempting. Should we dig a little more into healthcare in Kenya [laughs] before we decide which one is more appropriate?


SCOTT: [laughs] I mean, I guess.


SHANNON: I mean, I- yeah, we could really just flip a coin.


SCOTT: Never really been faced with this dilemma before.


SHANNON: Yeah. Oh, gosh, so bad. Um... let's decide after we learn about healthcare in Kenya.


SCOTT: Yeah, let's go to Kenya.




[Timestamp: 15:46]


[transition theme plays]


SCOTT: I've learned things.


SHANNON: Me too. Many valuable things that I-


SHANNON and SCOTT: (sing) Never learned before.


SCOTT: (sings) Excited and scared!


SHANNON: I mean, kind of talking about this does make me excited and scared.


SCOTT: Yeah. I mean, I don't like thinking about healthcare systems in general. [laughs]


SHANNON: [laughs] Yeah?


SCOTT: But thinking about one of another country is, I guess, intellectually stimulating.


SHANNON: [laughs] Your face when you said that was so tragic.


SCOTT: [laughs] I also just- I dunno, I think I'm having a hang-up of just, like, reading- we'll get into this, but reading about the structure and strategy of this healthcare system, but then thinking about how it's probably actually put into practice, it's like, yeah, it doesn't work like that. [laughs]


SHANNON: Yeah, no, no, no. I mean, it does make me feel, like- I get very down about healthcare in this country, but it also makes me feel a little bit better about it? (SCOTT: Sure.) Looking at the way that it works in Kenya? Or- at least the way that it seems to work based on this Wikipedia article and a little bit of other digging that we've done.


SCOTT: So, I think it's interesting to start with the fact that in 2010, there was a new constitution written for the country of Kenya, and it split the country into 47 counties, and it decentralized the government, and that, in turn, decentralized healthcare in the country.


SHANNON: Yeah, so there are a very specific, like, hierarchy of care institutions in Kenya at the county level? And then a couple at the larger- like, there's three national hospitals in all of Kenya. (SCOTT: Right.) But, you kind of have to go through this step-wise process to get your case referred up and up and up to higher levels of care within a county.


SCOTT: Right. For- based on how serious your condition is, what the type of condition is, and also, I believe, what type of health insurance coverage you have? And it seems like it- according to Wikipedia, 80% of the population of Kenya is covered by, like, the government public health insurance option, and then 20% of the population can afford private insurance. (SHANNON: Yeah.) So.


SHANNON: This is basically the way that customer service works at most large companies? So, like, there are people who are, like, level one agents, and you get- and that's a ticket that's like "I need to reset my password!" and, like, okay, fine, easy, (crosstalk) we'll reset your password.


SCOTT: (crosstalk) And then you're like, you ask a question they don't understand, and then they get someone else who's level two to help you.


SHANNON: Yes, yes, and then, like, depending on how deep your customer service goes-


SCOTT: Or how often you say "Can I speak to a manger?"


SHANNON: Yes, or like, however many threats you level at the poor customer service agent, um-


SCOTT: "I am an honors member!"


SHANNON: [laughs] "I need my warm cookie upon arrival!" Um, but it's the same here. So you might go to- I'm just gonna run through quickly the levels. Uh, it is dispensaries, private clinics, health centers, sub-district hospitals and nursing homes, which seems like kind of a separate thing? (SCOTT: Sure.) And then sub-country or district hospitals, and then the county hospitals.


SCOTT: And then the national (crosstalk) hospitals after that. Which there're only a couple.


SHANNON: (crosstalk) Yes. And then the national hospitals. So, to like, get past the dispensary level-


SCOTT: You have to solve three riddles!


SHANNON: [laughs] Solve for me these riddles three and I will help you heal your (crosstalk) knee!


SCOTT: (crosstalk) TB! Oh.


SHANNON and SCOTT: [laugh]


SHANNON: Actually, TB is more apt, uh, in this country. Um, so, uh, the lower levels, I guess, if you wanna call them lower or just more general levels (the dispensaries, private clinics, and health centers) are staffed, primarily, it seems, by nurses.


SCOTT: Yeah, and nursing is taken pretty seriously in the country, cause I believe it's probably the, you know, highest population of healthcare professionals in the country.


SHANNON: And probably the way most people receive their healthcare.


SCOTT: Yeah. So the federal government has, like, a nursing standards board that puts rules and standards in place, and nurses have to get, uh, degrees in order to practice healthcare? And it's at least two and a half years of schooling, up to four or more probably.


SHANNON: Yeah, so, you know, depending on, like, if you just need an immunization, or you just, like, you know- you got a cut that got infected on your finger, something, you can probably take care of it at the lower level. Some things that you might have to do at the, like, health center level are things like minor surgery, like stitching a wound.


SCOTT: Having a baby.


SHANNON: Yeah, having a baby - except for cesarean sections, which then go to the sub-district hospitals, which, to me, is weird.


SCOTT: Why is that weird?


SHANNON: Because, if you're in labor, (crosstalk) you don't necessarily-


SCOTT: (crosstalk) You don't wanna be transported?


SHANNON: Well, yeah, you don't necessarily know if you're going to need a cesarean section. And I'm wondering if that's part of the reason why their maternal health rate- death rate is so high.


SCOTT: It's probably part of it.


SHANNON: Is because you're- the time that you need to spend transferring to a surgical unit, you are losing blood, or losing oxygen to yourself and the baby, or whatever. (SCOTT: Yeah.) Uh, I dunno.


SCOTT: I dunno. Um, so then the next level up from that, you go to a sub-county or district hospital for comprehensive surgical services (SHANNON: Yeah.), and then county hospitals and national hospitals for very serious cases.


SHANNON: Yeah, or like, ongoing- like intensive care, or, like, some ongoing- there's a whole spinal injury center in Kenya, so, like, yeah, something that's a much longer-term than all this.


SCOTT: Now, speaking of long-term hospital stays, (SHANNON: Yep, yep, yep, yep.) you could stay in the hospital a very long time in Kenya, even if you're healthy.


SHANNON: Because apparently, it was the policy of many hospitals for people, patients, who don't pay their bills that they don't let them leave.


SCOTT: And you can be prevented from leaving by armed guards!


SHANNON: Guys! Guys.


SCOTT: This policy was found to be illegal in 2015 by the High Court, but was still widespread, and I guess the Court issued another ruling in 2018 to tell hospitals, like, "do not do this," but it doesn't say that the problem's been solved.


SHANNON: No. Which is terrifying. So you could basically be imprisoned in a hospital if you receive medical care and then cannot pay it.


SCOTT: Crazy.




SCOTT: So, wedding music.


SHANNON and SCOTT: [laugh]


SCOTT: Ummm.


SHANNON: So, I do think we should go with the party-party-send-off.


SCOTT: Party-party-send-off.




SCOTT: Rather than a first dance song.


SHANNON: I- I think so. Because I think a big part of this healthcare system is passing you off to the next facility.


SCOTT: To the next- next phase of your development.


SHANNON: Yes! The next phase of the party, which is you all go back to the hotel bar, and everyone changes into pajamas.


SCOTT: Oh my god, I'm just picturing, like, the Black Eyed Peas song where they list the days of the week, but we just list different types of hospitals in Kenya.


SHANNON: (loosely sung to a beat) Dispensary, private clinic, health center. (normal voice) Oh my god.


SCOTT: [laughs] (loosely sung to a beat) Some district hospitals, district-to-district-to hospital. [laughs] L'chaim!


SHANNON: So. Send-off song about being- kind of about being passed to the next hospital, (crosstalk) but it has to feel-


SCOTT: (crosstalk) I think that'll work.


SHANNON: -celebratory, and it- and I (crosstalk) guess it doesn't-


SCOTT: (crosstalk) Well what if- what if it's like "yeah, you've gone through all of the hard steps of your life, you've went from hospital to hospital, and you got to the national hospital, and now you're finally getting out cause you paid your bills!"


SHANNON: Oh-! [laughs]


SCOTT: "Congratulations! You're embarking on your new life together."


SHANNON: Great. Okay. I love this because a lot of wedding songs end up being, like, metaphorical, (SCOTT: Yes!) so then people could adopt it as the party send-off song!


SCOTT: Yeah! (crosstalk) Don't stop believing! [laughs]


SHANNON: (crosstalk) You're getting out of the hospital! Yeah!


SCOTT: You're getting out of the hospital.


SHANNON: Don't stop be-leeding.


SHANNON and SCOTT: [laugh]


SHANNON: 'Cause you're in the hospital.


SCOTT: Oh, no.


SHANNON: Oh, god. Yeah, I think this will work. (under Scott) I mean, sort of.


SCOTT: (over Shannon) Okay. I'm going to listen to things like "Don't Stop Believing" and the Black Eyed Peas, and just those, like, those big group singalong party numbers, and get some inspiration for where to take this in, like, a genre and musical language way.


SHANNON: Cool. I'm gonna try to write something with as, like, straightforward a narrative path as possible, so that we're not muddying a whole bunch of concepts.


SCOTT: Great. Well, we are. But great. [laughs]


SHANNON: I mean, yeah. That's the whole show.


SCOTT: Let's do it.


[Timestamp: 25:10]


[transition theme plays]


SHANNON: Guys? This was disturbingly easy for me. [laughs]


SCOTT: [laughs] Ohhhh, man.




SCOTT: I'm scared.


SHANNON: Yeah, you should be.


SCOTT: Excited and scared is the theme of today's episode.


SHANNON: Yeah. Um-


SCOTT: Which I guess is how you feel on your wedding day.






SHANNON: Were you scared on your wedding day?


SCOTT: I just wanted things to go right.


SHANNON: Yeah, that was the scared part.


SCOTT: I wasn't scared of getting married. (SHANNON: Yeah, no.) I just wanted the day to go well. [laughs]


SHANNON: Yes, no, that is completely, completely it, is you're just thinking about all of the- well, also, we are theater people.


SCOTT: We've talked about this a lot.




SCOTT: Not on the podcast (SHANNON: No.), just like in person. [laugh]


SHANNON: Yeah, that, um- that when you are making your wedding and you are a theater person, you are very conscious of it being a show that you are putting on.


SCOTT: Yeah. And I think theater people in general are used to planning things that involve the types of things that a wedding entails?




SCOTT: So, I dunno, it felt-


SHANNON: Like, coordinating music and movement at the same time!


SCOTT: Right. Exactly.


SHANNON: And, like, having a set schedule of, like, when people need to hit their marks. [laughs]


SCOTT: Exactly. Exactly. So, yeah. So we all- all four of us had a distinct advantage. [laughs]


SHANNON: Yes, I think- I think so. But it just made me- it made me very conscious of feeling like a stage manager at times, (SCOTT: Yes.) when I'm like, "I just- if I could just call that cue again, that would be so great, can we take it back? Can we dry-tech this?" I mean, that's what your dress rehearsal- (crosstalk) your dress rehearsal?


SCOTT: (crosstalk) Your rehearsal.


SHANNON: Your wedding rehearsal is. Anyway-


SCOTT: [laugh] We're going to take intermission right here. The wedding will be right back.


SHANNON: You know what I- what I've realized as I've talked about all of the ways that we have participated in each other's weddings (SCOTT: Yes.), and I even missed one, which is that you and my husband, uh, Josh coordinated a song, and Josh actually sang a song at our wedding.


SCOTT: (over Shannon) True! A surprise song, yeah, for you. 


SHANNON: And Scott played the piano, and some of our other friends sang. But I'm just aware to the unhealthy degree to which we are integrated into one another's lives. [laughs]


SCOTT: It's true.


SHANNON: It's, uh, it's a lot.


SCOTT: Yeah.




SCOTT: I'm excited and scared by our friendship. [laughs]


SHANNON: I know. Do you wanna hear my lyrics?


SCOTT: I would love to hear your lyrics.


SHANNON: Okay, so-


SCOTT: And is it basically what we talked about with the- the idea of the song?


SHANNON: Yes, the idea is like, you have paid your debt to this hospital, and now you can go out and live the life you are meant to live, and I think it's a song you can imagine would be co-opted by people to play at the end of their weddings.


SCOTT: Well, as you mentioned when we were off air looking at popular end-of-wedding songs, the songs' lyrics often just become metaphor for this moment in your life, (SHANNON: Yes.) it's not, like, you know, "Living on a Prayer" or "Don't Stop Believing" aren't necessarily about weddings, they're just-


SHANNON: Yeah, no, not at all.


SCOTT: Or, um, "Don't Stop Me Now" by Queen, all these types of songs that came up as popular, end of the night songs.   


SHANNON: "Time of my Life"? (SCOTT: Yes!) From- made famous by Dirty Dancing.


SCOTT: Yes. [laughs]


SHANNON: But yeah, so we- we talked a little about- as you were composing, uh, about the different sections that we wanted the song to have for that maximum, like, late 80s, big ballad feel.


SCOTT: Big rock ballad.


SHANNON: Big rock ballad, yeah. Um, and we're going to have, like, a kind of slower intro, then a little verse, and then, like, a big chorus, and then a kind of sing-alongy part. (SCOTT: Yes!) So I've tried to do all of that.


SCOTT: Tell me!


SHANNON: Okay. Here we go. Here's, like, the slow intro part. "There comes a time In ev’ry person’s life / When it’s time to move on / Time to walk out the door / And hit the floor."


SHANNON and SCOTT: [laugh]


SHANNON: And then the chorus, or the verse, sorry, is, "Malaria laid you low / But now it’s time to go / You’ve recovered / You miss your lover." Uh, malaria's actually still a very big problem in Kenya. Uh, and then the chorus is, "You’ve paid your bills / And you’re free now / Free to be now / With the person you were meant to be with / This hospital cannot hold you / Legally / But that doesn’t mean that we won’t try."




SHANNON: And then the sing-along part, because this is super fucked up, and we need to have a point to making fun of this, the sing-along is, "Healthcare is a right / Not a privilege / Healthcare is a right / Not a privilege." [laughs]


SCOTT: Wow. Oh my god. [laughs] Took a little bit of a turn there.


SHANNON: Whatever, I'm pushing my agenda wherever I can.


SCOTT: Okay, let's push it. I like that. [laughs]


SHANNON: Yeah. Yeah. Um, this is a crazy practice, hospitals should not hold you because you cannot pay.


SCOTT: Well, I would argue that the exact same thing is happening in America, but we are being held hostage by debt.


SHANNON: Yep. Preeeetty much.


SCOTT: Off soapbox. Let's talk about piano.


SHANNON: Yeah! Tell me about your piano.


SCOTT: Piano rock- I was very inspired by "Don't Stop Believing" and really wanted to start this with piano, so here's a little bit of a taste of what the slow piano intro is going to sound like.


[Timestamp: 30:42]


[About 7 seconds of slow piano.]




SCOTT: And then we speed up for the chorus, we keep the piano in there but we add in drums, we add in bass, we add in guitar. Here's a little bit of the drum pattern.


[5 seconds of the drum pattern.]




SCOTT: And some- not so funky, but rocky bass!


[5 seconds of the bass.]


SHANNON: How-how did Journey miss you? How are you not in Journey?


SCOTT: [laughs] I was into Journey.


SHANNON: I believe that about you.


SCOTT: I wore out that "Greatest Hits" CD in my car. In my white Volkswagen Jetta. [laughs]


SHANNON: [laughs]


SCOTT: White being the operative word there.


SHANNON: Yeah, yeah, yeah.


SCOTT: And, uh, here's the guitar.


[About 10 seconds of the guitar.]




SCOTT: And then, I think the final section, the sing-along section, we're just going to have to record a bunch of ourselves overlapping, and make it sound like a crowd. [laughs]


SHANNON: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I think we could also add in some, like, (vocalizes on a syllable) or whatever, yeah. 


SCOTT: Something like that, right, like "Hey, Jude", for instance. 


SHANNON: Yes, yes, exactly.


SCOTT: (sings the vocalization from "Hey, Jude") "Na-na na na. Na-na na na. Hey Jude." Something that's, like, very easy to sing along to, and something that, like, even if the band dropped out, everyone in the crowd would keep singing (SHANNON: Yes!), which maybe we'll do that too.  


SHANNON: Yes, where people are just, like, duplicating the melodic instrument, whatever the melody line is.


SCOTT: Yeah, and it's something that the singer could, like, continue to sing other words over, or riff over, and it's just, like, is so fun and cathartic to sing that you don't wanna stop and it just goes in a loop.


SHANNON: Honestly? I think it will be extremely cathartic to sing "healthcare is a right, not a privilege." I don't know about you guys.


SCOTT: Is that our title?


SHANNON: I mean- [laughs] Healthcare is a right, parentheses, not a privilege.


SCOTT: [laughs] I think that- that's it. We're going big, this week.


SHANNON: We're going big. Big concept, big feelings, big mood.


SCOTT: We have big healthcare energy right now.


SHANNON: Yeah. [laugh] Big health-




SHANNON: [laughs] Oh, god.


SCOTT: Oh, great. (SHANNON: Yeah.) I think we're ready.


SHANNON: We're ready.


SCOTT: Should we come up with a band name?


SHANNON: Oooh. Yeah, yeah. What's a good epic 80s band name?


SCOTT: Well, something like Journey, you know? Something epic, like, word that sends you off. Something to do with love, wedding.


SHANNON: Ooh! Ooh. Ooh.


SCOTT: Yeah?


SHANNON: Discharge.


SCOTT: Discharge? [laughs]


SHANNON: [laughs]


SCOTT: That also sounds like it could be, like, a gross punk band, you know?


SHANNON: Ohhh, yeah, no, no, you're right, that's, like, gorecore or whatever.


SCOTT: Yeah, um-


SHANNON: But I mean discharge from the hospital.


SCOTT: Yeah, is there another word, like, one word that means, like, debt-free?


SHANNON: Oh, what if it's, like, just Paid? [laughs]


SCOTT: Paid. [laughs]


SHANNON: Like, something you would stamp on a bill. Paid.


SCOTT: Yeah, with that, like, red outline.




SCOTT: Yeah, that's our album cover.


SHANNON: Great. (under Scott) Paid. 


SCOTT: Paid. Alright, cool, here is "Healthcare Is A Right (Not A Privilege)," by Paid.


SHANNON: [laughs] A wedding song, somehow!


SCOTT: About healthcare in Kenya, somehow!


SHANNON: By Shannon and Scott.


[Timestamp: 34:13]


[Song plays - all the tracks from before are layered, with tuned vocals over it.



There comes a time

In ev’ry person’s life

When it’s time to move on

Time to walk out the door

And hit the floor


Malaria laid you low

But now it’s time to go

You’ve recovered

You miss your lover


You’ve paid your bills

And you’re free now

(Free to be now)

With the person you were meant to be with

This hospital cannot hold you


But that doesn’t mean that we won’t try


Healthcare is a right (Na, na, na-na-na)

Not a privilege

Healthcare is a right (Na, na, na-na-na)

Not a privilege


Healthcare is a right (Na, na, na-na-na)

Not a privilege

Healthcare is a right (Na, na, na-na-na)

Not a privilege


Riff over the last four lines:

You know, you know that healthcare is a right. 

You know that healthcare is a right.

Nurses should be taken seriously.

It's a right to you and me.

Gotta four year degree.

Whether we’re in America or Kenya.

Gotta go to the doctor.


(Na, na, na-na-na repeats and fades out)]




SCOTT: If anyone out there is getting married-


SHANNON: [explosive laugh]


SCOTT: -and plays this at any point during their wedding, and provides us video evidence-


SHANNON: Of all your confused older relatives.


SCOTT: What- what is the proper, like, prize for that? What's the proper compensation for that?


SHANNON: (over Scott) I don't know! Like, I- I- we'll do- we'll do a Skype call with you, and we'll thank you personally, and we'll-


SCOTT: I- I might wanna, like, buy a plane ticket and come to you, and hang out with you. [laughs]


SHANNON: Yeah, seriously. What-


SCOTT: Or, you know what, seriously, if you're actually- if this is true, if you're getting married and you play this song at your wedding, we will get you a very nice wedding gift.


SHANNON: There you go, there you go. If you play this song as the last song at your wedding- [laughs]


SCOTT: The best thing on your registry is on us. [laughs]


SHANNON: We will get it for you. [laughs] Oh, guys.


SCOTT: Oh, man. I- I almost returned to Michael Bolton. [laughs]


SHANNON: No, you were Michael Bolton.


SCOTT: As- as featured in our, uh, Christian rock episode?


SHANNON: Oh, Valpy New Year.


SCOTT: Valpy New Year.


SHANNON: Valpy New Year.


SCOTT: If you wanna hear my, like, real Michael Bolton impression, go back to Valpy New Year.


SHANNON: I- Valpy New Year is a very good song.


SCOTT: That's, like, a top 20 song. [laughs]


SHANNON: Yeah, for sure. Um, but I- I honestly think, though, that during the- the sing-along "na na na" part? (SCOTT: Yeah.) I would drunkenly clap my hands and sing to that at the end of the night. 


SCOTT: Yes! Totally!


SHANNON: Can you imagine the, like, the instrumental really cuts out, and you're all on the dance floor just clapping with all your drunk, sweaty friends (SCOTT: Yup.) at the end of your wedding?


SCOTT: That's how it should be.


SHANNON: So good!


SCOTT: And then you walk under an arch of sparklers and get in your car with tin cans on the back and go to your honeymoon.


SHANNON: Well, you go to your hotel.


SCOTT: Or your hotel. (under Shannon) And then your honeymoon.


SHANNON: (over Scott) And then everyone- yeah.


SCOTT: Or in our case, we went to our hotel, and then, in the morning, went to Panera Bread, and then on our honeymoon. [laughs]


SHANNON: Yeah. Yeah, we did meet you at Panera Bread.


SCOTT: [still laughing] Our first meal as a married couple. I didn't even really think about that 'till now.


SHANNON: Well, ours was- when we went back to our hotel, my former boss and darling friend Shelly bought us all Domino's pizza.


SCOTT: (under Shannon) Yes, she did, thank you Shelly.


SHANNON: So Domino's was my first meal, really, after the wedding.


SCOTT: (over Shannon) That's not a meal, I mean, like, sit down meal- like what was your lunch? Like, the day after your wedding?


SHANNON: Oh, man. What was our lunch? ...Oh! We stopped at a super weird, like, German- fake German model town on our way-


SCOTT: [laughs disbelievingly] What?!


SHANNON: Yeah, did I never tell you this?


SCOTT: I don't think so!


SHANNON: We were with, like, Elliot and Jul- we were with, like, people who were, like, leftover from the wedding. (SCOTT: Yeah.) Friends of ours, but they were, like, "oh, we have kinda nothing to do for a while," and we drove with, like, Josh's mom, too? I don't know. It was all a blur. But we, like- I ate, like, chicken parm sub in a weird German tavern in this tiny model village on our way to the airport, cause we had so much time before our flight left.


SCOTT: Well, those night flights. Overseas.


SHANNON: (over Scott) Yeah, the overnight flights. Oh my goodness.


SCOTT: Ah, good times.


SHANNON: Guys, I wanna hear- okay, here's what I want in the Facebook group, are you ready for this?


SCOTT: Here's your prompt, Facebook group.


SHANNON: Here's your prompt. I wanna hear- if you are married, or have been married, (SCOTT: Yes.) I wanna hear what was your processional, recessional, any special music you had at your wedding.


SCOTT: First dance song, last dance song. Yep.


SHANNON: Yeah, and I want a picture of you (SCOTT: Aww!) at your wedding. And if you aren't married, I wanna hear your ideal first dance, last song, etc.


SCOTT: I would also love to hear your, uh, worst nightmare of a first dance song. [laughs]


SHANNON: [laughs] Yes, well-


SCOTT: Like, the other "Gambler", as Shannon said.


SHANNON: [laughs] The other "Gambler", yeah, know when to hold 'em. Uh, well, actually, funny story about that, uh, not first dance but last dance that our DJ had, like, a "Do Not Play" list, as a lot of DJs do.


SCOTT: Right, right.


SHANNON: Um, and Josh was in charge of all the music, and he put Journey, "Don't Stop Believing" on the "Do Not Play" list, like, absolutely, he would murder the DJ if he played that at our wedding.


SCOTT: [laughs]


SHANNON: Um, but that is no judgment on other people's weddings.


SCOTT: Right.


SHANNON: Josh is just- (crosstalk) he has very particular tastes.


SCOTT: (crosstalk) He's allergic to Journey.


SHANNON: Yes, he does.


SCOTT: Well, please interact with us in the Facebook group at Song Salad Podcast - The Produce Section.


SHANNON: Yes, we'll post some of our wedding pictures in there too to get it rolling. Yeah.


SCOTT: Yes. We just got some great fanart (SHANNON: We did!) posted in the produce section that we reposted on Twitter, created by-


SHANNON: Jennifer Andall!




SHANNON: Thank you so much! It's beautiful, it's based on the "23 Neighs", uh- (under Scott) It's so good.


SCOTT: It's a twerking carousel horse made of cut paper, it's beautiful.


SHANNON: Yes, it's awesome.


SCOTT: So thank you, Jennifer.


SHANNON: Yes, and, I mean, by the time you're hearing this, it may             be have been a couple weeks ago at this point, but it will still be in The Produce Section and it is beautiful.


SCOTT: Yes, and you can see that both there and on Twitter, we are @songsaladcast on Twitter.


SHANNON: Instagram, @songsaladpodcast!


SCOTT: Mm-hmm. You can support us on Patreon, just like our brand new donor-


SHANNON: Anjolaoluwa Bamtefa!


SCOTT: Yes, thank you so much for supporting us!


SHANNON: Yes. You- it really makes a huge difference, you are currently supporting our transcription process!




SHANNON: Thank you, and thank you to our lovely transcriptionist, Shreya! Uh, those are posted on our website. You'll see a little tab called "Transcripts".


SCOTT: songsaladpodcast.com!




SCOTT: Merch is still available!


SHANNON: It is. Always.


SCOTT: Get it. [laughs]


SHANNON: In perpetuity. We're, um, we have some ideas for new merch, we just don't have time. 


SCOTT: We'll get there.


SHANNON: We will, I promise all of it!


SCOTT: I have a light July.


SHANNON: [laughs] Scott- guys. Listen. The bontent you are going to receive-


SCOTT: It's going to be epic, (crosstalk) it's going to be a two hour dump.


SHANNON: (crosstalk) It's gonna be- it's gonna be a feature film. It's gonna be (chef kiss) beautiful.


SCOTT: Don't tempt me.


SHANNON: Yeah, uh, it'll be amazing. There'll be original songs in it.




SHANNON: I mean, not really.


SCOTT: Well, there will. Kind of. Technically.


SHANNON: [laughs] Technically. Uh, it will- it will happen. We are both full-time working people and we're doing this cause we love it and you, so just bear with us.


SCOTT: We will make it happen, I do promise, it's just the busiest time of year in theater. [laughs]


SHANNON: Yes. Yeah.


SCOTT: Okay.




SCOTT: Until next week.


SHANNON: I'm Shannon.


SCOTT: And I'm Scott.


SHANNON: And this has been Song Salad. (crosstalk) Eat your veggies.


SCOTT: (crosstalk) Eat your wedding veggies.


SHANNON: Eat your weggies! [laughs]


SCOTT: Oh...


[tuner sound as they fade out]


SHANNON and SCOTT: 1, 2, 3, 4.


[outro theme plays]







Shannon Deep