Twice a year, most Americans have to switch their clocks by an hour, and twice a year, familiar arguments click into place like literal clockwork. Do we get rid of daylight saving time and stick to standard time? Or maybe DST is actually the way to go? Hey, is New England ever going to adopt Atlantic Time, anyway?
Whether we’re springing forward or falling back, every March and November sees a bevy of bills and a torrent of thinkpieces, as steady and reliable as the swing of a pendulum. The ceremony passed once again this weekend, and the only thing we know for sure is that America can’t decide what it wants.
At least Ed Markey, a longtime champion of daylight saving time, has found a spin on the biannual tradition. The Massachusetts senator shared a Spotify playlist on Friday celebrating all things DST — or, as he recently dubbed it, “Darkness Stops Today,” debuting another of his trademark ad-hoc acronyms.
In 2005, I successfully extended Daylight Saving Time by four weeks. My staff and I celebrated the extra sunshine with a mix CD that I'm happy to share with you now on Spotify.
☀️🎶 https://t.co/4g9FH8C5hg ☀️🎶 pic.twitter.com/SzKHlC1cEe
— Ed Markey (@EdMarkey) March 12, 2021
The playlist actually goes back over 15 years. The tracks come from a 2005 mixtape CD assembled by then-Rep. Markey and his team to celebrate the passing of his co-authored amendment that extended daylight saving time by several weeks.
The song selections, while a little obvious — “Here Comes the Sun,” “Walking on Sunshine,” “The Times They Are A-Changin’,” you get it — are all classic, unobjectionable jams fit for a political playlist. And the tunes definitely get Markey’s point across.
“Extra sunshine in the evenings not only puts a spring in our step and offers the perfect reason to get outside, but it also positively impacts consumer spending and shifts energy consumption,” Markey said in a recent release about a reintroduced bill to stick with DST all day, every day.
It’s one of those few niche issues that reliably get bipartisan support. The Sunshine Protection Act is co-sponsored by stalwart Republicans like Marco Rubio and Rick Scott of Florida, and resolutions to permanently switch to DST have passed in state legislatures from Oregon to Arkansas to Maine. (The problem is that federal law does not yet actually allow states to make the switch. Hawaii and Arizona already don’t change their clocks, but that’s because they stick to standard time year-round.)
By the way, Markey’s latest foray into digital outreach wasn’t spearheaded by the internet-savvy “meme team” that successfully forged a new image for the 74-year-old senator and may have helped him defeat Joe Kennedy III in last year’s primary. A Markey aide confirmed that the senator independently remembered the old CD, dug it up from somewhere in his home, and suggested sharing it on Spotify to his digital team.
But of course, the internet’s gonna internet. The playlist has resonated online, with thousands of likes on various platforms, with many charmed by an official soundtrack accompanying legislation (and many others arguing the merits of switching to permanent DST). An unaffiliated gimmick account has popped up on Twitter and Instagram with edits of Markey proudly showing off various albums — sort of the spiritual successor of that one meme where Bill Clinton is listening to four vinyl records.
Ed Markey with Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon pic.twitter.com/faN0JPJblH
— ed markey w/ ur fave albums (@edmarkeyalbums) March 13, 2021
Listen to the senator’s playlist below. But if you prefer earlier sunrises to later sunsets, perhaps a counter-playlist is in order — may we suggest “House of the Rising Sun” by the Animals or “Steal My Sunshine” by Len?
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