In a digital age where “hellos” are barely exchanged in elevators, and heads hardly move to acknowledge a person sitting catty-corner on the bus, Jerome A. Jones, aka
As a delivery truck driver, Jones meets all kinds of people. But it wasn’t until he started talking to his customers that he had a realization.
“I asked someone what they did,” says Jones. “I was like ‘Wow that’s crazy,’ … how much all the different people that I deliver to, how we all affect each other. Sometimes we don’t even realize that we’re all connected in some strange way, in a more intimate way.”
Jones began taking requests online for theme songs. He has interested parties fill out a questionnaire, then he reads it over before getting on the road to deliver.
“When I study, I always make it into a song,” says Jones. “My mom did that to me. So, when I’m riding, I’m mulling it in my head, singing a little tune, and then one thing hits.”
While customized songs may seem like an odd way to bring people together, the music allows for two unique thought processes to happen. One, a person relates to the song because they have encountered someone with a different job or experience, allowing them to see a different viewpoint. Or two, a person relates because they have/had the job or have experienced what the song is about.
“I think the lunch lady [song] really stuck out to me because everybody’s had a lunch lady,” says Jones. “[And] people have come to me like, 'Hey I was a nurse’s aid once, that song got me.'”
Jones has four theme song options available: personal, “a whimsical song about what you do and experience on a day to day basis;” keepsake, “a memento for someone you miss or to celebrate a milestone in the life of another;” crew/squad, “a song that fully expresses the epitome of your friendship;” and business/brand, “a song (not jingle) that puts your brand on the map.”
After Jones offered to make me a personal theme song, I filled out the form detailing a typical day working for Pittsburgh City Paper. About a week later, the CP editorial team gathered around managing editor Alex Gordon’s desk for a listening party.
Starting with Jones beatboxing and a looping, “Oh, wow” background chorus (my signature catchphrase), everyone immediately started bobbing along to the song. While the track was for me, the lyrics detail the life of a journalist, capturing each one of our attention, and bringing us together through a personalized tune.
Interested in getting your own theme song from