They say exercise is good for creativity.

The mere word brings back memories of grade school gym class: I cowered in line, worried and scrawny, hoisting up the crotch of a blue regulation gym suit two sizes too big, and waited for whatever humiliation would befall me that day. I now believe those gym suits were designed to subdue unruly schoolchildren. It worked for me. I’d glance furtively around and wonder why everyone looked so happy. Nothing good ever came from dodgeball.

But then the music started. In the sixties, most gym classes began with the “Chicken Fat” exercise anthem, written by Broadway composer, Meredith Wilson (of The Music Man fame) and sung by Robert Preston, the Music Man himself. It was all part of President Kennedy’s Physical Fitness program to get America’s flabby children moving. I still have the tune in my head; raise your hand if you remember it:

“Touch down

Every morning

Ten times!

Not just now and then

Give that chicken fat

Back to the chicken

And don’t be chicken again, no!

Don’t be chicken again.”


The song united us all in sweat and mutual humiliation. As long as the music lasted, I could dream I’d get picked first for a team instead of last. Didn’t happen, but I had those seven glorious minutes of hope.

The “Chicken Fat” song makes me think we writers need an anthem. We could do it every morning before we start:

 “Butt Glue every morning

Ten times!”

Not just now and then!”


You get the gist.

We could do neck rolls and shoulder shrugs in preparation for a brilliant writing session. We could stretch and bend our fingers to maximize our typing skills. It would help us not “be chicken again.” Isn’t it cool to think of all the writers in the world bending and twisting as one, minus the humiliating gym suits?

For now, I guess it’s up to me to keep “Chicken Fat” alive. I hadn’t thought about that gym suit in years. Huh. Exercise does enhance creativity.

Weigh in with me on the Yahoo loop. Do you remember the “Chicken Fat” song and the gym suits? I’d love to hear from you.

Jennifer Taylor

Jennifer Taylor

Secretary at SSRA
Jennifer Taylor is the award-winning author of the historical romance, Mercy of the Moon, Book One of the Rhythm of the Moon series, published by the Wild Rose Press. Jennifer uses music on a daily basis to inspire her heroes and charm her heroines, and can often be found singing at her desk.

She spent her childhood running wild on an Idaho mountainside. Although she’s lived across the U.S., she is still an Idahoan at heart and a notorious potato pusher. She has a degree in Human Services and worked as a roofer, a hoofer, a computer data entry operator and a stay-at-home mom.

Music has ruled Jennifer’s world since birth. She shimmied out of the womb with a bad case of Boogie Fever, but soon fell in love with the lyrics, how the words fit together perfectly like a jigsaw puzzle. Jennifer has dreamt of writing romances since reading Wuthering Heights at the tender age of twelve, and now lives that dream, using music on a daily basis to uplift and inspire her writing. It’s no coincidence that Ian, the hero in Mercy of the Moon, uses music to win heroine Maggie’s heart.

She lives in rural Florida with her husband and Great Dane puppy, and enjoys frequent visits from her three grandchildren and three grown children. She feverishly lobbies for the return of breeches and would really love to see her husband of thirty-five years in a pair. Jennifer can be found online at:
Jennifer Taylor

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