LONDON — When Richard Wagner composed his powerful “Ride of the Valkyries” in the 1850s, he surely wasn’t thinking of any danger he was posing to 21st-century motorists.
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Britain’s RAC Foundation for Motoring on Wednesday named the strident classical piece the No. 1 tune not to play while driving, based on research it says shows loud music can cause accidents.
The “Dies Irae” from Giuseppe Verdi’s “Requiem” was also considered a no-no. The top-five list of tunes to avoid while behind the wheel was rounded out by three modern songs — “Firestarter” by the Prodigy, “Red Alert” by Basement Jaxx and “Insomnia” by Faithless.
To help music-loving motorists, the foundation also provided a top-five list of songs that may safely be played while driving, “albeit quietly.”
Norah Jones’ smash hit “Come Away with Me” was deemed calm enough, as was “Mad World” by Gary Jules. Other songs on the safe list were “Another Day” by R&B singer Lemar, “Too Lost in You” by girl group The Sugababes and “Breathe Easy” by boy band Blue.
It’s not the first time the RAC Foundation has warned of the dangers of driving with Wagner.
“Ride of the Valkyries” topped the RAC Foundation list of dangerous songs two years ago, when the issue was the peril of fast tempos. Verdi’s “Dies Irae” was No. 3 on that list.
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