Europe

Stayin' Alive: Bee Gees hit free to German first aiders

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Media captionVinnie Jones demonstrates CPR in the British Heart Foundation advert

German schools can now play the Bee Gees hit Stayin' Alive without charge to help children learn emergency heart massage.

The German music rights body Gema told an MP, Roy Kühne, that the hit could be played during first aid lessons in his town, Clausthal-Zellerfeld.

Gema's fee waiver is expected to be valid for other schools in Germany too.

The disco rhythm of Stayin' Alive is good for heart massage, the British Heart Foundation says.

Some other pop hits have also been recommended.

In a letter to Mr Kühne, seen by the BBC, Gema said it understood that the school lessons - for up to 30 students - did not count as public performances, so no royalties had to be paid.

But Stayin' Alive could only be played licence-free to groups in school buildings during first aid classes, it stressed.

Image caption The Bee Gees at the BBC in 2001: (L-R) Maurice Gibb, Robin Gibb and Barry Gibb

The MP had sought Gema's permission on behalf of first aid instructors in his region. He is a trained rescue swimmer himself.

German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said Yellow Submarine by the Beatles and Madonna's Like A Prayer were also good for life-saving heart massage. The technique is also known as Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

With 100-120 beats per minute Highway to Hell, by Australian hard rock band AC/DC, would also qualify - but its title is not life-affirming, the newspaper notes.

The British Heart Foundation used Stayin' Alive in a video featuring the footballer-turned-actor Vinnie Jones, demonstrating how to help people who had suffered a heart attack.

In the US version of the TV comedy hit The Office, a CPR lesson went awry when Stayin' Alive was played and the staff decided to have fun.

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