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LYNN NEARY, HOST:

Time now for another installment in our series "The Ultimate NPR Workout Mix." We've been talking to athletes, a musician, a dancer, a mailman, about the music that makes them move, music that can help blow off stress. Today we hear from a man who has perhaps the most taxing job in the country.

DOUG SHULMAN: Doug Shulman, commissioner of the IRS.

NEARY: Yes, this is America's top taxman, the head of the Internal Revenue Service. Shulman says he loves his job, even though he knows he's not the most popular man in the country.

SHULMAN: The IRS, in many ways, is a misunderstood agency. When people hear the letters I-R-S, sometimes they have a negative connotation, generally. But 80 percent of Americans get an average of a $3,000 refund. So most people actually have a very pleasant experience with us, and our customer service ratings are very high. And so when you really talk to people, they don't have a beef with the IRS.

NEARY: Nonetheless, if you're stressing over getting your taxes done before midnight tomorrow, Shulman's got some songs that might inspire you to keep slogging through that return. After all, these are songs that keep him going when he's on his exercise bike.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

KT TUNSTALL: (Singing) Two, three, four, woo-hoo...

SHULMAN: One is KT Tunstall, "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BLACK HORSE AND THE CHERRY TREE")

TUNSTALL: (Singing) Well my heart knows me better than I know myself, so I'm gonna let it do all the talking. Woo-hoo, woo-hoo...

SHULMAN: It's a real rockin' song. It picks you up. It's got a great rhythm and beat, and it just, you know, keeps me moving in the morning, because sometimes I have to get up real early to do my workout.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BLACK HORSE AND THE CHERRY TREE")

TUNSTALL: (Singing) But I said no, no, no, no-no-no. I said no-no, you're not the one for me.

SHULMAN: And another song I listen to working out is Macy Gray, "I Try." It's inspiring. It's uplifting. It's quite soulful.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I TRY")

MACY GRAY: (Singing) I try to say goodbye and I choke, try to walk away and I stumble. Though I try to hide it, it's clear, my world crumbles when you are not here.

SHULMAN: The third workout choice would probably be U2's "Beautiful Day."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BEAUTIFUL DAY")

U2: (Singing) It's a beautiful day. Sky falls, you feel like it's a beautiful day.

SHULMAN: I've always liked U2. You think about them moving around the stage fast, and you know, you think about a beautiful day. You hope every day's going to be a good day when you wake up in the morning. When you're IRS commissioner, most days are good days, but occasionally you get some surprises.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BEAUTIFUL DAY")

U2: (Singing) It's a beautiful day.

NEARY: Music to move you, to file your taxes courtesy of IRS commissioner Doug Shulman. You'll find more of "The Ultimate NPR Workout Mix" at npr.org.

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