The Swans were in the midst of what would become a winless season and their coach, Paul Kelly, was using music to soothe his blistered mind.
It was 2017, and Kelly's optimism that one day his side would emerge from the deep hole seemed logical, but a long way off.
In fact, it only took two seasons: the Swans won five games in 2019 and made the finals.
But they were just getting started.
At a windy No 1 Oval on Saturday, the overhaul of the Swans as an organisation, activated after years of malaise, paid off in a major way when they thumped the Kangaroos to book a grand final showdown against Gunnedah at Wolseley Oval next weekend.
The significance of the side's first grand final since 2009, when they won the last of their two premierships, was illustrated when Kelly and his gun midfielder, Ed George, embraced after the match.
George is a young man, but has been at the club long enough to carry a few mental scars.
But that was then and this is now - and the now is beautiful: the Swans will feature in all four grand finals next Saturday.
Speaking after the 22.9 (141) to 9.4 (58) defeat of the Kangaroos, who are going through their own prolonged period of misery, Kelly seemed to get emotional as he recalled the pain of the past and contrasted it with the splendor of the present.
"I never thought I'd get to say to the boys: 'We're off to the big dance, fellas, thank you very much,''' he said. "It means a lot."
He continued: "[There has been] a lot of hard work and just some real sh** times, when you're trying to pick a team: no one wants to play for you when you're not winning."
They do now. They do now.
But can the Swans stop the rampaging, undefeated Bulldogs?
"We've worked on a few things, but it's gonna be very hard," Kelly said.