Tired of hearing it? So am I. But we do live in unprecedented times and we should probably just make “unprecedented” the title for 2020.
Little did we know a year ago, concerts would come to a screeching halt in 2020 along with our lives and for many of us our livelihood. The coronavirus wreaked havoc in nearly every area of life. It got political and no one seemed to really have any right or wrong answers. Normally busy afternoon roads resembled traffic on Christmas morning. Days felt like weeks; months felt like days.
My wife got it, I didn’t.
And every so often I’d hear or remember a song and think how apropos. Some songs bled the doom and gloom purported by the news, a few offered hope for dark times while others induced a smirk of relief because sometimes satire is the best medicine.
And not one of them was written and recorded as a result of the coronavirus or Covid-19 lock-down. Just goes to show, enduring a bad break-up, facing the death of a loved one, battling depression or confronting anything that raises a bit of rank produces some fine music material that stands the test of time and evidently through pandemics.
I have certainly missed many more songs than the 10 Covid songs I include on this in no particular order list, so do me a favor: Add any songs that really hit home for you while locked down, wondering if waking up tired and feeling ill after a bad night’s sleep was the start of something sinister or when heading to the store to buy food for your parents facemask in hand.
My Coronavirus Songs
Madness – Muse (2012)
Oh yeah, total madness. I thought of this Muse song often even though it was written by singer Matthew Bellamy after a fight with his girlfriend. Muh, muh, muh, muh Madness, indeed.
What Happens Tomorrow – Duran Duran (2004)
When (not if) we get back to touring, Duran Duran absolutely should play “What Happens Tomorrow” as the show opener. The third track off 2004’s Astronaut, also the album that reunited the Fab 5 after more than 20 years apart, really hits home with these lyrics: “But nobody knows / What’s gonna happen tomorrow / We try not to show / How frightened we are.”
Strength – The Alarm (1985)
My favorite song from The Alarm is also an all-time favorite. The opening lines to this stellar track I am sure everyone could have used less than a month into the whole Covid ordeal: “Give me love / Give me hope / Give me strength / Give me someone to live for.” The ensuing guitar chord could put a bounce into the hardest of steps.
Times Like These – Foo Fighters (2002)
My favorite song from Foo Fighters is an all-time favorite. (I see a pattern starting to form here!) In times like these we do learn to live again. This song was written by Dave Grohl for the 2002 album One by One after the band almost dissolved during recording sessions. After a three- month break “Times Like These” emerged with these most fitting lyrics: “It’s times like these you learn to live again / It’s times like these you give and give again / It’s times like these you learn to love again / It’s times like these time and time again.”
Told you tough times often bring out the best in people and in this case Foo Fighters #1 song.
It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine) – R.E.M. (1987)
The fires in my neck of the woods last month produced an eerie sight well beyond my backyard which prompted me to review the 1987 R.E.M. album Document that holds one of the band’s most popular songs. It sure looked like the end of the world, but since March when shops closed, people forced in quarantine, churches stopped meeting and roads were hauntingly bare, many no doubt thought this is the end of the world but the cynical look (at least that’s my take) by R.E.M. should help ground you a bit and put things into perspective.
Mad World – Tears for Fears (1983)
Sadly, an overhyped singing competition put this song on the radar for many people (in the United States) but fans of Tears for Fears knew about “Mad World” long before they broke out in the States with Songs From the Big Chair. “Mad World” comes off as a deeply sad song written by guitarist Roland Orzabal and sung hauntingly by bassist Curt Smith.
Crazy Times – Jars of Clay (1997)
Second to “unprecedented” you probably heard “Crazy times we’re living in” quite a lot. But you’re probably never heard of “Crazy Times” from Jars of Clay. A Christian rock band that found mainstream success with their smash hit “Flood” off their debut album. The hype unfortunately died down by 1997’s Much Afraid but “Crazy Times” remains one of the band’s more popular songs which fits right in 23 years later with these lyrics: “Beside your bed / You feel left for dead / You kneel in the dark…/It seems it’s always the crazy times
You find you’ll wake up and realize / It takes more than your saline eyes / To make things right.”
The Day That Never Comes – Metallica (2008)
I am well aware that another Metallica song probably works better for this list but let’s try and keep it family friendly! Besides, this song made the Top 10 Best Metallica Songs list and works quite well nonetheless, because even today it feels like the day we are all waiting for is never going to come. By the way, I don’t care what Lars Ulrich says, Death Magnetic needs remastering!
Crazy Train – Ozzy Osbourne (1980)
For a time, it sure seemed like we were going off the rails while aboard the coronavirus crazy train. Ozzy Osbourne’s most popular song was written about the Cold War and easily translates over to the invisible war started by Covid-19.
Fix You – Coldplay (2005)
I often describe my wife’s battle with coronavirus like watching a terminal cancer patient slowly die. Her energy totally sapped, she slept and slept and slept. All I wanted to do was fix her. And other than the power of prayer, I was powerless. But in that power I found strength and hope. After more than three weeks, the turnaround began and rather suddenly she was fixed!
Those who can appreciate my ordeal can certainly identify with one of Coldplay’s best songs.