A lot of songs have been written about the pandemic. I’ve rounded up some of the best and the worst for your listening pleasure/displeasure.
Thinking of creating a pandemic playlist? You’ve left it a bit late, mate – this Covid thing is drawing to an end. However, judging from the pictures of the crowded beaches, Coronavirus Wave 2: Electric Boogaloo may be around the corner, and then we’ll all be back in lockdown with fuck all to do. So why not create a pandemic playlist?
Musicians all around the world have been jumping on the coronavirus anthem bandwagon. The results have been mixed - there have been some infectious bops and some nauseating flops. Below are some of the best and worst examples that I’ve come across…
‘I Wanna Go Outside’ – Snoop Dogg
If any other musician was to create a track about wanting to go outside it would be dumb, but Snoop can get away with writing a song about practically anything. The West Coast vocoders and funky beat are so sunshiny that there’s pretty much no need to go outdoors when listening to this song.
‘Ghen Co Vy’ (Vietnamese Hand Washing Song)’ – MIN X ERIK
Forget ‘Happy Birthday’ - this is the song everyone should be washing their hands to. Although on the surface it sounds like a dime-a-dozen Chainsmokers track, the clunkily-translated Vietnamese-to-English lyrics are so entertaining that they make up for this. The ‘coronaaaa, coronaaaa’ hook is very infectious and has an R value of 6.9. Stay alert.
‘Spreadin’ (Coronavirus) – Psychs
This 18-year-old UK drill rapper’s coronavirus anthem is probably the most family-friendly drill track I’ve ever heard. The lyrics are cleaner than my hands after listening to Ghen Co Vy. It’s contrasted by a bass-heavy beat that’s so filthy it’s probably infected. The government advises keeping a two metre distance from your subwoofer at all times while listening to this track.
‘Covid-666’ – Brujeria
The vocals sound horribly off-rhythm and I don’t speak Spanish, but I’m digging the thrashy and angry instrumentation in this track ‘Covid-666’ by Mexican-American metal band Brujeria. Coronavirus is brutal subject matter and deserves to have a metal track dedicated to it. If you choose to mosh to this track, make sure to follow government guidelines and ensure that it’s a socially-distanced circle pit.
‘Level of Concern’ – Twenty One Pilots
I didn’t think much of this song the first time I heard it, but it’s grown on me. It’s less on-the-nose than most of the other coronavirus anthems, the guitars are ridiculously groovy and the chorus is an earworm. The ‘would you be my little quarantine’ line is slightly bleurghhh (that’s an adjective now) but otherwise it’s a certified bop.
‘Gotta Be Patient’ – Michael Buble, Barenaked Ladies and Sofia Reyes
It’s not Christmas yet - Buble ought to still be in hibernation. And yet the pandemic has brought him out early. If that wasn’t enough of a reason to hate this clawingly cheery cash grab, it also features The Barenaked Ladies and Sofia Reyes (I actually don’t know who Sofia Reyes is, so that’s a bit harsh).
‘Quarantine Clean’ - Turbo, Gunna & Young Thug
Hating on mumble rap is such a cliched boomer thing to do, but can anyone honestly understand these bars? Are they rapping with face masks on? How is Young Thug the most intelligible one of the bunch? Incomprehensible lyrics aside, the beat is boring and the delivery isn’t even that playful. At least throw in some cough ad libs or something…
‘Stuck With U’ – Justin Bieber & Ariana Grande
This soppy poppy duet about being stuck with a partner in lockdown is utterly soulless. I also hate this recent trend of music videos featuring random people singing and dancing along on Zoom. It’s like every music video has turned into a TikTok compilation.
‘Six Feet Apart’ – Luke Combs
I don’t like country music. Is that enough of a reason? It’ll have to do.
‘I Believe That We Will Win’ – Pitbull
This pumped-up fight anthem from Pitbull (yes, he’s still making music) will make you make you want to go outside and take on coronavirus with your bare hands. This is not the best way to fight coronavirus – the best way to fight coronavirus is to stay at home and do nothing. With its 2010-era rock/EDM production and cliched fight talk lyrics ‘and what don’t kill us make us stronger’, the whole track just comes across as incredibly corny. Also, the song is apparently a complete rip-off of KB’s ‘I Believe’.