Alone Together: The COVID-19 Songbook

Obviously, there’s nothing the least bit funny about the Coronavirus pandemic, although some people are not taking it seriously. I’m not one of them, however. Like all right-thinking people I’ve been staying home as much as possible because it’s the best thing most of us can do to help stem the tide of this crisis. I haven’t worked at anything since March 15th and haven’t seen anybody except my wife Anna and a few neighbours, from a safe distance, since that date. The virus has claimed tens of thousands of lives, threatened to overrun our health care system, crippled the economy and altered the very core of our existence for the foreseeable future. Though it’s the right thing to do, social distancing comes with some heavy dues – loneliness, despair, boredom, restlessness, uncertainty and disorientation. With too much time on our hands and not enough to do, many of us are in need of diversion, of some laughs, or at least a smile or two. That’s the idea behind the following song list, though not all the titles are funny…… unless, like me, you like your humour a little dark. I’ve always loved wordplay – puns, palindromes, anagrams, spoonerisms – and if I don’t do a cryptic crossword every few days I get a little antsy. So, with slime, or rather time, on my hands, I’ve been indulging in one of my favourite word games – warping song titles by altering them ever so slightly to fit a subject: in this case the virus that assails us. A few friends and family members joined in by way of email but to protect the guilty, I won’t mention their names; I’m willing to take the hit for this one all on my own. To avoid too much cheap repetition, I’ve cut down on too many titles which substitute the word ‘glove’ for ‘love’, or ‘flu’ for ‘you’ or ‘blue’. I’ve put the composers in brackets for the more far-out ones. Some of the song titles are unaltered, they worked just as they are. So, without further achoo, here’s the COVID-19 Songbook.

The Disease and Its Symptoms

I Covid the Waterfront

Corona, Corona (think Big Joe Turner)

Viral String Along With You

Lung Aglow and Far Away

Pneumonia Lisa

What’s Novel?

I Guess I’ll Have To Change My Health Plan

I Fever I Should Lose You

The Vaccine Is Clean (Tadd Dameron)

Slimehouse Blues

Tanks A Million

Your Mother’s COVID-19th Nervous Breakdown (Jagger-Richards)

Manha de Coronaval

The Girl From Epidemic

(Come To Me) I’m A Strange Little Parasite

You Leave Me Breathless

Diseasy To Remember

Slime On My Glands

It’s Like Tracing With the Moon

When Your Fever Has Gone

Funk In Deep Sneeze (Hank Mobley)

My Old Phlegm

Crisis (Freddie Hubbard)

Ill Wind

My Concentrate’s On You

CDC Rider

WHO Cares?

NaiFEMA (J. Coltrane)

Seems Like Cold Times

We’ve Got It Bad and Bats Ain’t Good

It’s Tragic

I’m Congestin’

Hackinsack (Mary Lou Williams)

The Breathe and I

Dread Sails In the Sunset

Dire Down Below (Ted Curson)

Pandemica (T. Monk)

Flu Surge (D. Ellington)

Coronabug Waltz

Cough Minor (T. Monk)

Cut Snot For Me

I Hear Mucous

Places

Wuhan, the Night and the Music

Chinese Stockings (Frank Foster)

Bodies In Seoul

When In Rome (stay at home, Cy Coleman)

The Milan I Love

Blue Spanish Lives

They’ve Got An Awful Lot of Coughing in Brazil

A Frightening Tale Sprang in Berkeley Square

Fought ‘Em In New York

Javits Impossible

Upper Manhattan Medical Grew

Central Park Stressed (J. Coltrane)

Flatten in Manhattan

Broadway Malady

New York, State of Bind

Shoo Fly Pie and Big Apple Panic Dowdy

Pennsylvania 6-5-Oh-No-Go!

It’s Coming, Virginia

Disorders At the Borders

Weigh Lockdown Yonder In New Orleans

By the Time It Gets To Phoenix (We’ll Be Grieving)

Memphis In Swoon

Immune Over Miami

Mitigation, the Economy and Anxiety

Strike Up the Ban

Social Distancing Call (Gigi Gryce)

Can’t Take Me Out To the Ballgame (……..sob)

I’ll Wait and Stay

Baby, Won’t You Please Go Home?

The Night Has A Thousand Sighs

Pent-Up House (Sonny Rollins)

Lockdown In the Depths of the 90th Floor

Stir Crazy (Willie Nelson)

Come Offa My House

When Flights Are Low

How Long Will This Be Going On?

Ram Apart Street Parade

Fools Crush In

Will You Still Be Fine?

Binge Watch What Happens

You’d Be So Nice To Stay Home With

Keepin’ Out of Mischief, For Now

My Funky Quarantine

I’ll Remember This April

Up, Up, and Takeaway

One Mourning In May

I’ll Be Home Till Christmas

This Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most

The Isolate, Isolate Show

No Cheek To Cheek

The Un-Nearness Of You

Not Travelin’ Light

I Ain’t Got No Money

The Partying’s Over

I’m Gonna Wash That Mange Right Outta My Hands

Goggles, Groceries, and Greed

All Hoard Nothing At All

(It’s Only) A Toilet Paper Moon

Stockpile Sweetnin’ (Quincy Jones)

Too Closed For Comfort

I Only Sanitize For You

E.I. Didn’t Know What Time It Was

Nice Work If You Can’t Get It

Laughter, You’ve Gone

Let’s FaceTime the Music and Dance

An Orange Coloured Skype

Bummertime

No More Cruise

Cabin Fever In the Sky

Bailout Of Nowhere

I Guess I’ll Hang Those Profiteers Out To Dry

Bleach Me Tonight

Health-Care Workers and Equipment

Heroes, There and Everywhere

God Only Knows Where We’d Be Without Them

They Would Do Most Anything For You (Claude Hopkins)

Runnin’ On Empty (Jackson Browne)

You Stepped Up Like A Dream

PPEasy Does It

Mask Me Now (T. Monk)

Take N95 (Paul Desmond)

3M’s In the Fountain

Between the Devil and the Deep Flu Emergency

Intubation (Bronislau Kaper)

Gloves Are A Many Squandered Thing

Alice Blue Gown

The Morgue ICU

(Ventilators) Where Are You?

Help! (Lennon-McCartney)

Endure My Everything

Swabee

Medication

In the Code Blue of Evening

You Germed the Tables On Me

We’ve Only Just Begun

Till the Shrouds Roll By

Once In A Vial

I See Your Face Mask Before Me

Blue, Turning Grey Over Flu

Round Mid-Nightmare

All the Things ER

Dearly Begloved

The Key Players and Politicians

Justin Time

Pence-ativa

Pork Yourself Up

I’m Biden, My Time

Bernie’s Swoon

Birx Works (Dizzy Gillespie)

Fauci-Chi (Charlie Parker)

Oye Cuomo Va (Tito Puente)

For the Moronic Governors Who Still Haven’t Issued Stay-At-Home Orders

Someday, You’ll Be Sorry

Too Late Now

Worry Later (T. Monk)

For Those Disobeying Social-Distancing Orders

Call You Irresponsible

I’ll Be Glad When You’re Dead You Assholes, You (maybe a little harsh, but c’mon, people.)

Are Misbehavin’

Straighten Up and Fly Right

Beyond the Idiocy

Fines Are Dandy

For the POTUS, whose criminally wayward “leadership” in this crisis has reminded many of Alfred E. Neuman, as in “What, me worry?”

The Gentleman Is A Dope

Easter Charade

The Lies of (Not So) Handsome Men (Francesca Blumenthal)

Try A Little Truthfulness

Sometimes I’m Snappy

I’ve Just Been Fakin’ It (Paul Simon)

He’s A Real Goniff Guy

Some Trump Medleys:

I’m Just Foolin’ Myself and Nobody Else But Me

R-E-S-P-E-C-T, This Is All I Ask

Don’t Blame Me, I Didn’t Know About Flu

And one more unaltered song, a fervid wish for all of us in the hopefully not too distant future:

We’ll Be Together Again

In the meantime, everybody…. stay home, stay positive, stay well and let’s help each other as best we can.

© 2020, Steve Wallace. All rights reserved.

21 thoughts on “Alone Together: The COVID-19 Songbook

  1. Great list!
    I was surprised not to see a song dedicated to Nancy Pelosi for her last minute bill to replace the one already being discussed in the Senate:

    Pork Yourself Up

  2. Gawd but you kill me! You’re one of the reasons I bought a cover for my laptop keyboard… some serious spit-takes in here!

    In the POTUS category, I’d like to add “All the Things You’re Not” and in the general category, “Spring Will be a LOT Late this Year”. Also, “I’m Sick” (Frishberg) and “I’m Stayin’ Home Baby Now” (Dorough).

  3. Great stuff Steve! Totally enjoyable read. This is some kind of weird world we are living in…I liked the other one better. Take care!…

  4. Hi Steve, Great to hear from you again. I was afraid that you had succomed to the virus. I love your mordant humour. It brought a ray of sunshine in to the dark days we are living in. As one jazz loving librarian to another take care and keep swinging. God bless you and yours, Robin Oliver-Tasker.

  5. Hi Steve. Nice job. Good to share a laugh during these dark times.
    Stay safe and stay healthy. Miss you xo❤️ Lil sis

  6. Thanks Steve. Great work and you even categorized them. You should do this again at the end of the year for Christmas songs. Oh wait. Never mind.

  7. Man, Steve, you crushed this tune list. To contribute a bit feels like following a Trane solo in ’58. Having had a friend have a harrowing stay on a ventilator I’m going to avoid all “blue” tunes but I had one dedicated to my stay at home wardrobe: Sweatsuit-Just You, and howzabout one in this vein: I’ll Take You Home Again, Vaccine. Or the other girl, Stephy’s Scope. Bat’s A-plenty? I’m gonna go now, sorry!

  8. “I’ll Remember This April”, “One Mourning in May”; jeez, you’re killin’ me, Mr. Wallace!

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