Every crisis needs a soundtrack — especially when we’re all stuck at home.
Iconic children’s performer Raffi just released a Bob Dylan-esque quarantine song for the coronavirus era. It serves to both entertain and inform, because truly, these days there can never be enough reminders for us to all wash our hands.
The idea came to him on Sunday, he told HuffPost Canada. “I picked up my ukulele and belted out a 36-second ditty,” he said over the phone from his home in B.C.
Over the next day, he rounded out the song with more verses and sought the help of American singer-songwriter Lindsay Munroe, who recorded harmonies from her home in Massachusetts. “We made a social distancing duet,” Raffi quipped.
The song is light and catchy, but does get some significant info across: Hand-washing is important, we should distance ourselves socially as much as possible, and medicare should be universally available.
The song includes “all these hashtags we want people to see,” Raffi said, and “the advice in them to heed: wash your hands, social distancing. I’m just doing my small part to help during this time, and bring some laughter.”
Watch: What is social distancing? Story continues after video.
When asked why he decided to sing in the distinctive style of a 1960s-era Bob Dylan, Raffi responded with a pitch-perfect Dylan up-sing: “Why not?”
The real answer, though, is just because it’s fun and he’s pretty good at it. He was a folk singer before he became a children’s entertainer, so he had the chance to sharpen some of those impressions. Almost too well, maybe: When he jokingly tweeted that Dylan had joined him in the studio, some people took him at his word, Raffi said.
But he demurred when asked if he chose Dylan to appeal to some of his fellow baby boomers who weren’t taking coronavirus as seriously as they should.
“No, I just wrote it for anybody,” he said.
He’s currently practising social distancing as much as he can, he noted. He bought supplies a few days ago, but has mostly been hanging out at home with his dog, playing music, doing yoga and watching Netflix.
He knows he has a following that includes the people who listened to his music when they were kids — and, in many cases, those people’s young children. There’s one message in particular he really wants to get to them.
“Take this coronavirus seriously.”
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