A three minute song won’t erase the tragedy of COVID-19, its threat to lives, jobs, relationships, and the economy, but it helps to lighten the load, this week 4TR is varying its focus on Ausmusic to feature a collection of songs from around the world that will hopefully be uplifting, inspiring , and get you through these days of hibernation and social distancing. Of all the arts, music’s power to instantly conjure an emotional response is hard to quantify, through various periods of human crisis, music tends to emerge with a range of agendas – as a balm, a social binder, a political protest, propaganda, simple entertainment, and sometimes as an historical marker – all relevant and meaningful depending on your personal situation.In recent weeks there has been more than a flurry of posts online about music for the age of COVID-19 – from symphony orchestras and pop stars collaborating online, to top 10 suggestions of music to listen to in isolation, and of course the inevitable parodies – My Corona, Coronavirus Rhapsody, and locally the lockdown song HouseFyre by Tim Minchin and Briggs, you can check them out on YouTube.
Music has always had a therapeutic value during times of crisis, the Black Death, the HIV/AIDS pandemic, global conflicts, natural disasters, and now the COVID-19 pandemic, because it comforts people, and helps to give meaning to their lives beyond the immediate threat of infection or death, and provides an opportunity for communal solidarity, that will hopefully enable us all to go forward in a post-pandemic world.Some of the songs featured will be uplifting hymns for the self-isolated, and a celebration of the medical professionals risking their lives to save others, while others mix defiance and energy with a certain optimism, and a determination to survive with dignity. Others will encourage us to respect each other and ourselves, and to re-capture the resilient strands of hope and connection that have been so sorely strained during this sudden change to our very existence. Other songs may only have a tenuous link to the COVID crisis, but their title or content provides some ironic humour and comic relief- I Will Survive, Stayin’ Alive, Lean On Me, Don’t Stand So Close To Me, Take My Breath Away, U Can’t Touch This, Fever, and many others – all fit this category, and for that we thank Gloria Gaynor, the Bee Gees, Bill Withers, the Police, Berlin, MC Hammer, Peggy Lee, and many others who will be featured in our 4TR COVID Countdown, because “life just sounds better to music.” 4TR will post Covid Countdown songs over three days this week, Tuesday-Thursday, hope you enjoy them, your feedback is always appreciated, and stay well.