Pandemic Play List
The Bencher—July/August 2020
By Raymond T. (Tom) Elligett Jr.
The 2020 coronavirus crisis is serious, with tragic losses, generating fear and apprehension. I don’t want to minimize these effects, but distractions and even humor may provide a respite. In that spirit, some songs from the past few decades have a new relevance. Consider what you might add to a pandemic play list:
10. “Safe at Home” —by The Souther, Hillman, Furay Band (with former members of The Byrds and Buffalo Springfield) from their 1974 album. Sums up the stay-at-home orders.
9. “Solitary Man” —Neil Diamond’s song that charted in 1966 and again in 1970. An early meme parodied “Sweet Caroline”—with its references to hands touching hands. But “Solitary Man” came first and fits the current situation.
8. “Isolation” —by John Lennon in 1970 and then covered this year by Jeff Beck and Johnny Depp, sounding much like Lennon.
7. “Shelter” —by the late Joe South, excellent songwriter and singer who released his version as the flip side of “Walk a Mile in My Shoes” (also apropos) in 1970. Also recorded by the Tams.
6. “Someday We’ll Be Together”—the last single from Diana Ross and the Supremes (together), No. 1 the last week of 1969.
5. “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” —a top 10 hit for Journey in 1983. Better for this year than their 1979 song “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’.”
4. “All by Myself” —Eric Carmen’s first solo hit, released in 1975. And as he sings, most people would not want to be all by themselves in these times.
3. “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” —a 1969 hit for the Hollies, re-recorded this year by their original lead singer, Allan Clarke, as a piano solo ballad for the COVID-19 crisis (on YouTube and Spotify). Second meme: a good reminder that while we are all in the same storm, we are not in the same boat.
2. “A Little Bit Crazy” —by singer-songwriter Eddy Raven from his 1981 “Desperate Dreams” album, which might also apply. The cause may be different, but 2020 has made most (all?) of us a little crazy.
1. “Strange Days” —the title song from the Doors’ second album, released in 1967. Could anything sum up this year better? Third meme: While the virus has disrupted many high school graduation events, for perspective, the senior trip in the late 1960s was to Vietnam.
There are other candidates, such as “Alone Again (Naturally),” a No. 1 pop hit for Irish singer Gilbert O’Sullivan in 1972. Bette Midler won a Grammy for her 1990 performance of “From a Distance.” Beach Boys’ lead singer Mike Love recorded “This Too Shall Pass” for the current situation (a physical distance recording session viewable on YouTube). Warren Zevon touted “Splendid Isolation.”
What’s on your play list?
Raymond T. (Tom) Elligett Jr., Esq. is a partner at Buell & Elligett, P.A., in Tampa, FL. He is a member of the J. Clifford Cheatwood AIC and a member of the American Inns of Court Editorial Board for The Bencher.