As January comes to a close, I’m thinking about how fortunate my husband and I have been so far this winter, escaping the horrible flu that has brought so many to their knees or driven them to their sickbeds. If you’ve spent any time watching the news or hanging out on Facebook, you have no doubt heard from people who have been bitten by some nasty bug that has led to an oppressive sickness. In some unfortunate cases, the flu bug has led to worse illnesses or even death.
I know many of my friends have been sick this winter. With that in mind, I thought I’d write a post for those who are presently stuck in bed. Here are a few songs about sickness. If you’re not sick right now, count your blessings and, for God’s sake, wash your hands!
“Medical Love Song” by Monty Python
Perhaps one of the most comprehensive songs about sickness out there is the hilarious “Medical Love Song” performed by the venerable comedy troupe Monty Python. Be careful about listening to this if you have the flu, because it will make you laugh so hard you’ll erupt into a coughing fit. On the other hand, if you have a weak stomach, you may end up vomiting because the lyrics are pretty disgusting. If you’re me and violent coughing makes you throw up, you may do both.
This particular video comes from a live show by Eric Idle.
I doubt there are many songs out there that can top “Medical Love Song” in terms of inclusiveness.
“Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu” by Johnny Rivers
The first time I heard this song, I’d swear it was on a 45 and sung by someone like Jerry Reed. I was at my cousin’s house and his parents are very musical and had a nice collection of old records. But try as I might, I can’t find that same version I heard at their house. In 1972, Johnny Rivers made “Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu” a hit.
If you’re in bed, shaking, hacking, and sweating, perhaps you can especially relate to this classic.
“Fever” by many singers
You can’t garner much sympathy for being sick if you don’t have a fever. The song “Fever” is a true classic, having been written by Eddie Cooley and Otis Blackwell, who used the pseudonym John Davenport. It was originally recorded in 1956 by Little Willie John, but it’s been covered by many, many well-respected artists. Peggy Lee’s version might be the most famous, but you can hear versions by Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, and Bette Midler, just to name a few. You might say this song went viral!
Here’s a rendition done by Rita Moreno and Animal, of The Muppet Show.
“I Want A New Drug” by Huey Lewis and the News
If you get sick enough, maybe you’ll consult your personal physician, who will prescribe a new drug for you. Hopefully, it’ll make you feel like yourself again, or at least as well as you’d feel with your main squeeze at your side.
Being a child of the 80s, this song has a special place in my heart.
“Hospital Beds” by Cold War Kids
Of course, if your illness progresses too much, you could find yourself laid up in the hospital. In that case, you might relate to this song by Cold War Kids.
On the other hand, hospitals are probably the last place you’d want to be when you’re sick!
“The Jack” by AC/DC
And then there are illnesses that don’t get spread via casual contact…
AC/DC reminds us why it’s a good idea to be extra careful when it comes to choosing sexual playmates.
“Heart Attack” by Olivia Newton-John
A heart attack is the last thing you’d want to have happen when you’re in the throes of a nasty virus. Better take care of your ticker, lest you end up like Olivia Newton-John. She makes heart attacks sound better than they really are.
I will admit I was quite the fan of Olivia’s when I was coming of age, but she’s also done quite a few songs that fit my blog themes.
“Seasons In The Sun” by Terry Jacks
Sometimes being sick leads to the process of dying, which brings to mind this 1974 hit by Terry Jacks…
Come on now, you know the words! I’ve heard that the flu this year has made some people wish they might find relief somehow, perhaps even through death. And I’ve also heard that Terry Jacks’ hit also makes some people wish for death, though tastes definitely differ.
“Angel” and “I Will Remember You” by Sarah McLachlan
If you do happen to pass away, you can take comfort in the fact that there are many lovely songs written about death, like these two modern classics by Sarah McLachlan.
If you’re sick right now, I do hope this little little tongue in cheek look at songs about sickness help you feel a little better. If you’re not sick, please wash your hands! The flu can and does kill; so please do whatever you can to avoid catching and spreading it. Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands! And when you sneeze, aim for your elbow!