The Best Coronavirus Quarantine Songs, From Ben Gibbard To New Kids On The Block Many musicians canceled tours and delayed album releases due to the pandemic. But some are now using home recording setups and streaming services to write and publish songs about the coronavirus.

From The Urgent To The Absurd, Musicians Take On The Coronavirus Through Song

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Like so many others, musicians have had their worlds turned upside down by the coronavirus.


They've had to cancel tours and delay album releases. But some artists have gained a bit of inspiration.


GMAC CASH: (Rapping) I done bought me a mask and a lot of gloves. And I still feel like that is not enough. I ain't shaking no hands. I don't want a hug. Make sure you wash your hands with a lot of love.

SHAPIRO: That's the song "Coronavirus" by Detroit rapper Gmac Cash. He released it on March 15, the same time many places were releasing stay-at-home orders.

STEPHEN THOMPSON, BYLINE: The first wave of quarantine songs kind of have the same tone that I think a lot of commercials have where it's like, we're all in this together. Wash your hands. This is very sad.

KELLY: That's Stephen Thompson of NPR Music.

THOMPSON: So many of us are cooped up in our houses. And we're washing your hands a lot. And how do you write a song that feels universal and speaks to that moment. And I think at the same time, there's a seriousness to it that you also want to capture. And so I think it's very, very difficult to write a really effective song about being in quarantine life.


BEN GIBBARD: (Singing) Sidewalks are empty. The bars and cafes, too. The street lights only changing 'cause they ain't got nothin' better to do.

KELLY: Ben Gibbard of the band Death Cab for Cutie released a coronavirus-themed themed track back in March, as well. It's called "Life In Quarantine."


GIBBARD: (Singing) When our city was still the secret before those carpetbaggers came to town.

KELLY: He says he'll donate the proceeds to Seattle-area relief organizations.

SHAPIRO: U.K.-based rapper Lady Leshurr says she'll also give away the money she makes on her track "Quarantine Speech."


LADY LESHURR: (Rapping) Don't touch me. Big sis needs an apology 'cause I'll be on one like I'm in quarantine. I'm mad had to change up a whole lot of plans. Before you go 'bout your business, wash them hands. Wash them hands. Wash them hands. You better wash them hands. Wash them hands. Wash them hands. You better wash them hands.

SHAPIRO: Thompson says Leshurr injects some humor into the bleak landscape of coronavirus music.

THOMPSON: One thing that I'm enjoying and appreciating listening to these songs about quarantine is that we're starting to enter a wave of songs that are a little bit more joyful, that contain a little bit more silliness and a little bit more of a sense of play.

KELLY: Songs like "House Party," a quarantine tune served with a dash of cheesy '90s revivalism. It's by New Kids On The Block, with help from Naughty By Nature, Boyz II Men, Big Freedia and Jordin Sparks. Yep.


UNIDENTIFIED SINGER #1: (Singing) It's nine o'clock. Ain't got nothing else but time. I think I'm going to lose my mind. Gon' leave it all behind.

UNIDENTIFIED SINGER #2: (Singing) When will it stop?

THOMPSON: It is just this whirlwind of cheerful, chaotic, retro stupidity that I can really, really get behind.

SHAPIRO: And in this time, who doesn't need to cut loose?

KELLY: Amen to that. Just be sure to dance responsibly.


UNIDENTIFIED SINGERS: (Singing) Let your feelings go. Let your feelings go. Live our lives now. We're gonna pump it real loud. Don't say no, girl. Here we go. House party, house party, let's get it started...

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