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Yes and Yes Related Songs About the Pandemic

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    Yes and Yes Related Songs About the Pandemic

    The final track on Yes' most recent album, The Quest, "A Living Island", (Co-written by Jon Davison and Geoff Downes and performed by the entire band) is in part about the pandemic and still holds up pretty well IMO:



    The Prog Collective, a Billy Sherwood project (Billy writes the songs, apart from the cover songs, and does the singing and the instruments not credited to guest stars. In this case, Todd Rundgren sings.), beat Yes to the punch by releasing "Worlds on Hold", which I think also holds up pretty well:



    Have any other current or former members of Yes released songs about coronavirus/Covid-19/the pandemic? What about older songs that were about something else (Maybe a different historical pandemic) but that take on a new meaning in light of recent events?

    That's one of the neat things about art (Including music)- there's the artist's intended meaning (or meanings), the way the art is interpreted when it's released by the people who take it in (In the case of music, listeners), and the way the art can be interpreted in the light of events of cultural changes that occur long after the songs are relased.

    In the second of those three categories (Listeners interpreting a song), I always think of Pearl Jam's hit song, "Alive". It was written about someone who had some tough things happen to him, was depressed, and wondering why he was still alive when his father and others were dead. However, audiences heard it as an affirmation of life amid some tough circumstances, and even felt the meaning of certain verses were different than what was intended. Eddie Vedder, Pearl Jam's lead singer, has said that the way fans interpret the song has actually changed the way the band performs it, saying that they changed some elements to play to what fans perceived it to be about rather than sticking to what they originally wrote and recorded it to be about.

    On the other hand, I think it was Bruce Springsteen who was so sick of fans not understanding that "Born in the USA" was meant as kind of a negative song rather than a patriotic anthem, that he performed it as a dirge for a while, only eventually abandoning the effort and reverting to performing as recorded when he realized that fans were going to interpret it the way they were going to interpret it no matter what he did. I would imagine that Neil Young probably runs into similar issues with "Rockin' in the Free World".

    Anyway,, when it comes to groups not related to Yes, I know that the Rolling Stones did a pandemic related song (Embedded below). What other groups do you know of that has released similar songs?

    Last edited by downbyariver; 12-30-2021, 03:06 PM.
    "A lot of the heavier conversations I was having with Chris toward the end were about his desire for this thing to go forward. He kept reiterating that to me. [...] He kept telling me, 'No matter what happens, Yes needs to continue moving forward and make great music. So promise me that that's something you want to do.'. And I have to keep making music. It's just what I do. [...] I'm a fan of the band and I want to see it thrive and that means new music." -Billy Sherwood

    #2
    Here are 88 pages of songs with the word "pandemic" for you to peruse. There could be a Yes-related one in there. Crack was an epidermic so maybe That, That Is could count. Asia has albums called Alpha and Omega. Maybe the next one should be titled Omicron.
    A list of lyrics, artists and songs that contain the term "pandemic" - from the Lyrics.com website.
    Last edited by josuev80; 12-30-2021, 04:31 PM.

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      #3
      I believe that a good number of the songs on Springsteen's Born in the USA originated from the recordings he made himself that became Nebraska, and then some of them became E Street Band songs, Born in the USA being one of them, so it started out as an acoustic number, very different from the anthemic song it became. I wouldn't describe it, in its acoustic form as a 'dirge'.
      ​​​​​​Alongside The River, my favourite Springsteen album, I have a very high regard for the Nebraska album, whereas I don't really enjoy Born in the USA much. It's not hard to see and hear why it was so popular and catapulted him to stadium status, but it felt like an artistic downturn compared to The River, Darkness, Born to Run, and Nebraska.
      Sometimes the lights all shining on me, other times I can barely see.
      Lately it occurs to me what a long strange trip it’s been.

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        #4
        Originally posted by Ash Armstrong View Post
        I believe that a good number of the songs on Springsteen's Born in the USA originated from the recordings he made himself that became Nebraska, and then some of them became E Street Band songs, Born in the USA being one of them, so it started out as an acoustic number, very different from the anthemic song it became. I wouldn't describe it, in its acoustic form as a 'dirge'.
        ​​​​​​Alongside The River, my favourite Springsteen album, I have a very high regard for the Nebraska album, whereas I don't really enjoy Born in the USA much. It's not hard to see and hear why it was so popular and catapulted him to stadium status, but it felt like an artistic downturn compared to The River, Darkness, Born to Run, and Nebraska.
        If you feel so inclined, check out the acoustic BITUSA from the 1995 Tom Joan tour (some samples available on his official bootleg site), it’s a revelation that someone could play acoustic like that.

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          #5
          Originally posted by Homemade Parachute View Post

          If you feel so inclined, check out the acoustic BITUSA from the 1995 Tom Joan tour (some samples available on his official bootleg site), it’s a revelation that someone could play acoustic like that.
          Wow, I didn't know about that! I'll check it out, thanks.
          Sometimes the lights all shining on me, other times I can barely see.
          Lately it occurs to me what a long strange trip it’s been.

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            #6
            As far as covid/pandemic songs go, there's a few from the neo-prog side of things: Big Big Train have a song called The Strangest Times and Galahad offshoot Galahad Electric Company have When The Battles Over album which touches on lockdown etc. That's just the singer and the keyboard player mostly, in a DBA kinda situation. I'm sure there's other songs/albums out there dealing with it. I think there's a concept album about the pandemic from some of Steve Hackett's band members in a new group. I forget what it was.

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