The Power of Music: CoViD-19 Day 40

Music has healing power. It has the ability to take people
out of themselves for a little while. Elton John

And Nelson Mandela once said that music “has the power to elevate and liberate us.”

Same idea, yes?  That is what I’m seeking: elevation and liberation. Not necessarily in that order.

Here to start us off:

That was Julia Aks (Jaks to many), a self described comedienne, actress, opera singer and maker of video parodies.


Music has become a big part of my life since my Peace Corps years, perhaps because of them. Today, I want us to think about how music is helping us through this pandemic.

In my first COVID related post 40 days ago now, we had Italians singing from their balconies, Spanish policemen serenading isolating apartment dwellers, and Iranian doctors dancing.

On our side of the pond too, from pop stars to choirs to symphony orchestras, the outpouring of generosity, each sharing their talent through the magic that is social media, has moved me.

And I want to share a bit of that with you.

Mary Chapin Carpenter has been posting facebook LIVE videos of her songs through that new feature called Watch, which I truly don’t understand. Once I’m in it, I often can’t get out.  I mean that literally; I hit all the buttons and tap on all the corners and nothing. I finally have to turn it off and come back later.  There I go again.

Here’s Mary Chapin Carpenter with “The Things That We Are Made Of.”


There are so many others. Joan Baez, Neil Diamond, Elton John, and Paul Simon have entertained me from their homes, presenting video performances of their old standards or a newly adapted version written for this COVID-19 era.

I’ve posted them to my Facebook page if you’d like them to sing to you too.

Andrew Lloyd Webber is streaming his musicals for free, one each weekend on a special YouTube channel. Phantom of the Opera was last week.  Click here for more information.

And then there was the video of actors Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick singing the John Prine and Iris DeMent classic, In Spite of Ourselves.


Wow, that’s big.  Well, they’re big stars.

[learn_more caption=”In Spite of Ourselves lyrics”]She don’t like her eggs all runny
She thinks crossin’ her legs is funny
She looks down her nose at money
She gets it on like the Easter Bunny
She’s my baby, I’m her honey I’m never gonna let her go

He ain’t got laid in a month of Sundays
Caught him once and he was sniffin’ my undies
He ain’t too sharp but he gets things done
Drinks his beer like it’s oxygen
He’s my baby, I’m his honey I’m never gonna let him go

In spite of ourselves
We’ll end up a’sittin’ on a rainbow
Against all odds
Honey, we’re the big door prize
We’re gonna spite our noses
Right off of our faces
There won’t be nothin’ but big old hearts
Dancin’ in our eyes

She thinks all my jokes are corny
Convict movies make her horny
She likes ketchup on her scrambled eggs
Swears like a sailor when she shaves her legs
She takes a lickin’
And keeps on tickin’
I’m never gonna let her go

He’s got more balls than a big brass monkey
He’s a whacked out weirdo and a lovebug junkie
Sly as a fox and crazy as a loon
Payday comes and he’s howlin’ at the moon
He’s my baby
I don’t mean maybe
Never gonna let him go

In spite of ourselves we’ll end up a-sittin’ on a rainbow
Against all odds, honey we’re the big door-prize
We’re gonna spite our noses right off of our faces
There won’t be nothin’ but big ol’ hearts dancin’ in our eyes[/learn_more]

Others you know of?  Again, please add them below.

Internationally renown orchestras are bringing their music into our lives.

The New York Philharmonic sent us Ravel’s Bolero via Shelter-In-Place YouTube videos and did so to honor our health care workers.  

In New York City, the Metropolitan Opera has scheduled free live audio streams.

Others?  I hope you’ll add their links in the Comments below.

Choirs too have joined the cause.

Turns out there’s a world out there called Pub Choirs or sometimes called Bar Choirs.

Here’s a TEDx talk from the founder of Toronto’s Choir! Choir! Choir!  (C!C!C!) that helps explain the concept.  This was obviously taped before we all took to our caves.



Have you seen the YouTube choirs where members have taped themselves singing a common song, then someone works the magic and puts them together?

Take a listen to this one from Australia’s Pub Choir, which became Couch Choir when Corona landed there:



I’d love to be a part of something like that. Technology helps us connect in ways I certainly never dreamed of.

I make time in my life for music, particularly when I need to feel reconnected, or liberated, or powerful, or serene, or transported, or thoughtful, or happy.


Never underestimate the power of listening to your favorite music on full blast while dancing around the house like an idiot.

Just in case you’re just not sure how to tap into this marvelous musical power, here’s The Family Lockdown Boogie to show you just how it’s done.



May you continue to find ways to laugh, get sufficient exercise and sleep, and find gratitude in the mundane. We will get past this. Don’t forget your belly breaths.

How about you? I’m sure I’ve missed as many musical groups as I’ve included. Please feel free to add to the collection. 

NOTE:  It’s Earth Day today.  May we take a moment to remember —

21 Responses

  1. Ally Bean
    | Reply

    Intersting post. I don’t crave music the way many people do. I like it. I played instruments when I was a child, but after that I drifted away from it. I saw Mary Chapin Carpenter in concert once. She was great. I listen to a few channels on Sirius XM, but that’s about it.

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      Ooh, you’ve been to see her live, Ally? I’ve loved so many of Mary Chapin Carpenter’s songs over the years; but it turns out I have to be in the mood. And then she enhances that mood for me. I can’t remember a live concert I’ve ever gone to though. Isn’t that odd? But the radio on in the car, now that’s a bit of heaven for me.

      I’m finding more and more that the songs I love are the ones that bring me back, that trigger a memory of a different time and place.

      Thanks for starting us off.
      Janet Givens recently posted…The Power of Music: CoViD-19 Day 40My Profile

  2. Clive Pilcher
    | Reply

    Due to mobility issues I can’t get out any more to live music events, so this pandemic has been a blessing in disguise for me. I’ve watched all of MCC’s shows, with starring roles from Angus and his poor timing. If you like country, try Sarah Darling and Caroline Jones. Both are doing regular live shows on Facebook, and they are joyful and uplifting.
    Clive Pilcher recently posted…Tuesday Tunes 5: Kindness, Caring, SupportMy Profile

  3. Marian Beaman
    | Reply

    I love music too. It’s been a balm during this siege; I start my days with meditative music. When I first got to know you I remember you and Woody rehearsing for “The Messiah” at Christmas.

    My piano stands ready is I feel up to it – some days. Music Choice/TV is available without commercials. Also Sirius XM when I drive.

    Here especially I enjoyed the “Mary Poppins” piece. I’ve never heard of Jaks before. Thanks for cheering us up with your lyrical assemblage. You must have enjoyed putting this post together today, Janet! I’ll have to come back to catch up on it all. 🙂
    Marian Beaman recently posted…Birds, Bees, and the Bubonic PlagueMy Profile

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      I’m glad you enjoyed Jaks, Marian. She is so talented. And you are absolutely right; I thoroughly enjoyed creating this post over the past few weeks — changing, adding, rearranging until the last minute as I tend to do. There are many wonderful choices out there; I could never cover them all. Makes my heart sing. Woody and I are now going to learn that John Prine In Spite of Ourselves song that Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick sang for you. If we get tolerable, maybe I’ll post it to Facebook. 🙂
      Janet Givens recently posted…The Power of Music: CoViD-19 Day 40My Profile

  4. Arlene Smith
    | Reply

    Well, I want to move to New Zealand and live with the family that created Family Lockdown Boogie. They are obviously a lot of fun.
    When I was cleaning over the past few weeks I came across a cassette tape of mixed music from my university days. I put it on and sang out loud while I was cleaning. I knew every word, every note. My son thought his mother had lost it, but it was fun!

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      Well, I will join you Arlene; wouldn’t it also be lovely to live in a country with a competent president! THANK you so much for sharing about finding that cassette tape. I’m now going to get out my ancient Simon & Garfunkel Concert in Central Park cassette and float down memory lane. So many memories, so little time. Glad you could join us today.
      Janet Givens recently posted…The Power of Music: CoViD-19 Day 40My Profile

  5. Janet Morrison
    | Reply

    Music gets me through many of my days.

  6. Bette Stevens
    | Reply

    Enjoyed! Music is magic… Thanks for sharing. <3

  7. Laurie Buchanan
    | Reply

    Janet — I loved listening to the music you shared. Thank you so much for the links!

  8. Kathleen Pooler
    | Reply

    Loved your lists of music with links, Janet. I too love listening to music especially when I get so carried away. I’ve been known to dance in the
    kitchen,something to strive for when I return home on 4/27. I’ll know when I’ve arrived when I can accomplish that! Thanks for a great post.
    Kathleen Pooler recently posted…A Painful Vision Brought to Light for Healing because of the Devotion and Love of a DachshundMy Profile

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      I’m glad, Kathy. And do add a round of Happy Birthday to your dancing jig on Monday. It’s my David’s 47th!! We’ll both have something to celebrate.
      Janet Givens recently posted…The Power of Music: CoViD-19 Day 40My Profile

  9. Tim Fearnside
    | Reply

    Hey Janet, sorry I’m late to the party. Good stuff. I’m a pretty big music nut myself. John Prine’s passing really hit me hard, for reasons I don’t fully understand (other than that he was great, of course, and wrote some of the saddest songs ever written). If I find some worthy stuff online, I’ll be sure to pass it along!

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      I introduced Woody to John Prine’s work, in the wake of his death. Woody tends toward Bach, but he loved the songs. They have a message for us all, without the sentimentality of most country western stuff. I was introduced to his work from fellow Peace Corps volunteers. So I came late to his fan club. We’re never really late, Tim, until it’s over. Glad you’re here.
      Janet Givens recently posted…The Power of Music: CoViD-19 Day 40My Profile

  10. Janet Morrison
    | Reply

    Janet, I was just now rereading this post. You’re light years ahead of me, for I’d never even heard of Watch. It reminded me of my deep dive into YouTube last night when I couldn’t sleep. I found bagpipes and choirs doing beautiful renditions of “Africa,” by Toto and then I became mesmerized by Torville and Dean’s interpretation of Bolero to win the gold medal in ice dancing at the. .. You’d better sit down for this… The 1984 winter Olympics. I would have guessed that performance was maybe 20 years ago! All that said, I definitely agree with you that music can help us get through this strange time in which we find ourselves.

    • Janet Givens
      | Reply

      And I’ve just been invited to participate in one of Those YouTube choir concerts, Janet. I’m so excited. I must check out the two references you made here. Thank you so much.
      Janet Givens recently posted…Keeping the coronavirus in the BAGMy Profile

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