One of the countless reasons why we love Reggae and Dancehall so much is its incredible topicality, its swift reaction to global incidents. To our knowledge, no other genre can claim to contribute as many songs about subjects that move(d) the world, be it Donald Trump, the refugee crisis or genetically modified food. And now - Corona! The virus that holds countries all over in a scare-mongering grip now infected at least four Reggae songs. Probably the first to draw musical attention to the virus and its transmission was Zagga with his New Hail, a tune that proposes new ways of greeting when meeting: "No lion paw, no big finger nah rub, no fist no thumb no hug... New Hail when you see me, New Hail, stretch out you foot when you see me and a hail!". The song was officially released on March 13th and has a proper video to watch. The most recent track Coronavirus was released by Ras Strika on his YouTube channel. Says the artist: "Corona the deadly virus has been claiming lives globally. The dreaded virus spread rapidly and is proven to be the most dangerous. The virus which started in Wu-an, China, has inspired Ras Strika to write and record this song. Please protect your family, friends and most of all your self and remember to wash your hands." Another tune called Corona Virus has been contributed by Sizzla Kalonji on the famous Far East Riddim. "It was a freestyle recorded to raise awareness. The riddim is not ours, but we like doing music on the old-school rhythms because it is real to our culture," the artist told The Jamaica Star. In the song, Sizzla calls for awareness about the virus' spread and, above all, for cleanliness and prevention: "Dem a chat bout Corona Virus de about, better be careful, no better make it go ina your house (...) protect the little children, don't put your hand ina your mouth..." Most elaborated, however, is the recording Corona Song on the Punanny Riddim. Careful: it is sung by veteran Dancehall artist Silver Cat and NOT by Buju Banton, as some falsely claim on the web. Playing with a cunning metaphor of a girl called Corona, Silver Cat warns his friends to not come into close contact with her: "Corona a look me but me no want har, so anybody see har tell har stay far". Hilarious! It is rationality and prudence we need to overcome the present crisis, but a little humour can help, too. As public life is restricted more and more in many (especially urban) areas, both artists and fans have to forgo beloved parties and concerts - the time thus won can be efficiently used to spend with family and loved ones, or to dig into long-abandoned projects in and around your home. Most importantly, however, stay safe and healthy, people!
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