There’s no doubt the coronavirus crisis will have a prominent place in American history books. But when all is said and done, how exactly will future generations remember it? One possibility is through a coronavirus-themed parody of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
The re-write was penned by Cambridge-based comedian, Dana Jay Bein, when he felt under the weather one day. His version took the familiar first lyrics, “Is this the real life? Or is this just fantasy?” and turned them into, “Is this a sore throat? Or is this just allergies?”
Bein said once he got that first melody down — the rest was easy: he wrote the full song in just 10 minutes.
“I was in self-quarantine, you know I thought I had some allergy symptoms and I had a sore throat and all of the sudden, I sang the first two lines of what became my parody out loud,” Bein told Jim Braude on WGBH News’ Greater Boston Monday.
“It was like lightning struck. I realized I had to sit down and write the rest of it."
He posted the lyrics on Twitter and watched the song go viral — something he said he never thought would happen.
“People were demanding that I do a song version with video and I was sick, so I created the hashtag, #CoronavirusRhapsody, and challenged the Internet to do it for me. And boy did they come through, there are somewhere around a thousand versions that people, musicians and artists created all around the world,” Bein said.
So much so, that one of the most popular versions might now be added to the United States Library of Congress. Bein said, Adrian Grimes, a Wisconsin-based-musician, was contacted by an archivist about adding the song to a section on art created during the pandemic. Grimes' cover has almost 5 million views on YouTube.
Bein said he was most moved, though, by a woman who reached out to him from Wuhan, China — the first epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.
“One of the most special reach outs was from a woman in Wuhan that said they were singing the song over there and that it brought them lots of laughter and joy. Honestly, that’s extremely touching to me to know that something I wrote in my own self-quarantine, is connecting with people all over the world,” Bein said.
Watch a compilation of covers of 'Coronavirus Rhapsody' here: https://youtu.be/tApbzhi5_Aw