You can hear it already can’t you? “Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, I’m begging of you please don’t hesitate.”
A riff on famed country singer Dolly Parton’s Jolene, the YVR Pop Choir and Chorus Studio released their coronavirus (COVID-19) related take on the hit classic early last week. Inspired by Parton’s own adaptation of the song when she received her vaccine in March, the Vancouver choral group continued on the central message and poked fun at life during quarantine.
"I think the big talking point for this is we want to encourage people to get their vaccines so we can all get back to maybe a new, new normal," said Rebecca Lam the choir’s musical director.
Before the pandemic, the YVR Pop Choir had 140 members and would perform live concerts and even flash mobs. Now though the group has 60 members which meet weekly over Zoom.
Coordinating the voices of 60 people with varying levels of latency over a video call to create the nearly three-minute music video was no small task. Lam explained that each choir member sings on mute following her direction and then records themselves singing their individual part. Those parts are then edited together into one virtual performance. From start to finish the process took the group six weeks. For context, Lam says an in-person choir is capable of learning a song from start to finish in a matter of hours.
Need a melodic reminder on why you should get the COVID-19 vaccine? Look no further than YVR Pop Choir's cover of Jolene by Dolly Parton! A great message told through a great tune.— ImmunizeBC (@ImmunizeBC) May 13, 2021
P.S. You might notice a cameo from a certain vaccine Q&A website 😉https://t.co/VrI5GKNYU0
This isn’t the group’s first pandemic-related music parody though. Last year the group gained widespread attention for their rendition of All I Want For Christmas Is You, a lyric revised to “I Will Social Distance From You.”
"We wanted to do another parody song," Lam said. "Although it's a positive thing obviously that we're all getting our vaccines, it's also stressful and those conversations with our loved ones -- like how some people are hesitant. It's a difficult conversation so we just wanted to make light of that."
Other Vancouver choirs have had similar ideas like the Phoenix Chamber Choir performing a parody version of Queen’s six-minute magnum opus called Coronavirus Rhapsody and Billy Joel’s Longest Time -- but quarantine edition.
This Saturday, seven choral groups including the YVR Pop Choir will be celebrating making music throughout the pandemic in a virtual concert RESILIENCE: Virtual Choir Summit. All the proceeds from the concert will go to the Crisis Centre of BC.
More information about the event can be found on Chorus Studio’s website.