VANCOUVER -- Public health guidelines meant to keep Canadians safe are also inspiring creativity, including from some B.C. residents whose talents were previously hidden.

One of those creative outlets is live concerts, including those streamed by cello-playing politicians and by artists better known for their music.

Another way those impacted by COVID-19 are expressing themselves through music is with pandemic-themed song parodies.

Among them is a cover of "I Will Survive" by Sean Heather of the Vancouver gastropub The Irish Heather.

The pub is one of many restaurants in the region offering incentives as a way to maintain customer loyalty while closed due to COVID-19, and his parody includes an ad for Irish Heather's employee pricing deal.

In March, the restaurant and three others under the same ownership announced the layoffs of 41 staff members.

"I have no money coming in and funds are gone without a trace," Heather sings.

"Twenty-three years in Gastown is not worth a hill of beans. Will this be over in three months? And there's no guarantee."

Later he tells the virus to look him in the eye.

"Did you think I'd crumble? Did you think I'd lay down and die?"

At one point, a pop-up speech bubble suggests his five children were behind the dare that sparked the music video.



A video posted late last month by Vancouver's Phoenix Chamber Choir shows seven of its members singing their take on the Queen classic, titled "Coronavirus Rhapsody: A Social Distance-Sing Project."

"Is this a sore throat? Is this just allergies? Caught in a lockdown, no escape from reality," the song starts.

"Don't touch your eyes, just hand sanitize quickly."

The next verse likely hits home for many facing recent layoffs: "I'm just a poor boy, no job security, because of easy spread, even though, washed our hands, laying low."

Here's the full video.

And it's not just locals. Adam Sandler performed his own quarantine song in a video posted earlier this month after airing on The Tonight Show.

"They wear Crocs and they tell you the truth," he sings about doctors and nurses, saying they'll be the ones to save us from the pandemic.

"And I hope they save us soon because I'm really, really sick of my family."

His tribute to health-care workers has been viewed more than three million times.


Others still are drawing inspiration from the public health crisis.

"Dear Bonnie Henry" is a song and dance parody of a "Hamilton" song, written and choreographed by two B.C. women as a tribute to the province's health officer, who has been seen by some as a source of comfort during the pandemic.

One of the doctor's most memorable moments to those behind the song and a Twitter account called Dr. Bonnie Henry Fan Club was a moment at a news conference in March when Henry teared up while giving an update. 

Lyrics to the three-minute song include, "You have nice eyes, and we just learned your name. When you came into our world you cried, and broke our hearts."

And a B.C. jazz musician penned "The Ballad of Bonnie Henry," a track that earned a mention in the New York Times.


Vancouver resident Andrea Bilawich said she was driven by a desire to bring optimism and humour to people during a challenging time when she wrote "Stay Home: A song for COVID-19."

Her song includes a list of activities to do instead of going outside, including learning the trumpet, trying to read War and Peace and cleaning out the attic.

A Pitt Meadows, B.C., woman put her own spin on the Frozen hit "Let It Go" with "Stay Inside."

And here's a cover of Dolly Parton's "Jolene," retitled "Quarantine" and performed by a Langley, B.C., firefighter.