Worried about the flu? Beware musical maladies, too

Hope you already got your flu shot. If not, time’s a-wasting. Here are a few malady melodies to help you pass the time in line and offer a little perspective …

… Because you could end up suffering from a hard-to-cure musical sickness, like these singers are.

Check out their symptoms and then feel free to share some of your favorite musical odes to illness in the comments section.

(And to end on a positive note, check out below my favorite musical medical opinion, courtesy of Irving Berlin and the Broadway stage. Plus a medical referral.)

8. The general blahs: Roy Orbision’s “I’m Hurtin’.”

7. Strange symptoms: Bobby Hendricks’ “Itchy Twitchy Feeling.”

6. Convulsions: The Guess Who’s “Shakin’ All Over.”

5. Heart problems: Billy Ray Cyrus’ “Achy Breaky Heart,” a much-maligned song credited with (or blamed for) bringing Western line dancing into mainstream culture.

In fact, Weird Al couldn’t resist parodying it with his “Achy Breaky Song.”

4. Chills: James Brown’s “Cold Sweat.”

3. Insomia: Bobby Edwards’ “You’re the Reason [I Don’t Sleep at Night].”

2. A high temperature: Peggy Lee’s “Fever.”

1. An incurable condition: Johnny Rivers’ “Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu.”

Medical opinion: It’s hard to top the duet “[You’re Not Sick] You’re Just in Love” from “Call Me Madam,” the 1950 Irving Berlin musical based on famed Washington, D.C., hostess Perle Mesta. Ethel Merman originated the role on Broadway and then paired with Donald O’Connor on the song in the 1953 movie version. But this rendition by Perry Como and the Fontaine Sisters is my favorite.

Medical referral: And what TV doctor would be equipped to handle such a wide assortment of symptoms? How about the caustic but talented title character on ABC’s “Ben Casey” (1961-66)? Prolific songwriter John D. Loudermilk cleverly explains the doc’s many skills in the novelty song “Callin’ Dr. Casey.”

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Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Corey Anderson on 10/09/2009 - 08:56 am.

    “La Grippe” by Squirrel Nut Zippers:

    Theres a flu bug getting passed around
    And its spreading like fire through the town
    Theres a virus holing up inside us
    Everyone that I know is coming down

    Theres an asian influenza
    Infecting us all by the score
    And its turning into pneumonia
    We must go out once more…

  2. Submitted by Mike Cohen on 10/09/2009 - 10:32 am.

    I love “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart” (written by the Bee Gees) but given a sweet and soulful treatment by Al Green…

    and the Chet Baker’s staple “Everything Happens to Me”

    I never miss a thing. I’ve had the measles and the mumps.
    And every time I play an ace, my partner always trumps.
    I guess I’m just a fool, who never looks before he jumps.
    Everything happens to me.

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