NYC Based Band With Athens Connection Releases COVID-19 Sea Shanty< < Back to
Manhattan-based folk band the Chivalrous Crickets released a music video of their latest single: “O Corona,” on December 29, 2020. The lyrics of the sea shanty bemoan the challenges encountered from the global pandemic this past year through the eyes of the roving folk musicians. “O Corona” provides a catchy sing-along melody and unifying message for this holiday season and New Year: “Away, go away, O Corona!”
With members from Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Manhattan, the Chivalrous Crickets are just one of countless bands whose packed performance and recording schedule grinded to an abrupt halt by mid-March of ’20. “O Corona,” was written as a way to process the frustrations felt by so many across the country as countless activities overnight became impossible. Songwriters Fiona Gillespie (Bethlehem, PA), Paul Holmes Morton (Strasburg, PA) and Ben Keith Stewart (Athens, OH) produced the shanty on a humid summer evening in July, the first of a string of potent writing sessions involving the trio.
“Well, have you ever heard of Covid-19?” sings Stewart as the video begins. “It’s the virus that put the world in quarantine!” The modern content of the lyrics contrasts and complements the old-world maritime style, as well as the cozy, if sparse, pub scene of yesteryear. As Stewart walks from one scene to the next, frozen pubgoers snap to life as the chorus comes around: “Oh, Corona! Go wash off your hands and from me six feet stand, away, go away!” In the video, Stewart, Gillespie, Morton and bandmate Ben Matus (Manhattan) sow chaos by pranking other pubgoers, taking over the stage and even commandeering the dance floor, harkening to the wild unpredictability that the virus has rapidly made commonplace.
The Chivalrous Crickets have not spent quarantine idly: their self-titled EP (2020), their debut full-length The Pavorreal Sessions, (2020) and now their “O Corona” video combine to display the group’s diverse portfolio of style and genre. The band’s eclectic sound combines Appalachian mountain music, tunes and ballads from the British Isles and baroque and renaissance styles of Early Music to produce an auditory experience that is as ancient as it is modern, and as fresh as it is familiar. The tight-knit group of friends persist in the mission to make art despite the exasperating confusion of life on Earth in 2020.
The Chivalrous Crickets continue to book their schedule with performances in hopes that the vaccines will at some point soon allow for an increase in safe, live performances of some kind. Readers and listeners can find out more about the Manhattan-based band at chivalrouscrickets.com or by searching them on Facebook, Instagram and of course, Youtube. Their music is available on all streaming services.