Charts & Graphs

Catchy Tunes

Music for contagious conditions.

  • A painting of Franciscan monks standing together

    EUROPE, c. 1400

    “Hold in check the constellations / whose strife grants the people / the ulcers of a terrible death. / O glorious star of the sea / save us from the plague.”
    Artist: Franciscan friars • Disease: Bubonic plague

  • A black-and-white depiction of American settlers in the 19th century

    MICHIGAN, c. 1820

    “Don’t go to Michigan, that land of ills. / The word means ague, fever, and chills.”
    Artist: American pioneers • Disease: Malaria

  • A black-and-white photograph of Harry Boens seated next to a woman

    NEW YORK CITY, c. 1919

    “Everyone sits at home wasting time, / afraid of the Spanish flu. / Take my advice and wash away the trouble: / drink some wine and eat a bulb of garlic.”
    Artist: Yiddish songwriter Harry Boens • Disease: Influenza

  • A photograph of Staff Benda Bilili posing in front of a red background with their band name in large yellow block letters


    “Parents, please go to the vaccination center, / get your babies vaccinated against polio, / please save them from that curse.”
    Artist: Staff Benda Bilili • Disease: Polio

  • A photograph of D-12

    LIBERIA, 2014

    “It’s dangerous! / Ebola is very wicked. / It can kill you quick quick. / Be careful how you shaking hands. / Be careful who you touch.”
    Artists: Shadow and D-12 • Disease: Ebola

  • A photograph of Dream Team do Passinho standing in front of a yellow background, with their band name in large letters above their heads

    BRAZIL, 2016

    “It’s not just the mosquito’s fault, / so take care of the one you love. / Use a condom, / don’t take Zika to bed.”
    Artist: Dream Team do Passinho • Disease: Zika

  • A photograph of Min and Erik

    VIETNAM, 2020

    “Let’s wash our hands! / Rub, rub, rub, rub them! / Don’t put your hands on eyes, nose, mouth, / and limit going to crowded places. / Fight back against corona!”
    Artist: Min and Erik • Disease: Covid-19