PARRSBORO, N.S. — Rob Bentley has the blues.
The Parrsboro resident and entertainer has done what many musicians do during times of crisis. He picked up his guitar and penned a song about the issue of the day, COVID-19.
“I wrote it on (a) Friday and put it up on YouTube. I thought if I even get one hit that would be viral to me, but within a day or two I already had more than 1,000,” Bentley said.
“It seemed like a lot of things were coming to a head, a lot of things were happening all at once and the expression COVID-19 blues came up in conversation. Someone said that would be a good song. When I woke up (the next day) I was putting rhyming lines together and then I had the song done.”
The song makes light of the challenges facing many Canadians amid fears of the spread of the COVID-19 virus that hit China, South Korea and Europe hard. Pandemic precautions led to the cancellation of many events in Canada and the United States as well as travel restrictions and sparked panic buying household necessities such as toilet paper.
Bentley, who has been performing for 43 years and is with the Parrsboro Band Association, said he is surprised at the number of people who have commented on his song. He put it on Facebook and it spread through social media quite quickly.
“It’s definitely timely,” he said. “It seems to be dominating discussion more and more. You can’t turn on the news without nine of the 10 articles being about the virus.”
He recently performed the song twice with a Celtic band he plays with.
“I was surprised with how many people had seen it and wanted me to perform it,” he said.
Bentley said he and his wife, who is a physician, were planning to go on vacation but cancelled their plans because of the virus and the fact they would both need to self-isolate for 14 days upon return.
His would like to see people get a bit of comic relief from the song, and he hopes it’s a calming influence because the virus is something that’s on everyone’s mind.
“My hope is that people follow the advice given and don’t check out of life,” he said. “One day this will be over.”