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2020 Contributing Creators Creative Pieces Music Pandemic Poetry

No Mask No Music

Music, Art, & Text by Karl Meyer

The pandemic of 2020 brought forth a wide array of unanticipated emotions for me, my friends, and my family. In April and May, as the reality set in that this was going to be a long haul, I wrote a batch of songs to capture some of the fears and frustrations precipitated by this new normal, but with some humor. 

My go-to genre for this project is punk because this artform allows for gross exaggeration — I can push each theme to its extreme. 

“I Don’t Wanna Be Quarantined” confronts being shut-in with your loved ones more than you can stand. 

“Under The Mask” is a humorous take on personal protection — concealing your ugliness as a secondary benefit to covering your face. 

“Safe Distance” leverages the pandemic as another good excuse to avoid an ex-lover. (lyrics below)

And “Already Home” makes light of the only good thing about being forced to work from home — no more commuting to work.

Safe Distance

Way back when you really broke my heart
You had that technique down to an art
So now for the sake of my mental health
I plan to remain completely in stealth

Here in these pandemic times
There’s another reason to draw the line
If you get too close to me
I’m gonna call the governor, can’t you see

So now there’s reasons one and two
For me to stay away from you
And it’s as simple as it can be
Just keep a safe distance from me

Don’t know why you’re coming around again
Since you ran off with my best friend
You really put me in my place
Now I want you out of my personal space

My therapist said “don’t analyze her
Just use a stronger sanitizer,
Gloves and bleach are not enough,
You really gonna need some toxic stuff”

So now there’s reasons one and two
For me to stay away from you
And it’s as simple as it can be
Just keep a safe distance from me

If you cross my border
I’ll get a restraining order

I could list many reasons more
But I don’t want to be a bore
6 feet away is the minimum
Cuz you belong in the sanitarium

So now there’s reasons one and two
For me to stay away from you
And it’s as simple as it can be
Just keep a safe distance from me


Karl Meyer is a musician and songwriter based in Chicago. Karl has pioneered the “Punk for Adults” genre. For more information on Karl check him out on Bandcamp.