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Singin’ in the COVID

Chad Frey
cfrey@thekansan.com
Retired educators Stacey Zavesky and Marcia Friesen have been churning out COVID-19 musical parodies for months.

There likely will never be late-night infomercials to sell CDs of great COVID-19 hits. But making money is not why two local women are writing and singing COVID-19-themed music.

“We both are in COVID studies, and we are in those because it is one small way we can contribute,” said Stacey Zavesky, one-half of the recording duo. “We both have fun making other people laugh or making them happy. That was our goal. Let’s just put out a fun song to get through these hard times.”

Zavesky and Marcia Friesen, both retired educators, have been churning out COVID-19 musical parodies for months. Their YouTube channel, which can be found at https://tinyurl.com/y5yx6w84, has dozens upon dozens of tunes.

They are closing in on 100 videos. They were at 87 on Monday with new ones coming nearly daily during the Christmas season.

The COVID-19 songs started with a parody of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” called "12 Days of Virus.” The duo wrote lyrics, recorded the song to a video and posted it to YouTube and Facebook.

The duo first made a parody song for the birthday of a friend in April.

“We were at home, with retirement not looking like we thought it would look — can’t go out to eat, can’t go anywhere and I can’t even sub because schools are closed and we thought, ’Well, we might as well do these songs,’ ” Friesen said.

“We have fun singing,” Zavesky said. “If we can make someone laugh for a minute, that is the goal.”

Facebook friends asked for more. And more. And they started making requests. The duo was making a new song every day.

“We got a little overwhelmed,” Friesen said.

As life with COVID-19 changed, their focus changed. They wrote a series of parodies about wearing a mask, and this month have written about the announced vaccines.

Their fan base has remained loyal.

“People are telling us, ’We look forward to these every day. It gets us through the day,’ ” Friesen said.

She said that puts some pressure on and that “people are easily impressed.”

“It is a fun thing to do and it occupies our mind in a different manner,” Friesen said. “Neither Stacey or I have professional training. We both just grew up singing in church.”

They record each song on video, using software that came with their computer.

Their music backtracks are heavy on the Christmas and classic rock side.

“We grew up in the 1980s and there are a lot of good songs there,” Zavesky said. “We hear something and say ’we can do that one.’ You listen to that, make up your lyrics and find backup music. ... We both listen to a lot of music and there is variety there.”

The music will keep coming, at least for a while. They want to put a smile on people’s faces.

“They are great ladies and their parodies are awesome,” said Kristy Gottlob, a friend of the pair and regular watcher of their videos. “... The messages are most often uplifting and the lyrics are clever.”

M&S Productions hosts dozens of COVID-19-themed musical parodies by Stacey Zavesky and Marcia Friesen.