The Five Best Songs About Diseases & Infections Ever

Posted by on November 12th, 2009

With flu season mounting, handshakes get risky, hugs spell out trouble and kisses become spit-smeared invitations to 103-degree, snot-slathered winter formals hosted by your lungs. Every person you love is looking more and more like a walking biological weapon. Weird Things invites you to take a few minutes to turn up your speakers, sneeze directly into a loved one’s mouth and get down with the sickness…

The Dead Kennedys“Government Flu”

Known as much for their rabid, conspiracy theory-tinged liberalism as for their surf-infused hardcore punk sound, San Francisco’s Dead Kennedys always managed to stay true to early punk’s affinity for political hyperbole while still remaining witty and fun. Featured on their 1982 album “Plastic Surgery Disasters,” this song is the perfect gift for the H1N1 conspiracy nut in your life.


Whether you think Radiohead is overhyped or just-the-right-amount hyped, it’s hard to deny the substantial impact that these dour, tree-hugging Brits have had on the contemporary music scene. “Myxomatosis,” from 2003’s barely “OOOH SNAP!”-worthy-titled “Hail to the Thief,” infuses a deep synth groove with lyrics about the titular rabbit-killing infection. Ten bucks says the rabbit represents Mother Earth.

Ween“Spinal Meningitis (Got Me Down)”

This bizarre and chilling track from 1994’s “Chocolate and Cheese” proves that the worst lullabies for children are also the best masturbatory aids for serial killers. And before you say it, I know I could’ve chosen the resplendent and beloved “The HIV Song.” Or the trippy instrumental “Pink Eye on my Knee.” Thank god this playlist’s theme wasn’t Recreational Pharmacology, or I’d be paring down Ween options for weeks.

Frank Zappa“Why Does it Hurt When I Pee?”

From experimental jazz to doo-wop to… this, Frank Zappa’s varied and prolific musical career left an indelible mark on American musical history. This mournful lament from his 1979 rock opera “Joe’s Garage: Acts I, II & III” teaches a hard lesson about the meat-grabbing properties of toilet seat-lurking venereal diseases. The more you know…

Jimmie Rodgers“T.B. Blues”

Consumption never sounded so soulful. Recorded in 1931 by ragtime guitarist and proto-country great Jimmie Rodgers, the “T.B. Blues” provides a melodic outlet for all the country singers who lost their woman, their dog and their truck, and then contracted tuberculosis.

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