Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Spotify sees rise in COVID vaccine playlists filled with optimistic songs

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Dolly Parton, seen getting her first dose of the shot, reworked her hit song Jolene for COVID-19 times. Fittingly, it’s one of the tunes that frequently makes vaccine playlists on Spotify. 


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I don’t know about you, but I am not throwing away my shot … to get the COVID vaccine. And if I’m like a growing number of Spotify users, I might just play that iconic Hamilton song on my way to get jabbed. 

You’ve seen the vaccine selfie. Now tune in to the vaccine playlist. 

Spotify reports that since Jan. 1, users have created more than 7,700 of them globally. Among the top tunes: Hit Me With Your Best Shot by Pat Benatar; The Cure by Lady Gaga; Beatles hit Here Comes The Sun; and Good Days by SZA. 

Fittingly, Jolene by Dolly Parton also makes the list. The country music star helped fund the Moderna vaccine. And when she got her first shot in March, she posted a video of the event, along with a version of her famed 1973 song reworked with a coronavirus-era twist: “Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine / I’m begging of you, please don’t hesitate.”  

The frequently used songs channel an overall sense of excitement and optimism as the vaccine lets people slowly return to activities rendered inaccessible by the pandemic.

More than 806 million vaccine doses have been administered worldwide, equal to 10 doses for every 100 people, according to The New York Times‘ vaccine tracker. In the US, some 192 million vaccines have been given, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. 

High demand and limited supply have spelled frustration for some, but Spotify says it’s still seen a 350% increase in fan-generated playlists specific to the COVID vaccine in the past 90 days. For those who might not have the time or inclination for playlist making, the audio streaming service has curated its own sound track to the vaccine journey — from the pre-shot pump-up, to the needle prick, to the post-vaccine celebration. 

Spotify’s roundup includes the songs above, plus other classics: Feeling Good by Nina Simone; Big Shot by Billy Joel; I’m Still Standing by Elton John; and I’m Walking on Sunshine by Katrina & the Waves. Then there’s My Shot from Hamilton, sung by the original Broadway cast. 

Shakira and Wyclef Jean also make the list with Hips Don’t Lie, for some reason. “Oh, baby, when you shot like that…”?  


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