Ray Benson Turned His Own Coronavirus Experience Into New Song, ‘I Love You, Don’t Touch Me’ [Exclusive Video]
Now fully recovered from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Asleep at the Wheel co-founder and leader Ray Benson has turned his firsthand experience with the virus into a lighthearted new song. Readers can press play above to watch the singer-songwriter and his collaborator, Katie Shore, perform the track; the video is premiering exclusively on The Boot.
"I love you, don't touch me / That's the way it's gonna be / I love you, don't touch me / Stay six feet away from me," Shore sings in the song's chorus, playing the parts of, at separate times, the protagonist's significant other and mother. He just wants a hug, but both of them rebuff him: "I love you, don't touch me / It's the new reality / I love you, don't touch me ..."
Both the song's melody and Benson and Shore's delivery of its lyrics are upbeat and vaguely silly. They're wearing bandanas as masks around their noses and mouths in the accompanying video, as they play and sing from different locations.
Benson was diagnosed with the coronavirus on March 31, he shared that day, but had been feeling ill since about March 20. He was originally tested for the flu and other illnesses on March 21, he revealed, and after all of the tests came back negative, he asked for a COVID-19 test; however, his doctor did not have any. When his symptoms stuck around, Benson went back for more bloodwork and some additional tests, including one for the coronavirus.
The day before his sickness began, on March 19, Benson was part of a virtual fundraising concert in place of his pal Willie Nelson's annual Luck Reunion. While many artists performed from their homes, Benson was one who broadcast from Austin, Texas' Arlyn Studios.
"There were a number of friends around the studio. Usually I would shake hands, hug and greet everyone, but ... with the virus spreading, I realized that would not be advisable!" Benson recalls to The Boot. "As I entered the studio, I intoned, 'I love you ... Don't touch me,' and moved to my place in the studio, removed from others by many feet. The next week, I was diagnosed with the virus, so I’m glad I did that."
Benson wrote "I Love You, Don't Touch Me" after being diagnosed with the coronavirus and quarantining for 14 days. The song, he says, "is all about making someone smile in these difficult times."
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