Francis S. Collins

Somewhere Past the Pandemic

Francis S. Collins: Somewhere Past the Pandemic
Francis S. Collins

What sentiments would you want to put in a song? 

Artist’s Note

“The intensity of seeking answers for a myriad of unsolved human ills can be exhausting, especially amid a global pandemic. At times, we all need a way to unwind, smile, and bond with each other. Music has the ability to help us do that! As an amateur musician, I like taking a familiar song, rewriting the lyrics to meet the occasion, and then sharing that with other researchers, and the broader community. In this case, I wanted to encourage people to feel optimistic about a return to normal life after COVID-19.

“You can make this kind of music too. First, pick a song. Then, make a list of what you want to write about; the themes you want to include. Then, work on getting the right number of syllables for each line, so the meter is just right. It’s fun to come up with unexpected rhymes that will make people smile. Finally, put it all together and share.”

About the Artist

Francis S. Collins, a member of the Academy and of the Commission on the Arts, is a physician-geneticist and Director of the National Institutes of Health.

Francis Sellers Collins

National Institutes of Health
Academy Member
Commission Member

Additional Notes

My creative partners in this production are Dr. Carrie Wolinetz, who brainstormed the lyrics with me, and my wife Diane Baker, who did the videography. 

Commission on the Arts

The Commission - drawing on the expertise of its members who are artists, scholars, activists, and leaders, as well as the input of people across the country who participated in listening sessions - dedicated itself to recognizing and supporting the essential role of the arts and artists in American life.