Two doctors who said that they hope their viral rendition of John Lennon's "Imagine" brings people comfort during the coronavirus pandemic released a four-song EP titled "Music is Medicine" on Friday.
Drs. Elvis L. Francois and William Robinson, chief residents in the orthopedic department at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, have recorded simple songs over the years with Robinson playing the piano as Francois sang. They received sweeping praise for their rendition of "Imagine" after posting the video to their Instagram accounts on March 23.
Over the next few weeks, two people from Big Machine record label helped get them into a studio to record the EP. Proceeds from the EP sales will go to the Center of Disaster Philanthropy COVID-19 Response Fund.
“We decided to post it as the quarantine had kinda hit its stride and people were inside and … scared and, if nothing else, stir crazy -- looking for some hope and comfort,” Robinson told ABC News.
The doctors said that the message of the song, which was originally released by Lennon in 1971 during the Vietnam War, still applies to the crisis today.
“There are so many things in the world that divide us and that particular song is a song that is meant to bring people together,” Francois told ABC News.
“The song [is about] hope and having the world coming together as one. In order to beat this thing and self-isolate and quarantine … it’s going to take everybody. And so, the message of that song kind of hit home,” Robinson said.
Both doctors believe music is a powerful form of medicine.
“It kinda brings about a certain level of healing that’s hard to do with any sort of pill or surgery or anything like that,” Robinson said.
“Music goes places that medicine can’t go,” Francois added. “You can perform the perfect surgery but that next day, when a patient’s going through rehabilitation or they’re faced with a difficult diagnosis, music is something that speaks to the spirit… In many way[s], music heals people in ways that medicine can’t heal them.”
The two said they're grateful for the overwhelmingly positive response their video has received.
“It’s such a small thing. If something this small can provide people comfort or hope in any capacity … it’s such a humbling experience for both of us,” Robinson said.
Francois and Robinson are both fifth-year residents with only three months left to finish their program.
Robinson is now at home with “limited clinic obligations,” he said. Francois is preparing to work a 28-hour call shift Wednesday to address any trauma cases that come into the hospital.