By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published Mar 21, 2020 at 5:01 PM

The coronavirus pandemic has changed our everyday life, but it doesn't need to change who we are. So, in addition to our ongoing coverage of the coronavirus, OnMilwaukee will continue to report on cool, fun, inspiring and strange stories from our city and beyond. Stay safe, stay healthy, stay informed and stay joyful. We're all in this together. #InThisTogetherMKE

At one of the 5 Card Stud's final gigs before everything shut down, they closed the night with "Sweet Caroline." As the song was going on, the guitar player chimed in "wash your hands" instead of the usual lyrics about "touching hands."

"We're always trying to bust each other up onstage during tunes and this worked famously, so I tried to throw in more virus-related lines in place of what should be there," says vocalist Chris Tishler, aka "Cesar Palace."

A few days later, Tishler's girlfriend heard the original version of "Sweet Caroline" on the radio and suggested he and the band record their version – not to make light of the situation, but to cheer up Milwaukee.

"I wrote the words in about 10 minutes, started scrambling to get everyone together on it to see when we could go in to record it and it all fell into place," says Tishler. "We went into Hamtone Audio this past Monday and it was available online by Friday."

You can get "Covid One Nine" on 5 Card Stud's Bandcamp page here. They're asking for $1 – or for listeners to pay more if they can. 

The song has lyrics like "One / Touch no one / Don’t reach out / Stay at home / This means YOUUUUU" and "Covid One-Nine" (which conveniently rhymes with "Sweet Caroline") that work smoothly in place of Neil Diamond's original words. 

Tishler says that the band reflected on the song and discussed the possibility of it being insensitive or if some of the lines in it would "touch on current political/weaponizing aspects that are happening within the whole spectre of the pandemic."

However, they decided to move forward with the project mostly to infuse humor in an otherwise humorless situation. 

"The thing was, at the end of the day we just really wanted to do something that could add a momentary distraction and a wee bit of levity to this whole insane, terrible situation that has been thrown upon us all," says Tishler. "Hopefully we achieved that. I think humor is extremely important in a situation like this, even if the laughter can sometimes stem from something that might be uncomfortable."

Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.

Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.