Sean Stephen Ryan

I Am Not A Virus

Lyrics

1st Verse

The year was 2020, out of bush fire season COVID caught us off guard
We panicked, We feared
This pandemic has awoken a sleeping giant Our diverse community

Was broken in unity

Bubble bubble you talk about safety bubble
I don’t feel no safety in this safety bubble
Subtle subtle your racism was subtle
But the pandemic has granted you the license to aggression

For every public place should be fair go
But that was not the case for the people I know From the online space to trams to Flinders Station I can feel the ripples of hate and discrimination

Pre-Chorus
(SPOKEN)

当你冲向我 (when you were charging towards me) 眼前一片空白 (my mind went blank)
脑海只有自己心跳噶声音 (I could only hear my heart beat) 我听唔到你噶声音 (couldn’t hear your voice) 却清楚记得你狰狞的面孔 (but I can clearly remember your face) 我希望有个胶擦 (I wish I have an eraser) 可以清除我对你噶恐惧 (to erase this traumatic memory)

Chorus

I’m not a virus
So stop the violence
你或许害怕 (You may be frightened) 但不要伤害他人 (But don’t hurt others) I’m just a human
So treat me like a human
I’m not a virus

Instrumental

2nd Verse

心里的声音海啸席卷 (the voice inside is screaming like a tsunami) 现实静若止水无动于衷 (but in reality it was dead quiet) 当电车行驶路上 (while riding on the tram) 火机在你手上 (you threatened me with your lighter) 警察远在他方 (police was in the distance) 看到又能怎样 (no way they can help me) 你和我都是沉默的大多数 (you and I are the silent majority) 期待有人为我们发声 (longing for someone to voice out for us)打破,打破他们故有思想- (we need to break away from this mindset) 不该,不该甘做沉默羔羊- (stop becoming the silent lamb)说出你心里的声音 (Speak up and speak out) 最小的分贝终会汇成最响的呐喊 (the smallest decibel can eventually become the loudest scream)

Chorus

I’m not a virus
更不是坏人 (I’m not a bad person)
只是和你一样 (I’m same as you)
在这地球寻找快乐​ (Seeking for happiness in this world) I won’t be silenced
I won’t be silent
I’m not a virus

Chorus

I’m not a virus
更不是坏人 (I’m not a bad person)
只是和你一样 (I’m same as you)
在这地球寻找快乐​ (Seeking for happiness in this world) I won’t be silenced
I won’t be silent
I’m not a virus

Bridge

If you are in my shoes, will you continue To abuse
Or would you learn a thing or two, about empathy?

about tolerance?
about kindness?
Or would you stick to blindness

Bridge

If you are in my shoes, will you continue To abuse
Or would you learn a thing or two, about empathy?

about tolerance?
about kindness?
Or would you stick to blindness

(SPOKEN)

Being racist is a choice Being kind is a choice

Chorus

I’m not a virus
So stop your violence
你或许害怕 (You may be frightened) 但不要伤害他人 (But don’t hurt others) I’m just a human So treat us like a humanI’m not a virus 更不是坏人 (I’m not a bad person) 只是和你一样 (I’m same as you) 在这地球寻找快乐​ (Seeking for happiness in this world) So show some kindness Don’t treat us like a virus I’m not a virus

Chorus

I’m not a virus
So stop your violence
你或许害怕 (You may be frightened) 但不要伤害他人 (But don’t hurt others) I’m just a human So treat us like a humanI’m not a virus 更不是坏人 (I’m not a bad person) 只是和你一样 (I’m same as you) 在这地球寻找快乐​ (Seeking for happiness in this world) So show some kindness Don’t treat us like a virus I’m not a virus

(TOGETHER) I’m not a virus


Producer: Sean Stephen Ryan
Lyricist: Sean Stephen Ryan, Bingyao Liu, Boya Duan, Kate Du, Kanghui Yu, Theodora Wong, Jun Bin Lee
Lead Singers: Vedina Grace, Wahyu Kapa,
Backup Singers: Jun Bin Lee, Sean Stephen Ryan, Bingyao Liu
Composer & Video Editor: Jun Bin Lee
Erhu Player & Cantonese spoken word: Kanghui Yu
Video credit: Royalty free videos by ​Luis Quintero​ from ​Pexels

About the Work

The I’m Not A Virus video consists of an original song written by a group of current and former international students based in Melbourne, and is presented through a lyric video that is freely accessible online. The main theme of the lyric is resilience and we show it through different stages in the lyric.

A brief explanation of the creative process. We did some interviews with international students and found stories of Asian migrants who have experienced COVID racism through the COVID-19 Coronavirus Racism Incident Report. Based on their stories we wrote the lyrics. Once the lyrics we finalised, we worked on the melody for the song. We anticipated for the song to feature multiple languages like Mandarin, English, Cantonese, etc. Once the song and melody was finalised,we produced the lyric video. The video showcases snippets of newsreels or footages showing the situation people of colour have endured from COVID racism. The video ends with a call to action segment, inviting everyone to be allies against racism. If you see something, Speak Up!

Video footages:

  • Two female international students were allegedly assaulted in April (ABC News Australia, 06/06/2020),
  • Racist Incident in Carnegie (ABC News Australia, 06/05/2020),
  • Sisters Attacked in Anti-Asian, Coronavirus-Fueled Incident in Australia (NowThis News, 02/04/2020),
  • Coronavirus: Doctor verbally abused in racist attack (Nine News Australia, 20/04/2020),
  • Racist vandals target Chinese-Australian family’s home, rock thrown through window (ABC News Australia, 22/04/2020)

About the Creative

Sean Stephen Ryan is a communicator, producer, community leader, change agent and advocate. Originally from Malaysia, he has called Melbourne home. He comes from a culturally mixed background. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Communication Studies) degree from Victoria University. For his first project, he produced a Panel Discussion entitled History and Storytelling: Has aboriginal storytelling methods changed throughout the generations?

He is one of the co-founders of Break Boundaries, a not-for-profit organization that creates original content concerning the prevention of gendered violence. He has co-produced a two-part video entitled Challenging Everyday Sexism. In 2019, he co-wrote and produced the pilot musical ‘A Fundamentally Flawed Love Story’ for Melbourne Fringe Festival and produced a revamped version for 16 Days of Activism in collaboration with Maribyrnong City Council.