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Do-It-Yourself Lyme Disease Education: The Tick Talk Rap

This article is more than 7 years old.

Sometimes you can't wait for budget-strapped public health officials. Sometimes you just have to do it yourself.

"The Tick Talk Rap" in the audio file above was composed and recorded by Sandy Lafleur, assistant to the nurse at Milford High School in Milford, New Hampshire. It begins:

Tick talk. Tick talk. Listen to my Tick talk.
What up, brother and sister? Say, did you hear?
The ticks are especially nasty this year.
Lyme disease is something that's transmitted by a tick;
If you get Lyme disease you can get really sick.
(as in the original meaning of the word: Not good.)

Ticks are very tiny and they hide in brush and grass
and they latch upon you as you pass,
attach to your pants, your sock or your shoe,
they crawl up till they find some skin and then they bite you.
You think you'd feel the bite but you'd be so wrong
so listen up, you all, to the rest of my song
Tick talk...Tick talk...Listen to my tick talk...

Sandy writes this pithy release:

Frustrated by New Hampshire local, regional, and state health officials' inaction and inability to educate people, particularly young people, about Lyme disease, Sandy Lafleur, Assistant to the Nurse at Milford High School (Milford, NH), enlisted the help of two MHS students to produce "Tick Talk Rap". Recorded on June 1, 2012, in the Nurse's Office at MHS, voices are those of Darrick Jones, Dillon Harwood, and Sandy Lafleur. Lyrics by Sandy Lafleur.

And she added in an email:

The whole purpose of writing and recording this was to raise awareness and educate young people about ticks and Lyme disease in our area. (Our local, and State Public Health officials have been disgracefully slow and inept at reaching out to our youth and in Tick/Lyme education in general. And yes, you may quote me as saying this.)

"Tick Talk Rap" was recorded in the Nurse's Office of Milford High School using a small digital recorder. The music and drum beat were supplied by my electronic keyboard. I had given the boys the lyrics a couple of days before and had to quickly pull them out of class to record this - probably took all of 10 minutes to do. Our Principal will play this for morning announcements sometime this week and also call attention to a fantastic display case in our Library, all of it regarding ticks and Lyme disease.

We had no idea "Tick Talk Rap" was going to spread as far as it has (I'm getting requests to use it from public health folks in CA, OK and IL so far!) and we are thrilled. Since Darrick and Dillon are only 17, I needed to get written parental permission to go any further. Both parents say, "Yes!" and are excited and very happy to have their sons involved in something so important.

So yes! Please use "Tick Talk Rap" to help with Tick and Lyme Disease education in your area. A Youtube video may be in the works though sadly, it will have to be slides, which I want to make sure give correct information. There is so much mis-information about tick removal and Lyme disease out there!

You have permission to use this for any non-commercial purpose. None of those involved in the recording are requesting any compensation for their work. Where possible, credit should be given however. While you are not required to contact me for each usage of "Tick Talk Rap", I would really appreciate knowing about the impact our project has in your area. My email is strumma@aol.com.

This program aired on June 13, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

Carey Goldberg Twitter Editor, CommonHealth
Carey Goldberg is the editor of WBUR's CommonHealth section.

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