Shake the Disease meaning?

I was watching this [Top Of The Pops]( from 85 and was surprised by the hosts disgusted reaction when introducing Shake the Disease at #32 at 14:55.

Does the title “Shake the Disease” have a nasty meaning for native English speaking people? I always interpreted the title as something positive – to fight the disease or your own flaws.

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  • That clip made me laugh. Not knowing anything about their personalities, my first impression was that they were trying to be funny (you know how kids of a certain age go “ew” at anything that has certain words in it?). And/or they took it literally as in “shake a petri dish around”?

  • Perhaps they thought it was about AIDS, which would have still been very misunderstood and taboo back then I suppose. Just a guess.

  • Listen to or read the [lyrics]( of the song.

    It’s about two people breaking up. It’s being initiated by one person who (to spite still loving the other person) has to move on because of a deficit in expression/love from the other person.

    The beauty of this song is that it expresses the complexity of some break-ups. The end of relationships is usually portrayed as nice and simple:

    – Party A did something wrong.

    – Party B is hurt.

    – Relationship is over. There is pain but it all fits in a nice little package.

    In reality passionate love affairs sometimes end because it actually hurts more to be in the relationship than it does to walk away. I’ve been there before and this is often more difficult then being betrayed because there is noting to balance out the pain (ie. anger from being betrayed).

    Another song that fits into the same category as Shake the Disease is [I Still Do]( by the Cranberries.

  • I would say it was a bit tongue in cheek as disease is a very negative word. Aids, Covid-19, syphilis and so on are all diseases.