Why Ben Lee’s ‘Catch My Disease’ Changed My Life

Written By Sara Tamim on 10/06/2017

This article is in celebration of a huge 2000s nostalgia party we’re throwing in Sydney tonight.

From Britney to Xtina, Rogue Traders to Ben Lee (of course), we’ll leave no vintage stone unturned as we roll through the golden years of the early ’00s.

We have themed cocktails and we’ll be on the decks from 9pm, as well as Nic Kelly of Project U. It’s all going down at Sydney’s party den Hudson Ballroom.

Tix are still available here otherwise there will also be some on the door. Set times and themed cocktail choices below.

Ben Lee. Household name and unmistakable hero jumped onto everyone’s radar and out of the Triple J bubble with his hit track Catch My Disease released in 2005. This track has got to be my personal favourite, and yours too. Whenever I hear it now, I can’t help but jump up and scream the chorus, “please baby please, open your heart and catch my disease” as well as his witty line, “they don’t play me on the radio- and that’s the way I like it”.

Catch My Disease was the first milestone in the bridge of thought as to why Ben Lee changes lives. The clip features Ben Lee (dressed super nerdy- even for then) clapping his hands and playing the guitar. There are also a bunch of people clapping their hands looking strangely happy whilst one girl plays the piano motif on a small child’s play piano.

Despite, the well…wackiness of this whole idea, Catch My Disease is the cutest love song to ever exist in the history of the world. Who wouldn’t want the sweetest little young Ben Lee confessing his love by playing a song where he asks you to ‘catch his disease’? The song itself carries this vibe of ‘love the skin you’re in- embrace your weirdness’, which I think as a kid really inspired me. The chord progression gives the song this beautiful uplift, hence we feel this unmistakable feeling of a hot summers day, dancing around like a psycho. The song is so catchy that by listening to it, you fall it love with it- so whether you like it or not- we’ve all basically caught Ben Lee’s disease.

Moving on, Ben Lee over the years has been known for a heap of things. Six ARIA awards, international fame and in 2008 he was named World’s Sexiest Vegetarian- which, I guess, is a title that may be up for debate. But, not for the reason you would think. According to a source, Ben Lee said that he is in fact a Pescetarian (which means he eats fish). Therefore he is not actually a Vegetarian or The World’s Sexiest Vegetarian at all.

In 2013, Ben Lee decided to write a whole album about the South American drug known as Ayahuascan (it’s a kind of hallucinogen), which is odd, but also very endearing. After writing an entire album about drugs, he then appeared on hit Australian television series ‘The Voice’ as a mentor- which I think at the time would have been very fitting.

What’s Ben Lee doing now? Can he ever follow up his previous fame and life changing-ness? The answer is yes. This year, Ben Lee has released an acoustic album for the children of Australia. The album is called Ben Lee Sings Songs About Islam for the Whole Family. Although at first this can sound like a bit of a meme, as he has moved on from singing about drugs and meditation and onto educating children and families about a culture and religion they may be neglecting (or that arguably heaps of Australian’s prefer to neglect). But- Hey! This is really life-changing. Ben Lee, to my knowledge, is not Islamic but I think the way he thought about singing to educate children is a real gold mine. Personally coming from Islamic heritage, I think it is revolutionary way of teaching people their own culture and other people’s cultures by creating peace and tolerance.

On ya, Ben Lee! I’ll catch your disease any day.