Songs to wash your hands to: A coronavirus playlist

Experts say that the best way to avoid getting the coronavirus is the same as avoiding other diseases: wash your hands with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds. And make sure you get to the tips of your fingers as well as in between them.

The coronavirus has launched a ton of public service announcements about washing your hands and disease avoidance. You can see a bunch of them here.

An old trope is to use “Happy Birthday” as a timing agent. It takes about 20 seconds to run through it once, so if you hum it as you wash your hands, you’ll have completed the mission once you finish the song.

But singing “Happy Birthday” so many times gets really, really boring. There have to be alternatives, right?

The LA Times has come up with these chorus suggestions that time out just about right. Get through them once and you should be good-to-go.

  1. Prince’s “Raspberry Beret”
  2. “Jolene” by Dolly Parton
  3. “Africa” from Toto, specifically “It’s gonna take a lot to drag me away from you / There’s nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do / I bless the rains down in Africa / Gonna take some time to do the things we never had.”
  4. Culture Club and “Karma Chameleon”
  5. Eminen and “Lose Yourself.”

More suggestions can be found here. And failing all that, you can always get all Shakespearean.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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