Everyone’s coping with the coronavirus outbreak in their own way, whether it means stockpiling toilet paper and hand sanitizer, working from home, or canceling travel plans. But the simplest and probably most productive change in behavior: people are washing their hands again! Last week, a Vietnamese hand-washing PSA caught on with western audiences, and now that energy’s extending to all other music to wash hands to.
Outlets have been highlighting snippets of popular songs to hum or sing along while you hit the recommended 20-second mark for washing, but now a British developer named William has created a tool to generate any song’s lyrics to hand-washing instructions. It transfers the lyrics line-by-line onto an infographic created by the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) and shared under the open government license. As long as a song and artist are logged in Genius, the Wash Your Lyrics tool should be able to generate a poster you can share on social media or hang up by your bathroom mirror.
The site works surprisingly well for most every lyric thrown at it — instrumentals are reliably shot down, skits and interludes are not. You can even pick Travis Scott's "Sicko Mode." It’s been under maintenance throughout the day, likely in response to high volume of use, but should be up and running again. Sometimes single panels will get saddled with around half of an entire song’s lyrics, so you’ll just have to get creative when the track calls for it. You don’t just have to sing Happy Birthday twice, or the opening of “Jailhouse Rock” anymore, but just about any snippet that lets you exceed the minimum time.
Coronavirus panic stands to have a near-catastrophic impact on the touring music economy, which comprises an overwhelming share of an artist’s income. If you end up staying home from the gig or a festival gets canceled, it can’t hurt to throw a few bucks to the artist you’re singing along to by the sink. A download or merchandise purchase could go a bit further than just spreading hand-washing awareness, but Santana and Rob Thomas can probably weather the storm.