Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Good samaritan assembles playlist of hand-washing songs much better than "Happy Birthday To You"

Illustration for article titled Good samaritan assembles playlist of hand-washing songs much better than Happy Birthday To You
Photo: Michael Hevesy (Getty Images)

According to the CDC, one of the most important precautions people can take to minimize the spread of the coronavirus is the same thing it recommends for every flu season: “Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.” This advice has been echoed all over the news, accompanied by the old trick of timing the 20 seconds out by singing “Happy Birthday To You” twice, the ABC song, or, if you’re a goddamned monarchist, “God Save The Queen.” (Presumably not the Sex Pistols version.)

Advertisement

While this is all good advice, these song suggestions could use a bit of work. Thankfully, Jen Monnier has acknowledged the need for other ideas, and put together a thread of “roughly 20 [second] choruses to sing” instead.

Advertisement

Monnier’s list includes classics, like Dolly Parton singing “Jolene,” Prince’s “Raspberry Beret,” Toto’s “Africa,” and Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide,” but also the choruses to more recent tracks such as “Truth Hurts” by Lizzo and Beyonce’s “Love On Top.”

Advertisement

Picking up where she left off, the commentariat chimed in with other suggestions running from “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” by Elton John to Cher’s “Believe,” and, god help us, Lou Bega’s “Mambo No. 5.”

Advertisement

These are all well and good, but for those who want to really play it safe, others have suggested “Stairway To Heaven” and “Pyramids.”

Advertisement

There’s plenty to work from here, but many more songs just as fit for the task as those listed above. A few of our favorite ear-worms include, for example, any 20 seconds from Lightning Bolt’s “St. Jacques,” John Zorn’s “Improvised Music #2,” or the one we can never get out of our heads, John Cage’s “4'33".”

Advertisement

Send Great Job, Internet tips to gji@theonion.com

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter