Songs to wash away your worries (and Covid-19)

This is the way we wash our hands. Photo by Burst,

There’s nothing sadder than singing Happy Birthday quietly to yourself when washing your hands. But it’s the sorrow we need to endure with the World Health Organisation currently recommending washing your hands for at least 20 seconds to help prevent contracting COVID-19.

That is about the time it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice.

So, with that in mind, here are some other well-known songs you can sing to help make sure you’re washing for long enough.

  1. Jolene, Dolly Parton

Not only is the famous country banger laden with queer subtext, but Jolene is also a great tune to croon to yourself in the work bathroom for your 5th handwash of the day.

“Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene

I’m begging of you please don’t take my man

Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene

Please don’t take him just because you can”

  1. We Will Rock You, Queen

Bring the stadium indoors with this classic foot-stomper. Just be careful not to rock out so hard that water and soap splash everywhere.

“Buddy, you’re a boy, make a big noise

Playing in the street, gonna be a big man someday

You got mud on your face, you big disgrace

Kicking your can all over the place, singing

We will, we will rock (wash) you

We will, we will rock (wash) you”

  1. Respect, Aretha Franklin

COVID-19 is sure to respect your wish of not getting infected if you belt out this tune while the suds do their work.


Find out what it means to me


Take care, TCB

Oh, a little respect

Woah, babe

A little respect

I get tired

Keep on trying

You’re running out of fools

And I ain’t lying”

  1. Tip of My Tongue, Diesel

This one also serves as a reminder of the forgotten places this virus can hide. So, stop touching your mouth!

“I know what you want to hear

Why do I forget every time you get near

Right on the tip of my tongue

Right on the tip of my tongue

Right on the tip of my tongue”

  1. Stayin’ Alive, Bee Gees

Something we’d all like to do in this pandemic. Also a bonus hearing check for anyone in the general vicinity as you hit those sweet falsetto high notes.

“Whether you’re a brother or whether you’re a mother

You’re staying alive, staying alive

Feel the city breaking and everybody shaking

And we’re staying alive, staying alive

Ah, ha, ha, ha, staying alive, staying alive

Ah, ha, ha, ha, staying alive”

  1. Love Shack, B-52’s

Here’s one for those already in self-isolation, which is no excuse to lapse in hygiene practices. After all, there’s nothing more romantic than clean hands.

“The love shack is a little old place where

We can get together

Love shack baby

Love shack, baby love shack

Love shack, baby love shack”

  1. Livin’ On A Prayer, Bon Jovi

With the peak of the virus still a few months off, we may quite literally be halfway there.

“She says, we’ve got to hold on to what we’ve got

It doesn’t make a difference if we make it or not

We’ve got each other and that’s a lot for love

We’ll give it a shot

Woah, we’re half-way there

Woah, Living on a prayer”

  1. Like Wow – Wipeout, Hoodoo Gurus

It truly is the era of self-care and self-love, so take the time give yourself an esteem boost and a cleanliness boost in one hit by singing this one to the mirror.

“I love the way you talk, you walk

You smile, your style

Like now, like wow-wipeout, no doubt

But I was gone the moment I laid eyes on you”

  1. I Saw Her Standing There, The Beatles

There’s an invincibility and a romanticism about youth. But sadly, that won’t save any 17-year-olds from contracting COVID-19 if they don’t wash their hands for long enough.

“Well, she was just seventeen

You know what I mean

And the way she looked

Was way beyond compare

So how could I dance with another

Ooh, when I saw her standing there?”

  1. Pump it up, Endor

Bring the party to the bathroom and kill those germs at the same time. Thanks to Endor, pandemic hygiene standards have never been so lit.

“Don’t you know, pump it up

You’ve got to pump it up” (repeat 6 times)

If you’ve got another song in mind you can create your own personal hand washing posters at