With the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recently designating the coronavirus a global pandemic, prevention measures are at the forefront of everyone’s thoughts. Proper hand-washing technique has become especially prevalent in the news. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended 20 seconds of scrubbing with soap, in addition to time to wet, lather, rinse, and dry. Now, a teen in the UK has created Wash Your Lyrics, a site that lets people count out that time using their favorite tunes.
Meme Culture Joins the Fight
Seventeen-year-old William Gibson, a computing student at Banbury and Bicester College, created the Wash Your Lyrics website in just 24 hours, reports Highsnobiety. Gibson says he was inspired by a meme that paired hand-washing instructions to the song “money machine” by artist 100 gecs. “I wanted to make more memes in this format, but I could tell copy and pasting lyrics into Photoshop was going to be incredibly boring,” he said, “so I decided to use my skills to automate the entire process and turn it into a web app.”
With Wash Your Lyrics, users can input the name of any song and artist. The site will automatically create hand-washing instructions timed to the song’s lyrics. Users can then download and print out the posters for a fun hand-washing reminder at home or at work.
Making a Splash Online
According to Highsnobiety, the app has been used at least 89,527 times. The most popular songs so far are Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” with 1008 downloads, Smash Mouth’s “All Star” with 619, and Toto’s “Africa” with 611.
“I saw someone made ‘Call Me Maybe’ by Carly Rae Jepsen, which worked really well,” said Gibson, “and someone I follow on Instagram did ‘Tequila’ where the only caption was ‘Tequilla!’ which I thought was pretty funny.”
As The Verge points out, the app doesn’t work perfectly with every song. “Because it’s splitting up the songs on a line-by line basis, some of the instructions can end up being far too long or too short,” the outlet said, also mentioning the issue of long gaps between lines. “In other words, don’t bother singing the beginning of ‘Basket Case’ by Green Day unless you want to end up washing your hands for 40 seconds or more.”
Still, with everyone concerned about the latest coronavirus news, Gibson has found a way to bring a little lightness to disease prevention. “I think it’s important that people spend the recommended 20 seconds no matter how long it takes to sing the song lyrics,” he told HuffPost, “but myself and a lot of other people that have contacted me are having a lot more fun while washing our hands!”