Catchy 20 second songs you can wash your hands to

The health secretary Matt Hancock has suggested that, in order to prevent the Covid-19 strain of coronavirus, people should wash their hands for 20 seconds at a time, while singing Happy Birthday twice.

However a tune like Happy Birthday may get a little tedious, so here are a few alternative choruses of songs that take about 20 seconds to sing while you scrub.

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Love On Top by Beyoncé

At the end of Love On Top, Beyoncé demonstrates her legendary range by belting the chorus four times in increasingly high keys. You only have to sing the chorus once, in the key of your choice, to time 20 seconds of hand washing.

Hand washing chorus: “Baby it’s you / You’re the one I love / You’re the one I need / You’re the only one I see / Come on baby it’s you / You’re the one that gives your all / You’re the one I can always call / When I need to make everything stop / Finally you put my love on top”

Take on Me by A-ha

The chorus of this one is also 20 seconds once through, provided you can hold the last note and resist the urge to rush it along. The high notes might be a problem for some, so start on the lowest note available to you.

Hand washing chorus: “Take on me (take on me)/ Take me on (take on me)/ I'll be gone/ In a day or two”

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Jolene by Dolly Parton

Dolly is having a moment. With her Netflix series Heartstrings and the hit podcast Dolly Parton’s America, her classic country song Jolene has filled the airwaves - and it could bolster hygiene as well.

Hand washing chorus: “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”

Africa by Toto

The beloved 1981 song by Toto has taken on a new life on the internet in recent years, inspiring praise, memes and piano tutorials. It could inspire people to wash their hands too.

Hand washing chorus: “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”

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Truth Hurts by Lizzo

Last year, Lizzo’s Truth Hurt” became the longest-running Billboard Hot 100 number one by a solo female rapper. With its roughly 20 second long chorus, it may have blown up just in time to become 2020’s hand washing soundtrack.

Hand washing chorus: “Why men great ‘til they gotta be great? / Don’t text me, tell it straight to my face / Best friend sat me down in the salon chair / Shampoo press, get you out of my hair / Fresh photos with the bomb lighting / New man on the Minnesota Vikings / Truth hurts, needed something more exciting / Bom bom bi dom bi dum bum bay”

Stayin’ Alive by Bee Gees

It is recommended as the song you are meant to do CPR to in order to maintain the correct pace, but the chorus of Stayin’ Alive is a generous, health and safety conscious 24 seconds - perfect for some hand washing.

Hand washing chorus: “Whether you're a brother or whether you're a mother/ You're stayin' alive, stayin' alive/ Feel the city breakin' and everybody shakin'/ And we're stayin' alive, stayin' alive/ Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin' alive, stayin' alive/ Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin' alive”

Karma Chameleon by Culture Club

There’s no rule against dancing while you wash your hands.

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Hand washing chorus: “Karma, karma, karma, karma, karma chameleon / You come and go, you come and go / Loving would be easy if your colorus were like my dreams / Red, gold and green, red, gold and green”

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