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This hand-washing lyrics generator means no more Happy Birthday

With the globetrotting coronavirus causing increasing concern, medical experts everywhere have been telling us that one of the best ways to combat the spread of the disease is by washing our hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

“Wash them while singing Happy Birthday as that’s how long it takes,” we’re told, thereby ensuring that a song ordinarily associated with joy and merriment will, for the rest of our days, bring to mind a killer virus that caused untold chaos across the world.

There has to be a better song. Any song.

Enter William Gibson, a talented young developer and designer from the U.K. who has just come up with a brilliant online tool that automatically creates a hand-washing infographic for your favorite song so that you don’t have to sing Happy Birthday anymore. Unless it’s someone’s birthday.

To use Gibson’s Wash Your Lyrics tool, all you do is type in a song title followed by the artist’s name, and then hit “generate.” You’ll then be presented with a poster that pairs the song’s lyrics with various images showing you how to wash all parts of your hands with soap and water.

Best of all, you can download it, print it out, and stick it wherever you like, probably above a sink. That way, others who see your poster can sing your song while they wash their hands, which should go some way to encouraging them to put in a full 20 seconds of vigorous scrubbing. The lyrics may not match up exactly with the pictures, but with some imaginative singing and a few deft finger maneuvers, we’re pretty confident you can make it work.

The generator automatically grabs the lyrics from Genius, a website that claims to host the world’s largest collection of song lyrics, and adds them to an infographic created by the U.K.’s National Health Service. If the generator fails to pull up your lyrics, Gibson suggests heading over to the Genius site to get the precise spelling of the artist’s name and song title before typing the details into the generator.

Below you can see how the poster looks with Bobby McFerrin’s Don’t Worry Be Happy, and below that, for those feeling a little less optimistic about the coming months, Muse’s Apocalypse Please.

Bobby McFerrin’s Don’t Worry Be Happy:

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Muse’s Apocalypse Please:

Image used with permission by copyright holder

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Trevor Mogg
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