The Brief: A new Coronavirus-related handwashing PSA is circulating in the form of a meme combining a handwashing infographic with song lyrics called Wash your Lyrics Memes.
Wash Your Lyrics memes combine reminders to thoroughly wash one’s hands with song lyrics. As Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread globally, public health officials are emphasizing the importance of handwashing, avoiding touching one’s face, avoiding physical contact and other safety measures. As these PSA’s spread, so do related memes. Just as don’t touch your face memes and the Wuhan Shake combine important information with fun memes, Wash Your Lyrics image macros remind people to wash their hands and provide some relief from Coronavirus-related anxiety.
In early March 2020, a 17-year-old named William Gibson created a website that generates handwashing song lyric memes called washyourlyrics.com. This site combines song lyrics from Genius.com with images from an infographic created by the NHS based on the WHO’s Guidelines on Hand Washing in Healthcare. The site allows visitors to type the name and artist of a song and it then generates an infographic meme with lyrics from that song.
🎶 I made a little site in 24h that generates hand washing instructions accompanied by lyrics from a song of your choice instantly – check it out!
🔗 https://t.co/JKAQRYy5Yz pic.twitter.com/S1bDLyKt6C
— William (@neoncloth) March 8, 2020
As William Gibson’s meme generator allows anyone to create their own version of these memes, they’ve been going viral online with creative and bizarre song choices.
Is this the new Say So dance?
Here, fixed this for you. Remember to scrub those hooves, kids.#WashYourLyrics #WashYourHands #BlackenedCall pic.twitter.com/AlTF5eCegS
— Belzebubs (@belzebubs_band) March 10, 2020
Wash Your Lyrics memes have even started making the rounds as IRL PSA’s.
Thank you #WashYourLyrics. Country cat was my addition. pic.twitter.com/XDZEz2e2Tm
— Emily (@emilyolivia_) March 10, 2020
look what y'all made me do pic.twitter.com/SmQ3oRkv19
— todd dillard (@toddedillard) March 5, 2020
Although not technically a song, Lady Macbeth’s “out damned spot” monologue is the *chefs kiss* perfect accompaniment to this infographic.
Public health tip: If you aren't sure how long to wash your hands, just remember Lady Macbeth's speech! #ShakespeareSavesLives #coronavirus #WashYourHands pic.twitter.com/aXy3xXlpmv
— Shakespeare Theatre Company (@ShakespeareinDC) March 3, 2020