Opinion: The 10 best Rock songs for handwashing


Graphic by Cheyenne Hernandez

Cheyenne Hernandez, Staff Writer & Graphic Designer

With COVID-19, also known as the novel coronavirus, becoming more rampant every day, several measures are being suggested by everyone, from doctors to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), for people to take in order to prevent the spread of germs, one of which is washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

While this action is not new, the coronavirus’s deadly capabilities are causing many to stress the importance of proper handwashing.

Many have heard of songs with 20-second choruses to sing instead of singing “Happy Birthday” twice. These songs include modern tunes such as “Truth Hurts” by Lizzo, to classics like Britney Spears’ “Oops! I Did It Again,” and “Africa” by TOTO. However, there are other songs in particular that have not been quite recognized for their 20-second choruses.

For those who may not be fond of mainstream music or well-known classic hits and prefer something a little different, there are indeed some other songs, which belong in the rock genre, with choruses that last approximately 20 seconds, so if one enjoys rock music and would prefer a song that caters to their taste, this list (in no particular order), which includes well-known hits to some more obscure songs, may give them a catchier chorus to sing as they wash their hands, and possibly a new song to enjoy overall.

  1. “Killers Like Candy” — I Am Ghost

Though I Am Ghost is a fairly obscure band, they do have a song with a 20-second chorus. “Killers Like Candy” is an emo rock song with an adventurous feel that deserves to be heard, especially by those who favor this specific kind of music.

“Kiss the sun and burn our lips dead radio

Candy girl you will never ever, ever

Make me the Perfect killer

Outside the rabbit hole is a candy shop of poison”

  1. “Bring Me to Life” — Evanescence

This 2003 nu-metal hit is infamous for it’s angsty lyrics, which has caused the song to be known as a meme. Whether or not one enjoys “Bring Me to Life” for what it is, or for its reputation as an amusing tune, the chorus makes a great hand-washing song.

“(Wake me up)

Wake me up inside

(I can’t wake up)

Wake me up inside

(Save me)

Call my name and save me from the dark

(Wake me up)

Bid my blood to run

(I can’t wake up)

Before I come undone

(Save me)

Save me from the nothing I’ve become”

  1. “Face Down” — The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

Some students may remember this song from way back to early childhood, as it did indeed play on the radio, though the band isn’t as well known. Not only is the chorus very catchy and remarkable, but the concept of this song is quite meaningful and the whole tune is a great hear, itself.

“Do you feel like a man

When you push her around?

Do you feel better now, as she falls to the ground?

Well I’ll tell you my friend, one day this world’s got to end

As your lies crumble down, a new life she has found”

  1. “Always” — Saliva

A song that’s nearly 20 years old, “Always” by Saliva includes a chorus that’s 20 seconds. This hit may or may not be well-known, but the song is quite bitter, yet amazing, and feels powerful to listen to.

“I love you

I hate you

I can’t get around you

I breathe you

I taste you

I can’t live without you

I just can’t take any more

this life of solitude

I guess that I’m out the door

and now I’m done with you”

  1. “In the End” — Linkin Park

Linkin Park, like Evanescence, has quite the reputation for edgy songs that often become memes. However, this song’s chorus lasts long enough to have one thoroughly wash their hands.

“I tried so hard

And got so far

But in the end

It doesn’t even matter

I had to fall

To lose it all

But in the end

It doesn’t even matter”

  1. “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” — Green Day

With Green Day being one of the more beloved bands, it may be a treat to have a relatively popular song with a 20-second chorus to sing as a hand-washing tune.

“My shadow’s the only one that walks beside me

My shallow heart’s the only thing that’s beating

Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me

Till then I walk alone”

  1. “Just Like You” — Three Days Grace

This song is one of the more angrier songs on the list. Three Days Grace, while mostly popular within the rock community, is not as well known to others, nonetheless this vengeful song has a memorable 20-second chorus.

“You thought you were there to guide me

You were only in my way

You’re wrong if you think that I’ll be

Just like you (Just like you)

You thought you were there to guide me

You were only in my way

You’re wrong if you think that I’ll be

Just like you”

  1. “The Ghost of Vincent Price” — Wednesday 13

Another fairly unknown song by a fairly unknown band, this horror punk tune has a spooky and unique feel, and a chorus that makes a great hand-washing song.

“Some people prefer the finer things in life

I’m alright just hanging out with the ghost of Vincent Price

Some people prefer the finer things in life

I’m alright just hanging out with the ghost, with the ghost of Vincent Price”

  1. “Serve the Servants” — Nirvana

’90s grunge band Nirvana has many wonderful songs, but only one slightly known hit has a 20-second chorus. If you love Nirvana’s music (or simply the merchandise), “Serve the Servants” has a well-timed chorus for you.

“Serve the servants, oh no

Serve the servants, oh no

Serve the servants, oh no

Serve the servants

That legendary divorce is such a bore”

  1. “Bullet with Butterfly Wings” — Smashing Pumpkins

Another rock band that was fairly popular in the ’90s was Smashing Pumpkins. The song, which is occasionally gentle and hardcore, has a beautifully sounding tone. The chorus, which happens to be one of the hardcore moments, is timed long enough to sing while washing your hands.

“Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage

Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage

Then someone will say what is lost can never be saved

Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage”

In order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus not only from getting to you, but also to other people, washing your hands thoroughly with soap for at least 20 seconds can potentially help save others from this unprecedented virus. While counting to 20 may feel boring and long, a song’s chorus could help things feel fast, if sung correctly. These rock songs may benefit those who don’t wish to sing “Happy Birthday” or another song’s chorus that doesn’t appeal to them. Even if the coronavirus eventually goes away, or the cases finally decrease, that should not mean that proper hand-washing should end, of course. Many songs, including these particular ones, provide extraordinary choruses so that no matter if there’s an outbreak or not, one can remember the 20-second time and recall the chorus of a song to wash their hands properly in the long-run, and perhaps this list will give new favorite songs to listen to as well.