Today’s Tuneful Tuesday comes from member Marsha Goodman-Wood.
Since it’s cold and flu season, it seems like a good time to bring up hand washing, which is what my song “Nobody Likes Viruses and Germs” is about! It’s a fun reminder about washing your hands as a way to avoid getting sick, while promoting the ideas that you can still play outside (and get dirty) and that there are helpful bacteria as well as the kind that can make you sick. It also subtly brings up the positive behaviors of sneezing into your elbow to avoid spreading germs and wearing a seatbelt.
The idea of writing this song came from my friend Regina Holliday, who is a visual artist that became a health care advocate after her husband died of cancer. She does amazing work bringing art into healthcare with “The Walking Gallery” — a series of paintings on the backs of suit jackets and lab coats that participants wear to medical conferences and occasional special Walking Gallery events. The paintings tell the story of each individual’s personal story and reason for doing the work they do in the medical field. You can read more about her work on her blog, Regina Holliday’s Medical Advocacy Blog. You can also watch “The Walking Gallery Mini Doc” to get the story. Over the credits, starting around 6 min 30 sec in, you’ll hear me singing a song Regina wrote called “Lean In”. Here’s her telling of the story of “Nobody Likes Viruses and Germs” along with photos of the jacket she painted for me:
My version of the story is that we ran into each other in the produce aisle at the grocery store and she said, “You should write a song about hand washing!” We talked a bit about the idea that it’s OK to tell a child — hey, you need to wash your hands, yet it’s taboo to say that to adults. In particular, it’s not OK to tell that to a health care provider who could be putting your life in jeopardy if their hands are not freshly sanitized and germ-free. Thankfully, that is starting to change as more hospitals become aware of the problem, partially due to advocates like Regina. Anyway, after our brief conversation, the song idea came quickly, and I had a chunk of the song by the time I was done shopping!
When I present the song to little kids, I tell them to clap away the germs and stomp away the germs to the beat of the music, so feel free to stomp and clap as you listen!
To read the lyrics or purchase an mp3, click here.