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'wash yer hands' Liveline's Joe Duffy pens poem to say goodbye to iconic pandemic catchphrase

Today marks the last day Joe will use his '51551 wash yer hands' catchphrase on Liveline


Joe Duffy has penned a poem to say goodbye to his iconic pandemic catchphrase, which he’s constantly said since February of 2020.

Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic became a national emergency, Joe has been regularly saying “51551 wash yer hands” throughout Liveline.

However, today marks the last day Joe will use it, as we’ve now reached a new point.

“I'll stop saying that soon once the lockdown is over. I'll say that for the last time next week and hopefully people get the message,” he said last week.

This afternoon, he read out the following poem as a farewell to the iconic phrase.

"Wash yer hands"

The job in hand was to

To hand write a poem about

(51551 Wash yer) hands,

Don’t know if I heard it, first-hand

Second hand or third hand,

But hand on heart,

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From my soft hands who never did a hard day's work in their life,

I tried to write this goodbye to (51551 wash yer) hands

But It was out of my hands

So I hold my hands up,

I did get a helping hand

I went,

Cap in hand,

I said can you,

“Give us a hand,”

I left it in their hands - then by their own hand - they wrote

“My hands are full,”

So they couldn’t lend a hand with

(51551 Wash yer) hands.

I thought I could count my friends on more than one hand,

but my hands were tied, unless I could get

….all hands-on deck,

I got poets with time on their hands, they held my hand ,

And with a guiding hand, using a hand book, I have to hand it to them

We hand made this poem, and hand signed it ,

But it was too -

heavy handed,

We realised , the task was out of our hands,

Because ,we don't have gifted hands,

Hands up or hands down - that was the hand signal

That the poem (51551 wash yer) hands

Had got out of hand

So now,

I will wait hand and foot, as you hand me down your


your hand printed,

hand some words,

Your golden hand- shake

As you tell me we all have the whole world in our

(51551 wash yer) hands

Lavez-vous les mains

Nigh do lamha

Wasche deine Hande.

Lavati lay

My life is in your hands

But it was the, the gifted hands, the holding hands, the open hands,

That had the whip hand, when the right hand didn't know what the left hand was doing,

We got the upper hand,

as hand in hand, we came through

A pandemic,

a hand demic that was a hand full,

not from the hand of god,

As we said;

get your dirty filthy hands offa me,

As it got out of hand , we did not hold our hands, but we did (51551) wash our hands

And now we have more time on our hands, hands free, we will

wash our hands of this pandemic


because we candemic

So with a freer hand, raise a glass

Of clear water,

To every son and daughter,

Mother and father, uncle, and aunt,

Siblings and friends to the end,

To all those we missed and lost and loved from a distance

To the anonymous 5155 ones washing their hands

For the clean hands thank you, for the healing hands thank you for the hands that wiped away the tears,

Take a bow,

The soon that we hoped for is now

So by a show of hands, raise your hand as we say goodbye to 51551 wash yer-hands

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