I’m going to apologise in advance for ruining your Tuesday.
I’m also going to suggest that you play the song that follows loudly in the office, so that you don’t have to suffer alone.
Then I want you to think about what you’ve done because you really shouldn’t be taking instructions from a stranger on the internet.
Anyway, back to what the Guardian is calling “the year’s most annoying song”.
Baby Shark, which was released in South Korea in 2016, is loved by children and hated by adults. It has also recently made its way into the UK Top 40, so here’s a little explainer:
The phenomenon everyone is talking about is a nursery rhyme-like song and video, produced by a South Korean kids’ entertainment company called Pinkfong. The Baby Shark song and dance video has had more than 1.6bn views on YouTube, by the simple expedient of creating something that sounds as if it was designed specifically to make adults want to yank their own teeth out with rusty pliers.
In the video, a succession of cute kids do little dances while naming different sharks – baby shark, mommy shark, daddy shark and so on – before running away to safety.
It’s a very heteronormative shark family, but we’ll let that slide for now.
Listen and weep:
The song didn’t originate in South Korea. It’s actually from a 2012 collection of camp songs. In the original, the singer ends the song by losing an arm and dying.
Personally, I prefer that version, but Pinkfong thought it was a little too violent.
It removed the peril from the song, stripped away the techno – the Pinkfong version bears a resemblance to MMMBop by Hanson – and made it of a piece with its “aesthetic”, that aesthetic being “child forcefed sherbet and given a set of DayGlo paints”. It released its version in 2016, and it gradually spread throughout south-east Asia like a virulent strain of flu, before crisscrossing the world on its way to pandemic status. Truly, a viral video. And, like any good virus, it has mutated: Pinkfong’s Monkey Banana is the same track, with lyrics about a monkey instead.
Which leaves us with this:
And here you thought the torture was over. Bless.
Baby Shark is number 37 in the Official Singles Chart, which should tell you everything you need to know about humanity.
And while there’s no doubt that it is unbearably irritating, we still think we can top it with this al-time classic:
Kill it with fire.
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