How ‘Baby Shark’ became the most annoying song of all time

Baby Shark has a long history (and will it ever end?), writes Rachel Sibley.

It’s stuck in our head and we’re going insane, but what are the true origins of ‘Baby Shark’?

We dived into the history books (ie. the internet from years gone by) to find out where this terrible invention began.

Roots in the 20th century

A few sources have said the tune originates from a German song from the early 1900s. While Quartzy has suggested it’s actually a French children’s song.

But truly, we probably will never know what it was based on, and if it was ever sung before the Youtube virality it has now garnered.

A product of the noughties

What we do know, is that in the early days of Youtube, circa 2007, this video was doing the rounds (make sure you watch it to the end).

This version was so popular that the video’s star, Alemuel (akaGerman performance artist Alexandra Müllera), received a record deal with the label EMI Müller and recorded a dance track that circulated in clubs across Europe.

So, the track was definitely not purely a kids’ song way back then!

At that time, it was also translated into English and you can see videos of groups singing it on Youtube, from kids’ choirs and camp counsellors to weary parents.

This version used to end with the singer being bitten by a shark, then dying. Which is probably not the most savoury way to go.

2015 – the year we can now all hate

Enter the version you all know and hate. You can thank Korean band, Pinkfong for that. They removed the techno vibe and made a happier ending in their 2015 Youtube video (below), that has been watched over 1.8 billion times worldwide.

And we all know what happened next … billions more views on covers, remixes and home attempts at the ‘Baby Shark challenge’ – where you dance alongside your car as it rolls along. We don’t recommend!

This version begins with music from Antonin Dvorak’s ‘Symphony No. 9’ (a piece of music that many have mistaken for the music from Jaws) and has since been translated into over 10 languages.

But let’s be honest, it’s infuriating in ALL languages.

Beyond ‘Baby Shark’

Of late, K-pop groups have covered the track, as well as celebrities like Ellen Degeneres and James Corden.

So far, the least annoying version of the song is Benny Time’s 2015 cover, which we spin right here on Kinderling Kids Radio. If you must listen to this rip-your-hair-out ditty, this should be the one to put on!

This post was originally published on Kinderling Kids Radio. Download the Kinderling app for more great stories. 

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