Damn, do we need a break.
Armageddon has come in the guise of Miley Cyrus.
Kardashian infants are tweeting before they’re peeing.
Left hates right and right hates left. Newspapers are dying. A TV show about meth and murder drowns out a discussion on the reality of chemical genocide. Commenters are angrily debating the merits of a South Carolina artist cutting lawns in D.C.
So let’s turn to music as an escape.
Then again, I find my collection of CDs filled with songs about remorse, existential angst, depression, anger, lost hope, frustration, and of course how to get the unattainable girl. Admittedly, I’ve added to the unending pile of sad songs, having written a collection all about alcoholism, serial killer preachers, revenge murders, and slow suicide. Doesn’t that sound like fun! (Don’t worry, I may never end up finishing the recording of that album).
When I think of all the topics I’ve included in songs, and all the topics for the songs I listen to, sometimes I think, “what a bunch of drivel.” If I were at a social function and the only topics discussed were the same ones in these songs, I’d get out of that party faster than Jon Stewart at a GOP fundraising event.
The world can be depressing. Songs can be depressing.
We need a break.
Which is probably why “The Fox (What Does The Fox Say)” is so welcome. If you don’t know the song, you're in the minority. It's a YouTube sensation, gathering over 107 million views. No Way?! Way!
View it for yourself. But be warned. It is silly.
I am not sure if I should be proud or ashamed that my 12-year-old daughter credits me with being one of the first to view it. Certainly, I’m the first of anyone she knows. Yup, I was an early entry, noting that only 500,000 saw the video before I did. I’m not sure how I saw it so early. I’m not a YouTube addict. Perhaps the drummer for Kid Rock or the pole dancing champion of Austria shared it on Facebook and I clicked (how I know these two ladies are stories for another day). But I saw the video and could not stop laughing. It’s brilliant.
The music is not a stolen song (as in Robin Thicke’s copy of several Marvin Gaye tunes). The synth beat and melody are so close to the cloying Coldplay style that I wonder if they could do a Coldplay parody record. The lyrics are simple and lead to a sing/shout punch line that straddles the fence between annoying and memorable. The video is so well produced and makes light of many video techniques in current music videos. It’s wall-to-wall pop culture mockery done with a straight face.
This morning I listened to two ESPN radio hosts talking about this song. They advised their listeners to not find the song. One claimed the song is so awful, it would cause him to never visit Norway—the home country of the two brothers sho wrote the song. These brothers, performing under the name Ylvis, are comedians and host variety shows in Norway. It’s a stupid song intelligently crafted. It’s a song anyone can sing ("You sing, 'What does the Fox say?' And I’ll sing ‘yip-ip-yip-pip-yip-yip-yip-yipyip’” I hear my kids plan in the back seat.) Come on ESPN guys, lighten up.
It’s just fun. And if you can’t write the Song of The Year (congrats to Charleston’s own Shovel’s And Rope for that distinction at the Americana Music Awards in September, the same month "The Fox" was released), you can do worse than writing a song which makes people laugh.
I leave you with this: The Ohio University marching band performing “The Fox”. Smile. It’s only rock and roll, or some variation of it.