Q: How do I get the “Baby Shark” song out of my head? Should I really be letting my kids listen to it so much?
First question, you don’t. I’ve tried. My first impulse was to take a ballpeen hammer to my forehead until I forgot what songs were, but I’m told that sort of activity is bad for brain function. And my brain malfunctions enough all on its own. Not today, hammer.
For those unaware, “Baby Shark” is a song that every kid in the continental U.S. (it hasn’t reached Alaska yet, but stay on your toes) is obsessed with. I wasn’t familiar with it until my eight-year-old daughter Justgotglasses Andsheisadorable (not her real name) started asking the Alexa machine to play it in a loop sometime around the Thanksgiving break. And the Alexa machine hasn’t stopped playing it since.
I should really use the hammer on the Alexa machine, instead of my valuable forehead.
The words, for those uninitiated, are something like, “Baby shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo; mommy shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo; run away, doo doo doo doo doo doo; this world and all of existence is a simulation created by an advanced alien civilization and you everyone you know are a hologram most likely, doo doo doo doo doo doo. …”
It’s a catchy tune, admittedly.
Your second question’s answer is this: Sure, why not?
What I like about the “Baby Shark” song is there is no redeemable quality to it. Your kids learn nothing from listening to it. It just names a few of the roles found in traditional family units, then associates them with sharks, and then they sing about hunting and running away from then sharks, and that’s it. There’s no moral to that tale. Just tale.
And it’s catchy. Like a foot fungus that lives in the sea and can never stop moving or it dies.
I equate it to Saturday morning cartoons. Remember those? When I was a kid, several dozen decades ago, the networks programmed entire slates of cartoons each Saturday morning, and there was nothing redeemable about any of them. Ghostbusters; The Real Ghostbusters; No Kidding, These Are the Actual Ghostbusters (not an actual show); I Can’t Believe It’s Not the Ghostbusters (also not a real show); the Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show; Hammerman (actual show); Johnny Quest; Scooby Doo; Smurfs; etc., etc. They’re all just cartoon hijinks with no real-world lessons.
Unless, of course, you have a human-sized chicken with a southern drawl trying to trick you into running off the side of a cliff, on the regular.
Essentially, it was programming to sell themed cereals and action figures. And then, sometime in the early ’90s, the FCC began to strictly enforce a rule that required broadcast networks to provide a minimum of three hours of “educational” programming each week. And TV networks responded by cramming those three hours of mandated content into their early weekend programming, ruining Saturday morning cartoons forever. Fortunately, I was about 12 or so when this all went down, so I got my fix just in time. But all you millennials grew up in a time when cartoons were trying to teach you stuff, and that’s why there are no jobs for you. Because Baby Boomers.
“Baby Shark” is the aural equivalent of a Looney Tune. You will learn nothing from listening to it. But it’s packed full of audio sugar and cartoonish threats of sharks eating your children (I think). So, if that’s your kid’s jam, I say let them eat it until their stomach explodes. At which point it becomes a hard lesson in indulgence.
Doo doo doo doo doo doo.