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Silly, Catchy Viral Music Video Asks, “What Does The Fox Say?”

Ylvis - The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)
Photo from “The Fox,” Image: Ylvis’s website.

Move over Psy, there’s a new viral music video on the Internet that’s getting millions of people dancing and laughing.

Psy is a singer who created Gagnam Style, a music video which featured a catchy tune and an interesting dance. Gagnam Style has been viewed more than one billion times, by people all over the world. It went “viral.”

A “viral video” is one that is seen on the Internet by many people, and then the link to it is passed along to many more people. Every time someone shares the link, the number of people who see the video increases.

A new music video called, “The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)” has recently gone viral. At 123,000,000 views, it may even catch up to Gagnam.

The video asks the question, “What does the fox say?”

Everyone knows that cows go moo, dogs go woof, frogs go croak, ducks go quack, birds go tweet and cats go meow. But what does the fox say?

It’s a good question. And it seems, at least according to the music video, there is no good answer.

Throughout the video, the brothers sing a few suggestions. For instance, they try, “Hatee-hatee-hatee-ho” and “Joff-tchoff-tchoffo-tchoffo-tchoff.” But those don’t seem quite right.

Actors in the video dress up like the animals they’re singing about. One of the brothers dresses up like a fox.

There is a surprising and silly dance in the video that takes the viewer a bit off-guard.

The video’s appeal is the song’s simple premise and catchy chorus.

The makers of the video never expected the video to do well or even to be taken seriously. In fact, it started out as a joke.

The song was written by two brothers from Norway, Vegard and Bård Ylvisåker. Collectively, the brothers are known as Ylvis.

The brothers have their own late-night talk show in Norway, called Tonight With Ylvis (I Kveld med Ylvis).

They thought the video would be so bad it would give them something to talk about on their show.

On their website, they say the video was “supposed to entertain a few Norwegians for three minutes—and that’s all.”

But people started loving it.

Some people say that once you listen to the delightfully silly song, you want to listen to it again and again.

The brothers have been guests on some major North American talk shows Ellen and Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.

They say they’re happy about the success of their video, but they know that tomorrow something else could come along and be even bigger–which is just fine with them.

By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
What makes a video go viral? Why do you think some videos go viral while others are hardly viewed at all?

Reading Prompt: Responding to and Evaluating Texts
Watch the video “What Did the Fox Say”. Did you like the video? Why or why not? Would you share this video with a friend – why? Do you think this video will be as popular as Gagnam Style?

Make judgements and draw conclusions about the ideas and information in texts and cite stated or implied evidence from the text to support their views (OME, Reading: 1.8).

Evaluate the effectiveness of both simple and complex texts based on evidence from the texts (OME, Reading: 1.8).

Grammar Feature: Spelling Sounds
It can be difficult to spell sounds. For example, the two brothers who are known as Ylvis try to spell the sound a fox makes: ““Hatee-hatee-hatee-ho” and “Joff-tchoff-tchoffo-tchoffo-tchoff”

Try to spell the sounds for the following actions:
1. When a car stops quickly
2. When you kick a soccer ball
3. When you cough
4. When you run and you are out of breath
5. When you type on a computer keyboard