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What ‘The Fox’ Say? Norway’s ‘Song of the Summer’ Could Be 2013’s ‘Friday’

Ylvis, "The Fox," what the fox say, video, norway

That Aristotle was full of shit. Humans are often thought to be the “rational animal” — okay, nerds, we realize Aristotle didn’t actually quite say that — but recent pop-music history proves otherwise. We talk about Miley Cyrus instead of Syria, and then we talk about how we’re talking about Miley Cyrus instead of Syria. We watch videos and generate revenue for their creators not because we think they’ll be good, but because we want to laugh at them. We are beasts.

Beasts, as it turns out, happen to be the subject of the music video above, which we think you should watch because you’ll want to laugh at it. Gawker today declared “The Fox,” by Norwegian duo Ylvis, as “the song of the summer,” and Nick Denton’s blog is right — in the same way Rebecca Black’s “Friday” was the song of 2011, or “Chocolate Rain” was the song of 2007, or that version of “Hooked on a Feeling” with a dancing baby was the song of 1998. Bård Ylvisåker and Vegard Ylvisåker have created a video you will watch for much the same reason you watch Tommy Wiseau’s The Room.

In other words, you won’t be quite sure why you’re watching it, but you’ll probably pass it along to a friend. The song is upbeat, guitar-driven dance-pop — think Ke$ha and’s “Crazy People,” and you’re partway there — with hilariously melodramatic male vocals describing the sounds that various animals make. The chorus imagines the “one sound that no one knows,” which is, of course: “What the fox say?!!!!” The video acts this timeless rhetorical out with costumes, lights, smoke, and synchronized dance moves somewhere in the woods. Also, with both real and fake animals. The caricatured EDM breakdowns are like a campier version of what happens in the rave portions of Nicki Minaj’s “Starships” video.

The fox’s sound, these Norse gentlemen soberly inform us, “will always be a mystery.” Wonderfully, that’s not true. Foxes make crazy sounds — sounds you can go hear on YouTube, thus perhaps creating yet another semi-ironic viral sensation. You know what animal doesn’t make a sound? Well, most people would say giraffes. But here’s another video to prove “most people” wrong. People suck. And are amazing. Enjoy the rich fruits of the human experience, in all its ineffable splendor, right there at the top of this page.