2019 brought us the “Baby Shark Song” and the frenzy surrounding it. What craze will come in 2020?

There are many songs and ditties about a number of animals out there: five little ducks, five little monkeys, three blind mice.

In some tunes, the animals have all kinds of unusual experiences: The cow jumped over the moon, a white-fleeced lamb went to school with Mary, this little piggie went shopping while this one sat down to what sounded like a delicious dinner and even the charming old weasel goes … pop!

There are even songs about insects: The “Ants Go Marching One by One.” “The “Itsy-Bitsy Spider.” “There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly.”

Move over tame animals, we’re celebrating the world of prey now; the latest ditty that’s won the hearts of folks everywhere is the “Baby Shark Song.”

Although it seems to have popped out of nowhere and is suddenly everywhere you turn, its actually been around for a while. It began as a camp song back in the 1900s, which graduated to a rather dark German song called “Kleiner Hai” by Alemuel. It was later translated to English but remained rather depressing. In most early versions, people’s limbs were eaten one by one. Not too surprising, it didn’t catch on with kids.

After years of obscurity, in 2015, Pinkfong, a South Korean media company that produces videos for kids, refurbished this old ditty. They added some bright colors, threw in a couple of cute kids and gave it a nice happily ever after, not to mention a beat so catchy parents find themselves still singing it long after their kids have fallen asleep.

Its YouTube clip has been viewed more than 4 billion times. (Anyone with young kids will probably say, “A few thousand of those views were from my house alone.”) For comparison sake, Kidscreen says the most watched YouTube kids’ video of 2019 was Cocomelon’s “This is the Way” — and that was only viewed 128 million times.

Story has it that Pinkfong really wanted to use the theme music from Jaws as the opening bars for the song, but because it didn’t have the rights to it, it instead used the similar sounding Dvorak’s New World Symphony. So not only is this mindless 17-word ditty about a family of hungry sharks the most popular tune of 2019, but kids everywhere are even hearing a few unintentional seconds of classical music, which is supposed to be beneficial for growing brains.

But you know how it goes: One good craze deserves another. Soon after the Family of Sharks made its worldwide splash, Baby Shark challenges started popping up all over the place. First it was the rather tame “challenge” of copying the simple dance moves that somehow morphed into the act of dancing dressed like a shark alongside a moving car. (Is it just me or does hearing about “challenges” like that make you want to invite these people over to tackle something really challenging — and, needless to say, infinitely safer — like your mountain of dirty laundry?)

Here we are enjoying the last few days of 2019. To put it another way: “It’s the end doo doo doo doo…!”

Who can predict what’s in store for us in the coming year, what’s going to go viral and what’s not?

Bring on 2020 and all its new crazes.

Happy New Year!

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