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Ylvis, ‘The Fox (What Does the Fox Say)’ – Song Meaning

Ylvis
Stuart C. Wilson, Getty Images

Ylvis’ ‘The Fox (What Does the Fox Say)’ is a fun, silly novelty song — albeit one that has racked up millions of YouTube views and made a splash stateside. Ylvis are a Norwegian comedy duo with the power to make us laugh. In order to assess the lyrics of ‘The Fox’ and decipher what it means, you must approach the track with a sense of humor. If you don’t, you’re an idiot. It sounds like a freakin’ nursery rhyme!

Allow PopCrush to offer our not-so-dramatic reading of the song!

“Dog goes woof / Cat goes meow / Bird goes tweet and mouse goes squeek / Cow goes moo / Frog goes croak / And the elephant goes toot /Ducks say quack / And fish go blub / And the seal goes ow ow ow ow ow”

Those are not exactly grand observations on life or the animal kingdom, right? But then again, they are not supposed to be. The song sounds like a children’s book set to song and the lyrics are a statement of the obvious. If you want to teach kids the sounds animals make, then this song allows you to do that.

“But there’s one sound / That no one knows / What does the fox say?”

Ah, therein lies an existential question, if you want to go “there.” This philosophical question is packed into a comedy song with a melody that is best served for little ones. But — and it’s a very big but — it got us asking another question. If a fox grunts in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it still make a sound? See what you’ve done to us, Ylvis?! The wheels are turning…

“Big blue eyes / Pointy nose / Chasing mice and digging holes / Tiny paws / Up the hill / Suddenly you’ re standing still / Your fur is red / So beautiful / Like an angel in disguise / But if you meet / a friendly horse / Will you communicate by / Mo-o-o-o-orse? / Mo-o-o-o-orse? / Mo-o-o-o-orse?”

There you have it. What Ylvis are really asking with their song is “Can’t we all just find a way to communicate despite our differences? Can we as people do it like they do it on The Discovery Channel?” See what we just did there? (Hi, Bloodhound Gang!) Aren’t things, like communicating, much simpler in the animal kingdom? Find a way to co-exist or die. Yes, the song sounds like something you read your child or your little brother or sister when you want to put them to sleep with a bedtime story. But there’s some subtle meaning buried within, if you want to go there. Strip away the “hehe”and “haha” and it’s a song about the survival of the fittest.

Yeah, we went there.

You know, it could just be about the fox having pretty fur.

PopCrushers, are we digging way too deep for meaning with ‘The Fox’ or do you agree with us? What do you think of the inane lyrics?

Listen to Ylvis, ‘The Fox’

Next: What is 'The Monster by Eminem + Rihanna All About?

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