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Baby Shark

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"Baby Shark" is a children's song about a family of sharks. It was popularized by social media and radio.


"Baby Shark" started as a campfire song, where each member of a family of sharks is introduced with different hand motions. Different versions of the song have the sharks hunting fish, eating a sailor, or killing people who then go to heaven.[1]

German version[edit]

The dance version of "Baby Shark" was popularized online in a 2007 YouTube video named "Kleiner Hai" published by Alexandra Müller who is also known by her stage name alemuel.[2] This version is set to the theme of Jaws and tells the story of a baby shark who grows up and eats a swimmer.[3] The video gained popularity shortly after[4] and alemuel was offered a record deal by the label EMI,[5] which published the song accompanied by disco beats on May 30, 2008. The single peaked at place 25 of the German charts[6] and place 21 of the Austrian charts.[7] Based on the single and the original video, the YouTube community created a popular music video which is a typical example of crowdsourcing. The German version of the song remains popular among German youth groups and multiple variations (also in different dialects of German[8]) have been published since it first gained popularity in 2007.

Pinkfong versions[edit]

The "Baby Shark" song was popularized by a video produced by Pinkfong, an education brand under South Korean media startup SmartStudy, titled "Baby Shark" (Hangul상어 가족; RRSang-eo Gajok; lit. shark family) released on November 25, 2015, which has garnered over 2.1 billion views as of January 2019.[9] This version of the song starts with bars from Antonín Dvořák's Symphony No. 9 which are reminiscent of music from the movie Jaws. The song features a family of sharks which go hunt a school of fish which escape to safety.[10] It became a viral video in Indonesia in 2017, and throughout the year it spread to many other Asian countries, particularly those in Southeast Asia. The mobile app was among the top 10 most downloaded in the family apps category in South Korea, Bangladesh, Singapore, Hong Kong and Indonesia in 2017.[11] As of January 2019, the dance version of the "Baby Shark" song, uploaded on June 17, 2016,[12] has received over 2.1 billion views worldwide, making it the 23rd most viewed video on YouTube.[13] Due to a 2012 change that the Billboard Hot 100 music charts made to account for online viewership of YouTube vidoes, "Baby Shark" broke into the Billboard Top 100 at #32 during the week of January 7, 2019.[14]

Due to its popularity, it has spurred an online dance craze (or referred to as Baby Shark Challenge) around the world, while being cited as "the next big thing after the domination of Gangnam Style". K-pop groups including Girls' Generation, Twice, Red Velvet and Black Pink have been credited with further spreading the viral song through their coverage of the song and dance, specifically on their featured TV shows and concerts.[15][16] The song began to go viral in the Western world in August 2018.[17] In September 2018, Ellen DeGeneres released her own version of the song on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and James Corden performed a version on The Late Late Show with James Corden.[18] The song was performed on The X Factor in early December 2018 because it was requested by Simon Cowell's four-year-old son Eric.[19]

While the English version just listed members of the shark family, the Korean version says Mommy Shark is "pretty", Daddy Shark is "strong", Grandma Shark is "kind" and Grandpa Shark is "cool". In January 2018, the South Korean newspaper Kyunghyang Shinmun published a front-page editorial condemning these lyrics as sexist. In May 2018, the Liberty Korea Party started using "Baby Shark" to promote its candidates, prompting SmartStudy to threaten legal action over copyright infringement.[3][20]

The lyrics to another internet phenomenon song, "Johnny Johnny Yes Papa", has been mashed up with "Baby Shark".[21]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2018–19) Peak
Australia Streaming Audio Visual Tracks (ARIA)[22] 40
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[23] 44
Ireland (IRMA)[24] 22
New Zealand Hot Singles (RMNZ)[25] 39
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[26] 12
Sweden Heatseeker (Sverigetopplistan)[27] 9
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[28] 6
US Billboard Hot 100[29] 32
US Kid Digital Songs (Billboard)[30] 1
US LyricFind Global (Billboard)[31] 1


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[32] Silver 200,000double-dagger

^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ Valens, Ana (November 18, 2018). "'Baby Shark' reminds us of the past—and that's what makes it a great meme". The Daily Dot. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
  2. ^ "Where did the Baby Shark song come from?". Evening Standard. September 5, 2018. Retrieved October 6, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Pineros, Benjamin (September 18, 2018). "Sexism, German memes and right-wing chants: Behind the 'Baby Shark' viral sensation". Techly. Retrieved October 6, 2018.
  4. ^ "Schnappt der "kleine Hai" nach "Schnappi"?". Bild Zeitung online. May 29, 2008.
  5. ^ "Alemuel Biografie". last fm. Retrieved October 6, 2018.
  6. ^ "Offizielle Deutsche Charts - Offizielle Deutsche Charts". (in German). Retrieved 2018-11-02.
  7. ^ Hung, Steffen. "Kleiner Hai feat. Alemuel - Kleiner Hai - dim dim..." Retrieved 2018-11-02.
  8. ^ Hassendoerper. "WRS Baby Hai". YouTube. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
  9. ^ "Baby Shark | Animal Songs | PINKFONG Songs for Children". November 25, 2015. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  10. ^ Sen, Indrani. "The story behind the astonishingly viral Baby Shark YouTube video". Quartzy. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  11. ^ "PINKFONG" – via Facebook.
  12. ^ "Baby Shark Dance | Sing and Dance! | Animal Songs | PINKFONG Songs for Children". June 17, 2016. Retrieved September 7, 2018.
  13. ^ "Who Is Behind The Viral 'Baby Shark' Song And How Is It Taking Over Our Lives?". Retrieved October 16, 2017.
  14. ^ Victor, Daniel (January 10, 2019). "Baby Shark (Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo) Billboard Chart (Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo)". The New York Times. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
  15. ^ Ramirez, Elaine. "How This 'Baby Shark' Video Went Insanely Viral In Indonesia". Forbes.
  16. ^ ""Baby Shark" Dance Craze From South Korea Dominates Online World". Phil News. September 27, 2017. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
  17. ^ Sen, Indrani (August 27, 2018). "The story behind the astonishingly viral Baby Shark YouTube video". Quartz. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  18. ^ "James Corden, Ellen, and The Internet: Why is Everyone Dancing to 'Baby Shark' Nursery Jingle?". News18. October 3, 2018. Retrieved October 7, 2018.
  19. ^ Dosani, Rishma (2 December 2018). "Simon Cowell's son Eric makes X Factor debut as Baby Shark opens final show". Metro. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  20. ^ Ryall, Julian (September 5, 2018). "Viral children's song Baby Shark embroiled in row over sexism". The Independent. Retrieved October 7, 2018.
  21. ^ "People Are Freaking Out Over This "Johnny Johnny" And "Baby Shark" Video Mashup". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved 2018-12-08.
  22. ^ "Streaming Audio Visual Tracks Chart". ARIA. October 22, 2018. Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  23. ^ "Canadian Hot 100: January 12, 2019". Billboard. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
  24. ^ "IRMA – Irish Charts". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved January 5, 2019.
  25. ^ "NZ Hot Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. September 10, 2018. Retrieved September 7, 2018.
  26. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
  27. ^ "Veckolista Heatseeker – Vecka 39, 28 september 2018". Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
  28. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved January 5, 2019.
  29. ^ "Chart Search: Pinkfong". Billboard. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
  30. ^ Rutherford, Kevin (September 15, 2018). "Kid Digital Song Sales - September 15, 2018". Billboard. Retrieved September 16, 2018.
  31. ^ Rutherford, Kevin (October 26, 2018). "'Baby Shark' Song Leads LyricFind Global Chart". Billboard. Retrieved October 27, 2018.
  32. ^ "British single certifications – Pinkfong – Baby Shark". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved November 30, 2018. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Baby Shark in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.