The Fox (What Does The Fox Say – Decoding the Enigma Behind the Catchy Viral Sensation

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Ylvis's The Fox (What Does The Fox Say at
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. 1. An Auditory Odyssey into the Wilderness
  5. 2. The Lingual Labyrinth of ‘The Fox’
  6. 3. The Hidden Meaning: A Critique of Human Arrogance?
  7. 4. Memorable Lines and Lasting Impressions
  8. 5. A Global Phenomenon Reflecting Universal Curiosity


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”

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

What the fox say?

What the fox say?

What the fox say?

What the fox say?

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
How will you speak to that

What does the fox say?

What the fox say?

What the fox say?

“A-hee-ahee ha-hee!
A-hee-ahee ha-hee!
A-hee-ahee ha-hee!”
What the fox say?

What does the fox say?

The secret of the fox
Ancient mystery
Somewhere deep in the woods
I know you’re hiding
What is your sound?
Will we ever know?
Will always be a mystery
What do you say?

You’re my guardian angel
Hiding in the woods
What is your sound?
(Wa-wa-way-do, wub-wid-bid-dum-way-do, wa-wa-way-do)
Will we ever know? (Bay-budabud-dum-bam)
I want to (Mama-dum-day-do) I want to, I want to know!
(Abay-ba-da bum-bum bay-do)

Full Lyrics

In a world where the charts are often filled with profound lyrical ballads and electronically-infused bangers, a gem like ‘The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?)’ by the Norwegian comedy duo Ylvis stands out for its sheer absurdity and unprecedented popularity. Released in September 2013, the song took the internet by storm, but the hype is not just about its catchiness. Beneath the surface level, there lurks an array of meanings and interpretations.

At first glance, ‘The Fox’ could be the arbitrary musings of a child’s mind wondering about the natural world, yet this seemingly nonsensical chorus and the unforgettable electronic beats might hint at the intricacies of communication and the mysteries that elude human understanding. The song transcends its comedic origin to become a cultural phenomenon, opening a dialogue about the unknown.

1. An Auditory Odyssey into the Wilderness

Ylvis’s track ushers listeners into a symphony of familiar animal sounds, establishing a sense of security in what we know—or think we know—about our furry and feathered friends. The song lays out a pattern, an assumption of predictability in the natural order.

However, this auditory trek through the animal kingdom hits an enigmatic wall when it comes to the fox. The disruption of this pattern reflects our own human limitations in understanding, categorizing, and communicating with the complexity of nature. It’s an anthem to the glorious puzzle of the wild.

2. The Lingual Labyrinth of ‘The Fox’

The song’s jibberish crescendo, a refrain of various ‘Ring-ding-ding’ and ‘Wa-pa-pa-pow’, might initially come across as a trivial concoction for comic effect. Yet, this linguistic maze serves as a metaphor for the rabbit hole of language and the myriad of sounds confined within the world’s tongues.

With each nonsensical line, Ylvis ironically highlights the arbitrary nature of language as a construct—a series of symbols and sounds we’ve collectively agreed to assign meaning. It invites listeners to ponder, if we struggle to interpret the language of nature, where else might our communicative assumptions be misguided?

3. The Hidden Meaning: A Critique of Human Arrogance?

Behind the entertaining facade of ‘The Fox’, one may discern an unspoken commentary on human arrogance. Through our self-assigned role as the interpreters of the universe, we often forget the vast swaths of knowledge that remain beyond our perception.

This song could be a playful jab at humanity’s societal hubris, mocking our desperate need to know and label all elements of existence, and subtly reminding us of the wisdom in acknowledging the vast unknown.

4. Memorable Lines and Lasting Impressions

‘But if you meet / A friendly horse / Will you communicate by / Mo-o-o-o-orse?’ These lines resonate beyond their face value for their element of whimsy. The choice of ‘horse’ and ‘Morse’ is not a mere quest for rhyme but a clever use of juxtaposition between the natural and the human-engineered.

The reference to Morse code beside the ‘friendly horse’ symbolizes the bridge and also the great divide between nature and human inventions. The lines mock our technological advancements that, instead of bringing us closer to understanding the ‘ancient mystery’ of the fox’s sound, only illustrate how distant we are from nature’s simple, yet unfathomable truths.

5. A Global Phenomenon Reflecting Universal Curiosity

The widespread viral success of ‘The Fox’ is no accident. It taps into the universal human trait of curiosity—of wanting to comprehend that which is beyond reach. Even as the song took over dance floors and internet memes, it also stirred an interest in the actual sounds foxes make, proving that art, even in its silliest forms, influences life.

What started as a comedic skit evolved into a pop-culture staple, serving as an ironic mirror to the human condition. The song, for all its whimsical nature, asks a profound question: ‘Will we ever know?’ Perhaps this line alone encapsulates the eternal quest for knowledge that defines our existence.

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