10 children's songs more annoying than 'Baby Shark'
The Oklahoman's Nolan Clay reported this week that two former detention officers and their supervisor were charged after an investigation found inmates at the Oklahoma County jail were forced to listen to Pinkfong's popular children's ditty "Baby Shark" on a loop at loud volumes for extended periods of time.
At least four inmates were subjected to the "inhuman" discipline in an attorney visitation room of the jail last November and December, according to the charge. The inmates was forced to stand the entire time, hands cuffed behind them and secured to the wall, the investigation found.
District Attorney David Prater charged three men with misdemeanor counts of cruelty to a prisoner and conspiracy.
"It was unfortunate that I could not find a felony statute to fit this fact scenario," Prater said. "I would have preferred filing a felony on this behavior."
It's a bizarre story, and we never want to make light of anyone's suffering or of criminal charges. But I feel like most parents can relate to the pain of repeated listens to annoying children's music - I know I can as the mother of four children ranging in age from 25 to 4 years old.
I have personally been subjected to many hours of terrible kid's songs - although admittedly never involving handcuffs and jail time, thankfully - and with the advent of YouTube, many of these ditties are easily accessible for the dreaded repeat plays.
With the help of my husband and older children, I've compiled a list of 10 children's songs more irritating than "Baby Shark." Listen at your own risk.
1. "Lighter" from "Kids Diana Show"
"Kids Diana Show" is a wildly popular Ukrainian YouTube channel featuring an exceptionally annoying little girl, Diana, playing with her family and friends. Sometimes she sings to insipid electronica loops, which makes her nigh unbearable.
2. "Tooty Ta"
Imagine if the "Hokey Pokey" were made a thousand times more irritating. That's the "Tooty Ta" for you.
3. "Johny, Johny, Yes Papa"
A terrifyingly animated tot lies about sneaking sugar cubes in this soul-sucking clip. YouTube claims it's a minute and 40 seconds, but I'm pretty sure it lasts at least an hour.
4. The "Barney & Friends" theme song
From 1992-2009, a giant purple dinosaur terrorized parents not by feasting on their children but by singing to them. "I love you" is one of the most wonderful phrases in the English language - except when Barney sings it. Then, it's just the worst.
5. "The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)" by Ylvis
Apparently, Norwegian comedy duo Ylvis was under the impression that little kids needed help making up horrific noises to scream at the top of their lungs while dancing to an irritating electronic beat. I can assure you, no preschooler I've known has ever needed help making up terrible sounds to yell. Ever.
6. "The Duck Song"
While reasonably catchy from a sonic standpoint, children's music has arguably never introduced a more awful character than this sentient waterfowl who harasses a small business owner for days about why he doesn't carry grapes at his lemonade stand. The patient proprietor eventually takes the duck to the store to buy him some grapes, only to have the bratty bird say he'd rather have lemonade.
7. "Teletubbies" theme song
"Teletubbies" was one of the more mystifying children's series ever to appear on television. How anyone ever got past the dreadful intro to watch the nonsensical adventures of Tinky Winky, Dispy, Laa-Laa and Po is beyond me.
8. "Who Let the Dogs Out" by Baha Men
This song has been driving parents and sports fans barking mad for 20 years. It's hard to believe that it has a Grammy Award and is the subject of a crowd-pleasing documentary. It truly takes all kinds of kinds.
9. "Da Coconut Song" by Ryan Cayabyab
Filipino musician Ryan Cayabyab and his group Smokey Mountain scored a novelty hit in the early 1990s with this homage to the versatile coconut. A video of the Baylor University School of Music Men's Choir singing it on a flight went viral a few years back. It's not to be confused with Harry Nilsson's 1970s novelty tune "Coconut," popularized by The Muppets, mostly because it's way more annoying.
10. Anything by Alvin and the Chipmunks
The average lifespan of the eastern chipmunk is three years, but this virtual singing trio has been pleasing children and plaguing parents since 1958.