The Fox

Album: Single Release Only (2013)
Charted: 17 6


  • Ylvis are a Norwegian comedy duo comprising the brothers Vegard and Bård Ylvisåker. They recorded this EDM parody and its accompanying video to promote the season's première of their late-night TV talk show, I kveld med YLVIS (Tonight with Ylvis) on TV Norge. The visual quickly went viral after they uploaded it onto YouTube.
  • The song asks the question: What sound does a fox make? It was produced by Norwegian producers Stargate, the team behind Rihanna's "Diamonds" and Katy Perry's "Firework." Bård described the writing process to Billboard magazine: "The way we work is we just sit around and talk about things and get ideas and take some notes," he said. "I guess we must have been talking about what sound a fox makes. And then we had a chance to work with Stargate, a production company in New York City...We actually did a favour for them and we asked them if they could produce a song for the new season in exchange."
  • This was the highest-charting song in the US by Norwegians on the Billboard Hot 100 since a-ha went to #1 with "Take On Me" in 1985.
  • Tor Erik Hermansen and his Stargate partner Mikkel Storleer Eriksen didn't compose the song's instrumentation specifically for Ylvis. Hermansen recalled to Spin: "We'd already been working on some beats and sent them a couple of options. They picked one or two that they liked. They came into the studio with the lyrics, and the fox sounds. We said, 'Are you sure this is what you want to do with it?' They said, 'Yep.' And we said okay and did it."
  • Stargate gave the backing track to Ylvis as a present after the Norwegian comedy team made a mockumentary video for them for Mikkel Storleer Eriksen's 40th birthday.
  • The clip was named as YouTube's Top Tending video of 2013. Runner-up was a military version of "Harlem Shake" whilst in third place was the slapstick visual, How Animals Eat Their Food, in which two men re-enact the eating habits of lizards and kangaroos.
  • A children's book based on the song titled What Does the Fox Say? was released in December 2013. The Simon & Schuster-published tome, which includes illustrations from Norwegian artist Svein Nyuhus, debuted at #1 on The New York Times Best Sellers List for Children's Books.

Comments: 3

  • George from Vancouver, CanadaSeems odd that the show's name is Norwegian and is on Norway TV, but the song's in English?
  • Camille from Toronto, OhA song with a gimmick: "What does the fox say?" As the song continues, the lyrics become "what the fox say?" and imo, these guys are pretty close to that other expression, abbreviated "WTF". No matter how innocent sounding the lyrics on the surface, I'm sure they have a double meaning, and when these guys sing this song in concert, I bet they unabbreviate those other words at the top of their lungs along with the audience.
  • Heafy from Kincumber South, AustraliaMany people think a fox howls/barks (because they look canine like), but they actually make a crying sound similar to a baby's cry.
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