So bad it’s huge

2011-03-26 00:00

IT’S Saturday. Yesterday was Friday. But that’s not quite how the song goes. However, Fun Fun Fun will be trending on Twitter for days to come, thanks to Rebecca Black.

In case you’re not too familiar with this overnight 13-year-old YouTube sensation, all you should really know is that users online are slamming the video all over the Internet and labelling it one of the worst songs ever..

Daniel Tosh, host of the TV show Comedy Central, got hold of the video and posted it on his blog on Friday, March 11. That started the viral jump — in two weeks, the song’s YouTube views went from 4 000 hits to nearly 40 million; the single peaked as high as 19 on the iTunes bestseller list; and it became the subject of ridicule online, with comments like “I hope you’ll get an eating disorder so you’ll look pretty”.

Despite this, experts say Rebecca will probably be a millionaire in the not-too-distant future. Having garnered over 43 million views on YouTube, Billboard estimates she earned $40 000 (R276 000) in a week from sales of her song on iTunes and YouTube ad revenue. The song cost her parents $2 000 to have produced.

So why is the song so popular? Is it really because it’s so bad? Or do the lyrics — as obvious as they are — resonate so psychologically deeply with us that we can’t help but click on the link? Is Friday — as in the day of the week — really that big a deal in our lives?

A Facebook poll yesterday revealed Witness readers’ affinity for the general end of the working week was obvious. It’s Friday I’m In Love by The Cure and TGIF (Thank God It’s Friday) by R. Kelly, along with I Don’t Like Mondays by the Boomtown Rats, were among the favourites. Either this sample indicates something about society at large, or Witness readers are just weekend people.

Perhaps the viral hit is purely down to quirkiness.

For instance, Rebecca’s lyrics also point us to the fact that she will eat cereal for breakfast. No one has ever done that in a hit song before. Ever.

She also ponders, twice, whether she should sit in the front or back seat of her friends’ convertible.

Another bizarre feature is the tone of her voice when she sings the chorus, which makes her sound like a villain on a Muppet musical.

But don’t take my word for it.

To watch the video, go to www.witness.co.za and click on Multimedia.

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