The Viral Phenomenon of If I Were A Fish

“If I were a fish and you caught me you’d say look at that fish

If you’ve been on TikTok lately, odds are you’ve heard the above lyric in some form. Musicians Corook and Olivia Barton posted a little video singing a song they had created that day. It was a silly song to help Corook feel better after a hard day. The couple posted the video and it quickly amassed millions of views. People began stitching the video, adding in their own harmonies and musical accompaniments. A quirky little song became a collaborative experience for people all over the world. 


@hicorook was having a very hard day so i got to hold them while they cried and then i said LETS MAKE A SILLY SONG out if this big feeling ✨✨✨✨ check out the comment section on this video in their page its unreal people can be so fucking sweet sometimes #originalmusic #corook #fishsong #couplegoals #fyp

♬ original sound – Olivia Barton

Now, the infectious earworm has a full version! Anytime a snippet of a song gets popular on TikTok the comments will be flooded with people asking for a full version. Most of the time, it’s months before that’s able to happen. In this case, Corook and Olivia quickly turned around and gave us the full single. While the TikTok had caught people’s attention, the full version began to resonate even deeper with its listeners.

At first glance, the message of the song is simple. Everyone is unique and we should all celebrate our uniqueness. It’s a statement read on a thousand inspirational posters and is truly what the song celebrates. Where I think the song really connects with people is the acknowledgement that harsh words can bring us down, and that sometimes we can forget what makes us great.

It’s easy to say ‘keep your head up’ and ‘don’t listen to the bullies’. Anyone who has been through middle school knows just how hard that can be when there are many voices trying to pull you down. It’s one thing to say ignore the bullies, it’s another thing to overcome them. This song doesn’t shy away from the fact that there will be mean people in our lives. Instead, it reminds the listener just how strong they are, and how wonderful it is to be different.

After the full version of the song was released, Corook invited people to meet them in Washington Square Park for a sing along. I’m not sure how many people they were expecting, but when they arrived at the park, there was a crowd of over fifty people ready to sing the song. While all of the stitches and duets on TikTok give you an idea of how many people this song has touched, seeing a crowd that big come together shows just how great the impact of the song has been. It’s touched hundreds of lives and brought a smile to many faces. 

Not only has this song struck a chord with adults, but it’s also been something parents can share with their children. You’re never too young, or too old, to be reminded of self-acceptance. Being the positive earworm that it is, I expect to see ‘If I Were A Fish’ make its way into some end-of-year school concerts. 

As summer approaches, we’re all looking for songs that help make us smile, and it’s impossible to listen to ‘If I Were A Fish’ without doing just that. 

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