Meaning of “The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)” by Ylvis

Written By Michael Miller

Michael is a music teacher and professional cellist. He loves uncovering the deeper meaning of popular songs.

At first glance, “The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)” by Ylvis seems like a whimsical song about animal sounds. However, there’s more beneath the surface.

The song cleverly uses humor and catchy lyrics to explore a deeper theme: the mysteries and unknowns in our world. Just as we ponder what sound a fox makes, the song encourages us to think about the unexplored and unanswered questions in life. It’s not really about a fox; it’s about curiosity and the human tendency to seek answers to the unknown.

Ylvis created this song not just for entertainment but also as a playful reminder of the endless mysteries surrounding us.

Curious about the deeper meaning behind Ylvis’s viral hit? Keep reading to uncover the layers of this seemingly simple song.

“The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)” Lyrics Meaning

The song starts off simply enough, listing sounds various animals make. This sequence sets a familiar, almost childlike tone, but it’s a clever setup for the song’s central question: What does the fox say? Here, the fox symbolizes the unknown, the unanswerable questions we encounter in life.

The chorus, with its nonsensical sounds like “Ring-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding!” and “Wa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pow!”, represents the human attempt to interpret or make sense of the unknown. It’s a playful nod to our tendency to fill in gaps in our knowledge with imagination and guesswork.

As the song progresses, it dives deeper into this theme. Describing the fox with “big blue eyes, pointy nose,” it almost humanizes the animal, inviting us to empathize with the unknown. This part might suggest that the unknown, while sometimes intimidating, can also be beautiful and intriguing.

Then comes the part where the fox meets a horse and wonders if they can communicate. This part cleverly highlights our desire for understanding and connection, not just with each other but with the natural world and its mysteries.

The song culminates with the lines “The secret of the fox, Ancient mystery, Somewhere deep in the woods, I know you’re hiding.” This is a direct acknowledgment of the mysteries that remain unsolved in our world, encouraging a sense of wonder and exploration.

Why Was “The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)” Written?

Ylvis, the Norwegian comedy duo behind the song, were in a playful and experimental state of mind when they created “The Fox.” They wanted to produce something light-hearted and fun, a contrast to the often serious tone of pop music.

However, their approach was not just about creating a viral hit. They were also commenting on the absurdity of modern pop lyrics, challenging the norm by embracing the nonsensical. In doing so, they stumbled upon a profound truth: sometimes, the questions without answers are the most fascinating. The song became a reminder to embrace the unknown with curiosity and joy.