The ‘What Does the Fox Say’ Band Wrote a Song About Massachusetts

It’s called ‘Massachusetts.’

[Update Oct. 24, 2013: See a follow up to this post here.]

Ylvis, the band behind this summer’s internet-fueled hit “What Does the Fox Say,” has followed up their viral success with a five-minute ode to the state of Massachusetts. Yeah, we’re not really sure why, either.

Ylvis is a band made up of two brothers surnamed Ylvisaker, known more for their comedy than their music in their native land of Norway (and arguably here, too). They released the absurdist “What Does the Fox Say” to surprising acclaim last month. The verses of that song list the sounds various farm animals make. Then comes the hook, which asks “What does the fox say? Ring-ding-ding-gedingading.”  It is, no kidding, No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart this week.

Their highly anticipated follow-up, “Massachusetts” offers strikingly specific references to Haverhill and Attleboro and the video at least appears like it might have been shot in the vicinity of the state, but it makes about as much lyrical sense as “The Fox.” They seem to have dedicated this over-the-top tune to our state rather than one of the other 49 for the same reason they wrote a song about farm animal noises: no particular reason at all.

Or perhaps it was so they could make deft rhymes like this one:

The famous Massachusetts Bay

Home of J.F. Kenneday

That tragically was shot

There are also some weird, childish taunts alleging that we’re all secret homosexuals—The line, “Massachusetts greatest state of all/just because you’re kissing a man doesn’t make you gay” is the least gross of them. Those gags probably won’t land in a state where some of us are just non-secret homosexuals, and the great majority of us aren’t 11-year-old boys.

But as a whole, the hokey 80s synth, the melange of genres from gospel to Celtic, the lists of tourist attractions, and panning camera shots of lighthouses make the whole thing feel sort of like a tourism bureau commercial gone wrong. We’re not sure whether to be flattered, or what. Even if they are mocking us, the lack of tired jokes about Boston accents and clam chowdah would make it the most original parody this great state has seen in many years. Either way, we should probably figure it out before everyone we know from out of state posts it on our Facebook walls for the next week.

  • KongRudi

    In the start of the show, the second sidekick, mentioned he were awake during the night wondering about the universe, stars, suns and other planets and places.
    Since he couldn’t sleep, he brought a camera-team and went outside and asked (drunk) people about the universe, they happily informed him that the stars were actually suns, like our own wich were probably – ten thousand kilometers away – then illustrated how far this were on the worldmap, and that the sun were just explosion of 1000 degree celsius there, they illustrated how hot it were with showing 4 kitchen owens.
    And then they talked about other planets, such as Mars, Venus, Saturn and Platoon, illustrations coming up of the three planets and a very big DVD-box.
    After that segment they talked with him some more, somehow he got on to the topic of how he had no idea about where Massachusetts, where – while the Ylvis dudes tried explaining, about Boston, wich he’d never heard of, the place with Cheers, and Norm, Ted Danson’s bar – then humming the Cheers tune badly – and but even that didn’t ring any bells, he just sat there stupidly shaking his head, looking dumb and saying he’d never heard of any of those things.

    40 minutes later, some person who watched the tv-series had sent in a question where he/she asked what Ylvis did when the TV-season ended, they said they, and Calle were winding down in their favourite place, They’ve made some kind of travel-report. :)

    The song is entertaining enough – but personally I found it most funny that I finally got the context that the second sidekick weren’t stupid, he were hinting about wanting to go with Ylvis and Calle wind down after the end of the TV-season. :-P

  • Sung Yun Lee

    Jesus, save us all! lol. We’re all going to hell in a handbasket!!! ;)

  • SKS

    This video as a whole it extremely edgy and satiric. I must say I love it, but fear it will fly over the head of most viewers.
    Ma. is a prime example when making fun of the “suburban melting pot” we want to exist. They also display typical homophobic absurdities that that certain countrymen believe to be true if you add gay rights.
    My european friends constantly point out these facts, but when they are meshed together in a satiric masterpiece it still seems to leave people dumbfounded.
    Ma. is a perfect example due to the very lack of racial integration, the progressive marriage act (that seems to terrify some people) and certain scandals.
    I think we need to watch this video with foreign eyes to properly understand

  • suefromnj

    They should do a video/song on N.J.

  • NDN

    So now we know they write satiric songs, building up to what could be a politically edgy view in much of the US.

    Can we now re-evaluate ‘What Does the Fox Say’ to what its meaning really is; the noises that the TV makes when the Fox News station is on the TV. – someone get on that mashup.