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COMMENTARY: Baby Shark is the most annoying earworm in musical history

Okay, it's not the Baby Shark song. But it's the story of suspects in the U.S. who stole a shark from an aquarium by dressing it up as a baby and carrying it out in a stroller.

Doo Doo, Doo Doo Doo Doo, Baby Shark.

When you get into the talk radio business, you expect to generate negative reaction depending on what opinion you bring to the listeners or your followers on social media.

Some topics are political or social landmines and should be avoided, unless your background includes deactivating IED threats in war zones. Other topics, like whether pineapple belongs on pizza (yes!) are fun, but you’ll still get furious debate.

Yet I wasn’t prepared for the outpouring of … hate is a strong word … outpouring of disgust over my comments about a children’s song that is, without question, one of the most annoying, repetitive chants ever foisted on the preschool demographic.

READ MORE: Why we get earworms, and four other medical mysteries of music

It’s called Baby Shark. It’s bad. It’s dumb. It makes me more irritable than losing a filling and then immediately eating a steak which becomes stuck in the recesses of my tooth for a month.

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It’s as exhausting as arriving at Gate 33 at the airport with five minutes to spare, only to be told your flight is now boarding at Gate 101. It’s as infectious as the 1918 Spanish Influenza pandemic, the only time the NHL season was cancelled without the frustration of millionaires fighting over a salary cap. I have come to hate Baby Shark. And parents of young children have a reciprocate feeling about me.

Doo Doo, Doo Doo Doo Doo, Mommy Shark.

WATCH BELOW: A hapless British father wears a shark outfit and dances to the Baby Shark song

I first heard it two months ago when my wife was watching a YouTube video featuring some poor British father who was forced to wear a shark outfit and dance along to entertain his spawn.

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“What the hell are you playing?” I asked.

“I don’t know, but it’s cute,” my wife responded.

“Turn it off,” I demanded.

My home is nothing like The Handmaids Tale, so I was ignored. Do you think the song would leave my head? It became my musical ball and chain; an earworm so vile it felt like an actual worm had entered my ear canal and was tunnelling through the middle, then inner ear towards both hemispheres of my brain.

Doo Doo, Doo Doo Doo Doo, Daddy Shark.

And as most of us these days, instead of seeking the help of a mental health professional, I went on Twitter and registered my warning about the toxicity of this toddler tune. That’s when the Gen X and Millennial mommies and daddies reacted with furious anger.

“… What’s wrong with you. You hate kids? … “

“… Only a grumpy old fart would hate that song. My 3 year old daughter Mary (inevitably spelled ‘Meriee’) adores that song. … “

“… Die in a fire, you liberal leftist dumpster monkey. … “

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The last comment was from a Dad who watches too much Fox News. I’d obviously hit a nerve. I wanted to tell these parents to stop drinking the Facebook community forum Kool-Aid. Stop assuming your toddlers will only dig the songs that seem manufactured by child psychologists and academics based on simple, repetitive lyrics and two musical chords.

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When I was a child, my parents played and sang the songs they were listening to at the time and I thrived. I can still remember the soundtrack of my childhood from their collection of Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Petula Clark and Roger Miller.

King of the Road is an amazing song about a guy on the down and out struggling to make it through another day.  Millennial parents know exactly how that feels.

WATCH BELOW: Roger Miller performs King of the Road

Baby Shark was originally a German song about a swimmer being devoured by an entire family of Great Whites until the South Korean got a hold of it and turned it into a nursery rhyme. That makes “King of the Road” sound like a love ballad.

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Doo Doo, Doo Doo Doo Doo, Granny Shark.

There are a couple of cool versions out there. One is a Spanish banda video you can find that sounds like Tito Puente on mescaline playing a daycare gig.

WATCH BELOW: A Spanish banda version of Baby Shark

But to today’s parent, the laziest parenting cohort in human history, the ones who parent based only on what other parents are doing, let me suggest expanding your child’s musical tastes.

It doesn’t have to be the musical madness of Frank Zappa or the lyrical turgidity of Neil Peart. See if Colton or Caitlyn dig a little Sinatra. The Wee Small Hours serenaded me to many sleeps in my crib.

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Besides, we’re hunting sharks to extinction. We owe it to them.

Mike Stafford is co-host of The Morning Show on Global News Radio 640 Toronto.

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