City playing ‘Baby Shark’ on loop to drive away homeless

Click to play video: 'Children’s song makes the Billboard Top 40'
Children’s song makes the Billboard Top 40
WATCH: YouTube hit 'Baby Shark' will get stuck in your head… we promise – Jan 10, 2019

The wildly popular kids’ song Baby Shark is enough to drive any adult crazy — and city officials in West Palm Beach, Fla. are counting on it doo doo doo doo doo doo.

The city’s parks and rec department has started playing the song on loop outside one of its wedding rental facilities in order to prevent homeless people from sleeping there.

West Palm Beach’s audio warfare strategy is part of an effort to protect the city’s Lake Pavilion, an event space with several glass walls and a large patio.

The Lake Pavilion building is shown in West Palm Beach, Fla. West Palm Beach website

“People are paying a lot of money to use the facility,” Leah Rockwell, the city’s parks and rec director, told the Palm Beach Post. The city expects to earn $240,000 in rental fees this fiscal year, she says.

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“We want to make sure people paying this money had a facility that was clean and open and continue to use it in the future.”

Baby Shark doo doo doo doo doo doo is a maddeningly simple and repetitive song that’s racked up more than 3 billion views on YouTube since it was released in 2016.

In case you haven’t heard the earworm, the simplistic lyrics go like this:

The song runs through the same pattern for Mommy shark, Daddy shark, Grandma shark and Grandpa shark. The whole family of sharks then starts “hunting” the adorable singing children in the video, before they wrap it all up with the poignant line: “It’s the end, doo doo doo doo doo doo.”

“The homeless are now bumping to this,” user Spencer Ussery wrote in a comment on the song’s YouTube page Wednesday.

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And just in case those doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doos are enough to lull someone to sleep, West Palm Beach is mixing in lyrics from Raining Tacos, another contagious tune with slightly more complicated lyrics.

Raining Tacos has been viewed more than 31 million times since it was posted to YouTube in 2012 — nowhere close to the popularity of Baby Shark.

Illaya Champion, a member of West Palm Beach’s homeless community, says he doesn’t like the music, but he’s willing to endure Baby Shark and Raining Tacos on rainy days when the pavilion patio can provide some shelter.

“It don’t bother me,” he told the Palm Beach Post. “I still lay down in there, but it’s on and on — the same songs.”

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Rockwell says the looping music is temporary to discourage homeless people from sleeping on the pavilion’s patio. The city is planning to implement opening and closing hours for the park in the future.

She adds that the city runs many outreach programs to help its homeless community — it simply doesn’t want them to have a negative impact on one of its commercial venues.

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“We are not forcing individuals to stay on the patio of the pavilion to listen to the music,” Rockwell said. “The music is heard only if you are on the patio, [which is] a very small are relative to the rest of the waterfront.”

Doo doo doo doo doo doo.


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