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Ultra-catchy 'fish song' has taken over TikTok and become a hit mental health anthem

"If I were a fish" isn't just a bona fide bop, it's helping listeners connect to hope, joy and self love.

if i were a fish
@hicorook/TikTok

Corinee Savage and Olivia Barton sing "If i were a fish."

More than 13 million people have watched Corinne Savage (aka @corook) and their partner Olivia Barton perform their punchy, wholesome, serotonin-filled acoustic tune titled “If I were a fish.”

The lyrics, so simple and so sweet, go a little something like this:

“If I were a fish, and you caught me, you’d say ‘Look at that fish,’ shimmering in the sun, such a rare one, can’t believe that you caught one…”

Then comes the chorus that’s completely bursting with radical acceptance and joy, despite everybody on the internet being “so mean.”

Really, no song has the right to be this catchy, powerful, absurd and clever all at once. Be it is, nonetheless.

Listen:

@hicorook

I was having a very emotional day, feeling insecure and out of place. So I cried to Olivia and after feeling through it, we wrote this song in 10 minutes to remember the joy in being different 🐸 happy Tuesday

♬ original sound - corook

A bit of a masterpiece, right? And to think—all it took to make it happen was a bad day, and 10 minutes.

Savage, who is nonbinary, shared with The Boston Globe that inspiration for the song came after a challenging day of receiving nasty comments to another song they had posted online.

Understandably, being on the receiving end of such harshness exacerbated the insecurity and loneliness Savage had already been harboring.

“It’s not that the hate comments affected me, it was more that the hate comments were shining a light on something I was really thinking about in my life, which is I feel like I don’t have a place,” Savage told The Boston Globe.

In an effort to lift her partner’s spirits, Barton suggested that they “do something silly” together to make themselves feel better. And thus, “If I were a Fish” became an impromptu celebration of uniqueness and moment of healing.

What’s more, it’s become a beloved self-love anthem for anyone who feels a bit like a fish out of water. Children sing it in school choirs. A crowd of over 100 people gathered in Washington Spare Park for a heartwarming singalong. Seemingly overnight, the song has surpassed viral sensation status and is now a full blown movement.

@hicorook

all of my fishy New Yorkers 🥹🐠🐸 I can’t friggin believe it. Thank you for singing along with me yesterday

♬ if i were a fish (feat. Olivia Barton) - corook

The way it has resonated with so many people makes it pretty evident that Savage was not the only one who needed these words put to music.

“I think there’s a mass amount of people on the Internet screaming into the void, and none of us are sure if we’re hearing each other,” Savage told The Boston Globe. “I think that for some reason, this song, everybody feels heard by.”

It takes courage to not fit into an acceptable box, and love yourself anyway. It takes strength to cultivate joy within yourself when the world seems bleak. It's not easy, but luckily art helps. And what's more, the art that heals us can heal others. The ability art has to inspire community among strangers in an instant really has to be the biggest perk of humanity. And god bless folks like Corook who create such lovely examples of it.

By the way, Savage and Barton have turned “If I were a fish” into a full two-minute song, which you can check out below:

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