This “If I Were a Fish” Song Is an Argument Not to Ban TikTok


Apr. 14 2023, Published 4:15 p.m. ET

So far, 1.3 million TikTok users have added likes to an “If I Were a Fish” song that Nashville-based singer-songwriter Corook uploaded on Tuesday, April 11. And that’s not even counting all the TikTok uploads that have added harmonies, instrumentation, and even dance routines to the original.

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The lyrics are as wholesome as the music is catchy: “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 you caught one,” the song starts. “If I were a fish and you caught me / You’d say, ‘Look at that fish, heaviest in the sea’ / You’d win first prize if you caught me.”

Corook wrote TikTok’s “If I Were a Fish” song with girlfriend Olivia Barton to “remember the joy of being different.”

Olivia Barton and Corook posing for a photo
Source: Instagram/@hicorook

(l-r) Olivia Barton and Corook

The song is the creation of singer-songwriter Corook and their girlfriend, fellow musician Olivia Barton. Corook explained the song’s origin story as they uploaded the viral clip on April 11.

“I was having a very emotional day, feeling insecure and out of place,” Corook wrote in the caption. “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.”

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Sure enough, the bridge of the song speaks to criticism from online trolls. “Why is everyone on the internet so mean? / Why is everybody so afraid of what they’ve never seen?”

But then we’re back to self-confident lyrics: “If I were scrolling through and I saw me / Flopping around and singing my song / I’d say, ‘Damn, they’re cute,’ and sing along.”

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After Corook posted the song to TikTok, other users made duet videos with the original clip, adding drums, bass guitar, and bluegrass banjo and dancing or even even lip-syncing to the original video.

And yes, the full “If I Were a Fish” song is coming on April 21, as Corook and Olivia announced on Friday, April 14.

They also have another song out, one titled “CGI.”

Earlier in the year, Corook released “CGI,” a single Billboard calls a “deliciously funky song” with a “bouncing bass line.”

Corook told that they started crafting “CGI” after becoming obsessed with an old toy synth they got at Goodwill for $15.

“I brought it home to my little bedroom studio in Nashville and immediately made a loop of some vinyl crushed drums and played some dinky synth chords over it,” they added.

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Then Corook invited their friend Ben Abraham, a musician who has worked with Sara Bareilles and Demi Lovato, to listen to their synth creation.

“We danced and sang to it on loop for, like, 5 hours straight,” Corook said. “I wanted it to be funky and jumpy and dance-y and sweet. The song is about how hot I think my girlfriend is, even after (almost) 5 years of dating. I’m just an underdog that somehow got the girl of their dreams, and I will be writing dorky songs about it ’til the day I die.”

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