A Swedish children's song about genitals that went viral earlier this year has just been released in English as its makers aim to make the track a global sensation. The Local was given a world exclusive preview of the song as its composer prepared to hit the Swedish festival scene with the original version.
The track, which is designed to help children learn about private body parts, first featured on Swedish national broadcaster SVT’s children’s show Bacillakuten earlier this year and was accompanied by a video showing cartoon genitals prancing around and singing about their differences and similarities.
After initially attracting some controversy, a clip from the show went viral, scoring close to 5.5 million views on YouTube by the beginning of March and featuring on global media from the BBC’s youth news network Newsbeat to Conan O’Brien’s hit US television show.
The new lyrics include: "Willie Bee-Beep Diddle E Doo. Here comes a Willie like a kangaroo. Up and down swinging all around. Come and shake your butt when your pants are down".
Later in the track a 'Twinkle' is described as "really kind of cool".
"All the girls think it's excellent. Even graceful ladies think it's elegant," the song continues.
"Willie and Twinkle what a lovely pair. Twinkle and Willie living way down there," is another rhyming section of the score.
Johan Holmström, who composed and sung both versions told The Local: “The whole process has been really fun and it's going to be interesting to see what happens when it hopefully goes viral".
But whereas the original song was designed "with Swedish kids and parents in mind", he acknowledged it was "unlikely" that the remix would end up becoming an educational tool elsewhere.
"It's more like to show the world what the hell this whole thing was about," he laughed.
"Since the Swedish video had already become such a huge thing after the story got written about on The Local and in the UK papers and was even on TV in the US, my record company Cosmos Music thought there would be a lot of international interest".
While 'Twinkle' isn't a widely used word for female genitals in English-speaking nations, Holmström said his team had selected the word over 'fanny' or 'vagina' after speaking to friends and contacts in the UK "to avoid being too rude".
He said 'butt' is used in the song instead of 'bum' "because we knew that in the US a 'bum' is a kind of 'hobo', so we didn't want people to get confused".
'Twinkle and Willie' is available on a range of music sites including Spotify and iTunes. There is no new cartoon to accompany the song, but animated lyrics can be seen on the YouTube version.
"Now the whole world can hear what the fuss is all about and also understand that this cute little tune is actually a lot more harmless than anyone might have believed," Peter Domnérus, a spokesperson fro Cosmos Music told The Local.
Composer Johan Holmström. Photo: Private
News of the international remix emerges as a dance version of the original track gains popularity on the Swedish club scene.
"It has definitely been played in clubs in Malmö where I live and in a few other places. I've had text messages from friends and my brother called me when he heard it playing. But I haven't heard it as I don't go to nightclubs these days," said Holmström.
The singer is also preparing to hit Sweden's festival circuit over the summer where he will perform ‘Snoppen och Snippan’ and other songs from the Bacillakuten children's programme to adult audiences around the country.
Crowds will be treated to renditions of his tracks about the human body including 'Wash your Hands' and 'Poo and Pee'.
"I've been booked to play at the Skule Festivalen north of Sundsvall on July 4th and the plan is to travel to a lot of smaller towns around Sweden to perform as well. I am looking forward to seeing lots of the country I haven't seen before, along with my family."
But asked if he hoped to make his mark on the European dance scene with his new English remix, he told The Local with typical 'lagom' Swedish honesty and modesty: "Nah not really. I think it's already done well enough here in Sweden. I am afraid of flying by the way so that all sounds a bit much!"